If health is wholeness, and if we know what we express, then the wholistic path to wellness is to reveal one’s innate wholeness and largeness in living. This means that health or well-being comes from the inside out. Whatever external remedies or treatments might be usefully employed, they are useful in creating lasting change as the person they serve chooses to increasingly love and serve those around them. Awakening to the largeness of who we are and revealing that generously in our living is the path to wellness or aliveness. This perspective confronts the one that imagines that the healing experience is for one’s personal benefit alone. A hallmark of a patient who has benefited from a wholistic approach is that they get over themselves and reveal a generosity of spirit that brings comfort, encouragement and peace into the lives of others. We know fulfillment for ourselves as we help others find fulfillment.
Health, if seen as the absence of disease or symptoms, is not the aim of wholism. Its aim is for two to come together in common purpose to help each other live and love more fully, and so to extend healing to the whole. Rachel Naomi Remen says it well: “Health is not an end. Health is a means. Health enables us to serve purpose in life, but is not the purpose in life. One can serve purpose with impaired health. One might even regain health through serving purpose. How we live is not as important as why we live. Why are we here? What are we doing here? This mystery is more important to me than discovering how these bodies function. So the real questions of health may not be questions of mechanism but questions of Spirit. Healing is not a matter of mechanism; it is a work of Spirit. A human being is not a mechanism, but an opportunity for the Infinite to manifest.”
Wholism is basis of all traditional healing systems. It is not specific to any healing approach, and there is no healing technique that is inherently wholistic. What makes an approach wholistic is not the technique used, but the perspective and consciousness of the practitioner. Being a wholistic practitioner is something earned not by a diploma, title or license, but by embodying a large perspective of who they are, who the patient is, and the global or even cosmic context of their relationship. From this perspective, the entire world (and more) is present, in a very real sense, in the treatment room.
The next offering will explore reductionism in contrast to wholism.