Holism, Spirituality, Systems


  • Peter Tuddenham College of Exploration


whole, holism, spirit, big ideas, education, concepts, symbols, personality, significance


General Smuts introduced the term “holism” in 1925 in a book “Holism and Evolution”. Describing wholes as the real units of Nature, inorganic and organic, he states that “the creation of wholes, and ever more highly organized wholes, and of wholeness generally as characteristic of existence, is an inherent characteristic of the universe.” He goes on to say that holism “reaches its highest expressions and results on the mental and spiritual plans of exisitnece” and “is the very ground and principle of the ideal world of the spirit.


Dane Rudhyar in “The Astrology of Personality” asserts that “Astrology was the first human experience of an awreness of order”. He refers to the work of Smuts and describes our experience of life and living as a series of experiences of us as individuals, as a collective and as creative energy which repeats on a cycle. Wholes within wholes repeat this cycle of energy and information movement and creation.


A systems science perspective to these two desriptions of wholes provides windwos into historical and present experiences. Systems are an abstraction. The language of systems provides ways to give significane to wholes and the processes between wholes, and the processes involved in creating the whole and describing the way wholes work,