Holistic Health and Wellbeing

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Tribal Art (Gond Painting): Kamli Kushram

The human brain-mind is a phenomenal creation of Nature, giving us the amazing ability to make innumerable and complex mental connections. Yet, Nature failed in giving us a natural ability – that of seeing the whole picture and humans have ended up being caught up with immediate concerns, needs and feelings most of the time.
Or is it that we have lost these abilities through our over engagement with machines and a machine metaphor of thinking? Through a factory mode of education with an almost conveyor belt-like system where learning is mechanical. This seems quite likely, because many tribals, who are not yet corrupted by the modern ‘educated’ way of life, seem to be able to see the larger picture and understand the intimate connections with the ecology of life both within and without.
Our cover picture depicts one such connection by a Gond (Madhya Pradesh) tribal artist, Brij Bhushan Dhurre. Birds within the root system of a tree? Quaint and cute to a city dweller, but also very true and wise. When we feed the tree or Nature, Nature feeds us. Cycles of nature are not abstractions but lived experiences.
Another aspect of seeing the larger picture is of being in touch with root level issues. Where else but in tribal art will we find humans hugging and valuing the roots of a tree – as in the picture above we have been lucky enough to find?
We are grateful for this painting to another Gond artist, Kamli Kushram. In this issue we share some thoughts on root level issues that are essential for health. Michael Pollan in his article The Age of Nutritionism says that the reductionist science used in understanding nutrition is a root-level problem in health within the western health system today. We need a more holistic perspective, which is often embedded in traditional health systems.
Human wellbeing cannot be an isolated issue, is what Satish Kumar and Nick Marks say in their eloquent pieces on The Economics of Peace and Wellbeing and on Creating a Wellbeing Society. Other articles too focus on a holistic view of wellbeing.
The word ‘holistic’ has become a clichéd adjective which has lost its rich meaning; yet it expresses the need to go beyond a superficial and human centric wellbeing.So, holistic well-being is the theme of this issue of Eternal Bhoomi. We hope you enjoy it.