What is Health?
The common meaning of the word ‘health’ refers to a soundness and vigour of body and mind, including a state of balance within the systems of the body.
However, this definition of health is not considered sufficient to describe a ‘healthy person’ in most disciplines, including Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology and Economics, nor even in the physical and biological sciences.
In order to be truly Healthy a person requires a state of balance in all aspects of their life. These include intangible concepts of powerful meaning such as the perceived nature of relationships with themselves and with others, and of truth, justice and the liberty to advance in accordance with their real nature.
It is for this reason that the consideration of Health in the fullest sense must address human values and meanings at least as much as human physiology. It is common experience, and increasingly supported by scientific studies, that these intangible aspects of a person are as important to well-being as the tangible aspects, such as the physical nature of the person as defined by the condition of organs, joints, chemistry, etc; and that the former has an enormous, even critical impact upon the latter. People who are healthy in these relatively intangible ways are also much more likely to be healthy as commonly understood.
We have learned from discoveries in the fields of psychology and philosophy that the person who is Healthy in this wider sense holds lightly to experienced reality, because they have seen how easily their perception may change with more information and insight. They know that truth can be relative and that the spirit with which something is said or done can be more important than the words spoken or the action taken. They know that those things of most significance in life cannot always be grasped or measured or fixed, and that the value that a person attributes to themselves and to others depends upon the clarity of their perceptions of each.
Their connection to their own true thoughts gives them access to the source of their strength and creativity. Their recognition of other persons and of the nature of their relationship with them prevents them from thinking or acting in ways that could be harmful to others. Ever open to fresh learning and experience, they pursue their work in life with gratitude and joy, to the benefit of all.
Such perception is the constant state of the ideal ‘Healthy Person’, and any thought or action or experience that leads to a Moment of such perception may be called Healing.