The holistic approach to life embodied in the Skyros culture is rooted in the ancient Greek idea of wholeness.
For the Greeks, physical, moral and intellectual excellence, all described by the single word areté, were considered indivisible. Hence the Olympic Games included, alongside the athletic contests, music competitions, prayers and rituals, communal singing, orations by distinguished philosophers and recitals by poets and historians.
Specialisation to the detriment of the needs of the whole person was frowned upon, and extremes of any kind, whether in the form of food fads or religious asceticism, were rejected. The person who honoured the virgin Goddess Artemis but not the love Goddess Aphrodite was, according to Euripides, a tragic misfit.
Balance, proportion and symmetry ruled all aspects of life – from health and architecture to prose and mathematics. The sharp distinction that exists today between mind and body, intellect and soul, material and spiritual, nature and culture, individuality and community was absent from the Greek thinking. Each element was viewed as an indispensable condition of existence. Hence the Athenian citizen was expected to participate actively in the role of the polis, the city state. The polis, in turn, was expected not simply to run its business efficiently, but in doing so to stimulate the intellect and satisfy the spiritual aspirations of its citizens.
Startlingly, pre-empting modern psycho-political theories, the 5th century BC Athenian statesman Pericles went as far as to say that ‘the delight we daily take in all these things helps to banish melancholy’.
Illness, like health, was viewed holistically. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, considered that the way a person lived and his or her physical social surroundings, even the way the wind was blowing, had to be understood before the doctors intervened. Even then their role was simply to assist the natural healing process.
Inspired by this balanced integration of the needs of the whole person, Skyros values personal qualities rather than status, being rather than having, cooperating rather than competing, and doing rather than consuming. It attempts to meet the needs of the whole person as opposed to those which the image industry promotes; and it treasures everything we do in life for its intrinsic value rather than its benefits or use.
‘Skyros offers a multi-layered holiday experience which, at its most gentle, means relaxation, socialising and great food and, at its most profound, the confidence and insight to change your life’. The Times
‘A beautiful opportunity to rethink your life, discover your own truth and determine what really matters to you.’ Sacred Space Journal