This I Believe

Jeffrey - Becket, Massachusetts
Entered on January 9, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: science

I work in the field of holistic health. The holistic health movement represents the latest in a series of revelations concerning human health, but it is not the last in a series. The holistic movement offers a healthy departure from the outdated mechanistic view, which considered the parts of the body as mere cogs in a machine – distinct and separate entities acting independently of each other. The holistic view holds that the body depends upon all of its parts working together in concert. But that seems, at best, a half-truth, because the body does not depend upon its parts. The parts depend upon the body. That is to say, the idea of a body must exist before the formation of its parts.

I believe there is a sense of purpose in life; that life cannot be explained away as an accident that occurred when some primordial pool of protein was sparked into animation by a random bolt of lightning; that the complex and elegant evolutionary changes over time, a mere coincidence. A sense of purpose underlying our existence implies there is a purpose in the presence of every person; we are each endowed with a reason for being.

The whole is not derived from the parts. The parts are derived from the whole. In turn, when we pull back to gain an even broader view of life, as individuals we support an even greater whole, with each of us playing a unique and gifted role in that support. In this way, our lives cease to be merely self-serving. We are here for a purpose and to give expression to that purpose.

The parts depend upon the whole. This point of view requires the infusion of the spiritual into my life. The holistic view of the human body is a refreshing change from the mechanistic view but, upon closer inspection, it leaves me wanting. It places emphasis still on the parts and credits them with a power they do not possess. That the parts are ultimately derived from the whole focuses my attention on the broadest of possible views. It points, ultimately, toward God. ?