The older one gets, the more important it is to keep developing, and the more pressing the need to curb a tendency to ruminate.
H.C. ten Berge
Therefore, in this bio about François Weber instead of a standard chronological biography, three areas of knowledge and investigation that he considers his fundamentals for therapy are discussed.
1. Medical science
Man as a biological organism.
My medical degree in Leiden during the eighties has been and still is the basis of all my therapeutic actions. No matter how extensive the tour of alternatives has been, I have never abandoned the medical profession. For a doctor a human body is built as intelligent design and our understanding of this design has enabled the development of medical science, we understand the ‘mechanics’ of the ‘biological machine’. The medical approach for every problem is: what is malfunctioning and how do we fix it? What is the knowledge about this problem, how should it be applied? What is statistically the best strategy? By extension, there is also the question; how to live humanly when the body functions less optimally?
And yet we now know that humans are not designed. We are like all other animals changing, evolving life forms that come and go. Medicine is in a state of constant progress as long as we keep seeing man as a design. The growing awareness that this is no longer a scientific reality hints to the idea that the medical approach lacks tools to address the human experience. Therefore, to many, medicine is perceived as increasingly less personal.
2. Neuroscience and consciousness
The consciousness, the awareness that we’re alive.
If we consider the biological existence of mankind the acquisition of our consciousness is a relatively recent phenomenon. Our consciousness, which continuously “summarises” the events in the most complex organ of the universe (our brain) and the physiological ‘animal drives’ in relatively simple utterances, feelings, and observations.
Human consciousness is a field of research for archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, neuroscience, psychology to name a few. Consciousness gives us insights, such as the vision of man as a biological machine, but also the awareness of our mortality both as individuals and as a species. On the one hand, we would like to approach consciousness as part of our design (neuroscience) and make it a specialism (psychology/psychiatry); on the other hand, we as individuals are approaching the question that is becoming more and more urgent, how do we as humans maintain our identity in the overwhelming scientific progress such as AI and nanotechnology? How do I remain authentic? And then, who am I? And the latest question: do I bear responsibility for the world?
3. Art of living
The art of living in a time of science and crisis.
Although I consider the sciences to be the ‘highest category’ of knowledge, the sciences are not life itself and so in practice, one always comes up against the ‘hard philosophical questions’. Most of our reality, as we experience it, is seldom satisfactorily explained by scientific facts (of which each one of us knows very little). Science is a joint effort to which each of us can only make a tiny contribution, but life, after all, is something we live alone. These life questions find more expression in art, literature, poetry, music, culture, society, spirituality, love, relationships and much more that takes place in our bizarre archaeologically ‘accumulated’ brains.
Walking such a wide area is more like walking on a tightrope, rather than a scientifically sound undertaking. Doing therapy with people who are stuck in this complexity has become more and more like an attempt to evoke individual creativity.
Finally, a few events that are probably worth mentioning:
Acupuncture: Postgraduate study in Paris at the EFA -Ecole Française de l’Acupuncture-, 1986-1990, and at the University Hospital CHU Bichat and Institut Ricci of the faculté de jésuite de Paris. At that time affiliated with ASMAF -Ass Médecin Acuponcteur de France-. Also at the RU Groningen, 1990, where neurophysiology and acupuncture were investigated in collaboration with the TMC University Shanghai.
Homeopathy: Postgraduate study in Wageningen for a homeopathic doctor 1990-1993. At that time affiliated with VHAN -ver. Hom Doctors Netherlands-. Seminars at home and abroad. In the period 1996-2001 teaching in Prague. Column writer for the collegial forum. I became an advocate to include classical homeopathy in the psycho-analytical and humanistic approaches of man and to suspend the pharmacological interpretation. See Scriba Medicorum and youtube.
As a child of my time: Joined in the ‘nineties’ waves; group work, martial arts as a form of therapy, spiritual development, osteopathy, meditation, hypnosis techniques… everything first as a pupil and later as a teacher.
Elderly care: My most recent stage in this permanent education of medicine; the basic training for CRA (controlling consultative doctor) in Leuven 2017.
Moving with my family to Andalusia has given me time and space to deepen and broaden the different perspectives. Especially the rethinking of hermetic theories, like homeopathy and acupuncture, into a nuanced multidisciplinary approach.
Banner photo: Detail ceiling finishings in the Alhambra.