This book is a must-read if you are concerned about the new emphasis on physician-assisted suicide and the epidemic of fitness regimens despite the fact that we are the most obese and unhealthy in decades.
This is a razor-sharp polemic, which offers an entirely new understanding of our bodies, ourselves and our place in the universe. This book describes how we over-prepare and worry too much about what is inevitable. We will age whether we fight it or not.
Ehrenreich topples the shibboleths that, one by one, guide our attempts to live a long, healthy life–from the importance of preventive medicine screenings to the concepts of wellness and mindfulness to dietary fads to our crazy fitness culture.
But Natural Causes goes even deeper into the fundamental unreliability of our bodies and even our mindbodies to use the fashionable term.
Starting with the mysterious and seldom-acknowledged tendency of our own immune cells to promote deadly cancers, Ehrenreich looks into the cellular basis of aging and shows how little control we actually have over it. We tend to believe that we have agency over our bodies, minds and even over the manner of our deaths. But the latest science shows that the microscopic subunits of our bodies make their own decisions and not always in our favor.
We buy expensive anti-aging products or cosmetic surgery, get preventive screenings and eat more kale, or throw ourselves into meditation and spirituality. But all these things offer only the illusions of control. How we can live well, even joyously, while accepting our mortality–that is the vitally important philosophical challenge of the book .
I loved this book from start to finish and I plan to write a book about a similar topic soon. It is definitely something that we must explore further.
What a gem of a book!