There is a quote by Antonin Artaud that helped me to understand medicine. I don't remember exactly how it goes, and I can't find it on the web, but I think it can be found in the first twenty minutes of the documentary "My Life and Times With Antonin Artaud". Regardless of the specifics, it triggered a very important insight for me.
A plant is just a plant. It only becomes medicine when there is illness.
A cow is just a cow. It only becomes food when there is hunger.
A molecule is just a molecule. It only becomes water when there is thirst.
A discipline is just a discipline. It only becomes religion when there is war.
Richard Alpert captures this nicely in "Be Here Now".