| Human development
and poverty is the expression of the enormous vista of the human soul.
If an artist were to paint or describe the paradox of human existence,
it would require a canvas as enormous as the universe itself. Human
development, has been the subject, which in the minds of men has continued,
thousands of years.
Whether we consider, the ancient cave images
and paintings in the caves of lascaux in France or the pyramids
in Egypt, each image and construction has a story, which reflects
not only the individual, but also the culture from which this technology
originates. The image in these narratives of rites of passage of
individual cultures, also reflect the inner subtleties and dimensions
of inner experience, whether it be thousands of years ago or in
contemporary society, where our technology also reflects, a prevailing
belief system and way of life.
Petrarch, 1336, the Renaissance artist and philosopher,
stated. The soul is as spacious as the grand vistas before us. Space
is internalized; soul is externalized; in fact, we are on a continuum
Nature is so full of soul and has to now be painted that way with
subtle gradations of color and perspective, and we are full of space
and vast countries and landscapes of soul.
We have now reached a phase in the history of
humankind, where we are at a cusp or turning point. Can our planet
support the burgeoning and exponential growth of population? Can
we deal with the gross inequity, where 50% of the people on the
planet, exists on less than two dollars a day and where 10 to 15%
of the population hold. 90% of the material well. How can we deal
with gross injustice towards individuals and races. In the past
two to 300 years, most of the indigenous people of the world have
been decimated, we have seen war after war, culminating with the
dropping of the nuclear bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The Americanisation
and Europeanisation of the world follows the ancient Roman creed
or pax Romana of Veni vidi vici (I came Ii saw I conquered). this
essence of competition and competitive action is the basis of economic
rationalism with the concept that economies can grow infinitely
and that the survival of the fittest is based on the natural order
. But how can this mindset, which is accompanied by the growth of
enormous global alliances like the World Trade Organisation, NATO,
APEC, the European Union, and the development of blocks of countries
and nations often at odds with each , compete in a world, which
is being degraded and mutilated beyond all recognition?
It seems that the loss of the indigenous people
of the world and their ancient knowledge and wisdom is now accompanied
by the enormous loss of biodiversity on the planet. We are now at
a sixth phase shift of extinction, which means that the extinction
of biodiversity,currently occurring, is the same as the extinction
of the dinosaurs that occurred 65 million years ago.
There is inequity, in the way that we exploit
both living and nonliving the sources on our planet. There is inequity
in the way the human ecological footprint eclipses the ecological
footprints of other species of flora and fauna. There is inequity
in the way through climate change, we overheat the planet and raise
the sea levels, destroy tropical rainforests and the Amazon, create
pollution and acid rain and overwork and destroy arable land., through
chemical farming methods.
Similarly, there is inequity, in the way the
human species, treats itself in terms of marginalisation, exclusion,
unemployment and competition. Professor Michael marmot, has defined
for the World Health Organisation ten social determinants of of
illness and health. Of particular significance is empowerment.
It is found that within a hierarchy in an organisation
or business, that those people who are in control are much less
likely to become ill and than those people who are lower down in
the hierarchy. Such people are more likely to develop heart attacks
This finding was initially made, in the Whitehall study, but has
since been proven in other organisations. What this study showed
was that when people feel disempowered and do not feel they have
control over their lives, they exhibit disease and stress.
Increasingly, happiness, is not necessarily, defined
by higher and higher standards of living. There is a limit as to
what people need. For example, the the degree of happiness in America
has not changed in the past 20 years. However, the evidence shows
that there has been greater increase in youth suicide. Lately it
has been found that there has been increase in incidence of suicide
in female children between the ages of 10 and 20, in the US. Child
suicide, was unheard of, 70 years ago. According to Chiltern P earce,
the reason is because of the change in the nature of child rearing.
This child rearing, is the product, of what he calls enculturation.
Enculturation means con forming to the dictates and belief systems
Modern medicine has at its basis, a reductive
paradigm. It seeks to find solutions to the problem of disease through
looking at what has what is wrong with the parts, rather like a
watchmaker, who mends the watch by repairing the faulty cogs In
order to make it a whole again.
Modern medicine goes as far as to incorrectly
define, the DNA as being the brain of the cell, which has to be
changed, if it is faulty. The reductive paradigm is part of the
Newtonian basis of the philosophy of modern medicine, which is defined
in chronological, hydraulic and mechanical ways of thinking.
The modern Doctor follows the manual of management
and treatment, rather like a car mechanic. In psychiatry, the brain
is still considered to be the organ, which is faulty, when there
is a mental disturbance. Doctors are becoming more and more, the
technologists for administering the latest allopathic chemicals,
for the pharmaceutical companies.
Allopathic medicine consists of chemicals, which
attack and change chemically the disease processes. At the same
time, these chemicals, have side-effects. Western healthcare including
surgery and drugs is now the third leading cause of death in America.
American Medical Association July 26, 2000;284(4):483-5) The
British Medical Journal also declared that in America alone, 199,000
A YEAR are being killed by errant medical procedures However this
is not a local problem. In the UK, blunders by doctors are killing
40,000 a year. In Australia, 1 in 5 are being killed by their own
healthcare You are four times more likely to be killed by a doctor
in the States than by homicide. In Western society, medical treatment
has enormous side-effects of morbidity and mortality.
Up to now, the concept of human development, has
been seen in terms of socio-economic factors, which include standard
of living, sanitation, clothing, housing, food, water and the provision
of a medical infrastructure , including medical centres and other
forms of healing.
Human development, is often seen as being in parallel,
with the GDP of a country and the current earning capacity of the
individual. A great deal of emphasis is placed on the relationship
between poverty and illness and life expectancy.
Human development, unfortunately, is not seen
in terms of the development of human potential.
More and more quality of life is judged in terms
of wealth rather than in terms of such immeasurable faculties such
as happiness, creativity, well being, generosity of spirit and a
sense of compassion and connectedness. Even the education system
is focused on the needs of big business and children are narrowly
focused on aims which do not enhance their health or create a wider
knowledge of their understanding of their place in society or the
nature of life itself.
The basic needs of freedom from poverty expressed by such people
as Galtung, Rawls, Max-Neef and Lasswell and Maslow are not addressed
for people even in higher socio-economic groups in the developed
world. Such needs would address the needs specifically for affection,
understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom.
Our society is so stressed that by 2010, one in
three people will be suffering from depression which psychiatrists
consider needs medical treatment by drugs. So we come to the brave
new world of Aldous Huxley where the workers are placed on soma
or prozac to blunt their conception of what freedom or real quality
of life is.
The Key To Culture
Often, the key to culture is found, not only in
the early experience of the child but also on pre-natal experience
such as the kind of nutrition the mother has, the kind of experience
she has had during her pregnancy, the kind of relationships she
has, whether it is integral and stable or unharmonious. After birth,
the forms of child rearing, social stimulation, love and care are
very significant as to the child's happiness.
The most important thing about the Central Nervous
System of the Human Being ever discovered is that the prefrontal
cortex on which our higher attributes of love ,care creativity and
spirituality depend devlop according to the mother`s love for the
child in the womb and in the next 6 years of life.
The brain at age 7 has 60 % more neurones than
at birth but then resculptures itself up to the age of 21 developing
more the logical analytical intellect.
Enculturation which is conflictual and negating will fragment
the orbito loop of brain from the prefrontal cortex which leads
to lack of integration with mid and hind brains and the subsequent
societal tendency to violence and fear and anger This is shown in
the fact that the USA has the highest degree of child suicide in
the World from the ages of 3 up to 24 due to the fear of abandenment
or the sense of lack of love.
Enculturation conditions many people in this world to accept the
status Quo and their mind set precludes them from seeing outside
the confusion. In particular the Media breeds disinformation about
the state of the World glorifying Wars and Violence.
The Montesorri Schools and Rudolph Steiner Schools
are based on love and tolerance and spiritual growth for their pupils.
The question ia how can we promote a new understanding about the
nature of true. Humanity which is the prerequisite for Global Citizenship.
Our children are currently being born into a world
which is threatened by many, many adverse factors. The factors the
global community has to deal with in the next hundred years are
famine, global spread of disease, civil war, international wars,
competition for scarce resources, civil disorder amongst the haves
and have nots, housing shortages, a highly materialistic ethos and
the possibility of human extinction.
Human beings have already changed the environment
of the planet radically and have caused many other bio-extinctions
of other species. If current trends continue the picture will get
worse. The projected extra six billion people in the next hundred
years, predicted for 2020 would need more room to live and grow
food. If there are more of us, there is less room for plants and
animals. There is less room for the tropical rainforests and the
planetary biodiversity of species.
Yet, politicians generally do not think in terms
of large periods of time or even the next generation. Perhaps the
maximum term they can think of is three years which maybe the tenure
of their political term or contract. The name of the political game
appears to preclude actions which can save humanity.
Quality of Life and Culture
One thing we can say is that culture alters quality
of life and that that individual quality of life is enhanced by
a persons ability to be educated and be brought up in a warm, caring
Within this context of mind and matter there are several papers
which are of interest. First it has been shown that the intellectual
or emotional development of children from the age five to the completion
of high school is adversely affected by lack of social capital.
The social capital refers to unfavourable environments which basically
do not give care or support. The effect was specifically noted in
socio-economic deprived families, Quote Pediatrics Volume 101 1998,
Children who Prosper in Unfavourable Environments, the Relationship
to Social Capital.
Another study has found that dementia occurs at
a much higher rate amongst people with learning disabilities than
it does amongst the general population. This is independent of the
association between dementia and Downs Syndrome.
A further study examined the perception of parental
caring obtained by undergraduates relating to subsequent health
over an ensuing thirty-five years.
This was done on Harvard undergraduate men who participated in the
Harvard mastery stress study and the results show that subjects
identified in mid life as suffering from the common degenerative
diseases of Western society gave their parents significantly lower
ratings as perceived in terms of "parental care, loving and
just and share, hardworking, and clever," whilst in college.
It is obvious that intellectual stimulation and
loving, caring support from family, friends, and the community at
large is extremely important for the general well-being of the individual
as well as for the prevention of intellectual deficit later in life.
In the scheme of things, we need to take, a more
all-inclusive approach to medicine.
Hippocrates lived around 460 to 361 BC
In the fifth century BC, various aspects of the
pre-Socratic traditions were absorbed by Hippocratic approach to
medicine. The Hippocratic tradition recognised that health and disease
were affected by the seasons and the quality of the environment.
This tradition emphasised the patient, rather than the disease and
emphasised also prevention.
The emphasis on the person rather than the disease, on the environment
in which they live and on their lifestyle is in contra distinction
to the way modern medicine views the patient.
Integral medicine is based on the new philosophy
of medicine in which the Doctor is the therapeutic agent. This means
that when the patient comes within the presence of the doctor, they
feel healed.The integral process of healing, takes into account
the doctor being a person who works on themselves using consciousness
processes, to enhance their self-awareness, consciousness, integrity,
wisdom and compassion. Indeed, the doctor becomes the therapeutic
Within this context, we then proceed to deal
with promotion of health, prevention of illness, and finally treatment
of disease.This new integral medicine would spend time with patients
seeing healing as a sacred profession and following up patients
over a period of months so that if they needed to be referred to
a specialist or another health practitioner, everything would be
organized to ensure that the patient was constantly reviewed and
As regards prevention of illness and health promotion,
we would need the involvement of pathology and imaging. In particular,
we would need to use, functional pathology, and also the new ways
of dealing with genetic markers of disease. Protocols would be established
for using the latest advances in, conventional, nutritional, and
hormonal, anti aging and mind body medicine. We would also use techniques
of non local healing. The aim is to be positive and proactive towards
the patient creating a positive healing environment
In Western medicine, the phenomenon of healing
as seen in holistic approaches has been lost. It is the most serious
indictment on our conventional approaches. In its reduction of the
body for analysis to smaller and smaller fragments, the patient
as a human being is lost and health is reduced to a mechanical function.
The rise of modern scientific medicine began in
the nineteenth century, with the advent of the thinker Descartes.
In Western religion, a division was made between God and Man, i.e.
Th e concept of Deus ex Machina, so God became separate and objective.
Science as objective scientific materialism became
pre-eminent. William Harvey discovered the anatomy of the heart
and circulation and the whole body was mapped with precision so
medicine became objectified and people were classified as organs
We need a profound renaissance in western medical
care which follows Osler's dictum. Osler, the brilliant physician
who lived a hundred years ago said that medicine is an art which
considers the constitution of the patient and has principles of
action and reason in each case This means the individual patient
and their uniqueness in being and constitution has to be taken into
account and the Healer in the Doctor needs be expressed.
We have to bring back value and quality into medicine
and that means value and quality in both the lives of the doctors
as well as the patients they treat.
Just as the body is composed of mind, body and
spirit and works in an integrated fashion, the various illnesses,
which people suffer have a common cause. Medical science is now
beginning to define this cause but unfortunately because of the
kind of education that doctors receive, (the bio-medical model),
this means that most of the profession are not willing to open their
eyes to a holistic approach.
The incidence of stress in our society is rising,
and scientists in general, and doctors in particular, do not understand
the effect the mind can have on reducing and controlling stress.
The problem of stress is further compromised by the stresses that
occur within the context of society, particularly in the work situation.
If people are forced to work in situations which are controlling
and restrictive, and in which they are not allowed to contribute
to decisions and management, they will get sick. Also social exclusion
and unemployment are associated with premature death.
In the past, people relied on what is now considered
to be hidden or unproven potential in human beings to heal themselves
through mind over matter. Thus the Shamans had the ability to heal
by channeling the life force to heal themselves and their patients.
The Yogi was able to master his bodily functions through a conscious
biofeedback that enabled him to monitor his health. The Buddhist
Monk could change the phenomena of life around him and pray for
the wellness of all beings, and send out loving kindness. There
was a knowledge of the interconnectedness between the person and
the environment and a oneness with all things.
The old conception of people having five senses
is outmoded. In fact, the whole body is a multi-sensory and therefore
multi-modality information receiving biomind. Human beings are biomind,
How do we reach the human potential within ourselves
that we may transform and recreate our lives in the way we wish
our dreams to unfold? We have to acknowledge the way we have constructed
the patterns of our lives in order to see our lives and the way
we have formed them.
By breaking through to the common ground of being,by
exploring the unknown,by seeking that which is within, by accessing
the multidimensionality of our selves, by realising that we are
in fact multisensory beings, we begin to understand that there is
this essence from which all things come and manifest.
One of the greatest commitments of Albert Einstein
was to see the universe as one seamless whole and he felt that physics
had to in some way reflect that.
In deep experiences of meditation and high experiences
of transcendental bliss, time seems to stand still and the illusion
of separation and isolation that human beings feel seems to melt
away into a sense of seamless expression of connectedness in the
sense that we are all in a giant ocean of wholeness
The one thing about the living body, is its amazing
plasticity, and its amazing ability to replicate, reproduce and
perpetuate itself The living body in contradistinction to the human
psyche is in constant motion, constantly changing. Phenomenologically
it is never the same as it was in the previous instance. It is like
a chameleon, but still maintains its shape, and form and patterning,
and its function is directly related to its patteming and changing
From this we can understand that we need a new
philosophy underlying. The new philosophy needs to recognise the
supremacy of the human psyche, and needs also to understand that
human beings are composed of mind/body and spirit.
The integral approach, brings together the best
of allopathic and complimentary or alternative medicine. However,
the key aspect to the integral approach is that the doctor is no
longer the separate and observing technologist or scientist, but
has a commitment to also healing himself. This commitment implies
a willingness to explore his own nature, and his own sufferings,
and his own vulnerability that he may better understand the vulnerability
andcomplexity inherent within every person or patient he meets.
This new-found I reality and self-realisation
inherent within this process of discovery mirrors very closely what
is actually occurring in many people on the planet, who seek self-actualisation.
The number of groups devoted to inner exploration of spirituality
and healing within the context of communities or even global transformation
is mushrooming as more more people realise that their planetary
home is being irreparably damaged by ways of thinking, which are
archaic, competitive and destructive, not only to the environment
but also to the people themselves. They see that the wars, the inequities,
the poverty, the pollution the loss of biodiversity as a final call
for all humanity to heal themselves,each other and the environment.
This inner exploration of the self is part of the wounded healers
journey to wholeness, not only for himself or herself, but also
for the patient with whom the Doctor is intimately involved.
The patient may be the person we see in our consulting
room suffering from a cold or bronchitis or heart condition or metabolic
syndrome. The patient may also be the psychopathic disturbed brain
damaged terrorist in Iraq, or the wounded Palestinian. The patient
may also be a forest of trees terribly damaged by logging or a declining
population of polar bears not able to survive on a shrinking arctic
What this basic philosophy shows, is that everything
maintains itself at expense of everything else Indeed, there is
a balance in which when one thing goes wrong, the system itself
becomes disturbed and needs to be rebalanced.
The integral philosophy also shows, that everything
is basically in the state of oneness,despite the fact that our current
world attempts to create divisiveness separation fragmentation and
competition for so-called scarce resources amongst Nations.
As doctors and healers, we now have the role of
being Stewards and guardians of our patients ,our populations ,ourenvironments,
and our planet. This integral approach and philosophy of medicine,
means that we are concerned, not only for the physical health of
our patients but also for their spiritual health and their eternal
The new doctor of the future needs to be a healer
by his very approach of consistently working on himself in creating
within himself a living example of the therapeutic agent. This means
the rather than the pharmaceutical drug,we now have the good doctor
as the therapeutic drug,so that by his very presence,he elicits
wellness and well-being within his congregation of patients
And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains,
the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tide of rivers, the compass
of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves
by... (St Augustine)
Augustine as depicted by Sandro Botticelli, c.
The truth is that all-out economic growth can
no longer be viewed as the ideal way of reconciling material progress
with equity, respect for the human condition, and respect for the
natural assets that we have a duty to hand on in good condition
to future generations." - JACQUES DELORS
The current biodiversity
extinction event: Scenarios for mitigation and recovery
Michael J. Novacek* and Elsa
* American Museum of Natural History, New York,
NY 10024; and Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University,
Stanford, CA 94305
The current massive degradation of habitat and
extinction of species is taking place on a catastrophically short
timescale, and their effects will fundamentally reset the future
evolution of the planet's biota. The fossil record suggests that
recovery of global ecosystems has required millions or even tens
of millions of years. Thus, intervention by humans, the very agents
of the current environmental crisis, is required for any possibility
of short-term recovery or maintenance of the biota. Many current
recovery efforts have deficiencies, including insufficient information
on the diversity and distribution of species, ecological processes,
and magnitude and interaction of threats to biodiversity (pollution,
overharvesting, climate change, disruption of biogeochemical cycles,
introduced or invasive species, habitat loss and fragmentation through
land use, disruption of community structure in habitats, and others).
A much greater and more urgently applied investment to address these
deficiencies is obviously warranted. Conservation and restoration
in human-dominated ecosystems must strengthen connections between
human activities, such as agricultural or harvesting practices,
and relevant research generated in the biological, earth, and atmospheric
sciences. Certain threats to biodiversity require intensive international
cooperation and input from the scientific community to mitigate
their harmful effects, including climate change and alteration of
global biogeochemical cycles. In a world already transformed by
human activity, the connection between humans and the ecosystems
they depend on must frame any strategy for the recovery of the biota.
Medical Renaissance Movement International
aims to bring together the global community of doctors and community
to lobby their respective governments for the creation of a healing
culture which places priority on the health of the individual rather
than on the illness of the individual. In this respect, it supports
preventative, nutritional ,mind / body medicine and Wellness Medicine
and sees healing as being a unique partnership between the doctor
and the patient.
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