page updated 7 May 2012
A theorem of Holistic Epistemology
If reality is a seamless whole, then all disciplines investigating that reality are intimately connected. No one branch of knowledge can develop separately from all others and do full justice to itself.
Any subject is a composite of all other subjects if seen through Holistics
Developing a holistic knowledge base to integrate major disciplines of human reality
Economics Faiths Education Politics Psychology Arts Esoterics Symbiosophy Biosophy Philosophy Science Health
The study/research/discussion events centering on these subjects are intended to promote efforts to train the mind to see fields of knowledge as integral parts of one interrelated whole.
Experts are welcomed but everyone is encouraged to develop and hold informed and considered views on others' expertise. So do not hesitate to take advantage of the ineractive space where ideas can be aired, challenged, improved and agreed.
Education can be used to impart knowledge and develop wisdom, or it can be a means of training minds to accept things as they are. When the world is so much poorer a place than it need be, education is surely being misused to maintain the status quo.
"If I thought [about my] future I dreamt of one day founding a school in which ... people could learn without boredom, and would be stimulated to pose problems and discuss them; a school in which no unwanted answers to unasked questions would have to be listened to; in which one did not study for the sake of passing examinations." Karl Popper
Education of the person as an autonomous human soul can be structured around certain criteria. The following criteria attempt to outline the major qualities which characterise a holistic approach to education.
Holistic development The purpose of holistic education is to develop all levels of human nature - physical, emotional and mental - and to integrate them in the context of the spiritual 'whole' that is all life.
Experience Successful education is based on respect for the intrinsic worth of each individual learner, and the validity of their own life experience.
Creativity Self-chosen creative activity and self-expression are vital to educational development.
Development and bringing forth Education is a process of gradually unfolding development, which, in children, takes place in clearly defined stages.
Love The nature of the One Spirit is love, and the development of loving awareness is central to successful education.
Consciousness Education is a process of expanding individual consciousness to encompass the greater whole.
Spiritual Path Holistic education empowers the individual to walk their own life path in conscious co-operation with the greater spiritual 'whole' that is all life.
Economics is the simplest of the social sciences. (Henry George)
Good economics is the outcome of the truth that human effort applied to free gifts of nature creates capital and all other forms of wealth.
The fact that employment is a by-product of the economy and not its purpose must be recognised before policies aimed at ensuring full employment are debated. There is a general reluctance on the part of the Left to accept the secondary nature of employment. But it cannot be denied. It is a consequence of regarding labour as one of the factors of production and as such, it is subject to substitution by other factors--capital, energy, land--if 'economic' efficiency requires it.
The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.
As, when we find that a machine will not work, we infer that in its construction some law of physics has been ignored or defied, so, when we find social disease and political evils, may we infer that in the organisation of society, moral law has been defied and the natural rights of men have been ignored.
Henry George, Science of Political Economy.
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else.
John Maynard Keynes, 1936
It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or ill.
What's new? [I] studied economics earnestly at the LSE. Those were the depressed 1930s; and I found myself fascinated by the model of a self-equilibrium system of markets but greatly bothered by the gulf that separated that beautiful theory from the ugly reality of great misery and mass unemployment. We students were shocked by the faculty's helplessness in the face of pressing problems and suspicious of the bitter and cruel remedies some of them advocated.
Tibor Sitovsky, My Search for Welfare, in Great Economists
£36,657 per family of four at 05/12/2010 18:28:13 Rate of increase about £10,000 per second
Physical health, like most other "desirables ", is the result of largely non-physical causes. As such, a direct quest for its achievement can easily prove a disappointing enterprise.
Under this heading attention is paid to all subjects together to develop an intuitive grasp of the interrelatedness of the facets forming the holistic knowledge base.
Synthesis -- building up of separated elements into a connected whole--is an important objective. Our world needs all the help it can get if it is to remain a viable home for us. The problems facing humanity are part of one single, complex problem-space. Any one problem is caused by all others. To solve one, the others must also be solved at the same time. A universal network of thinkers, people of good-will animated by the energy of will-to-good, can do this.
Synthesis is such an important process that in spiritual philosophy a special being, an Avatar of Synthesis, is associated with the concept.
A holistic movement in scientific theory arose from the need in biology for a comprehensive approach to the study of living things. Methods have been outlined within General Systems Theory established by the biologist, Ludvig von Bertalanfy in the 1940s. The adaptation and application of these methods to the understanding of complex systems of any kind, including human society itself, is a hopeful development. The problems of a complex global society are clearly beyond understanding if the effort is based on knowledge generated from separate disciplines. The healing of our world is waiting for a network of co-operating universal thinkers to develop and apply the appropriate epistemology.
We have yet to achieve "government of the people, for the people, by the people". There is a long way to go before this ideal is even approached.
Until not long ago 'democrat' was a term of abuse to describe someone who believed in democracy, commonly understood to lead to ungovernability, licence and disorder. Such a person was perceived as a threat to established order and social stability.
Although democracy has become accepted in the twentieth century as a viable and progressive form of government, it is by no means fully embraced at the level where its implications touch on everyday political reality.
Politics cannot be left to party politics
Advancing and maintaining democracy is integral to the participation of citizens in their society. The tools used in this work are mainly ideas.
"Political ideas are the means by which we assert our membership of communities or nations, define our position within them, set out their purposes and ends, and make claim upon each other and on institutions within society...
"They are also a way in which we express our disagreement with each other about these things and sometimes the means by which we seek to justify our use of violence against each other...
"Without political ideas and the language in which they are expressed, political or civic culture would have neither rationale nor articulated purpose." An Introduction to Political Ideas by Peter M R Stirk and David Weigall.
The themes below are taken from the above work
The Origin and Nature of Political Order
Authority and Obligation
Forms of Government and Powers
What is power? Is it 'the production of intended effects' (B Russell), or is it the capacity to produce them? and which effects count? Or is Max Weber's definition of power as 'the probability that an actor in a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance' more accurate? What are the outcomes of power and who holds it; and why?
The Origins and Nature of Rights
Concepts of Liberty
Justice and Equality
The State and Sovereignty
The Idea of Revolution
Democracy and Popular Representation
The State and the Economy
The International Order
The purpose of this forum is to explore these ideas and their relevance to everyday life in society.
A practical project to develop true democracy.
We all live acording to what we think the world is like. One cannot help but have a philosophy of life in order to understand the happenings in one's world.
We all have philosophies, whether or not we are aware of this fact. Generally our philosophies are not worth very much but their impact upon our actions and our lives is often devastating. This makes it necessary to try to improve our philosophies through critical examination. (Karl R Popper)
Is there an ideal way of life and an ideal society possible on earth? Whether such a city exists in heaven or ever will exist on earth, the wise man will live after the manner of that city, having nothing to do with any other, and in so looking upon it, will set his own house in order. (Socrates)
Arguing with philosophers --Hegel.
Spirit is freedom and self-consciousness acting to realise its own potentiality.
Agree? Yes No Don't know The real is the rational and the rational is the real; Idea or Reason is the formative principle of all reality.
Agree? Yes No Don't know The goal of history is the liberation of Spirit from its confinement in Nature in order that Spirit might be reunited with its essence as Idea.
Agree? Yes No Don't know The Spirit could not realise its reunion with Idea were it not for the force of Will, as derived from human passions. Agree? Yes No Don't know
The individual as individual is unimportant; only the historically decisive actor, the hero, makes a significant difference in history; but whether a man be a conventional citizen, a courageous person, a hero, or a victim, he is nothing but the Spirit's instrument. What!?
The embodiment of the Spirit's freedom is the State; the State is the concrete unity of freedom and passion. What!?
Science of the nature, functions, and phenomena, of human soul or mind. Concise Oxford Dictionary
Traditionally a branch of philosophy, psychology covers the study of the phenomena of mental, emotional and moral life, i.e. what is perceived through introspection as taking place in the human being: perceiving, remembering, thinking, feeling, reasoning.
Happiness is the deferred fulfillment of a pre-historic wish. That is why wealth brings so little happiness; money is not an infantile wish.
Ideas are libidinal cathexes - acts of love. Freud
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Science has enabled humankind to perceive order in what is chaos to untrained minds. But in believing that order/certainty is everything, it betrays its own origins.
The correct place of science is in subordination to people and not as their master.
...a hard question needs to be put today to ALL professionals, be they educators, theologians, doctors, scientists, artists... Whom are you serving?...
One of the surest ways of being able to answer this question is in terms of another: What language do you use in this service? If only professionals can understand your language then it is most likely that you are not being prophetic or wise, not being 'in the streets' with your particular gift of work and word. Matthew Fox, Original Blessing
The time and space sense of the average human is as yet very undeveloped:
How's this for perspective?
In the context of the life of the universe, humans live, on average, for 25 seconds.
The Sun is one of 400,000,000,000 suns in our galaxy;
our galaxy is one of about 100,000,000,000 galaxies in the universe;
our universe is probably not the only one.
Biosophy is a label for a field of knowledge made up of many things human. The starting point is the individual and her relationship to other individuals and to groups of individuals. Essentially, it deals with wisdomful self development.
Relevance is in the mind of the beholder; to a monkey nothing but peanuts and bananas is relevant.
How can people live and remain healthy if they do not know what they are living for?
According to Abraham Maslow, all self-actualising people feel related to a transcendental or transpersonal order beyond mere personal self-fulfilment.
I felt, even as a child, a call to serve a great and unknown cause. Anon
I do not know who-or what-put the question, I don't know when it was put. I do not even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer 'yes' to someone-or something-and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that therefore my life, in self-surrender, had a goal. Dag Hammarskjold
The first thing the aspirant becomes aware of is duality.
The little evolved man is aware of synthesis, but it is the synthesis of his material nature.
The highly spiritual man is aware also of synthesis but it is that in his soul, whose consciousness is that of unity.
But in between is the wretched aspirant, conscious of duality above all else and pulled hither and between the two.
His first step has, for its objective, to make him aware of the pairs of opposites and of the necessity to chose between them.
Through the light, which he has discovered in himself, he becomes aware of the dark.
Through the good which attracts him, he sees the evil which is for him the line of least resistance.
Through the activity of pain, he can visualize and become aware of pleasure, and heaven and hell become to him realities... once the dualities are grasped it dawns on him slowly and surely that the deciding factor in the struggle is his divine will, in contradistinction to his selfish will. Alice A Bailey A Treatise on White Magic pp228
The mysterious urge to create/communicate is one of the most deeprooted of human instincts. It is a great social loss that art has been restricted to be the preserve of 'artists'.
...it is in the arts that the confusion of the [twentieth] century asserts itself most spectacularly. The artist reflects his time; if the times are out of joint, they will give rise to a disorganized, promiscuous, and alienated art. The only universal attribute of twentieth-century art and literature has been an insatiable urge to experiment, to break with established canons of aesthetic value and start over again. W Warren Wagar in Science, Faith, and Man
Esoterics is the inner core of religious knowledge. In some respects it is analogous to metaphysics in philosophy.
Only two things will enable man to penetrate into [the] inner realm of causes and of revelation:... the constant effort based on a subjective impulse, to create those forms which will express some sensed truth; for thereby and through this effort, the emphasis is constantly shifted from the outer world of seeming to the inner side of phenomena. By this means, a focussing of consciousness is produced which eventually becomes stable and withdrawn from its present intense exteriorization.
An initiate is essentially one whose sense of awareness is occupied with subjective contacts and impacts and not predominantly preoccupied with the world of outer sense perceptions. This cultivated interest in the inner world of meaning will produce not only a pronounced effect upon the spiritual seeker himself but will eventually bring about the emphasis, recognized in the brain consciousness of the race, that the world of meaning is the sole world of reality for humanity... A A Bailey, Esoteric Psychology II
Symbiosophy studies the art of living as a community and includes elements that are normally dealt with in sociology and social psychology. It is the study of wisdom in living together as a society in a mutually beneficial manner.
What is the meaning of our power? What is the purpose of science and democracy? Are we headed towards destruction? Or are we moving toward meaningless affluence, which has already struck the rich in the developed world?...
The so called 'population crisis' is a crisis of our planetary birth. The limits to growth on Earth shifts us from procreation to co-creation. The passionate love of a chosen work which Maslow discovered in all self-actualized people is the next stage of sexuality...
The meaning of our power, our affluence and technologies, is to free us to find our creative vocation and to actualize our potential through meaningful, self-chosen work. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation.
Theology is the study of the nature of God. Related to this impossible discipline are the big questions of human existence. Among others, how and why we act as we do?
There is a pressing need to understand why religious beliefs can give rise to serious conflict in spite of the doctrine of love at the base all faiths.
What is the foundation of the belief that God must be defended against "unbelievers"? Is this foundation based on an interpretation of the nature of God?
Comparative study of religious knowledge and beliefs is one way in which respect for the varied views and modes of understanding of God can be cultivated.
...when the orthodox mind talks and writes of God the nations go asunder;... whereas, when the mystics talk, their words in a profound sense meet-and the nations, too. The names of Shiva, Allah, Buddha and Christ lose their historical force and come together as adequate pointers of a way that all must go who would transcend their time-bound, earth-bound faculties and limitations. Joseph Campbell
Religion--a metaphorical utterance coming from the very core of human nature--is expressed in many forms because it is molded by the local landscape from which it springs. Beneath the unique cultural aspects of different religions, however, there is great similarity because the paths are all toward the same end. Gregory Stock
The New Jerusalem is a real city. It hovers beyond our conscious awareness, beyond the reach of the five senses and their scientific extensions.
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Social Change Forums --
Exploring, firming up Visions through Dialogue between individual and individual, individual and group, group and group
-- under construction (listening for inspiration). September 2006
- Publication of Seven Steps to Justice; Presence of globaljusticemovement.net in cyberspace; Sustained weekly meetings of the London Global Table at 11 Mandeville Place, London W1U 3AJ - Near Bond Street Tube, 12am to 2pm
- Publication of Gaian Democracies, a holistic view of social change; pending establishment of GaianDemocracyEnterprise
- The appearance of a group participation tool promising to enable participants in any debate to:
- clarify and enhance their own knowledge of the issues involve;
- communicate their ideas effectively, with the minimum ambiguity possible;
- integrate knowledge available with all participants;
- choose valid goals to work towards;
- develop effective consensual Action to accomplish identified goals