ecophilia - From fasting to autoimmunity as a fractal doorway

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Jessica Böhme
Jessica Böhme
Day 32 of fasting, fungi & fractals. 

From fasting to autoimmunity as a fractal doorway
To me, fasting is a probiotic practice. I also consider it to be a healing practice. Mentally and physically. 
Reminded by Sophie Strand in her recent post about autoimmunity and trauma, I wonder if healing practices, such as fasting, are conducive to the Ecocene. 
The idea of healing autoimmunity 
Sophie describes how her autoimmunity (and other people’s) might result from a traumatic event. She, therefore, engaged in possible healing modalities such as EMDR, somatic experiencing, acupuncture, and talk therapy and took it on as her responsibility to heal the trauma, so her body could relax. And eventually, heal. 
I have primarily linked my autoimmunity to bad lifestyle choices and an unhealthy upbringing. Nonetheless, I have also tried numerous healing modalities similar to Sophie’s. As I described in a recent post my story of transformation looked something like this:
“She works on herself, becomes spiritual, discovers secrets of her past and her past life, identifies her main stressors, learns how to deal with strenuous emotions, and determines what is good for her and what is not. She finds peace. She goes to psychiatrists, psychologists, astrologers, and gurus reads religion and philosophy, takes yoga classes, craniosacral therapy, chants mantras, and meditates. She eats avocados and spirulina, and drinks green juices and aloe vera extract. She reads her horoscope, takes personality tests, and checks her blood type. She drinks Ayahuasca, doesn’t drink alcohol, drinks only wine, or smokes herbs. She goes to homeopaths, osteopaths, naturopaths and tries Chinese medicine. She sets her alarm to five am or does natural sleeping. She discovers her past life, gets hypnotized, and learns NLP. She creates vision boards, journals daily, expresses her gratitude, or repeats affirmations. Her friends lay her Tarot cards. Strangers take her on a shamanic journey. Experts read her aura. She clears her chakras and travels to Rishikesh”.
None of these approaches - although many of them helpful, fun, and relaxing - haven’t healed me. I became weary of the idea that healing is possible, what healing means, and that I am the sole responsible for not being healthy. 
AN IMPORTANT PART SEEMED TO BE MISSING, whether I blame a psychological trauma or physiological wrongdoing for my autoimmunity. 
The missing piece of autoimmunity
Autoimmunity is the condition when the body turns against itself. Yet, the self is not this individual bounded being, separate from the rest of the world. 
Hanzi Freinacht describes the self as follows: 
The self is a “dividual”, as described by Deleuze, a transpersonal self. I am not the voice in my head, I am all that arises; you create me as I create you, we are not sealed containers, we are often more transparent to one another and controlled by one another than we are to/ by ourselves. We co-emerge, we are just bodies and fictional stories; consciousness is transformable and all stories can be developed.
Or, as I describe in my recent research paper: 
“Identities come into being through relationships which are ever changing and constituted at multiple scales. Humans are and become-with their environment, and the environment constitutes part of the identity. Gregory Bateson saw the idea of a separate individual as a root cause of our multiple crises and argued that humans are essentially symbiotic with their environment. To facilitate a shift in perspective that helps to understand oneself as being and becoming through relationships, individuals can be conceived of as dividuals”. 
I will soon dedicate an entire article to the (in)dividual. In the context of autoimmunity and healing, what is essential is that there is no such thing as a separate individual. And if there is no separate individual, no individual healing protocol exists that is not also systematic. 
Autoimmunity then does not belong to an individual. It is a relational phenomenon. Toxic environments, impoverished food, patterns of living, thinking and being in response to modernity, and harmful community and social structures constitute the dividual.
That does not exclude that I am responsible in how I respond. It does exclude though that I am responsible for not healing.
An alternative to healing
If autoimmunity is not an individual condition but a relational phenomenon, it reveals something about our society. What if we shift from healing autoimmunity on an individual level towards acknowledging autoimmunity as a doorway, as Sophie puts it, as a glimpse of how we might heal these conditions on a societal level? 
What if I can’t heal my autoimmunity through fasting (or any other healing modality), but instead ask myself how I (and others) can understand autoimmunity as a fractal doorway to dying ecosystems, systems of oppression, and anthropocentric modes of being?
If you have any reading recommendations for this topic or people you can think of that I should talk to, hit reply. 
Love, 
 Jes
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Jessica Böhme
Jessica Böhme @eco_philia

Ecophilia is an in(tra)dependent, journal-like newsletter exploring ecophilia - a lived philosophy for the Ecocene. It is rooted in the intersection of ecology, spirituality, and science. I share the best things I learn, science & experienced based.

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Jessica Böhme, Weserstr. 48, 12045 Berlin