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Swaim School for Better Living: What Does Neil Young Have To Do With Health?


Happy Wednesday,

Let’s get this party started with some wisdom from that internationally recognized health guru Neil Young:

“It’s better to burn out, than to fade away. My, my, hey, hey.”

Whether he meant to or not, Mr. Young expressed a concept of health and living that needs to be further explored. If you have been following along in our spring series, you will recall that last week we talked about the concepts of innate intelligence and the propensity of the western medical tradition to treat symptoms.


The question remains, if we are in fact endowed with innate intelligence, that invisible guiding principle of our health, why do we routinely suppress symptoms? The symptom is there to inform us of a problem, but symptoms are not the problem.

The problem is the problem, and does not always have symptoms attached to it.

Read that again, because it is very important to understand.

So what is the problem?

The problem is that every day we make choices that take us either closer toward optimal health or closer toward depletion. Both end in death, of course, but the journey is very different indeed. The problem is that we assume we are healthy because we have no obvious symptoms.

The problem is that we that we fail to take action when there are no symptoms.

This is where Neil young comes in…

So with innate intelligence comes the knowledge that we exist on a health spectrum. We are constantly moving in one direction on that spectrum or the other. Each small seemingly insignificant choice we make has a compounding effect and moves us either closer to depletion, or toward better function and more vitality. Physical Matter has limitations and yes as mentioned above, both ends of the spectrum result in death. But would it not be preferable to live, move, work, and play until you die? I say YES!

Let’s have a closer look at this spectrum (obviously “burn-out” does not refer to over-commitment/stress in this scenario):

Fading Away Spectrun


As you can see, making choices that move us into the direction of vitality are within our grasp, everyday.

Make that choice everyday and keep making it. Don’t wait for symptoms. Get adjusted regularly.

Here is a clip from old Mr. Young (he sorta looks like he is burning out and fading away at the same time):

My, My, Hey, Hey: Neil Young Live at Farm Aide 1985



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