A new possibility about health and disease occurred to me recently that I think may have merit to explain the disease and opioid burden of our time.

That is our individualistic culture and success is a root cause of disease, suffering and addiction.

Could it be that the driving culture of individual success, comparison and competition (ego-driven and ego-dominated lives) interferes with the opportunity to experience the wholeness and richness of health and thriving?

This may be why any ecosystem that thrives does so by collaboration instead of competition.

In reality, everything we see and experience on earth is energy and we are all energy beings, deeply connected. (Remember E=mc2 – energy is mass).

We are droplets of the same ocean and doors of the same house.

We are energy, as are animals, plants, cars, houses, nature, and everything we experience in our waking life.

We are all one and we are united and whole.

What makes us seem separate?


Ego is not intrinsically good or bad, but exists to give people the opportunity to experience their existence as a unique entity. In its best manifestation, this property allows us to explore, experience and discover the wonder and the miracle of life and existence.
At its worst, ego drives and amplifies the false feeling of separation and loneliness we experience in our lives. I believe this creates great conflict between our core/soul and our ego.

Social media enhances this separateness, as does our culture and social expectations – what job do you have, how much money do you make, what do you own, where did you go to school, etc.

The artificial stronghold in individualism amplifies the feeling of isolation, of being isolated from the deep healing of unity and wholeness that determines our health.

What is the answer then, to easing this burden in our world?

I believe is a return to a deeper understanding of who we really are and reconnecting to unity and wholeness.

I think we do this by deep trust and purpose and by changing our perceptions of our lives as abundant, safe and connected.

Quantum physics tells us that we co-create with the universe (wave-particle duality that I have previously blogged) and that we are all energy (E=mc2). Great purpose and trust/safety give us the opportunity to create a world together that we all want to live in – Heaven on Earth.

Instead of only believing what we see, it is time for us to start to see what we start to believe.

Believe that instead of control and separateness (from ego), that health comes from trust, faith, surrender and re-connecting with our purpose and with each other.

Embrace duality and recognize that each opposite creates the other – light/dark; white/black; tall/short; fat/thin, etc. Nothing is intrinsically good or bad, it is our mind that makes up stories that bind us to judgement.

Remember, the Ying/Yang symbol represents such contrast, but is a whole.

I believe that we are always drawn towards this deep memory of the indelible wholeness and unity we all share. Maybe the fact our country and world are in crises is a key driver of change.

I believe we are constantly nudged to reconnect and remember the truth of our interconnected light and energy to move us to greater health and harmony.

That is what is going on in WV and in much of the world.

Although it is just gaining momentum, its force is constantly shining through the fog and darkness of our egos and the isolation many feel in the world.

To light the way for all of us.

To health and abundance.

Almost heaven.


  • Clay B. Marsh

    Chief Health Officer, West Virginia University

    Clay B. Marsh, MD, is West Virginia University’s chief health officer, and serves as a member of President E. Gordon Gee’s leadership team. As WVU’s vice president for health sciences, he oversees five health sciences schools and three health campuses.