Spirituality Science – Wholistic Medicine
Holism is described as the view that an organic or integrated whole has an independent reality which cannot be understood simply through understanding of its parts. The term or phrase “HOLISTIC” deals with a view that is concerned with whole or integrated systems rather than with their parts.
I am indeed pleased to write this blog post in Celebration of Life, the life of Professor Rene Jules Dubos of The Rockefeller University, the French-American Microbiologist who had advocated the need to perceive man as a Whole Person. The term ‘Whole’ means auspicious, sound, uninjured, healthy, entire, complete, intact, containing all the elements or parts or constituting the entire amount, extent, and number. When the term ‘Whole’ is applied to a human being, it must state all aspects of one’s being that are instrumental to the establishment of the existence of that Living Being.
Professor Rene Dubos is credited for discovering the first commercially produced antibiotic, Tyrothricin-Gramicidin, an antibiotic that is effective against Gram-Positive bacteria. He isolated the antibiotic from soil microorganisms. He laid the basis for chemotherapy. Rene Dubos played a great role in promoting our understanding of environmental and social determinants of human health and disease. In his book, ‘Mirage of Health’ (1959) he had expressed the view that man will never be free from disease because man has to continuously adapt to environmental changes. Disease results from the dynamic process of life, a process of adaptation to constant changes, both in the internal living condition, and in the external environment in which man physically exists. In his book, ‘So Human An Animal’, Rene Dubos contends that each human being is unique, unprecedented, and unrepeatable. For the same reasons that Dubos had shared, I describe man as a ‘Created Being’, the being that exists with unique, one of its own kind, original Genome which has never existed in the past, and will never again exist in the future. Rene Dubos expresses the concern that each person faces the critical danger of losing this very humaneness to his mechanized surroundings: “People spend their days in a confusion of concrete and steel, trapped in the midst of noise, dirt, ugliness, and absurdity.”
The medical term ‘Etiology’ describes the causes or origins of disease. Professor Rene Dubos had promoted the understanding of the disease as a consequence of the relationships between the host, the etiological agents such as the disease-causing bacteria, and parasites under the influence of social, and environmental conditions that demand man to adapt to constant changes in his living conditions.
Professor Rene Dubos provides a perspective on Ecological Crisis and seeks positive values in man’s relationship to Nature. He sees hope in Benedictine stewardship. He speaks of “The Demon within”..”The thrust of technology and institutions that may run counter to living in harmony with nature.”
In various books that Professor Rene Dubos had authored, he developed a Philosophy of Man in his Environment. He stressed the importance of man’s relationship to the natural environment. Some of his works include, ‘Health and Disease'(1965), ‘Man, Medicine, and Environment'(1968), and ‘Beast or Angel'(1974). He described human choices and interventions to shape life, environment, and civilization. He paved the way for social action to combat environmental problems and to prevent environmental degradation that have health consequences.
In his final book, ‘The Celebration of Life'(1981), Professor Rene Dubos stressed the importance of understanding life in the context of the entire web of ecological relationships. The famous dictum of this book is: “WHEREVER HUMAN BEINGS ARE INVOLVED, TREND IS NOT DESTINY.” I am hopeful that this ‘Destiny’ of man will be shaped by God’s Unconditioned Love that flows Beyond the Good and Evil Behavior of Man.