It is difficult to be a midwife to a new world view. Each of us was born, socialized, and educated to live within and to honor the existing viewpoint a set of perspectives whose basic assumptions are unstated and silent yet at the same time relentlessly compelling. The science, and particularly the medicine, associated with this viewpoint have taught us to seek the remedies for our problems outside of ourselves, to distrust our inherent healing capacities, and to look towards the professional as the singular authority on issues of health and healing. As professionals we have learned our role in this drama, one, that irrespective of our rhetoric, is extremely difficult to relinquish. For this reason the impetus for fundamental change is more likely to come from an informed and conscious public than it is from current health practitioners. An understanding of our historical moment would suggest that this change will neither be defined or directed by practitioners, nor will it be characterized, as it is now, by a singular emphasis on the expansion of treatment options. Rather, it will be defined and directed by the individual.
Thomas Kuhn, in his seminal book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, said: "The transition from a paradigm in crisis to a new one .... is far from a cumulative process, one achieved by an articulation or extension of the old paradigm. Rather it is a reconstruction of the field from new fundamentals, a reconstruction that changes some of the field’s most elementary theoretical generalizations..... When the transition is complete, the profession will have changed its view of the field, its methods, and its goals." It is time that we step back and begin to speak about fundamentals, about the perspectives that define our lives and our work. Such a conversation will surely assist us in creating and successfully implementing the fundamental changes that are now awaiting us.