A meaningful definition of holistic must itself be holistic. The limitations of language make this impossible, but here are some clues. None of them is the whole story.Holism “The tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution.” Jan Smuts, who originated the term in his 1926 book Holism and Evolution
Wholeness “An undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting.” The Free Dictionary. Wholeness is all-encompassing, transcending the dualistic nature of mundane world, and cannot be reduced to parts. Neither can it be reduced to a pithy definition or distilled into an elegant concept.
Read more: Intent: the generative impulse infusing mind, body and spirit
Vedanta views reality as a wholeness, not divided into inner and outer domains as if they are separate kingdoms.
Deepak Chopra, Will the “Real” Reality Please Stand Up?
Holism suggests that people are more than simply the sum of their parts. In order to understand how people think, holism suggests that you need to do more than simply focus on how each individual component functions in isolation. Instead, psychologists who take this approach believe that it is more important to look at how all the parts work together.
Not just what we think, but how we think. The change is:
from abstract and symbolic conception…to acute and profound observation;
from metaphorical thinking…to original and direct inquiry;
from the habit of not looking freshly…to the discipline of finely tuned investigation; and
from reliance on concepts to bring a sense of order to the world…to an open quest to see what’s really there, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable, unsure, insecure, and mystified.
To make this shift, we must move from presuming to know before we look, to looking freshly without the limitation of a concept, metaphor, theory, or history of previous experiences.
Another way to say this is: start with nothing, e.g., without an idea of what we might find.
Robert Fritz, in Reflections, The SoL Journal of Knowledge, Learning and Change, Vol. 5, Number 7 (no longer available online)
John Muir, wilderness explorer
System is illusory. All systems we fancy we observe in nature are merely constructions of the observer, and the ‘interconnected web’ or ‘system’ view of the universe is no more than a fairy tale.
James Wilk, unpublished manuscript
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
Original source: Tao te Ching, by Lau Tzu
Construct-Aware folks are the first who potentially realize the illusion of ‘knowing’ and the futility of trying to make ever better maps of reality.
Susanne Cook-Greuter, The Construct-Aware Stage of Ego Development and its Relationship to the Fool Archetype, in Integral Review, August 2018. Vol. 14, No.1 (pdf; 11pp)
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