More than 1,000 doctors, spiritual counselors, holistic healers and patients gathered at the Consciousness and Healing conference at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Crystal City during the weekend to discuss the intersection of spirituality and modern medicine.
Speakers at the conference, which was hosted by the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), came from a variety of medical and spiritual backgrounds. They included Marilyn Schlitz, medical anthropologist and editor of the book “Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind Body Medicine”; Deepak Chopra, alternative medicine author and former chief of staff at Boston Regional Medical Center; and Marianne Williamson, author and founder of a movement to establish a U.S. Department of Peace.
The focus of the event was to discuss the “healing of science,” a subject that Dr. Chopra said is crucial in today’s world.
“Science has been based on a major flaw,” he said. “It had been flawed in its basic premise — objectivity instead of subjectivity.”
Most attendees and speakers perpetuated a mix of existentialism and New Age philosophy.
This blend of worldviews result in a paradigm that places importance on acknowledging the pursuit of individual goodness and that everything is connected. The approach to healing, specialists with the group say, should be holistic, looking at the big picture.
“If we lived in a diseased society, how could we be healthy individuals?” Mrs. Schlitz said. “Tools like love, forgiveness and gratefulness could be therapeutical modalities.”
In Dr. Chopra’s estimation, not shifting our view of science from objectivity to subjectivity inevitably will result in catastrophe. What are now Third World nations, he said, soon will possess the technology to take control in an evil and harmful way.
“I think there are four areas we need to understand, and they are social justice, the economy, ecology, and war and terror,” he said. “They are all related, and unless we start to look at them with a holistic worldview, we’ll be tied to the old paradigm.”
Dr. Chopra said a holistic worldview is especially applicable to the problem of terrorism.
“Info technology will soon make the concept of a international super power obsolete,” he said. “This whole thing about national security is a total illusion, unless there is a shift in holistic interdependence.”