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A Capital Sin: Taking Medicines
by George Ohsawa

(Translator's note by Harold Kulungian: This brief but powerful essay first appeared in Ohsawa's Parisian REVUE YIN/YANG, March 1965, the year before his death by a heart attack on April 26, 1966. Entitled in French, "Un peche capital, prendre des medicaments," it is pregnant with insightful implications about the widespread belief today that we cannot live a healthy life without being dependent upon taking drugs. For example, what is behind the senior citizens' clamoring for "the drug benefit"? Were they all born ignorant "berabo", fatally condemned to be exploited by the doctors and the pharmaceutucal industry?)


After having taught Macrobiotic medicine during my brief stay in Europe to nearly a thousand sick people condemned as "incurable" by Western medicine, I am totally convinced that all the sick people who have suffered for many years, sometimes for twenty, thirty years, often spending millions of francs in a ten-month period, have violated and continue to violate the great law of nature.

Their suffering is nothing but the punishment given in order to correct the faults they have committed (whether they know it or not). You are wretched and sick people who suffer and search for the black magic called "miracle healing", "group healing", "the help of guardian angels," or "supernarural medicine."

All the diseases that I have seen in the Occident are "iatrogenic" (diseases created by symptomatic medicine). All sick people who are not cured in two or three months at the maximum by Macrobiotic and dietetic medicine, which goes back ten thousand years, are victims of the medicine which goes back scarcely two centuries, or of the vegetarian or naturopathic approach which goes back only half a century.

Why have they fallen ill? And why are they victims of palliative and symptomatic medicine? Because their supreme judging ability has been destroyed. Why do so many sick people lose their vitality, resistance, and fortune, in spite of the most modern treatment by doctors? Because the doctors practice the medicine taught in the universities.

Why does the medicine taught in the universities deceive well-intentioned doctors and so many ignorant sick people? Because the medicine protected by the power called Law has degenerated with the times.

Everything that is protected becomes corrupted. Everything that is exposed to all difficulties develops itself. [Consider Anne Frank, hiding for her life from the Nazis, and developing herself astonishingly through writing a Diary under such difficult circumstances. -HK].

In Japanese there are two very popular and vulgar words which are not found in ordinary dictionaries: "dorobo" (thief or bandit) and "berabo" (victim or ignorant person). If dorobo is Yang, berabo is Yin. Yin is centrifugal force, and Yang is constrictive centripality. Yang enriches itself; Yin impoverishes itself.

Those who concentrate their energy and acquire a fortune are all considered dorobo, according to Buddhism. All those who are berabo lose all they have, and this is very natural since they are centrifugal, dispersing their energy.

All those who gain wealth accumulate ills in the same proportion, and in the end are attracted by Yin, which is centifugal force, dissipating their fortune.

There you have the tragic end of all wealthy people except those who know how to distribute without cease. The Unique Principle, Yin/Yang, is the only salvation of these two one-sided antagonists.

REVUE YIN/YANG, March 1965.
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