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.” Source: Jan Smuts, who originated the term in his 1926 book Holism and Evolution.
Wholeness “An undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting.” Source: The Free Dictionary. Wholeness is all-encompassing, transcending the apparently dualistic nature of reality, and cannot be reduced to parts. Neither can it be boiled down to a pithy definition or wordsmithed into an elegant concept.
Whole person, whole situation.
There are two realities: the material (the known) and the non-material (the unknown). Holism embraces both realities.
The human is a rig for creating the new.
View the article: The human is a rig for creating the new
Vedanta views reality as a wholeness, not divided into inner and outer domains as if they are separate kingdoms.
Will the “Real” Reality Please Stand Up? by Deepak Chopra
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.”
Source: Verywell Mind.“Holistic thinking is the new way of thinking needed to (dis)solve the problems created by reductionist thinking. But we should not over-swing the pendulum and favour holistic thinking in all circumstances over reductionist thinking. We should regard reductionism as a useful method to be applied if and when appropriate and within a whole-systems context that acknowledges the valuable contributions of diverse perspectives, as well as the limits to our knowing. We might prefer definitive answers and solutions, but what if they simply cannot be given?”
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.”
Source: Robert Fritz, in Reflections, The SoL Journal of Knowledge, Learning and Change, Vol. 5, Number 7 (minor punctuation edits made to aid readability).“As activist [Daniel] Christian Wahl suggests, we would do well to understand that any perspective – no matter how transdisciplinary or inclusive, no matter what science, research or philosophy supports it – is a limited view of underlying complexity.”
Source: Sarah Firth
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.”
Source: James Wilk, unpublished manuscript.“It is important to maintain the awareness that the systems view itself is also just another map that, as Alfred Korzybski put it, should not be confused with the territory. We can reduce the world to a whole just as easily as we can reduce it to a collection of parts.”
Source: [6 Key Questions in] Whole Systems Thinking, an excerpt from the book Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl.The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
Tao te Ching
The Construct-Aware Stage of Ego Development and its Relationship to the Fool Archetype, by Susanne Cook-Greuter, in Integral Review, August 2018. Vol. 14, No.1 (pdf; 11pp)