A Short Introduction to Holistic and Esoteric

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“The whole is more than the sum of its parts", said Aristotle in his Metaphysics (fourth century B.C), and from about that time the term “holism” or “holistic” (from Greek holos, meaning all, whole, entire, total) is used to describe the idea that a system is more than the elements that go into making it.

Holism is concerned with the whole, with the complete system rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection of the parts. The term can be applied to just about any system: physical, biological, chemical, social, environmental, economic, mental, linguistic, etc. Thus, holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body, and holistic ecology views humans and the environment as a single system.

The term “esoteric” has two basic meanings. It can refer to (a) a mystic knowledge or understanding of the hidden “inner” (from Greek word eso, meaning within) import of things, or to (b) various teachings that emphasise secret or hidden knowledge, available only to the initiated: gnosticism, hermetism, magic, astrology, kabbalah, alchemy, rosicrucianism, theosophy, illuminism, mesmerism, swedenborgianism, spiritualism, etc. Other meanings of the term pertain to something specialised, technical and difficult to master (esoteric mathematics), or to the minutiae of a particular area of common knowledge (esoteric baseball statistics).

In the modern world of commerce, holistic and esoteric artefacts can be often found side by side in shop shelves. That is because both purport to enhance and enlighten body, mind and spirit. Sometimes they are joined together, like in the group esoteric acupuncture therapy, where acupuncture as an alternative holistic treatment for health problems is placed in a group environment and united with esoteric elements “to increase the intention of expanding consciousness while promoting deep states of meditation and energetic healing”, aimed at “balancing the more subtle frequencies outside of the dense physical body's energy field” by “establishing strong and harmonious connection with the higher spiritual realms”.

The New Age movement, an alternative spiritual subculture popularised in the mid-1970s, can also be seen as an amalgamation of the holistic and the esoteric. New Age is a heterogeneous movement of individuals whose world view may include some of a wide array of ideas and practices, such as occultism, astrology, metaphysics, alternative medicine, collectivism, sustainability, meditation, channeling, crystal healing, astral projection, psychic experience, environmentalism, and the belief in phenomena such as Earth mysteries, ancient astronauts, extraterrestrial life, unidentified flying objects, crop circles, reincarnation, etc.

So, what exactly is the holistic and esoteric category on bidorbuy all about? On bidorbuy, the term holistic usually refers to the holistic approach to healing in alternative medicine, which purports to treat the whole person, taking into account the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical elements; the term esoteric usually denotes mystical knowledge or practice.

As for the items you can expect to find in the holistic and esoteric section of bidorbuy, they range from books, cards, music, candles, candle holders, crystals, gifts, ornaments, jewellery and accessories to services of a holistic and esoteric nature that include aromatherapy, astrology, feng shui, reiki, runes, tarot, wicca and psychic and paranormal phenomena in general.

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