INTO THE LIGHT
This magnificent painting was recently donated to Holos Institutes of Health by Dr. & Mrs. Michael Morton. It now hangs in the Holos Chapel. This painting is particularly cherished by me as it was the inspiration of Dr. Evarts Loomis that motivated me to develop the American Holistic Medical Association. The preliminary focus group that led to AHMA met at Meadowlark in November, 1977.
Go to www.holosinstitutesofhealth.com to see the painting.
INTO THE LIGHT by KARLA BRANT
The painting, ‘Into the Light”? hung in the Sanctuary/Chapel at Meadowlark, America’s first holistic health retreat center, founded by Evarts Loomis, MD “the father of holistic medicine”.
The picture above does not convey the power and healing spiritual presence of the painting. It measures 32″x44″ and was painted by Karla Brandt, Evart’s “paramour”. In 1991, given the special provenance of the painting, we were advised to have it insured for a minimum of $12,500, and ideally $15,000.
The painting was given to us (Michael and Mary Morton) as a wedding gift from Evarts Loomis who was the Best Man at our wedding in June 1991. We would love to see the painting go to a “good home”, or, to a public place where it can inspire and help people heal- which it did for thousands at Meadowlark. With each passing year, this painting is becoming a piece of special history in America’s Unique Medical and Healing History.
Evarts Greene Loomis, MD, (1910 – 2003), was regarded as “the father of holistic medicin,”. Loomis was an internationally known homeopathic physician, surgeon, author, lecturer, and visionary. Preferring to be called Evarts rather than “doctor,” he was inspired to conceptualize holistic medicine while a young doctor working for the Grenfell Mission, which served the fisherman families of Newfoundland and Labrador, traveling by dog sled and boat when necessary. “It was out of the ethers, or perhaps from God, that the words ‘Treat the whole man, treat the whole man,’ kept flashing through my mind, and they have been with me ever since. For the next eighteen years, I gave much thought as to the practical application of a therapy that would include the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of illness.”
In l952, he felt guided to purchase Friendly Hills Ranch in Hemet, California, and eventually purchased Meadowlark and in 1958, America’s first holistic medical live-in retreat welcomed its first guest. The following year, Evarts inaugurated a series of three groundbreaking inter-professional conferences to explore the nature of the healing process. Those invited included physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, ministers, scientists, sociologists, business people, an artist, and a spiritual healer. In 1960, Evarts and his family made a trip around the world in search of teachers and advisors to guide his visionary work, since he could find few in the states with whom he could talk about holistic medicine. Twelve years later, he began a major shift from administering drugs to practicing homeopathy, and in 1973 he inaugurated a preceptorship program for medical students.
At Meadowlark, Evarts and his staff avoided white coats so they would be indistinguishable from the guests, who stayed an average of two weeks. During the 33 years of operation, Evarts developed a basic treatment program, with the key modality being love. After a thorough medical examination, guests were given nutritional counseling and were encouraged to participate in an exercise program that might include swimming, walking, jogging, or bicycle riding. Guests were served primarily vegetarian food, much of which was grown in an organic garden on the grounds using the biodynamic principles developed by Rudolf Steiner.
In 1977, doctors C. Norman Shealy, Gladys Taylor McGarey, Bill McGarey, and Gerald Looney gathered at Meadowlark to lay the foundation for the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), which led to the first conference held the following year in Denver, Colorado. Evarts remembers discussions about the spelling of holistic. “Was it to be with a ‘w’ or an ‘h’? We decided on the ‘h’, since it is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘hal’, which is the root of health, whole, holy, and heal, and is thus more inclusive.”
At the time of Meadowlark’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1983, Dr. Shealy, founding president of AHMA, designated Evarts as the “father (and grandfather) of holistic medicine” and stated that Meadowlark had served as a role model for most of the people in the holistic movement. In l995, Evarts received the AHMA Pioneer Award, which recognizes outstanding contributors to the holistic health movement. Previous recipients include Dr Linus Pauling and Bill Moyers.
As executive director of Meadowlark, Evarts and his staff treated more than 6,000 guests before finishing his pioneering work in l991. The overall program had considerable success in treating arthritis, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. For many years, Evarts was also a tireless international lecturer. His most recent honor occurred at the 25th Silver Anniversary of the AHMA when 25 medical pioneers were recognized, including doctors Deepak Chopra, Larry Dossey, Christiane Northrup, Rachel Naomi Remen, and Bernie Siegel.
Holistic practitioners, authors of books on holistic modalities, and those who have benefited from holistic treatment are all indebted to Evarts’ unwavering pioneering spirit, his vision of holism, and his ability to synthesize it into a working model. For several years he struggled alone, in spite of criticism from traditional medicine — and even attempted arrests — to provide a template which is now rivaling mainstream medicine. Perhaps most important of all, he has lived the model that he created.
“No one I know or know about so truly deserves to be termed ‘pioneer’ in this movement,” said Willis Harmon, late president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. “When I first met Dr Loomis in the late 1950s, he had just started Meadowlark, and his philosophy and practice of holism impressed me as applying not only to medicine, but to all of life. Very few people at that time could foresee the revolution against reductionism, fractionalism, and positivism that began in the 1960s. Evarts not only saw the issues clearly, but created an influential demonstration of what the new way would mean in terms of ‘health for the whole person.’