Sunday, November 29, 2015

Horsetoothery Tomfoolery

Buddha's Tooth is Still Growing


The Buddha tooth relic, one of 10,000 relics in a touring collection, is said to have grown to several inches in length over the past several thousand years in response to the prayers of believers. It is known to have healed people who entered into its presence, and it emits good or bad fragrances to indicate positive or negative responses to prayer requests.

Buddha's tooth from the 10,000 relics collection
This is truly incredible. Gautama Buddha's tooth not only survived the tumultuous eons, but also grew to colossal size as a reaction to prayers from his followers whom he instructed not to worship earthly things. Astonishing!

So you can imagine my surprise when I found dozens of Buddha teeth for sale on Etsy.

For sale on Etsy
Oh no! Buddha's tooth is a horse tooth! Or one from some such animal. Sad story.

But so what? The people on that video look happy. They're grown-ups, and if they want to donate money in exchange for equine molar healing power quackery the only one they're hurting is themselves. 

I had a discussion with a patient during a long distance transfer recently that changed the way I think about some things. We were talking about the 2013 memorial service held in a Wilsonville, Ore. Target parking lot following the death of some honey bees sprayed by pesticide. 

"That kind of hippy nonsense is why I left that place!" I said.

He replied, "Oh... life's so short. Why not build monuments and hold memorial services for whatever makes you happy?"

He was right. 

Life is too short. If it brings someone peace and joy to pray to a dead horse tooth, more power to them. And if it makes a person feel better via the placebo effect, why shouldn't they spend part of their family's income on predatory homeopathic non-medications? Why shouldn't they invest their retirement account into becoming the bottom level of the essential snake-oils pyramid scheme? Why not?

I choose not to pursue those outlets for my health and wellbeing, but I recognize that I most certainly do things and engage in behaviors that others would find ridiculous.

So from now on you'll be seeing a lot less of me spending time ranting about these things on the internet. Life is much too short for that.

UPDATE: What was I drinking when I wrote that? I have come to my senses and shall not rest until bad EKGs and false advertising have been eradicated from this planet!

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