Monday, December 7, 2009

Meditations on Wholeness: Introduction

Automat - Edward Hopper (1927)

Why is there a special need to emphasize wholeness? A similar question is Why do we need departments of health, that is, departments of wholeness? This paradox arises because there has been a prevalence of disease and illness which indicate lack of physical wholeness. Similarly, over the ages, in the psychological, communal, and spiritual spheres, there has been a serious and sustained breakdown of wholeness. Typically, this has taken the form of widespread fragmentation between nations, races, religions, ideologies, and so on, going on down to smaller groups, including the family. Indeed, even the individual is fragmented. This is yet another paradox. For the word individual means "undivided." Yet, each human being is divided into conflicting interests, passions, aims, loyalties, motivations, and so on, to the point of neurosis, and even of psychosis. Perhaps such a person could better be called a "dividual" rather than an individual, being a combination of all sorts of contradictory features that are picked up from the collective mixture in the surrounding society.

- David Bohm, "Fragmentations and Wholeness in Religion and in Science," Zygon, 20.2 (1985), p. 125

No comments:

Post a Comment