Updated: Nov 15, 2019
"To thine own-self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day. Thou can'st not then be false to any man."
~ Shakespeare (Hamlet.)
At the core of any assistance model are the values of its author(s). For WED, those values are embodied in behavioral principles that define the boundaries in which all of the model’s philosophy and methodology exist.
At the core of Wholeistic Educatio are the following four principles. They comprehensively communicate the ethical foundation of WED, and they highlight its behavioral, or habitual aspects, which are what naturally matters most to others.
Wholeistic Education is based on a fundamental faith that the healthiest path is clearly marked for those who will follow. WED relies on something it calls Organic Wisdom: the essential, constitutional impetus that drives the fulfillment of needs through the dynamically-balanced motivation of selfish and selfless behavior. In the Christian Bible it is written, “Seek and Ye shall find”. In an Eastern tradition at the heart of WED, one is encouraged to follow the Tao, through which “nothing is left undone”. Following is akin to humble service.
Following in this way causes us to question our most fundamental cultural assumptions. It demands we continuously rediscover our world ontologically, epistemologically, cosmologically, theologically, ethically, and aesthetically – that is, with regard to being, knowledge, order, spirit, right-and-wrong, and beauty. When following, one confronts one’s often unexamined, but incalculably influential assumptions regarding progress, and the relationship of individual and group.
Following the direction of Nature, God, or Spirit, in some form, is common to the pursuit of personal fulfillment in all societies. WED encourages the thoughtful embracing of this impulse in its participants, while avoiding the liabilities that accrue in the presence of rigidly held beliefs, or dogma.
“The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.”
Another way of stating and expanding the above principle, WED avoids violating the natural flow of Nature (God, Spirit, etc.) in all its manifestations. WED is especially sensitive to its influence on those who are vulnerable, like clients, and their loved ones.
Non-Violence here is not meant as pacifism, conscientious objection, passive-resistance, asceticism, altruism, or selflessness, or any other specifically defined rule-set other than this: the action which minimizes aggregate violence. This definition allows for the mystery of the unknown future and even the most paradoxically, apparently violent responses to specific circumstances. For example, it may be, under certain circumstances, perfectly consistent with the principle of Non-Violence to purposely injure (e.g., to prevent abuse of the innocent). But any harm, any offense, however relatively minor, when a less harmful alternative is available, is always inconsistent with the value of Non-Violence.
This explains why WED calls its more physical, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu-based part of Wholeistic Education is called Proactive Nonviolence.
In WED, dynamic balance is the term that describes the result of non-violent following. Encompasing all physical and non-physical needs, and dynamic, as symbolized in the Chinese Pa Gua (Yin Yang symbol), this balance is possible under any circumstance. WED recognizes and celebrates this balance as manifest in respectful, dignified, responsible, compassionate, and persevering behavior. When sustained, this balanced behavior produces the greatest sum of physical and non-physical health, and contentment; the condition known in WED as Optimal Wellness.
“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really wise.”
Faith may be considered the first essential element of conscious life. All rational thought leads to a conceptual terminus at which one must decide to either believe or disbelieve, in the absence of further evidence. WED embraces the mysterious nature of life as it embraces the ubiquitous nature of faith. In so doing, it encourages participants to take accurate, rational measure of faith’s particular manifestations in their lives, so that they may reap the benefits of faith, while avoiding the liabilities that accrue when one is controlled by rigidly held, convictions (be they conscious or unconscious) – what we rightly criticize as “blind faith” “rigidity”, “dogmatism” or “denial”. WED’s Faith is based on our understanding of Nature’s fundamental influence on the dynamic balance of humans and human relations – something WED calls Organic Wisdom. Our Faith allows us to notice the desire for health and contentment in all members of the group, and sustains us in the face of adversity.
“The Tao that can be articulated is not necessarily the eternal Tao.”