Audio | J. Krishnamurti & Scientists – Brockwood 1974, Seminars – 8: Alternative medicine and holism

Audio | J. Krishnamurti & Scientists – Brockwood 1974, Seminars – 8: Alternative medicine and holism


This is J. Krishnamurti’s 8th seminar with
scientists at Brockwood Park, 1974. David Bohm: We’ll start with Dr Elizabeth
Ferris. Perhaps we’ll try to make this meeting a
short one – relatively so – since we’ve had another meeting in between. Elizabeth Ferris: I shall start also, as many
people have, from a slightly autobiographical standpoint and in that way I’ll get into
the crux of what I want to say. The question I ask myself is: what made me,
having qualified and registered as a medical doctor, quit orthodox practice and turn to
the apparently rather esoteric field of what I call alternative medicine? Well, first of all, what is alternative medicine? In simple terms, it’s any alternative to
orthodox conventional practice, in terms of methods of diagnosing and treating people. However, at a much more fundamental level,
as will become clear in the course of my short talk, it infers a different approach from
the orthodox to the concepts of health and of the nature of disease. When I was at medical school, I experienced
a deep dissatisfaction with the way in which medicine was practised, in the way in which
people were treated. In fact, people were not treated; bits and
pieces of them were dealt with. It was fragmented. We were taught to regard the body as a collection
of systems and parts but rarely, if ever, were the parts related to the whole. I’m talking now mostly about clinical medicine;
pre-clinical medicine I found much more enjoyable: one did get a certain overview of the normal
functioning of the body whilst learning physiology, biochemistry and anatomy all at the same time. But in clinical medicine, we seem more concerned
with doing plumbing jobs. Patients were not people, they were cases. A patient would be wheeled in to a student
meeting and the doctor would introduce him or her as a case: a case of Hodgkin’s disease,
say, or a case of mesenteric tuberculosis, rather as one might introduce a case of oranges
or such like. We would then be invited to palpate the afflicted
part and, with a cursory glance at the patient’s face – if they were lucky – students’
cold hands kneaded the abdomen or any other part that was afflicted. Very little notice was taken of the patient’s
head or face, unless we were in the ear, nose and throat clinic and then only the orifices
were of interest. I say sincerely, that I am not caricaturing
what happened. I found it very upsetting, so I was distressed
at what the patient must have felt about it. ‘What was lacking?’ I ask myself. The object of medical treatment were bits
and pieces of people, not the person him or herself. It was such a mechanical approach to the body
and to the person. This fragmentation seemed paradoxical because,
as David Bohm has pointed out in his paper, Fragmentation and Wholeness, the word health
has the same root as the Anglo-Saxon word hale which means whole — that is, to be
healthy is to be whole. This idea is what is encapsulated in the Hebrew
greeting, ‘Shalom.’ But it seems in medicine that health is not
the issue. It was rarely mentioned during my training. Disease was the issue, or rather diseases. Classification of diseases was one of our
main areas of study. All our lectures were divided up according
to classes of diseases: lung diseases, heart diseases, liver diseases. There was a time when this sort of view bore
fruit, in terms of understanding disease. In Pasteur’s time in the second half of
the 19th century, people were dying primarily of infectious diseases: tuberculosis, pneumonia,
syphilis, cholera, etc., so it is not surprising that his germ theory of disease was embraced
so enthusiastically and wholeheartedly, and once contagion was discovered sterile surgical
procedures became a reality which was also a huge step forward to lessening suffering
and death. At the same time as Pasteur there was a voice
in France: Claude Bernard, the physiologist, who in essence introduced the concept of the
whole man in terms of his view of the proper physiological functioning. Bernard introduced the idea of homeostasis
of the internal milieu and its constant maintenance in the healthy state. He opposed Pasteur in maintaining that the
important thing in disease was not the germ but the terrain in which the germ flourished. After a lifetime of violent disagreement between
the two men, Pasteur, on his death bed came round to Bernard’s point of view and said
words to the effect that, ‘Bernard was right, the terrain is the important thing, not the
bacteria or the germs.’ But that was too late. No-one heard him. Medicine had become very tied up with Pasteur’s
germ theory of disease, so much so that it permeated the whole context of medicine. Germs were things that were primarily outside
of a person, and the diseases caused by these germs were something separate from that person,
something added on and therefore to be attacked and got rid of, like an enemy. This view became so entrenched that all diseases,
whether germ based or not, came to be thought of in this way and the patient population
regarded this disease as something which is not part of themselves, something visited
on them and to be got rid of. Thus the notion of health and disease perpetrated
by the germ theory became an essential part of the background context in which sick people
expected to be treated and cured, so the whole system perpetrated itself. I want to go back to personalising the story
again. This approach made me very uneasy. It seems to work quite well in acute conditions,
especially in those areas where technology has contributed to a huge degree, as in the
intensive care units where the prime question is how to prevent death. But it’s seen that for chronic, long-standing,
non-fatal conditions, it was totally inadequate. Medicine, the practice of medicine, cannot
cope adequately with chronic illness and even when these illness[es] are treated, it’s
generally symptomatic treatment. For instance, the drug used in arthritis relieve
the pain and, to some extent, the inflammation but only whilst the drugs are actually present
in the body, so they have to be taken continually to gain relief and then the side-effects can
become a serious problem. The bane of a GP’s existence is the patient
who complains of not feeling well, a bit under the weather, tired, lethargic, etc., but after
a battery of tests, nothing wrong is detected. Of course, psychiatrists are an exception,
in that they do attempt to get to the bottom of a person’s problem and therefore to treat
the whole patient, but the fact that their discipline is separate from the other disciplines
in medicine is an indication of the fragmentation they too are up against. The general picture, however, was that medicine
is not suited to deal with people but rather to with bits and pieces of people — medicine
as it’s now practised, at least. This brings me to two themes raised at this
conference: one is – the one that’s come up time again and again this morning – of
compassion. But I ask you, how can we be compassionate
to a bit of a person? For instance, it’s difficult to have compassion
for an elbow or a knee unless you relate it to the person whose elbow or knee it is. To be compassionate in medicine, a holistic
view of humankind and his condition or state of health, is essential. The second theme is the one of models. I do not have a model myself, but many models
have been suggested here this week: Karl Pribram’s model, Julian’s model, Monty’s model of
dreams and all the others, and whatever the weaknesses of these models, they are holistic
models, in that they are models for the whole person. This new or fresh view of man – new in the
West, at least – has very exciting consequences in terms of health. We can meaningfully talk of stress as a disease,
not just as the cause of various diseases, and therefore we can now focus on the treatment,
if you like, of stress itself, of stressful conditions, not just on the various disease
manifestations of stress such as heart disease. Since this has become apparent, people have
begun to talk about such things as meditation and biofeedback as methods of treating stress. This necessarily involves the whole person
and their way of coping with their environment. What I suggest is that health and disease
are not separate states but rather varying states on the same spectrum or continuum. And I want to put this question: if health
is wholeness, then can we say that disease or dis-ease is in some way unwholeness or
non-wholeness? I think this is a point for the discussion
after this talk. What I have found, happily, is that the holistic
approach which has been emphasised time and again at this conference is exactly the approach
that I think medicine must embrace if we are to come to grips with the ills that are plaguing
humankind today. DB: Thank you. Does anybody want to begin the discussion? Bryan. Bryan Goodwin: Could I ask in what way you
feel that acupuncture is a holistic approach to the organism and whether it conveys to
you any particular model of how the organism functions? EF: The whole premise behind acupuncture,
as I understand it to have been devised and to be used in the East, is as a holistic kind
of approach to the person, in that some people use acupuncture to treat symptoms, the same
as we use drugs to treat symptoms, but that is not how it should be used. In fact, the kind of things one does in acupuncture
should be done in orthodox medicine and some very expert doctors with a certain kind of
sympathetic approach do do this and that is, when you look at a patient you spend a lot
of time observing them. You observe certain things about hues as opposed
to colour of their face, the way they speak, what words they use, the tone of voice, their
posture, what they do, how they look when they walk in the room, and you go in… and
what they eat and all this sort of thing. Now, mostly, at least in this country, doctors
don’t have time to do that kind of thing, even if they were taught to do it which we’re
not. So, in that sense, one is approaching the
patient in a much more holistic way. As far as any model that acupuncture can suggest
to me, I find that a very difficult question because I’m sort of standing with a foot
in both camps, in the sense that, if acupuncture works – which it does, I mean I’ve accepted
that it works – then the question is how does it work? Now, the only laws I have to go on when I
decide where to put my needles at this stage, are the classical Chinese ones. I do believe the Chinese were amazing observers
and the problem is that their observations, I understand it, have become overlaid or integrated
with the whole of their Eastern philosophy, which in no way can we subsume or explain
in scientific terms. However, when they talk about energy and energy
being blocked and this is the cause of certain problems, then I have to hedge my bets because
they may be talking about something which we don’t yet know about. But if that’s the case, then I’m sure
that at some point we will get to know about it and we will be able to, in some sense – measure
is not the right word – but use that concept. BG: Do you feel, for example, that the explanation
that is sometimes put forward in terms of Western medical models, the gate theory of
pain, that – I mean, this is all right for anaesthesia perhaps but not for the rest of
it – do you think that’s in any sense adequate to explain the phenomenology? EF: I think that it’s a very good start
to… particularly the analgesic effect of acupuncture, it’s a very optimistic start. We should start there because, supposing there
is an enormous… Of course, in analgesia we have some sense,
we know about some of the neurophysiology of – well, we think we know about – some
of the neurophysiology of pain, but in terms of other types of treatment, therapeutic action,
maybe what we’re dealing with – and this is totally off the top of my head and is just
an idea – but maybe what we’re dealing with… If what I do when I treat someone is I create
a context in which they make themselves well, then that too is interesting because what
we’re dealing then with is the psychosomatic aspect of getting well, and then that too
we should be able to find some neurophysiological mechanism which would, in some sense, explain
that type of mechanism. JM: I think acupuncture is a very, very interesting
example. Interesting in a profound way, as far as this
conference is concerned, because again it reflects perhaps the different sorts of attitudes
that people in this conference bring to bear on the whole… on the general sorts of questions
that we are discussing. You see, if you take acupuncture, on the one
hand you have the classical Chinese way of doing it and, as Liz says, most of the people
who are using acupuncture now as a method of treatment have to go by the kinds of meridians
and points that the Chinese gave because it’s the only one available. It’s the only working hypothesis for practising
acupuncture that exists. Now, there are people, I suppose, who would
say that the sorts of energies and entities, etc. – i.e. those things which we want to
quantify over – the sort of things that the ancient Chinese theory presupposes, ought
to be taken seriously as, as it were, non-reducible. Let’s look for chi, etc., and see… I mean, perhaps I’m caricaturing but they
do not want… they find it an affront to do what Bryan just suggested, that is to dip
into Western medical science and see whether there is something available that will enable
us to incorporate this kind of phenomena, which is prima facie very alien, into our
greater body of knowledge. Now, there are others – myself definitely
included, I think Karl included – who would say, ‘If acupuncture is a valid method of
treatment, that is to say if it works, then we’re committed, as it were, to a hypothesis,
one that in principle states that if that sort of thing works then it is capable of
being subsumed under the body of knowledge as we know it, not that that body of knowledge
is static and unmoving and not growing but that the sorts of concepts – again, concepts
shift through time within that conceptual scheme – but the attitude is that the sorts
of concepts that one finds in the theory that my uncle helped devise: the gate theory, is
going to be the sort of thing that will explain how acupuncture works. So that, in other words, the ancient Chinese
way of describing acupuncture and the relation that it stands to the modern neurophysiological
way of perhaps explaining acupuncture, was the sort of the thing that I meant when I
said there’s a relationship that abtains between water, the phenomenological stuff,
and H2O, the molecular theory which we then use to explain water. And I think, I mean, the attitude that we
take to this sort of example and what we want to say vis à vis the irreducibility of chi
or not, is something that I find beating my – excuse me – beating my head up against
all this week. I mean, it seems to me that we reach a stage
where we understand each other and then there’s this huge profound difference and that’s
where, you know, the dialogue stops if you want. DB: Can you explain what chi is in our context? JM: Well, Liz is better… It’s… EF: Chi is the Chinese word for what they
call the life force, the life energy, and the classical Chinese view is that we have
a certain amount of chi which circulates all around in our bodies, in these what they call
meridians – which have never been found, incidentally; I mean, they’re theoretical
constructs in the Chinese sense, I think (laughs) to use your phrase – and they… the…
when something happens, like when there’s a blockage of chi at any point, then that
is equivalent to getting sick in some way. And that what the needles are supposed to
do, if you choose the right places, is unblock the blockage, like a drain; I mean, you know,
get it circulating round again. FC: Can I just say one word to chi? DB: What? You want…? Yes. FC: Can I just say one word to this? I’m practising T’ai Chi with a Chinese
master and he teaches us Taoist philosophy on which T’ai Chi is based and he talks
a lot of chi, about chi – because in T’ai Chi which is a Chinese type of yoga but in
motion, sort of slow, dancing movements and the whole aim of it, one of the principal
aims, is to control the flow of chi in your body when you make these movements and send
the chi when you go out with a hand, send the chi to the tips of your fingers – so
he talks a lot of chi and what he says is that it’s a fundamental error to confuse
it with energy, what we call energy in science, that it is not an energy but he calls it,
‘The consciousness in action on the physical plane.’ And he says the chi is your consciousness
in action and when it goes through the body, when I do this, it goes out and in going out
it draws on all the energies that the body is capable of giving, but itself as such is
not an energy and therefore… JM: Well, he would be an irreducible chap. FC: Yes, exactly. Yes, that’s what he meant. Exactly. Yes. K: Sir, would the Indian ayurveda and prana
[be] similar to this? GS: Somewhat… K: Yes. GS: …except that the Indian ayurveda for
the three – there are, instead of one flow there are three flows… K: Three flows, yes. GS: …and it is a balance between the three
flows: vata, pitta and kapha. K: Kapha. GS: And one would say that therefore all disease
is brought about by an imbalance of any one of these. There are some diseases which are poisons
in the body, in the system, but these are eliminated usually by diet or by putting an
oil on your head, not by an emetic or by an antibiotic of a certain kind. And they also deal with the whole body as
a system… K: System, yes. GS: …so that if you have any problem with
your head or your nose, instead of dealing with the problem there, they do put some oil
on your head and this moves the problem of tissue inflammation or something like that
all the way down to a foot or to an elbow or some place like that which is reasonably
free from other things, and then bring the whole thing out and then break it. Very rarely is surgery done. And the only problem with that kind of treatment
at the present time is that it involves very great regimen in life. It requires that, for example, you spend a
month and your diet is very rigidly controlled and you… it must be during the rainy season
and these kind of requirements are very difficult for ordinary people to meet with. And also it takes time; if you have some small
trouble and you go to them, they say, ‘Well, you have to take it for fifty-six days and
during those days don’t drink any coffee and don’t have too much salt.’ Now, this makes it very difficult for most
people to deal with the thing, but they say, ‘Well, this… You see only just the tip of the iceberg,
there is a whole lot of things which are to come out of this particular system.’ And, I mean, the prana and that sequence,
of course, is something over and above this particular thing. I also want, now that I’m talking, I want
to add one other thing: there is one difference that I see between the Indian holistic medicine
and Western medicine and that is that diseases of the mind are not treated by a medical doctor
in the same fashion, unless it is caused by some tumour or some specific thing of that
kind. Diseases of the mind are not treated by a
medical practitioner but by a practitioner who is specialised in this one. Therefore, at the borderline between ordinary
practise of medicine and practise of medicine connected with someone who is mentally ill,
is simply absent in Indian medicine. What seems to have happened is that, for one
thing, the number of people who are practising it have reduced but previously those people
who practised it, practised it for no reward. You go and see the person, you don’t pay
them a fee or anything and they sort of look at you, you talk to them and they occasionally
touch you and then they prescribe things for you. If you wanted to give anything, you give it
to some other place and that person to whom you give does not see you at all in connection
with medicine. But nowadays, I mean, things have become much
more formalised. The problem with this thing is that if you
have an immediate problem then it seems that they have no immediate cure, and therefore
many people nowadays for short term things they go to a Western medicine practitioner
and for a long term thing they go to somebody else. For example, allergies: Western medicine is
apparently totally incapable of dealing with it in India, so then you go to the Ayurveda
man and – by the way, the ayurveda means the veda, the sacred learning of… with regard
to life – and he gives you some simple oil and pretty soon everything is gone off. But there, it is a balance between three flows
rather than just one flow. DB: Harsh. HT: To go back to acupuncture, I agree with
Julian when he says that a time will come when science will explain acupuncture and
that we’ll find some kind of neurophysiological reason for why all these things work. But, if I understand rightly, in acupuncture
one also has an idea of these six or nine – or I don’t how many there are – officials… EF: Yes. HT: …who govern the flow of this energy
through the body. Now, it seems to me that acupuncture is incomplete
without these officials and these meridians to give you the necessary, intuitive grasp
that you can face your patient with, when you’re actually dealing with them. EF: But they’re just another way of… it’s
a rather sort of interesting way of talking about the organs of the body and what the
Chinese felt that the organs of the body did. HT: Yes, but I’ve also been told that, by
acupuncturists, that they don’t actually exactly coincide with any organs as we know
it when we cut up the body and look at the actual… EF: Well, some of them don’t. I mean, like there’s two things… well,
there’s one thing in particular which doesn’t correspond to anything we have, but it’s
not supposed to, in the sense that it’s more… it’s a paradox, if you like, it’s
not an organ but it has a meridian, but it’s more of a function but it doesn’t have any
bits to it. It’s a… It’s called the… They call it the triple heater, the triple
burner and the upper part relates to the chest and all that’s in there and sort of is like
the overseer to that bit and gets all the energy sort of flowing around there, and then
the middle part is the middle of the abdomen, with the liver and the gall bladder and the
spleen and the stomach in it, and the lower burner is the excretory organs and the reproductive
organs. And, I mean, there’s nothing we have to…
that we can say an equivalent to that. HT: No, what I’m suggesting is that when
we do in science find out a mechanistic explanation for exactly how this works, there will be
a tendency to throw the triple burner away, as a… EF: Well, the point is that even now acupuncturists,
both in China and in Europe, where it’s been going a lot longer than here, even they
are saying, ‘Look, take the triple burner with a pinch of salt because it’s really
something that… it’s a nice idea, but it’s little more than an idea but it kind
of… it’s useful, it’s a useful concept to have at this time.’ Now, if we get to a point where we don’t
need it, why keep it? If we get to a point where we can explain
acupuncture and know how it works in another way, why hang on to these old concepts which
are no longer useful? HT: Well, I’m suggesting that these concepts
are always useful as a means of understanding the bit of the whole that we don’t yet understand. So we will always need a little… some kind
of thing… KP: Yes, but they may be wrong, you see. Last time I heard that argument was by a psychoanalyst
at a psychoanalytic institute and I was giving neurophysiology that Freud gave, actually,
of the various structural components which we now sort of embodied in ego, id and superego. And one of the analysts got up and said, ‘But
look, we must have faith in these things and you can’t shake them up and we can’t change
them because if we approached our patients without faith and without this, everything
would break down because, after all, they wouldn’t have faith in us if we don’t
have faith in our theories,’ and so on. But, you see, that is just… I mean, I can’t see… (laughs) HT: Well, I’m not suggesting that we… KP: …Krishnaji saying that. He says, I’m sure, that if you learn something
new, you learn something new and that’s it. HT: But I’m not suggesting that we throw
the triple burner out. KP: Well, I am. EF: We are. HT: That we don’t – I’m sorry – we
don’t thrown the triple burner out. I’m suggesting something slightly different. Can I…? K: Do you throw out homeopathy? EF: Do I, personally? No, I… Again, I’m hedging my bets on homeopathy. I like the idea of homeopathy. I like… because it takes people, again,
as whole people. K: Whole. Completely. EF: And anything that takes people as whole
people, I’m willing to listen to. KP: Well, I give you some examples which are
homeopathic but more acceptable in medicine now, whereas they weren’t once. There are tracer elements, minerals: boron
and so on, that are very effective – bromides and so on – in changing metabolism very
dramatically, and if they’re absent… For instance, in the south of the United States,
the vegetables for a long time didn’t have traces of copper in them and many of the diseases
that were rife in the south – there’s this feeling of lethargy and all of that – was
finally traced to the absence of minute traces of copper which we seem to need. DB: Well, I think that… EF: The only thing that… I mean, that the concept of minute amounts
of something, I would go along with wholeheartedly. What worries me about homeopathy is this faith,
if you like, in the fact that if you take something and crush it and shake it up a certain
number of times… K: Yes. EF: …some other thing happens to it, some
other force, some other, what do they call it in homeopathy? K: I’ve forgotten. Yes… EF: Yes, but you know what I mean? K: Yes, yes. (Inaudible) EF: They shake something up so many times
and it has a… K: You have to shake it and… yes. EF: Yes, and in… JM: It’s like hocus pocus. K: No, no, no, no, no. JM: Well, okay; I see. K: No, no, no. (Laughs) EF: But what I’d like to say is this: if
there’s any… if there is anything in this shaking up and it becoming… having a certain
strength and being something else, then we should be able to find out what that is. DB: Well, could I say, I mean, I talked with
several people who practise it and they propose an entirely different kind of energy, you
know, that the more you dilute the thing the stronger it gets, which would run entirely
contrary to all our ideas of science. And, if it is true, then it means that we
must change our ideas very radically. Yes. I think Robin was first. RM: Well, I wish to go back to the issue Harsh
raised. As came up earlier, in stereo sound you have
two speakers, you hear something from between two speakers, there’s a point there with
no physical structure, and likewise in subjective impressions from one’s body, there may be
points in the body which are, functionally, subjectively important without a physical
organ there, and this might be important in healing. It’s certainly important in yoga, I believe. By concentrating on certain parts of the body,
certain effects take place, without necessarily having a physical organ in those positions. KP: Yes, I might just push that a little bit. There’s a paper that someone sent me recently
that suggests that the acupuncture points are in fact like that, they’re sets of interference
patterns that are created on the basis of microtubular structures and different organs,
and he’s plotted these out, and then that the acupuncture points are due to the interference
patterns giving rise to nodes at just those points, so I mean, whether right or wrong,
at least it is a physical… you know, it’s an explanation. EF: But what are the… how would these interference
points be…? Do they have a manifestation of any kind:
a wave or a…? KP: Well, the wave form. EF: The wave form. KP: So it’s a holographic explanation of
acupuncture. I have the reprint and I’ll try to get it
to you. EF: I’d like to see it. Thank you. KP: It’s been published in the Chinese journal. What is it…? GS: In Chinese? K: (Laughs) KP: No, in English. EF: American Journal of Chinese Medicine? FC: Is this this South Korean? KP: Chinese Journal of Acupuncture or some…
or Chinese Journal of Medicine — that’s it. I’ll get it to you. FC: Is this this South Korean? KP: No, no… EF: No, not Kim Bong-Hu… Ho. KP: …this is an American, from Arizona or
somewhere. K: Talking of… Sorry. You were going…? BG: No, after you. K: Talking of Ayurvedic medicine, Indian medicine,
I had some trouble, nose trouble, and he gave me something and it came out. And when I next saw him about a month later,
he said – they feel it by putting their fingers on your pulse, for two or three seconds
only – and he said, ‘In a fortnight’s time, you’re going to have smallpox. And I’m going to give you some medicine
which will bring it out completely,’ and in a fortnight’s time I had it. KP: He gave you small pox. (Laughs) (Laughter) K: I know. (Inaudible) DB: Bryan? BG: I just wanted to ask Harsha if there’s
any correspondence that you know of between the guardians and the chakras? Is there any…? HT: Between the…? BG: Is it the guardians you talked about? I’ve forgotten, these… HT: The guardians, yes. BG: The positions of the guardians and the
chakras, the positions of the… Q: Chakras. BG: The chakras. HT: Not that I know of, no. BG: Not that you know of? HT: No. JM: Oh… EF: See the… JM: Just that Elmer Green’s written a paper
– God, I think we may even have a copy at home – it’s a paper where he tries to
give physiological credence to the chakras. I mean, if that makes sense. And I guess, I mean if you’re interested,
I was… But it does correspond to certain parts. DB: Well, I wonder if we could come back to
this question which you raised about the disease, you know, being lack of wholeness. See, it’s something which is not common
to our thought. You see, I used to think of it this way, that
a few germs come into your body and they can’t hurt you at all – they’re too small in
number – so the rest of them, you know, are you, you see — you become the disease. See, as the germs come in, you become germs
(laughs) and therefore, in a sense, you are the disease, you see. And, you see, I think that what you say is
significant, that when we think the disease is something different from ourselves this
is part of the confusion; in a way it may come to the same problem as the observer and
the observed, you see, that the disease in the mind is also ourselves. KP: Well, let’s not – I was going to say
this a little earlier but it’s even more appropriate now, maybe – I think we have
to take this in an historical perspective and not go overboard completely, the idea
that germs have something to do with it all, as… DB: Oh, I didn’t say they have nothing to
do with it, but I am – you see? – the germs; I just became germs, you see? KP: It was very useful for a while; it just…
it was overdone or it has played out its rôle and now I think we’re in a position to take… I mean, viruses, for instance, may well be
just the kind of thing you’re talking about. Some very small change is produced by some
intrusion… DB: Yes. KP: …and then the virus is actually produced
by our own chemistry. DB: That’s right. Yes. KP: And so to look at the virus and say, ‘See,
it is that virus out there attacking me,’ isn’t right. It’s really that… DB: No, I am the virus. KP: …I am turning into a virus… DB: Or I am turning into a cancer, you see. KP: That’s right, is a better way of looking
at it. DB: You see… KP: But I don’t want to… you know, we
don’t want to throw out some of the good that’s been done by the other view either. DB: Oh, I wasn’t intending to do that. KP: It’s been very effective. EF: Well, I think I said that really… KP: Yes, you did. EF: …in its historical context. KP: But also in training, both views again
ought to be presented. For instance, if you have someone come into
the surgery for the first time, I think you’d turn away an awful lot of people unless you
can tell them to particulate for a little while and say, ‘Pay attention to the surgery
now.’ If everybody pays attention to that whole
human being during surgery, first of all all the nurses pass out and the surgeon’s doing
nothing but trying to resuscitate the nurses, and then he may pass out if he really thinks
about it. I mean, there is a certain particulation that
is necessary in order to do the job, and it’s this paradox again: if you are aware of the
whole then you can pay attention to the particular when that is necessary and come back to the
whole, and there’s some kind of paradox there that you’re really effectively particulate,
especially when you have once somehow gotten the holistic. I can’t put it into words very well, but… EF: I understand what you’re saying. KP: Yes. EF: It just seemed that there were so few… I mean, obviously I met compassionate doctors… KP: Yes. EF: …when I was training, they weren’t
all like that, but the ones that were compassionate had, as it were, comes to terms with what
they could offer and they weren’t happy about it but they’d come to terms with it. They said, ‘Well, that’s what I have to
offer,’ and they dealt with the patient as a person as much as they could and they
spoke to them and they said, ‘Hello, Mrs Brown. How are you?’ and that kind of thing. However, I would say in my own experience
– and I come from… British medical schools are extremely hierarchical,
they’re very authoritarian – and I would say that those compassionate doctors were
definitely in a minority. KP: Yes, I would say that in America also. EF: And therefore, I think you’re right
in what you say, that if we have to carry on having surgery – which I think we probably
will – then the ideal thing is to have doctors who are conscious of the whole and then can
particulate and other people too. But I think that there has to be a much more
basic change of attitude, both in the doctors and an education of the population who are
going to be the patients – which is all of us – into viewing health and disease
in a different sort of way. KP: I agree. I wasn’t… EF: Yes. KP: I didn’t want to… EF: Yes. I agree. (Laughs) DS: I think… I do think though that, Karl, you were a little
quick there, in the sense that although we do have to keep the particular and of course
there’s going to come that, what Gordon has talked about as the kind of black hole
where we’re gonna make that turn and we’re gonna be able to look at the patient in a
holistic way and be able to particulate out of that, because I do think that we may have
to go through some sort of revolution because certainly the work in tuberculosis research
has shown that patients don’t get diseases, they somehow or other… the total organism
is susceptible to being participatory in the tubercular process. KP: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. DS: So I mean, I don’t think… that was
given a ride quickly, the whole idea of the acid-fast bacillus, and I think that there
is this problem, that we may have to take a totally different perspective, even on the
whole infectious theory of disease. KP: No, no, you don’t throw out the acid-fast
bacillus; he’s still there, you know. DS: Yes, he’s still there but it’s a different
relationship you’re looking at now. KP: Yes, but what wiped out the disease was
the chemotherapy not just the bed rest and taking care of the patient. I mean, you’ve got to keep these things
in balance. Yes. DS: Right. That’s right, but I think if you come at
it from the new way, it’s… KP: That’s right. But if you look just at the drugs, they won’t
do it either. DS: Right. KP: Right. JM: I’d like to ask – I suppose, David,
you’re the best person to ask this question to – I mean, it concerns the seeming, it’s
either paradox or maybe a contradiction, about agreeing with Liz about a new approach being
needed and the approach needing to be holistic but also, putting it in another way, the diagnostic
stage has to be particularised. In other words, if you go to a doctor then
you just don’t go and say, ‘Treat me.’ He or she will say, ‘Well, you know, what’s
wrong?’ So at the diagnostic stage, at least, you’re
going to have to particularise some description or other. Now, I think it was you in one of your papers,
you gave us the image of a vortex in a stream or something. Now, it seems to me that’s a good way, maybe
a good way, of looking at it. I mean, one can specify the vortex. I mean, you could individuate it spatially
and yet it’s really… you can’t, as it were, pluck it out and particularise it from
the context. So, I mean, one is in a sense… I mean, I’m suggesting a way to resolve
your paradox. KP: That’s very nice. JM: One could diagnose by looking at a particular…
but then it’s part of another… KP: Again, that’s a holographic, almost,
it’s a dynamic or whatever you want… JM: Right, right. KP: …where he’s talking about it, or Fritz
pattern’s coming to a node; you’re talking about… (inaudible) …your body, could call
it… Yes. DB: Could I…? (Inaudible) KP: No, I just get a little… (Laughs) DB: Yes. Well, I think that this point you raised as…
the relation between universal and the particular, you see. See, in an ordinary experience we see a lot
of particular, individual things and we may see what is in common and we call that the
general and possibly the universal but the universal is not that. You see, from the general… See, from the abstraction of the common, we
have to go to what is universal and necessary to see… which is the whole. And now, the universal assimilates or contains
the particular, you see, that’s… when you really understand something, you understand
the whole and the whole contains the parts; it contains the particular as a particular
case or a particular form of many possible forms. And so, you see, when we’re thinking of
the image of the vortex, we have the stream and we can see… understanding the stream,
we understand all the particular vortices that are possible in principle. So, see, if someone starts from the universal
– let’s say he has a real understanding of the person – and he comes and he can
see all the particular symptoms as assimilated into this universal, rather than seeing them
as standing there by themselves, little bits, you see. Now, so it comes to a different way of thinking
or a different way of perceiving, and I think that this is what we have to consider and
perhaps this would connect up with something that Fritjof was trying to say. I think that, as you were also saying, it’s
very hard to have compassion for the little bits because they’re very mechanical (laughs)
but, you see, from the whole, these bits don’t actually exist as bits, they are merely abstractions
from the whole, and the feeling that you have for the whole is an important part of understanding
the whole. You see, I don’t think you can understand
the whole without bringing in feeling as well as the intellect, because the whole is a whole
and it requires the whole of the person to understand a whole. Was there anybody…? Yes. DS: Yes, I think there’s a good example
of this. I think, that we’ve had certainly in training
psychiatrists to try to help them into some of these directions that Liz is talking about,
namely when we try to help them tune up their particular response to their being in the
presence of this patient. In other words, where we’ve asked them to
listen to what is their physiological process, if they’re feeling tension in their gut,
if they’re feeling some sort of headache, if they’re feeling uncertain, if they’re
feeling some sort of dryness of their mouth, we try to tune them up to be sensitive to
what these subjective responses – or so-called almost registrations while being in the presence
of the patient – is giving them information about their total experience therein. So in that sense, they are being asked to
holistically participate in this event, in this moment, to really be there and use themselves
as instruments, so to speak. That is sort of holistically diagnosing, if
you will, and… EF: Right. Well, if you’re talking totally holistically,
you have to take the patient relationship, doctor/patient relationship into it as well,
like you said. DB: Yes. Gordon Globus: I’d like to strike a discordant
note here. My feeling as Liz talked was, ‘Yes, I’m
in favour of motherhood, too.’ I don’t think that there’re… it’s
hard for me to imagine any physician in America who would disagree with anything that you
say. All the medical schools teach about the whole
patient; the whole psychosomatic movement which began in the 1930s has emphasised this. It is now a part of American medicine; everyone
knows about it. Psychosomatic medicine as a specialty has
kind of really evaporated, it’s a special research area, because these are current ideas. Everyone knows about the whole patient. KP: It hasn’t got to England. GG: The problem… JM: It hasn’t got to a way that you’re
treated in America, either. EF: Well, exactly. GG: Well, if I may finish, the problem is
that it’s been very difficult for people to put this into practise, even though the
concept is there. And the level that I think the problem is
at, is not really at the level of medicine, it’s at the level of our descriptions of
the world which we learn very early in life, so that we have – and I’m repeating things
which have been said over and over again but I think we have to push it back to a much
earlier level in life – that even though people know this, they are unable to use it. And when they’re faced with patients in
the medical situation, they do not act in relation to a whole person, even though they’ve
been taught this and they know all about it. And I think it’s… I would particularly think of the kind of
framework which Julian operates out of – and which he’s brought up over and over again
– it’s the kind of thing which gets in the way. But this is built into our system at very,
very early levels. MU: If I may respond to that. I don’t disagree with you but it’s not
really taught, you see; lip service is paid to it. Because I recall the very first lecture by
the Dean of the medical school in my first year was about the patient as a whole person
and everybody repeated that over and over again, but the only way we get any leverage
on that is experientially, and medical students aren’t taught to experience the patient
as a whole person. As you say, this is the philosophy: ‘The
patient is a whole person,’ but then the dermatologist says, ‘All right, bring the
next case in. Take off your clothes,’ and, ‘Look at
that rash,’ and you don’t care what… I remember feeling such acute embarrassment
for patients who were asked to undress before a whole group of medical students, irrespective
of the context. Well… And I know you mentioned that psychiatry is
a holistic science, well, it should be… EF: Should be. MU: …but when you’re working with psychiatric
residents, for example, and listening to them describe a patient, they describe that patient
in just as fragmented a way as if they were describing a case of appendicitis. They… And my favourite teaching device is to say,
‘All right, you’ve told me… you’ve given me the history and you’ve told me
about the patient, now forget that you’re a doctor, forget that you’re a psychiatrist
and just put yourself… rôle play now a situation in which you met this person – not
patient, person – at a party the night before, and you try and describe the impact of this
person on you to another person.’ And then a whole new phenomenological range
comes out, because it never occurred to them to incorporate their own felt response to
the patient. And that’s a response to the whole person;
the others are responses to fragmented bits of information. DB: Sudarshan’s next. KP: Yes. Before you go… I want to say something more. We tried for a year to teach this to medical
students, three of us, psychiatry, and by the Board examinations and everything else
it was fantastically successful. It was when Stanford had just moved to Palo
Alto and everything was going, you know, beautifully in a new place. And the problem comes back to institutions
again, because we were very quickly told by the rest of the medical school, ‘It’s
time you started teaching something,’ you see? And what we did was just the kind of thing
you do: we had rôle playing and, you know, we’d bring a patient in and then say, ‘Did
you ever think of…?’ and actually got everybody really involved in a whole variety
of experiences of this sort, and it was very successful but the institution couldn’t
stand it. GG: Can I respond on this issue? DB: It’s just this point, right? Yes. No, but it’s the same point. GG: I think that you could really get this
across in an hour to any intelligent medical student, but the issue is: why is it that
it doesn’t take? It’s not a difficult concept; people teach
it all the time. There’s something about the structure of
our thought which makes it difficult for us to assimilate this concept into the structure
of our thought, and I think that’s a deeper problem than our difficulties in medical school,
you know, in teaching in holistic ways, and somehow we have to learn how to deal with
that problem. K: And also, the structure of your society. GG: Which is where it comes from. K: Yes; obviously. GG: Yes. K: I mean, how can a man who is living in
Park Avenue in New York, talk about holistic? He says ‘Money is very important,’ he’s
very sure, and he knows all that. (Laughs) HT: I think that – to take up Dr Globus’
point – I think it is in the descriptions that we find difficulties: the descriptions
that are not conducive to viewing the whole man. And this is really the point I was making
about the triple burner and the officials. When an acupuncturist is looking at a person
and thinking of him as all these officials bustling about, he is seeing an image of society
in the man who is doing this and so it helps him. It’s a description that helps the person
to see sympathetically the whole man, while if you take a completely mechanistic kind
of thing like a little machine with cogs and wheels… Now, this may not be such a helpful way of
looking at the person, which is why I wouldn’t like to throw the triple burner away that
easily until I know how to put something else fully in it’s place. EF: Even the Chinese description is something
which is outside of the experience of most Western people. They talk about the ministers to the Emperor
and the Emperor himself. HT: We know about that. EF: (Laughs) And all that kind of thing. But it’s… HT: So you see a mirror of society in the
person. EF: Pardon? HT: You see a mirror of society in the person:
ministers, kings… FC: But not of our society. HT: Not our… it was their society, yes. FC: And their ancient society. HT: Right. EF: It talks about the officials to the court
and people… you know, things like that, which are sort of nice, visual concepts but
they’re out of our story books rather than out of our… They’re not mirrors of my existence now. MW: I wonder if I can follow the usual practice
of referring to my wife. (Laughter) But it might be helpful about this point,
about how one thinks. I mean, doubtless all of us who have been
aware of situations where one’s wife is upset about something and one hasn’t been
possibly very aware of the fact even that she was upset, and then afterwards it comes
out that there was some particular thing which was in her mind, which she may not even have
been clearly aware of and unable to articulate. And yet, one was deficient in this situation,
that one didn’t somehow intuitively discern the nature of the problem. And maybe this is the kind of faculty which
one needs to develop if the patient is to come in and not be expected to put their finger
on what’s the matter with them. They simply know there’s something the matter
with them and they’re in a difficulty and they want to go to the doctor. EF: Well, this kind of lack of communication
between doctors and the patients was the subject of Barlent’s work – Michael Barlent, who
came to Britain in the early fifties; he was a psychiatrist, you’ve probably read his
stuff – and he was concerned about the fact that GPs who were… or doctors that were
being trained at that time went into General Practice and then came loud and complaining
saying, ‘I just don’t know what… how to deal with the patients. They come in and say this, that and the other. I don’t know they want; I don’t understand
their language. I do x-rays and there’s nothing there and
I just have no concept of what they’re on about.’ So he started holding seminars, to which a
few GPs who’re still practising in Britain came, and they started to discuss this whole
question of what… You see, you must understand that General
Practitioners in this country don’t have much, if any, training in psychological medicine. It’s changing a bit but very little; it
certainly was… there was nothing at that time. So they were trying to get the root of it
– with Barlent being the chairman, rather as David is here, and talking about it amongst
themselves – to say, ‘Well, what do you see when a patient comes in?’ and, ‘When
they say something you’ve… it’s like they might be talking a different language,
you actually have to interpret what they say.’ Like one patient kept saying, ‘I must have
an x-ray! I must have an x-ray!’ I don’t know the full story but really what
he wanted was something completely different. He wanted, maybe, some understanding from
the doctor or maybe he was impotent. I mean, there was some problem that he couldn’t
talk about at that time, so he wanted an x-ray. And unfortunately the Barlent society has…
doesn’t… it’s not… is inactive now; none of the younger medical students are doing
anything about it, although sometimes these doctors go round and give talks. Just a bit of information. JM: I just want to register dissent of what
Gordon said before; I mean, good-hearted dissent. The thing is, what frustrates and surprises
me is – how shall I put it? – the lack of understanding of behaviourism that some
people have. I mean, people criticise views labelling it
‘behaviourist’ and what they’re really talking about is a very naïve, simple, very,
very outdated and admittedly erroneous view. And although, I mean, in one sense, the kind
of model that I put forward when I gave my little talk was behaviourist, it certainly
was in no way naively behaviourist. And I would say that what prompted me to think
along the lines that I’m now thinking is precisely that I am embracing this holistic
view of man. I mean, it’s not… far from being compatible
with it, I’m trying to, in one little way, explain it. So I don’t think… I mean, it pains me when I hear that, you
know, the sorts of concepts that I use are precisely those that are blocking embracing
this holistic view, it pains me because I’m trying to describe and explain precisely the
sort of view that Gordon wants to have embraced as well. And it just seems that… Well, I mean, I can go on but that’s all
I want to say. KP: Call it subjective behaviourism. JM: Well, okay, someone else once described
it as ‘empirical realism’ but all these ‘isms’ and ‘istics’… I mean, you know, really… All right, it might be good to switch around
the terminology, to strip away certain connotations that have, in the past, blocked the way but
I really don’t think that’s… You know, what’s important is to grasp what
the hell is going on, not… and to see that there’s a world of difference from the sort
of thing that you and I are both trying to do when we construct models. I mean, we have different sorts of models
but methodologically we’re, I think, identical. And how different the sort of methodology
that we presuppose is from, say, Skinner’s. DB: All right. I mean, I understand you say you’re very
different from Skinner. Is that it? JM: Of course. Oh, yes. DB: Yes. Good. (Laughter) JM: And Gilbert Ryle, if you want to be, I
mean… DB: All right. I think that you have something? Were you…? Then you next. GG: Well, okay, you keep… you kept telling
us that your model of the human being was that of a Turing machine, but what you never
said was, ‘From my perspective, the model of a human being is a Turing machine,’ and
you never talked about the perspective of the human being on himself. I consider that approach to be quite consonant
at a very basic level with behaviourist paradigm which I think is a paradigm which leaves out
half of what there is to account for. JM: Well, I mean, it’s just – how shall
I put it? – it’s just not true that introspection is essentially left out of such models. I mean, introspection, I think, is one of
the things which we’re trying to capture. KP: Yes, but if you… GG: But you left it out. It’s not that the model leaves it out… JM: Yes. GG: …but in your way of talking about it,
you leave it out. I’m not talking about the model, I’m talking
about what you did over and over and over again, you left it out. And I think… JM: Well, could you be… please, be more
precise about what I left out. I mean, did I leave out a description of the
model from the model’s point of view? I mean, what do you…? Precisely, what did I leave out? GG: Yes. Yes. JM: A description of the model from the model’s
point of view? Do you think that that necessarily is the
case? KP: Well, there are two issues here: one is
the admission of introspection as a datum. JM: Sure. KP: And I think you’ve agreed to that – that
that’s all right – that’s why I would call it subjective behaviourism rather than
a scenarium or any… See, the moment you do that, you really do
split with classical behaviourism, very radically. JM: Sure. Yes. KP: So that’s one step, and that one you’ve
taken. Now, the other step is a much more complicated
step that I can’t really give you the logic for. Don MacKay has done a fair amount of work
on this and it’s a very complicated logic. It isn’t just saying what you did, Gordy,
and saying, ‘Well, he should just simply say: I as a model builder form this model.’ I mean, that’s sort of implicit in almost
every statement. That’s not it. There’s a much more complicated relationship
between a model that tries to describe itself, logically. And I think Krishnaji has given us techniques
here that are very thought provoking logically. That is, if you stay with the cogito ergo
sum, that is the thought and the thinker must be the same. K: And the introspect… KP: Yes, he’s given us techniques to get
into this but I wouldn’t know what they are logically. I think this is something that needs to be
addressed and I wish we would get to it here, in a way. Yes. JM: But all I’m saying is that, I mean,
we could construct… It’s not so hard, it’s easy to construct
models that will then describe themselves. KP: No, I don’t think it’s easy. I think there’s some logical tacks here
that are terribly, terribly difficult. GG: Excuse me. You can get into the (inaudible) staring problem
for example, for one thing. JM: No. If you want a complete description, then it
won’t be… FC: Isn’t this getting a bit technical? DB: Yes. (Inaudible) I think that maybe this could
best be discussed in a smaller group because it’s getting more technical. GS: Yes. Could I ask a very, very… DB: I think… Yes, just… GS: …quick question to Karl? Karl, you said some time earlier, something
which a physicist is forgiven for saying. You said something about viruses forming because
of the condition of the body. Did you mean that or…? KP: Yes. The viruses, in fact, since they’re parasitic
formations… you see, something gets in there. You inoculate a cell, let’s say, with a
particular biochemical construction and then the cell, in a way, transforms itself in…
it becomes modelled by the… GS: That I realise, but my question is that
that thing which is injected – I mean, with my layman’s knowledge of biology – that
thing which infects the cell I would identify as the essential part of the virus, as to
how it modifies itself. After all, I eat a potato and I become a little
fatter and that I consider as part of myself. I take this picture, extrapolate it back,
to say that when the cell is inoculated with the material of the virus, then that particular
virus replicates through the cells replicating the cancer. But that little thing… KP: It’s one way to look at it… GS: …that little thing which goes into the
cell in the first instance, isn’t that a live, specific… bio-specific thing? I mean, could it be produced by… because
my, I mean, humours are not in balance or…? KP: It can’t live by itself… GS: No, but does it not have to come in from
some place else? KP: We’re not sure of that. BG: Yes. I mean, yes, it must; most viruses come in
from outside and… KP: Most. BG: There’s no question… (inaudible) GS: I mean, is there any case of…? BG: They’re not… No, if you’re in a bad physical condition,
you don’t just generate viruses to suit that condition. GS: You would say that is impossible? BG: Well, I mean, it’s… GS: No, I mean, as far as we know. BG: It’s conceivable but it’s very unlikely. JM: It’s logically possible, empirically
not happened yet. BG: We don’t know. GS: No, what I’m asking is, is this a possibility
which we should keep open or something that should be shut out? BG: Well, there one thing: there are these
viruses which can be part of the actual genetic material of the cell. GS: I see. BG: And they become incorporated into the
genes of the cell and into the genome and replicate with cells and these may be present
in many of us, different kinds of virus in our actual genetic material. And under certain conditions, these can express
themselves, or cells with them can become carcinogenic. They can become cancers. So that’s a case where this really would
apply. KP: That’s close, really very close to…
(inaudible) HT: But isn’t it true that viruses are coming
through into our body all the time and sometimes we get ill and sometimes we don’t, so…? BG: Yes, of course. I mean, there are the immunogenetic… immunogenic
responses which… HT: The virus is not a sufficient condition
for… (inaudible) …so you cannot really call it the agent. BG: No. No, no. JM: No, no. BG: No, no. I mean, there must be other conditions too. DB: (Inaudible) EF: I’d like to come back to what Gordon
said originally. I’m sorry he found what I had to say rather
obvious, but I think his analysis incorporated a truism itself, in the sense that the whole
problem was in the very early days of the lives of the doctors that we’re talking
about. And I found it, in a sense, depressing in
that if that… – I’m sure it’s, to a certain extent,
the case – but that if our problem is only solved by going back to the way we bring up
our children, then the whole culture will have to change very, very radically and it
may take many generations before we produce young children who are doctors to be, who
would be different and not have these problems. Now, I don’t want to wait that long, and
I think there are ways in which we can… I mean, people are intelligent – we’ve
all said that – and you say that you could tell people of this in one hour, but I think
there are also things we can do, like if we’re concerned about how we react to our patients
then perhaps we should get medical students interested in such things as non-verbal communication
– this kind of… – broadening their horizon, their perspective in respect to the patient,
patients that they’re going to deal with. DB: Could I just say now, it’s five o’clock,
or slightly after, if we probably just set aside five more minutes and then we’ll finish. Now, I think David Peat and then David Shainberg. DP: When you spoke of looking at the whole
rather than looking at the individual part of the person – to look at the whole person
and to take the view of the disease and the person as one – now, where exactly do you
draw the whole? Because suppose, you know, you get the flu
and we’re all sitting round here and I get the flu and I give it to him and it spreads
out, but in some cases you get the flu and I don’t get it and he doesn’t get it and
it stops there, and to what extent do you take the whole as embracing all this room
and embracing society, and to what extent are these germs sort of a social product? EF: You mean in what…? DP: To what extent can we stop the disease? I mean, you get it and it stops there, it
doesn’t go any further. EF: Well, you’ve chosen a bad example (laughs)
because we can’t stop flu. If the terrain is right, you get flu. I mean, it’s a virus. What can we do about flu? DP: Well, any disease. Yes. I mean, any disease. You say, at one time we just said it was something
that happened in the head or the nose, then we say it’s the whole body. EF: Well, look… DP: But why don’t we include society as
well in the disease? EF: Fine. DP: And then how do you treat the disease? EF: Well, for instance, I mean, including
the society in a disease, if you go to India where there’s an epidemic of cholera, then
presumably one of the reasons that the cholera is taken on is because of the form of the
society when it’s taken on: the people are underfed, they’re in damp conditions, they’re
drinking… You know, they haven’t got the kind of resistance
that somebody else who wasn’t in that kind of society would have. So in a sense you’re right, you have to
include… DP: But can it also be psychological conditions
that give rise to this…? EF: Absolutely. I would agree with that, yes. KP: Oh yes. DB: Right. Go ahead. DS: I wanted to underline what Gordon says,
because I think that he did put his finger on something that’s very important in this
discussion, and that is that there is a difference, that if we do approach it in terms of the
thought structure that I think that that might be really much deeper and that there is that… For instance, you used the notion of teaching
the doctor to react to the patient or teaching the doctor non-verbal communication. I have a feeling that if we really begin to
understand what we mean by holism, that we will move from a whole different perspective,
we won’t be in terms of actions and reactions, we’ll be at a much deeper ground, so that
then this won’t be so difficult to get through. I mean, it’s my feeling that there you put
your finger on it, in the sense that when you said, ‘React to the patient,’ that’s
exactly where the problem is because when we begin together, so to speak, in a holistic
continuum then out of that will come new forms of participation with people and with patients,
so that we won’t be reacting, we will be in some way or other developing – I think,
and I’ve seen it happen – new forms of conceptualisation. EF: I’m sure you’re right, except that
I thought you said that that’s what you were teaching the students. DS: No, I’m not teaching… I don’t consider it a reaction. In other words, when I say that we try to
help people be there with the patient and register their participatory experience, I
try to de-emphasise the reactive notion and help it be more seen as kind of a participation. It’s quite different. KP: Transaction. Yes. DS: More than a transaction. DB: I think then perhaps we’ll call the
meeting to a close now and start at the usual time tomorrow morning. JM: Can I ask…? I mean, how many more of us are left and then
what after that…? DB: Well, after that, I’m going to talk
briefly tomorrow morning and the plan is that after that Krishnamurti will talk as much
time as he wants. FC: Tomorrow afternoon? DB: Partly tomorrow morning, partly tomorrow
afternoon, partly Sunday morning; whatever time is… K: Do I have to talk, sir? (Laughter) FC: Yes! DB: Well, I think that by now it’s necessary. (Laughs) DS: By command. (Laughs)

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