Welcome to our 22nd birthday issue of NOVA!

Over most of that time, we’ve explored a monthly theme. But in recent years even when we’ve chosen to focus on a key current issue instead, just as we’ve done this month with a very important one, there’s an underlying theme as well.

For me this month, it’s all about soul. Or, more accurately, the way soul is being so determinedly removed from our daily lives that these days we barely even mention the word! David Arenson hits the nail on the head when he says removal of the word from our daily vernacular is one of the biggest challenges we face in our society. In his view, the denial of a sustaining spiritual life is causing a deep disconnect within us as individuals and as a society. And we’re getting more and more miserable and self centred as a result!

Other have expressed similiar views and one I remember clearly was Deepak Chopra who, in his latest book The Future of God, challenges us to reboot our spirituality. You get the sense he’s just about had enough of the soul-sapping rationality that places the scientific model on a pedestal and consigns any alternative, holistic, open-minded, less than 100% certain, viewpoint to a darkened room. He urges us to reclaim our spirituality and he’s leading the way in this important book (http://novaholisticjournal.com/stories/rediscovering-god)

In David’s feature this month, “Healing Our Soul”, he expresses his hope that Western and Eastern approaches can find a synergy, a way to come together to forge a new way of thinking that’s the best of both. An obvious example is in the healing sphere where traditional holistic and alternative practices are stridently dismissed as without value or merit. When you consider that so much of this wisdom in based on 5,000 years of practice in China and India, just for starters, our society’s arrogance is breathtaking.

Our increasing reliance on the scientific model in medicine, that denial of innate body wisdom in favour of drugs and “proof”- based procedures, has now reached crisis point. Our health budget is bursting at the seams with the cost of pills, tests, operations and scans because we’ve been assured this is the only way.

Peter Dingle PhD in “Too Much Trust” begs to differ and suggests that trust and statistics are the culprits in leading us into dangerous overuse of drugs.

Regular readers of Peter’s will know he’s been consistent in this position for over a decade and he must have often felt it was a lone crusade. But now there’s growing support for this view, notably a website called http://www.thennt.com It’s been created by a group of physicians who accept no outside funding or advertising and are independent of pharmaceutical company influence. Their aim is to rate common therapies and drugs based on their benefit - or harm - to patients and colour code them from green to black. It makes for fascinating, but alarming, reading.

Most importantly, it’s an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to take responsibility for their own health - and remove another burden from the health system.

As a final word, thanks to all those who’ve taken a look at our new website (http://www.novaholisticjournal.com) and given us some great feedback on it. Fresh, easy to navigate and quick to download are just some of the nice things you’ve said so thank you! It makes a nice birthday present.

Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.