Holism is a term that has fallen in and out of favour at different times in its history. For traditional cultures it was so intrinsically understood to be part of the process that it was not emphasised. This is in contrast to the modern scientific reductionist approach where holism has attracted resistance, while becoming popular in the New Age movement. This popularity has also brought the term into disrepute through over and indiscriminate use.
“I think the over-use in popular culture can be seen as a searching for something. It is this something that I am interested in. Is it possible that the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times, supports a return to wholeness? I think so.”
David Bohm, the Nobel Prize winning physicist in his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980) wrote:
“…fragmentation is now very wide spread not only throughout society, but also in each individual; and this is leading to a kind of general confusion of mind, which creates an endless series of problems and interferes with our clarity of perception so seriously as to prevent us from being able to solve most of them.”
This was in 1980! The problems arising from fragmentation and confusion of mind have only gotten worse; just take a look at the current mental health statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It is only through using a holistic approach that the problems can begin to be addressed, not only in mental health but in many aspects of society, culture and the environment.