Re-Birth of the Clinic
Humanity is on the threshold of the crowning stage in its evolutionary history – its collective maturity, characterized by a unification of the entire human race, manifest through a new world civilization which has achieved a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual aspects of existence.
Who are the ones that are to bring about humanity’s vast transformation? All individuals. Since all individuals are part of humanity. In addition to individuals, there are two other protagonists that will share in the advancement of civilization – the institutions and the community.
How does this civilization advance? Through the empowerment of its three protagonists.
And empowerment? Through the generation of knowledge.
Knowledge is a potent force propelling the advancement of civilization. “What appears to be called for in any given region, microregion or cluster is the involvement of a growing number of people in a collective process of learning, one which is focused on the nature and dynamics of a path that conduces to the material and spiritual progress of their villages or neighbourhoods. Such a process would allow its participants to engage in the generation, application, and diffusion of knowledge, a most potent and indispensable force in the advancement of civilization.”
“Access to knowledge is the right of every human being, and participation in its generation, application and diffusion a responsibility that all must shoulder in the great enterprise of building a prosperous world civilization—each individual according to his or her talents and abilities.”
The generation and application of knowledge, part of this collective process of learning, takes place in the context of three broad areas of endeavor –community-building drawing upon spiritual principles; social action; and participation in social discourse.
What ensures coherence between and among these three areas of endeavor is the process of systematic learning that occurs throughout.
The clinic is a place in which individuals are already engaged in some sort of institutionalized discourse on human nature – albeit material in nature only. The clinic is a place in which a certain type of social action already takes place – albeit from one group directed at another. The clinic is a place in which a community comes together and forms a certain version of identity – albeit, a secondary identity at best.
The three broad endeavors are already present – yet, they are stuck in the patterns of the old world.
The three protagonists are all interacting – yet, they are stuck in modes of the old world.
It has potential. It needs to be spiritualized.
Let us no longer allow the clinic to join ranks with the pulpit and the classroom and the newsstands and the market, and fall prey to society’s oppressive tendencies – dispensing knowledge and prescriptions to a passive recipient; fragmenting community life into walled-off exam rooms; restricting otherwise naturally-occurring spiritual conversations to material aspects of reality; and robbing people of their true identity as active agents of civilization-building, replacing it with the identity of some chronic disease. Rather, let us re-conceptualize it as a place of empowerment. Patients, physicians, family members, can all participate in a descriptive process of the generation, application, and diffusion of knowledge, each contributing to the building of a community concerned about the welfare of people within and beyond its borders, about their physical and spiritual well-being, and engaging in a discourse on the elements of a healthy society – spiritual, physical, intellectual.
THE CLINIC: An institution of society, animated by noble individuals, that operates within a community; where learning can be generated on the interaction of these three protagonists in all three endeavors, contributing towards the creation of a new world civilization.