Photo by John Santic: Easter Island
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour


From Auguries of Innocence       William Blake


If we are to do our part in making better the care of others and ourselves, our greatest need is not for competing scientific claims, nor for arguments about which therapy, nor for which research evidence is best. Though these all matter, they are about making use of the world around us. But we are the world around us. So long as we are us and the rest are them or that, we are destined to make a mess. So we must pay attention to how we engage with the world. We must seek …

… fluency in the language that speaks of the qualities of the human.

By using these qualities as our way into the complexity, we have a chance of achieving the wider, deeper and dynamic view – a holistic view. In this way, we will make less of a mess, perhaps we will even leave some beauty behind us. It’s the knower we need to better understand, not so much the known.

These human qualities become the dimensions of being holistic in our understanding of ourselves, of one another, of the world around us, and in the case of practitioners, of our practice.

We cannot define the word holistic beyond describing it as a way of understanding the world. It defies precise definition without loss of meaning. But we hope to reveal its full meaning in the mirror of those who care.

Next … The Qualities of the Human: origins and problems with being human