I, like so many, have probably gone the longest without seeing my parents. Yet while we are all living in what seems like a season of separation, there still exists this powerful unifying force that is binding us together for the better.
This time is certainly teaching us, not just how to be in the moment, but to find a way to still live in the midst of this pandemic, and most of all come out of it healthy and whole. Many of us have been through so much, and yet are on that trajectory without even realizing it, but what exactly are we moving toward?
In essence, what we are all striving for is more or less holistic. In fact, if we take a look at the definition of holistic health, the Medical Dictionary by Farlex defines it as “a relative state in which one is able to function well physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually in order to express the full range of one’s unique potentialities within the environment in which one is living.”
Now, the word holistic was first coined in 1926 by Gen. J.C. Smuts, and derived from the Greek root holos, which also means ‘whole’. This basic concept dates as far back as 4th century BC. It was around this time, ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, spoke out against treating only one part of the body for illness. Much of Socrates’ philosophies have been revealed through Plato’s writings (Magee, 1998) (p. 24). And Plato, a documented student of Socrates, continued Socrates’ work after his death. He has even been credited for the statement: “for the part can never be well unless the whole is well.”
For the most part when we think of a holistic approach, the goal is usually individual wellness. Yet, when we look at it from another view, this would actually take us to one of my favorite set of verses:
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. – 1 Corinthians 12:21-26
The above verses speak of the body of Christ. They teach us of a greater well-being that involves not just the care we should have for ourselves, but how we care for each other. The truth is, if one of us is not well, then we are not well. We’ve certainly all had our days, and yet what binds us all together is just good ole love. This liberating oneness is ultimately what we are all moving toward.
I am not going to go into a long spiel on this, because I think those verses above say it all. So, today, I just urge you meditate upon them and perhaps read the full chapter. I for one found blessing there today…
References: Magee, Bryan. The Story of Philosophy. New York: DK Publishing Ltd, 1998.