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WTH Part One: Chapter 3: March 15, 1984 3/19 (16%) Trapeze defying stunts Margaret regulated
– The Way Toward Health
– Part One: Dilemmas
– Chapter 3: Daredevils, Death-Defiers, and Health.
– March 15, 1984 4:06 P.M. Thursday

[... 5 paragraphs ...]

Trapeze performers may have several acts a day, for example. It seems that such individuals perform with great daring, even with a rashness that is unfamiliar to most people. Most such performers, however, are extremely regulated. They work with a carefully calculated eye, under conditions in which each detail, however minute, is of supreme importance. No matter how often certain trapeze acts may be repeated, for example, there is always the threat of instant disaster — of missed footing, a final plunge. Through testing “fate,” death-defiers try each time they perform to prove to themselves that they are indeed safe, that they can overcome life’s most dire conditions. Period.

[... 3 paragraphs ...]

This need not be the case, of course. Self-understanding and self-knowledge may be able to change the individuals’ lives for the better, regardless of their activities or conditions of life. It is true that these individuals do choose for themselves a carefully planned and regulated style of life, in which the threat of death is encountered personally and regularly; each day becomes an odyssey, in which death and life are purposefully weighed. Period.

Children may come down with many childhood diseases, and still be very healthy children indeed. Adults may break a bone skiing, or indulging in some other sport, and still be very healthy. (Long pause.) People “come down” with colds, or the flu, or some other social disease that is supposed to be passed from one individual to another — yet overall these may be very healthy individuals. The body has its own self-regulating system. This is often called the immune system.

[... 7 paragraphs ...]

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