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Title: Nonduality and the karmic cyles of the world : integral health and development in Thai contexts
Author: Roncarati, Marco E.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis considers ongoing changes in Thai healthcare, seen in wider contexts of development, with particular attention paid to existential issues and human volitional action (karma). Consequently, development is analysed with regard to "external" or material development, as well as "internal" development of consciousness. Moreover, although situations involving curing disease/illness are examined, emphasis is laid on health in light of holistic and preventive measures proposed by main informants, who to varying degrees are influential in providing and reforming healthcare in Thailand. Such people generally adopt Dharma (Buddhist teachings) in promoting awareness of health, considered in physical, mental, societal and spiritual terms. Nevertheless, many also discuss the significance of universals and nondual teachings from other contemplative/mystical traditions, which aim at the same purpose; namely, to transcend narcissistic feelings of individuality, so that suffering inherent in the human condition is ended. Thus, "conventional truths" pertinent to specific cultural contexts are seen as relevant, but also are "absolute truths" that transcend them and other dualities. A central issue of the thesis is consideration of how conceptual analysis and synthesis, and "traditional" and "modem" knowledge (adopting "scientific" modes of inquiry which go beyond empiricism), are currently being integrated in Thailand. This implies both theoretical and practical aspects, and the way that they are adopted in bringing about well-being to the population at large. Using case studies, textual references and primarily experiences of main informants; self-reliance, social engagement, sustainability and dynamic balance are studied in contexts of healing. Furthermore, education (mainstream and alternative modes), the role of teachers and providers of healthcare services (including monks, traditional healers and biomedical practitioners), and implications to policy are examined; as are compassionate, nonviolent, and strategic means to effect change and achieve lasting health and happiness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral