Real is Rare

In Jewish tradition, the deepest mystical wisdom is proscribed to be communicated to one student at a time and only if that student shows he is deep in understanding and ready for what having that knowledge means. I have noticed that in teaching patients about health, something not at all secret or mystical or even deep, the same holds true, they must want to learn, they must have a deep desire to make changes, and they must be open to having paradigm-breaking experiences. Only then, can real transformative change happen and when that happens, the probabilities of modern science fall away and like Neo in the Matrix, they have an enhanced level of control and can choose a different health path for themselves. I am not exaggerating.

These patients often become leaders themselves and a real force for change or at least serve as role models for others. These relationships are the deepest and most satisfying of my career and even though they happen infrequently are worth the effort.

I was reading the website of a famous doctor today. I had a 30 min conversation with him once after one of his lectures at an event. What struck me about this conversation was the contrasting mission of this doctor. He is very famous but his contact with patients is now limited if he has any at all, as he seeks to influence the masses through films, TV, and being on shows and podcasts. Spreading the message with a missionary zeal doesn’t appeal to me because the kind of impact I seek can only be done in small groups or one on one. Which of course, doesn’t make my work or his work any more or less valuable, it is just measured on differing standards.

Unfortunately, though, and I don’t say this in regards to this famous gentleman, because I don’t know, but since society has placed fame at the very top of desired measurements of success, we ought to consider that some might construe fame for influence and importance. We know it is not. And others might mistake lack of fame to mean insignificance. To all those folks, I would say, that if you are blessed with children or even just a spouse, and you have created a loving home for them with all of your heart, you created a whole world, and in that, any feeling of insignificance can legitimately be tossed aside.

Hebrew mystical tales speak of souls that choose a full life here on Earth just to do one small favor for someone. What is of ultimate importance is certainly not always clear or made available to us. What is clear and self-evident is that we pursue authenticity and recognize our uniqueness which always reminds me of my favorite Chassidic story: Reb Zusha, lay crying on his deathbed in fear and sadness. His students asked him, “Rebbe, why are you so sad? You lived a perfect life like Moses, you will surely get a great reward in heaven!” “I’m afraid!” said Zusha. “Because when I get to heaven, I know God’s not going to ask me ‘Why weren’t you more like Moses?’ or ‘Why weren’t you more like King David?’ But I’m afraid that God will ask ‘Zusha, why weren’t you more like Zusha?’ And then what will I say?!”

Published by

Jonathan Carp, MD

Dermatologist, health food entrepreneur, beach addict, and health teacher.