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PSYC 3550
Igor Kusyszyn

WHOLENESS – MIDTERM STUDY NOTES PAGES 1-46 Introduction:  Awakening to wholeness may be most important event in one’s life  It’s a fundamental evolution that refers to experiencing and valuing the interconnectedness of creation, the oneness of being  The whole – encompasses all subjects, experiences and perceptions  this book examines the whole as a subject – although it isn’t, it’s a state of being, an experience or a perspective  are we whole already? Some say we are, to say we aren’t is a contradiction but it’s a personal discovery  it is a human birthright to experience wholeness  this is becoming more significant as society recognizes misery associated with disconnection and fragmentation Chapter One: Education:  “The most important fact about spaceship earth, an instruction book didn’t come with it” Buckminster Fuller  Times=complex=increasing hunger for personal/planetary transformation  Some environmental, social and psychological factors were always there, humans are now at a turning point – quality of our collective future here depends on becoming conscious of whole and connecting with it  Dictionaries define whole: entire…total……complete…..undivided  Education in this book used in broadest sense: encompassing the ongoing process of learning and experiencing in every domain of life  Avenues of philosophy, education, health, history, design, spirituality, and environment are ways to approach wholeness – any subject can be an entrance point  Environment sustains every form of life here so we start there  Book seeks to improve – brighter future  Discusses environmental issues for 1 day on earth – 74 species in rain forest go extinct, 17million tons of carbon will be added to atmosphere as resulting of burning fossil fuels, 42 sq miles of agriculture will become desert, more than 3 million tons top soil will be lost to water erosion in US alone, population will increase  It’s far worse when you look at stats for 1 year  Synthetic airborne chemicals are altering the atmosphere, increase in skin cancer due to ozone layer hold, first observed in 1980s, similar issues found in temperate and arctic regions  Deforestation is an issues too, ruining something of beauty with intrinsic value, also causes topsoil erosion water pollution, flooding, and species extinction o Forests crucial for cloud building, their depletion leads to droughts and contributes to global warming  7% of world’s total land mass is rain forests and they are particularly vulnerable – over 50% of world’s species live there  Present rate of deforestation = 2022: half of existing rain forest will be gone and, one-tenth to ¼ of rain-forest species will be gone  Biological diversity is key to maintenance of the world as we know it  According to United Nations Environmentalists, vertebrate and plant species are disappearing at 50-100x the expected background rate – largely due to commercial logging, farming, and fishing practices  Wilson states that humanity has initiated the 6 great extinction spasm – so many fellow species gone in one generation  Consider world-wide importance of plant-based medicines (whole plants, parts of plants, crude extracts) o More than 25% of medicines in the US come from these, another 13% from microorganisms and another 3% from animals – total of 40% derived from organisms  Unknown numbers of species are being wiped out – they might have become a source for medicine but never got the chance or will get the chance to be explored or even discovered  In US of the 3000 chemicals widely used, fewer than 7% have full testing data, and 43% have no data at all  Organophosphates – type of insecticide commonly used in US has been found neurotoxic and hormone-disrupting to children  Men living in US now have lifetime risk of ½ developing cancer, women are 1/3  Many people do not understand the impact of cumulative damage to the ecosystem – even if greenhouse gases stopped today they’d still negatively effect atmosphere, remedial action is needed  Paula and Anne Ehrlich – Stanford University “the time has come to put the economy ahead of the environment” clearly doesn’t understand that the economy is….  This just goes to show how disconnected man kind has become from the whole  Media responsible for making information public knowledge but now most of them are controlled by transnational corporations  Many are therefore given erroneous information  More logical to listen to scientists rather than politicians or independent researchers as we can’t afford to assume these warnings about the environment are wrong  Some people are convinced that these changes are part of a natural cycle of things while others justify inaction by not wanting to get involved and disrupt the natural order of things, the Taoist concept of wu-wei  Others accept the changes as indications of the end of times as prophesized in the bible  The purpose of this environmental discussion was to establish a context for holistic principles – fore, only through holistic principles can we accurately perceive the interconnectedness of our environmental, social, economic, governmental and ethical predicament Our Predicament  “more is better” “might makes right” “survival of the fittest” = continuously widening gap between rich and poor and dismantles environment ipon which we all depend  In western culture, accumulating wealth is often main pursuit in life – when we live this way environmental and human condition are neglected  Union of concerned scientists quote on 1/5 lives in poverty, 1/10 suffers malnutrition, more money spent on weapons and armies than health and education, more money flowing out of some of the poorest countries than is coming in , and one can see a disaster in the making  Many so unconscious of the whole that the save the planet msg fails to register  Economic growth has become a mantra – should it be the highest purpose of human civilization? Fragmentation and Cognitive Discord  Seems there is an infinite list of sources that want to tell us how things ought to be, or who we should listen to, products being pushed onto us, brands, etc., influx is so great that the info becomes meaningless  To add to discord, headlines in media often contradict one another  Fragmentation and cognitive discord are widespread phenomena that are both a result and a cause of perceiving and acting from a perspective fixed only on “the parts” Is there another way?  Multitudes of people yearn for a guiding light  Is there a world view, a way of perceiving and acting, that people from all backgrounds and geographical locations can support as authentic – one that can restore a sense of healing, optimism, and hope throughout the world?  Union of Concerned Scientists states, new ethic is required, we must recognize the earth’s limited capacity to provide for us, we must recognize its fragility. We must no longer allow it to be ravaged…..  World awaits collective shift of consciousness – self-help is growing Which “Education”?  Scientists and others urge that fundamental urgent changes are needed, but how? What changes are to come first? Since millions of people know better, why do assaults on earth continue?  These questions present a major challenge to education  What kind of world do we want to live in? what options are available? How should we be educating ourselves and our children? What unifying ethic could benefit all life on the planet?  Among all the facts on how to live and think is there a way to determine the answer for ourselves?  To answer many of these questions a high level of discernment is required  Straightforward philosophical and educational process does not exist that can help people become more effective with this faculty To Be Optimally Effective  Buckminster Fuller taught that an individual’s effectiveness in any area is directly related to the ability to perceive and act comprehensively – “from the whole” “to be optimally effective, undertake at outset the most comprehensive task in the most comprehensive and incisively detailed manner”  To understand this we must know what it means to be optimally effective, what constitutes the most comprehensive task and what is the most comprehensive and incisively detailed manner for accomplishing that task  Subject of wholeness is logical first step in both identifying comprehensive ways to undertake them Defining Wholeness  Not a subject in the usual sense, cannot be learned or defined  There are things about it that can be learned  Central paradox noted in previous line appears throughout the book  Term means the quality or state of being whole  “the whole” refers to everything – the entirety of creation, all that is undivided, without diminution  Whole is the word from health heal and holy are derived from  Holistic from the Greek holos (whole) refers to understanding reality in terms of integrated wholes whose properties cannot be reduced o smaller units  It pertains to the integral, functional relationship of the whole to the parts in any context or system (a tree, a body, an ecosystem, a household, a society, a planet)  Wholeness, oneness and comprehensivity are used interchangeably  Holistic approach doesn’t see trees, sees and values the whole forest – all forests  The whole can be felt or intuited and some of its attributes and manifestations can be obvserved  We can perceive its signs and messages bu still must learn how to read them – this is process of awakening to wholeness  This can help us become optimally effective in environmental, educational and all of endeavors Wholeness – a “Fourth R”  Reading, writing, arithmetic, considered pillars of education, wholeness is another R, metaphorically speaking – if an actual “R” word is desired, use Relatedness  Holistic education is unfragmented living education that integrates all aspects of existence  Holism (philosophy and practive of wholeness” is another ism, it is different from other philosophies – it’s a metaphilosophy, a philosophy of philosophy  Holistic may be overused buzz word, it’s the best description for the relation between the whole and its parts  Holistic approach to education is not primarily converned with specific issues, ideolgofies, statisticis, or historical debates, it provides the philosophical bsae necessary for answering big questions in life posed above: what kind of world do we want?  Ron miller “holist education addressed the fragmentation, alienation, competition, violence, and gross materialism that pervade much of life.. seeking t heal the many divisions our civilization has induced between mind and body, intellect and emotion, rationality and intuition, science and art, individual and community, humanity and the natural world”  Such education emphasizes the ultimate unity, relatedness, and inherent meaningfulness of all existence  Awakening in wholeness involved several apects : personal discovery, recognition of attributes of the whle and exploration of holistic strategies  Wholeness has its own fundamentals just as reading writing and arithmetic do Some Features of Holism  Central feature of the whole is synergy, defined as behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of the parts taken separately – Buckminster fuller  Popular definition is the whole is greater than the sum of its parts  Synergy is an operational reality in the world  Fuller’s analogy “metallurgy: indiv elements, iron chromium and nickel have certain characteristics but when combined with carbon manganese and other minor constituents, they become chrome nickel steel, much stronger and more durable than on their own  Example of synergy, orchestra playing a symphony  Principle of synergy could be applied to meeting basic human needs such as health food, affordable housing and health care  Synergy can also manifest itself in ways that are detrimental to life, adverse net effects are greater than the sum of life (lethal synergistic drug reactions)  When ppl, corps., and gov’t focus on short-term gains without regard to the whole, the survival of human kind are threatened  Wise to take advantage of synergy, but how?  Familiarity with principle of synergy can help one become optimally effective in every endeavor  Humans have greatly benefited from the focused use of forces such as gravity, magnetism, fire and water.  Synergy, similarly, is an ever-present potential that can be purposefully focused by explicitly identifying and nurturing it in any domain of activity – by focusing first on the whole, then progressing to indi
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