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A whole world: the personal is the global

Beyer, Cornelia

Authors

Dr Cornelia Beyer C.Beyer@hull.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director for the Centre for Security Studies

Abstract

A truly holist worldview would indicate that indeed all personal actions and perceptions are experienced and interact in a logical way with a fully structured, interdependent world. Every personal action, feeling and thought is reflected and responded to in the ‘whole’. While the individual experience of such a world compares to living in a matrix and is encountered when sufficient perceptional capacity is present, this does indeed not indicate that everything which exists and is perceptionally experienced would be fictional or an illusion. Rather, all of these perceptions are (probably) real and true in their own way, even not intentionally related and meaningful, but for the experiencing individual they make an immediate meaningful sense where all things seem related and deeply meaningful. This perception of the world, for which I use the classical term ‘holist’, has been experienced by many individuals before. Scholars such as Jung, Freud, Plotinus and many others have discussed specific elements of it (three levels of consciousness, synchronicity, serendipity, unity of all, telepathy, etc. etc.). It is oftentimes encountered by people experiencing what we would usually call ‘altered perceptions’. Those might be incited by the use of substances or by spiritual practices or might even be found in what the Western world terms ‘mental illnesses’. Within this altered, but ultimately not entirely incorrect, worldview, causal or apparently causal relationships exist virtually everywhere. While in this worldview, our materialist causal knowledge does still make sense, in addition alternative knowledges such as provided by Eastern philosophy, para-sciences, mysticism, religion, also make sense. For example, such an individual might perceive meaning in numerology, while at the same time knowing with the same certainty, that the numbers read were not intended to provide a certain information when they were written. There seems to be a paradoxical tension between the Eastern and Western reality, between meaning and coincidence, rationality and irrationality. In fact, there is no real conflict between these two perceptions. Rather, when integrated, they can provide a new and potentially progressive and more meaningful understanding of our world and reality. This new worldview could, as one example of concrete holism, show concrete correlations between personal experiences and actions, and global effects.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2011
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 1
Pages 48 - 58