My struggles with the mainstream medical system after diagnosis with a chronic illness led me, instinctively, down a path of holism: the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole.
It seemed that this axiom of existence was simmering, always, just beneath the surface of my awareness. I have illness to thank for allowing this fundamental truth to merge with my previously, fragmented, intellect. (Thanks, illness.)
What began as just a journey of reclaiming health resulted in complete awe, wonderment, and joy of interrelated and interconnected systems of nature. More precisely: from mind, body, & spirit, to body, culture, environment, planet, to solar system & universe.
“Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.”
When I sit at the edge of the ocean, the stillness inside mirrors the horizon of the waters, while the closer-in-proximity waves undulate. As if the ocean itself was breathing – like the rhythm of our own bodies – the water builds and billows forward, only to soon, recede in relief.
The cyclic ocean waves teach me about civil unrest, about revolution, about chaos. If I am to be, myself, a molecule in that billowing wave, I am subject to the frantic interactions of those around me. If I am, however, to be the stillness of the vast ocean, or the stillness among shore, I am able to maintain an expanded & peaceful “bird’s eye view” of the frantic molecules (frantic people). In the stillness, I see perfection and beauty in every wave (in civil unrest). The rise, the fall, the rise, the fall – no different than the changing of seasons, solar wind flares, or the shedding of reptile skins.
Though too, there is an understanding that I am the molecule as much as I am the entire ocean, the shore. I am the chaos and I am the stillness. I am the finite, I am the infinite. I am paradox. In holism, these states do not exist independently.
This is what we call learning to ride the waves of life. Awareness & an expanded view of the undulation is the only coping mechanism, it seems. I must argue, however, beyond coping there is infinite appreciation for the perfection of all undulations. This is where you will find me.
Cycles, fractals, the infinite of repeating patterns..here is a mandelbrot set for a visual representation. Soak it in, loves; this is truth. In it, you will find all wars & uprising, all love revolutions, all illness and recovery, all birth and death.
Science and technology are only another manifestation of holism, and at that, an appreciation for the universe’s patterns.
((PS shout out to my father, who has always told me about mandlebrot sets! <3))