A Call to Be Whole: The Fundamentals of Health Care Reform

By Barbara J. Sowada | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Compassion

The art of medicine is rooted in the heart. If the heart is false, you will
be a false physician; if the heart is just, you will be a true physician.

Paracelsus


SEEING THE WHOLE

We ended the preceding chapter on a tragic note: that we have become perversely skillful at not seeing the whole. Paradoxically, by unpacking the nested hierarchy of systems and exposing the ways we have become skillful at repudiating novel information, we caught sight of the whole. We saw that the whole elephant, metaphorically speaking, is more complex than our favorite part. By seeing the whole, we transcended modern exemplars; yesterday's thinking no longer enthralls us. Our thinking has evolved. We know that we know: the limitations of modern concepts are clearly perceived only in the clarifying presence of new (postmodern) concepts.


A CALL TO BE WHOLE

Intuitively, we know the universe is whole, that it is not separated into independent parts. The health care crisis is a call to heal what thought has fractured. Health care's troubles, and our own, arise because, using Ken Wilber's terminology, we think that I, We, and It are disconnected. Ineluctably, each is a distinct and vital part of the whole, but by itself, each is broken. Communities and technology both arise from thought, and our sense of self occurs only in relation to other people and the things we make. Our troubles arise because thinking that the parts are separate fos-

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A Call to Be Whole: The Fundamentals of Health Care Reform
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Chapter 1 - Heartburn 1
  • Chapter 2 - Review of Systems 21
  • Chapter 3 - What is Health? 41
  • Chapter 4 - What is Care? 61
  • Chapter 5 - How Much is Enough? 89
  • Chapter 6 - Who is Responsible? 121
  • Chapter 7 - A Call to Be Whole 149
  • Chapter 8 - Compassion 171
  • Chapter 9 - We 191
  • Notes 205
  • Selected Bibliography 215
  • Index 219
  • About the Author 223
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