Complexity Medicine: Envisioning a Medical Systemics
Beyond a Systems-Based, Functional Medicine
Poeisis: The Poetry of a
Life Well Lived
To make or produce; to create or make manifest: In a study of Complexity Medicine, the emphasis is not on the production of things, nor on reproducible and predictable outcomes. Poiesis, for us, is a process of interactional fabrication, for what is health if not a weaving of the tapestry of relational integrity within the body, and within the world?
As practitioners of Complexity Medicine, our gaze does not fall to towards the illusory nature of objectification, but remains open to the greater patterns of connections. Poiesis, then, is about mastery of a "pattern-language", and the poetry it is capable of expressing. An understanding of the principles of design thereby becomes paramount. Health is a systemic affair. Where is to be found? Is it in the person? Is it in the physician? Is it between the both of them? Or perhaps it lies in the family, or the community, the society as a whole, or in nature itself?
The beauty of a design language, and fluency in the aesthetic domain is that an understanding of these principles transcend the specifics or the pragmatics of any one circumstance, and therefore are applicable to the multiplicity of human endeavors, found at multiple scales of engagement and abstraction. Thus poetic principles are universally transferable, and necessarily rooted deeply in both analogy and metaphor.
What then, by undergoing such a transformation in our action, will be the fruits of our cultivation and production? Through our study, whether it be at the level of the individual or the society, we will come to better understand the nature of systemic processes. Moreover, through creative design and improvisation, we will look at how impoverished systems can better manifest a richer state of health via the nurturing of new pathways of relational connection and by exploiting old interactions in novel ways. As such, we move away from the paradigm of curing and fixing, into one of healing, integration, and service.
“Everything in excess Is opposed by nature.” ― Hippocrates
“The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, in Apollo, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man's body and reduce it to harmony.”