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The Vital Connections of Wholeness

Ricardo Whyte



1. Define Wholeness through a Biblical Bio-Psychosocial Lens.
2. Discuss using ‘Vital Connections of Wholeness’ as a Screening Tool.

3. Illustrate how to use ‘Vital Connections of Wholeness’ as a Treatment Planning Tool.

4. Equip and Inspire physicians & dentists to use ‘Vital Connections of Wholeness’ as a Program Planning Tool. 


Ricardo Whyte

Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University



  • October 27, 2017
    11:00 AM


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I definitely want to start by saying it is a privilege to be speaking to you today on the concept of the vital connections of holiness. How many of you are clinicians clinicians you deliver care on someone OK wonderful. I think as clinicians we at times can be so patient focused that we overlook our own wholeness and so as much as you'll listen to this information for how it can impact your patients your practice I would really like you to be listening and and taking notes on how this can impact you. Because certainly if the vessel is broken it will not deliver what it is supposed to do is there I especially broken in a way in which the Cross hasn't broken yours that fair to say. So we understand that so I mean I'm an inclined to jump into my talk but sometimes if we're a little premature it can be dangerous would you agree. So my goal here is that we would discuss the concept of wholeness and have a viable definition for it. And then we'll have a discussion of the vital connections of wholeness within that we will also talk about the three dimensions of purpose because it is so poor to holiness and then we will talk about the over will do an overview of the master process of creating So that will be our bonus in formulating this theory and in formulating how it is that I would approach. I did take some cues from my my my intellectual forefathers You see Dr Sigmund Freud is of course famous in the field of psychiatry to the point where those outside the field of psychiatry are pretty familiar with Freud even some of the theories in fact it is it's pretty well known that Greek mythology actually influenced his theory talked about things like the oh Oedipus complex and or the Electra complex and these of course being things that were influenced by Greek mythology and if Sigmund Freud can be bold enough. To allow a myth something that we know is not true. To shape his theories that he's going to use when people are in crisis and bringing their lives into him I thought I could take some license and use scripture the Bible what we as Christians believe is true to influence how I would approach the treatment of patients that interest their lives to me in a period of crisis. I also to some influence from Dr Abraham Maslow Dr Abraham Maslow is famous for what. Mass Loz hierarchy of needs How did he formulate his theory of mass those hierarchy of needs. So Mazloum noted that we as clinicians we as an intellectual community we have obsessed over fragmentation we have paid very close attention to disease in fact we have become experts. And disease as we've allowed our understanding of wholeness to suffer and still what Maslow did was he said as opposed to studying just mental sickness what if I studied the people who are whole in fact people who are achieving amazing things in their lives and so he selected people like for example Albert Einstein to formulate his theories and I let that influence me because I think it makes sense to take a look at a person who has who is as accomplished as Albert Einstein However I don't think Albert Einstein can shake a stick to atom who's coming direct from the hand of God If I want to understand wholeness and what holiness looks like in its original picture just on touched on corrupted I should take a look at Adam because that's really going to help me understand if a patient is coming into me fragmented What is it that I'm trying to get them back to. And then lastly I consider the work of Dr Bruce Alexander Dr Bruce Alexander is Canadian addiction ologist and without fail they would be addiction studies done and the researchers would conclude look at how addictive that substances. The animal is choosing the substance even to the point where they're dying and so Dr Alexander he says he said you know you're not showing how addictive that substances what you're showing is how awful their living environment is and so what he did was he developed a thing called a rat park and rat park was essentially a Disney World for rats. And so it was it was huge it gave them areas where they could congregate and associate with each other and into that perfect rap utopia he introduced elements where they could self dispense substances like opiates or heroin and wouldn't you know the rats would reject the drugs and instead choose to associate with each other and so he he walked away with a theory called the dislocation theory where he said as we become disconnected disconnected from what I'm terming vital connections as we become disconnected it increases our risk for addictions and ways of coping that are less than ideal. So. Are you ready for us to begin so now let's take. A gander into a scripture that I believe we are well aware of but before we do that let's say I open up the Bible and I go to that first word what does it read. God created the heavens and the earth right. Did that impact you. You see the problem is there is a key that unlocks the power the beauty and the relevance of scripture. And if there is a key that unlocks it there is also a key that locks it and the key that locks it is intoxication in our culture today we are intoxicated we are busy and because we are so busy we are not in the mental state. To appreciate the value the power and the relevance of scripture. You see what's the what's the what's the what's the contrast to intoxication Well the contrast to intoxication would be what Peter warns us be sober and be vigilant. You see as soon as you have a moment of quiet. If you have any extended moment of quiet Have you noticed the universal questions that float to the surface of your thinking they are universal. In fact I can predict them what's one of those universal questions you ask as soon as you start having a moment to reflect. Very who said that rosary and said that was my purpose what's another one why my here and what's another one. Why were we created. Some to prove I'm a psychiatry wrist. On prove I can read your mind. Who am I why am I here. What is my purpose the universal questions that float to the surface of our thinking as soon as we have a moment of peace it's almost as if we live under an agenda that has us running a rat race just so we never asked those questions and there's one more. Why are things still bad if you're in a grocery store line right now. The random person they are be willed or what on earth is going on why are things so bad those are the universal questions that live in our bosom and in a moment of peace they surface and I submit to you those questions are so bothersome and we can't answer them I think we embrace business just so they won't come to the surface of I thinking. But as I mentioned. The Bible is written for this sober mind if you read it and it doesn't impact you it's because you're intoxicated but once you start asking those questions Who am I why am I here what is my purpose now let's take a look at that question again look at look at that first statement in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Do you see the power of that god is wasting no time to speak to the sober mind. You see if you are in another discipline in medicine you have the luxury of embracing a field that has sort of almost evolved past scripture but when it comes to psychiatry when it comes to mental health and cycle Ferebee. Scripture is core. It's core in the other disciplines as well but when we leave that platform of scripture the value the treasure and the richness that we leave behind is deadly. It's deadly so here it is I had all these questions all these questions that will keep me up at night and the first thing I encounter. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth Oh. I created. I have a creator you will tell me more about that. If you're a cardiologist How does a cardiology text begin heart diseases killing half a million people and you will eat. Every book if your it if your gastroenterologist colon cancer as Robin James. Every book begins by trying to get your attention it's trying to declare. This is relevant to you it's a good thing you pick this book up. And scripture is no exception it makes the greatest declaration that is the most important thing you should have on your mind why am I here who I am. And there it is God created the heavens and the earth and the minute you swallow that the minute you understand that's your creator perhaps that Creator. Can answer the other questions. There's a mix sense. OK good. So recall Mazz loaves study of remarkable people. Now let's go back to Adam yes ladies I think Adam was attractive. I think it was five I think it was five right but let's think about Adam for a moment right what is the scriptural evidence you have that Adam was praying. Who said that he was that he named what it was and that my brother at that. Now what does that mean that he named all the animals you see Adam. Has essentially passed the greatest exam or oral exam ever given on this planet you think you're bad because you have a Ph D. in psychology you think you're amazing because you're a physician and you've sub specialized in cardiology. Adam has studied every single animal until he can ascribe to that animal a name that matches its core essence and the creator of that animal says you're correct you're correct you're correct you're correct. Over and over and over again this brother is brilliant. So I have evidence that allows me to choose him as my topic for OK what does wholeness look like. What exactly does homeless look like. So the question really is what is Adam connected to seven vital connections seven vital things that God connected them to seven vital things what's the first thing out of this connect the two he's connected the God that's your first and your most important connection will run through them then we'll go back and unpack them what's the second vital thing Adam is connected to. He's connected to Eve So we're going to call that community and we can subdivide community into romantic and non-romantic the lady sometimes wants to call the first thing he was connected to is Eve no ladies first thing is connected to his God OK but will subdivide community in the romantic and non-romantic what's the next thing Adam is connected to resources will come pack and unpack that the next thing he's connected to is time. Then help both physical and mental the six thing he is connected to is purpose and the last thing he is connected to is rest and recreation So let's start with that spiritual connection. How does one come into a knowledge of God. How does how does one come to not imagine a person is born on the planet how do they come to God If you have someone who is academically inclined can I get that bottle of water right change please think. If you have someone who is academically inclined thank you so much. Really appreciate you have someone who's academically inclined they talk about you know reading and reading being how they search for truth right. When I walk you through something. What's the scope of knowledge level if you said it is through the search of knowledge that I'm going to encounter God. If this was all of knowledge. Imagine trying to get a dot in that. Just a dot in all of known knowledge. Well let's actually just look at a small glimpse of knowledge Library of Congress housing a million issues of world newspapers five hundred thousand microfilm six thousand comic books thirty two million books sixty one million man your scripts this is a stat that I think is interesting receives twenty two thousand new items published in the US every business day it adds an average of ten thousand items per day look at what you're going to have to search through eight hundred and thirty eight miles of bookshelves in your quest for knowledge. So imagine the person who says there is no God how much of knowledge did you search through before you concluded it. And if you got through all that that was the American Library of Congress now let's go over to the British Library of Congress where we can go through another three hundred eighty eight months. And by seeing a problem. So how does one come to a knowledge of Christ. Well done lady. Ohm. Do you have any dust particles in your home. You have any. You do. And if I came to your home and I dropped off a dozen particle. Come back a week later would you be able to give me back that dust particle. It would be able to. Such a shame Such a shame. What just happened what I do with would just happen it's as if. This is Earth our beautiful earth. And. This is Earth come here to Mercury. This is. Earth compared to Jupiter. And this is Jupiter compared to Sirius and this is serious compared to all the bars on this scale earth has now disappeared. This is all the barren compared to a star called beetle goose. Or the juice I just want go to be able juice. And this is Beetlejuice compared to the view I can as Majoris the largest star in our solar system about one point nine billion miles in diameter. Earth. At this point is the dust particle a cosmic dust particle he died for an invisible cosmic dust particle. He didn't wait for this search he did something so amazing the world is still talking about it spirituality what is the essence of spirituality so a few you know details you want to be aware of. So you have folk like Dr Harold Koenig who has brought academic rigor to validating the fact that people who are engaged in things like a religious experience actually have a better morbidity and mortality I thought this was something that was a particularly work note where the doctor caught coning and his colleagues and the reason Dr conic is really famous in the you know in this community of intellectuals bringing rigor into validating the power of Christianity. Is because of the rigor that he puts into his studies the rigor to weed out confounders and make sure that his data can stand up to the scrutiny of the secular academic community and so this is one of the studies he conducted he looked at four hundred forty four hospitalized patients and gave them a battery of questions so that you know people barely can influence that even if they're trying to and so the I asked them so many questions that now when you when you look at the data you can draw associations the person can't even control but the bottom line is four hundred forty four hospitalized patients and what he was really examining was was their view of God impacting their morbidity and mortality. So for example. What he wanted to know was there are people who felt as if God had abandoned them or they were questioning God's love for them do you know the people that were holding those questions in their mind had a twenty eight and twenty two percent respective increased mortality. Just the views that you hold in your mind. So when we talk about spirituality one of the things that scripture if you look at it in total and my good friend I will my own talks about juicing the Bible if you if you juice the Bible down to its core essence ultimately it tells the story of a universe that was perfect and somebody rolled. Came on the scene they were thrown out of heaven a perfect earth was created and they corrupted that outpost and then a savior died for the redemption of that world and it's coming back for us again the essence of it the essence of the story. So we're vitally connected to spirituality but the other vital thing that we are connected to is relationships. You've heard it said it is better to give than to receive who really believes that So what you see in this world is we're under a lot of deceptions So what this looks like practically is I talked about how relationships subdivided into romantic and non-romantic I'm going to think about what your mindset was when you were choosing you are now you know partner I mean really think about it at the age of twenty one twenty two twenty five you're asking yourself I'm looking for someone. To see how much value I can deliver to that person tell me you were asking yourself that. Tell me you're asking yourself that in contrast to let me choose the most beautiful the most attractive person that can do the most for me. And the deception and same thing with I mean it's what a lot of times keeps us from having children so often people are having children more for what the children will do for them more for how children validate you how how how you'll have this one person on the planet who will he choose. What is that about five. Have you heard of teenagers didn't quite think that part through. But thinking about what they can do for you in contrast to what can I do for that person out I'll be the first to tell you my marriage improved so much when I started to understand this is about what can I do for her or what can I you do you know what I do mean. I do means you're signing up to make this person your life study your life study I want to position myself to become an expert at pleasing. Others may not understand it but I will does this make sense. To me for a time doesn't get away from me. So relationships your relationships skyrocket when you understand it's not about me trying to divert as much as the resources towards myself as it is how can I share how can I make a meaningful contribution the same thing in your non-romantic relationships of course boundary setting is is key as well but the bottom line is Adam was made for community a second vital component of homeless is community your place in community and so what you see is as people become isolated it promotes fragmentation it's a step away from wholeness. Does that make sense resources where excited about our five thousand square foot homes were excited about our backyard pool Adam has been given a global. Item has been given oceans. You see God does not half step when he is preparing you for a work he is equipping our own to fulfill the purpose he's ultimately going to give him. God will call you to one thing and not have the resources already arranged for what you're going to need but do not miss the fact that resources are important resources are a key thing so as you assess a patient as you assess a community a natural question is how are things going from a financial standpoint you miss a mortgage payment it is a profound impact on your mental and physical wellbeing make no mistake about that time time is the one thing that we all have the same amount of but unfortunately we are not jealous and careful with how we use our time. It should be as anxiety provoking to you when I ask you Do you have five minutes. As it is if I were to ask you you have five dollars. Should be just as things id provoke and hold on a second what do you want to do with that time. Is there someone else you could ask. I'll have to get back to you on that one. I've got to go do the budget. Because time is pivotal. Does that make sense. The other one is health of course mental health and physical health is pretty straightforward you know obviously we rarely miss that one. But I want to go to purpose and I want to make sure we have enough time for that. So not only does God. Give Adam all those resources of give him all those vital connections but God gives him the gift of a purpose do you know what your purposes. Don't ask you what is your purpose why do you get up in the morning in fact what's your God given purpose. What would you say. Rhetorical question I can already see some people coming to an imaginary Mike a rhetorical question I really want you to think about it what is my purpose and says Who. When you leave this room my hope is that you will be crystal clear on what not only your purposes but what your God given purposes OK. So the first dimension of your purpose. Has to do with this gentleman by the name of The Brain That Changes Itself Dr Deutsch because what Dr Deutsch doesn't is but this is a secular book I'm not encouraging it from a you know spiritual standpoint it's got some good science in it but it's definitely written from an evolutionary standpoint so I threw out that little disqualifier. But that said. One of the things he discusses in this book is this concept of neural plasticity because you know about how many neurons we have spot one hundred billion neurons and then one neuron can have up to how many connections. One neuron can have you say ten thousand it's about two hundred fifty thousand connections one neuron two hundred fifty thousand connections per Congi fibers. Are those connections permanent. What a fax whether a neuron Wilson apps so let me go to this. So this is the neuron and this is a neuron stain making it's you know thousands of synapses. So believe it or not the very way that you think. Plus your behaviors will drive whether a neuron synapses. I was talking to a patient it was like yes yesterday but the day before and we're challenging the patient to do something and they were kind of giving me a hard time and I just broke up patient rooms and then. You have one hundred billion neurons we are too generous with I can't. We're too generous not not only that those synopses are driven by how we think and how we behave in other words God designed us to grow in expertise. It's like that's why you can think your way into a new brain and new pattern of thinking so you can see how dangerous it is to embrace ideologies. That falsely limit your ability. I can't shut up. Yes you can. With the God behind you with the powers he and down you with. Anyway first dimension up your purpose is your path God has gifted God has blessed you with a path What's what does the Scripture say he is the author and. He is intimately acquainted with your journey. And he is place some things there just to cultivate. The faith that he is after developing. And in fact what does it say in Genesis. Cursed is the ground for for my sake right is that what he says for my sake. Cursed is the ground for your sake. What that means is he has made this world into the obstacle course that would develop the qualities. That he's looking for he makes Adam perfect. Adam sees that even as fall what's the mistake that Adam make sense it was a lack of faith. So now God says clearly it's your faith muscle that requires conditioning. He turns the world into a gen an L.A. Fitness a twenty four fitness if you will. A condition that that will condition your faith as soon as you commit to trying to accomplish anything there are setbacks. There are challenges to your commitment and there's a requirement that you have to have faith what it is faith faith is cultivating an image of something that does not exist. In fact the present circumstances says not only does it not exist it is unlikely that can be brought into existence. And not only do you have to get a clear picture of it you have to counter the present and say that can be brought into existence. Substance of things hoped for evidence of things not seen. But that's the power work that's the gift we have as humans we can conjure an image of what does not exist. And God in thousands with the power to bring it into existence. No great thing has been done on this planet without exercising a measure of. What is the measure of your faith. Think about it you know really what is the measure of your faith you see when God blesses you it's going to fit within your faith. What is the measure of faith if you think about that. What is the measure of Christ's faith God loves it when you give a whole he's like I'll give it all up for you. First the mention of your faith is power the second dimension of your faith is talent each and every every one of you have you've been blessed with a talent but a talent is rude a talent is undisciplined it works sometimes it doesn't work sometimes So not only does he bless you with a talent he also requires you that you cultivate that talent into what skill. Because remember when we were medical students I remember in our first day of medical students one of the students was using the auto scope I think it was the out of scope is that you want. As the up down the scope I mean it was it was hilarious. Talented but no skill. And it's you're required to condition that talent into skill and then what's the last and mention of your purpose first dimension your path your on a path second dimension talent into skill but then the third dimension is you have been called to be God like. You have been called to be like God you see in Genesis we sneak up on the gods having a conversation and we don't know what preceded the conversation but we just come to the conclusion of the conversation so you understand when you're going to create something you have to choose what's going to inspire that creation if you're a fashion designer Well this line is inspired by the Greco Roman period if you're a sculptor you look at an image and you're going to you're going to sculpt based on that image and the creator gods they have a dilemma what will be the source of the inspiration for this creation of state look at the creation of man. They they consider they consider the seas and all the great things they're in a season they're like blood and not majestic enough. Things is amazing as lions things as amazing as mountains and they're amazing but not amazing enough for this creation. They considered to have ads I just told you about the V Y Canis Majoris and these heavenly bodies that are just beyond comprehension but that's not vast enough for this creation for this creation the source of inspiration for making you is God Himself. God Himself your purpose is to be God like the path that you're on you're supposed to show what God looks like in that path the skillset you've been intrusted with the talent you're supposed to cultivate it to the point where when people experience it they're saying You remind me of God. I have a little flutter of what God would look like doing that then. You think I'm kidding. Let's take a look at Michael Jordan Michael Moore and write the power so it's Michael's Michael is trying out for the basketball team in high school when he tries out stories so famous that he make the team. He did make the team he didn't think this is what people don't know the problem wasn't just making the team Michael wanted to make the varsity team but Michael's a sophomore sophomore traditionally don't make the parser the team except the time when Michael tried out a sophomore did it's just it wasn't Michael. Michael felt defeated Michael runs home runs into a bathroom and cries his eyes out. And that experience. Produces the champion that we experienced in our lifetime when he emerged from that experience the result of his path it created his competitive edge but not just that not just his power second the mention of his purpose he's gifted with the talent. Six foot six huge. Two hundred thirty pounds muscle bound but that's not exactly an unusual characteristic in the N.B.A.. What sets him apart. His commitment to cultivate his talent into skill. His conviction to encounter a challenge an obstacle go back to the word gym and cultivate a new skill to surmount that struggle that obstacle second dimension of his purpose third dimension of his purpose so second season in the N.B.A. Michael gets hurt early on but he comes back with enough time to encounter Larry Bird and his Lakers first game in the Boston Garden Michael scores sixty three points sixty three points Larry Bird is then interviewed about what it was like to play Michael Larry Bird says this nobody could have done what Michael Jordan did to us that night and then he says this It was as if we were playing God disguised as Michael Jordan. It was as if we were playing God this guy's as Michael Jordan what are people saying about your performance your performance as a husband. Your performance as a wife your performance as a daughter. Your performance as a clinician. Those are certainly more important than putting a ball and a hoop. What are people saying about your performance as especially when God in doubt you with the power to be God like not God. That's what stressing some of us out we act like we think we're god. You know God why. God like I didn't doubt you with the power if you don't believe it read it in Genesis let us make man in our age I can see almost a smile on their face. As make up like us. Those that make sense. So what is your purpose two words to be God like. Can I hear you say it. You know not a man and. God like. One more time you've been made to be. Made you never forget that. So when you're at the traffic light and somebody cuts you off don't show what you look like. Osho what you look like that's not the color. Show what God would look like in that situation. Because I make sense OK all right and so then we come to our third. Then then we come to the seventh vital connection and what that connection is rest OK And so. Here we talk about purpose so let me just say rest really quickly one of the one of the wonderful things about I'm seventy Ivan is I'm frankly is it's built into our culture to systematically periodic Lee rest one of the scariest things was to go from being a resident where you were salary so however much you work same amount of same amount you generate to becoming an attending where for some of us if we're not working we're not making money. And there is this automatic temptation to work all the time because there's this fear if I'm not working I'm not making money. And you know how to condition yourself you know have to have the courage you don't have to have the faith. I needed to systematically periodic leave take some rest and this is a challenge because if. Your life is anything like my life it is so difficult to get time off well you've got to submit this form you've got to warn this person you've got to find this coverage you've got to really review the schedule you've got to consult the spouse make sure it makes sense for you to take that time also scheduled can be harmonized by that you'd like look I just keep working I forget it. It's almost like you get punished if you're trying to get time off. But you have to systematically periodic we rest thank God for the Sabbath to this day my favorite period of the week is not even the Sabbath it's the four pm period on Friday evening when the entire side of his head and. The systematically periodic leave rest so what I'm arguing to you is as you think about yourself. As you think about yourself you should be thinking about hey what do these vital connections look like in my life how am I doing spiritually. And my connected to my community my community meaningfully in my making a contribution in church. Where my from a community standpoint how my doing in my romantic community Michael romantic relationships how my doing in my non romantic relationships. And just so you understand like when I say scripture is helpful in this thing for example Christ says Be Light where is light the brightest. At this source. Light is brightest at the source so you can't be loving in your practice and every single one of your patients is this is the greatest doctor in the world and at home they barely can stand being around you. You see light does not skip. Ever seeing that you ever see a bulb that it's dark around the bulb but it's bright outside of that. I've never seen that. It's brightest at the source so that means the family sings your praises. Sings your praises and then it's the practice is more like OK and he's good there too. And then it goes out but it's brightest at the source does that make sense. And so of course you're you know managing your resources because resources are a vital connection this afternoon in my plenary session I am going to plenary in my workshop my breakout I am going to talk about you know how does this information age how does this digital age how is it rescuing physicians Why is that our last hope because resources matter how can we leverage our talents. To uncouple our time from earning money. And then of course there's rest and recreation No no no resources then time so time is critical how my doing with my time do I control my time or does my time control me then help you know I hope you all are in you know telling your patients go watch that documentary what the health what the health is profound it's profound that you see as Americans. We don't like people telling us what to eat but what we really can't stand is you getting over on me we don't like that and that's what the health does like none of the other documentaries it's like it shows the scam you're like oh really. I'm a eat those video frames just to take you up. How dare you take money from them and then not tell me the truth so you know what the health as far as mental health yet again critical something very very important for us to understand but you can see how you really cannot carve out mental health from these other vital connections it's almost as if you're going to help a person you have to help them in those other vital areas of their lives it's all connected purpose I mean that's why we spend the time that we did on purpose because it is such a big issue it's so vitally connected to your mental health you you look at you look at whether it's John the Baptist's or you look at the Apostles these are people who are dying and they're not looking for an item presents what's going on I'm not saying that if you need it and I present get an impression I get it but what's going on what's keeping these people from the press being the press because the greatest and I the president is being on your purpose it's being a new a purpose as when you wake up and you know I am living my God given purpose if that leads me to death so be it. But but purpose is a big deal and then systematically periodic Lee resting we have to systematically rejuvenate listen to the word recreate re create. Thank you so much for this opportunity to serve you God bless you. And if we don't meet on this side of the kingdom will see on the other side of this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more servant leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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