Integral Science LO30707

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/15/03

Replying to LO30705 --

Dear Organlearners,

Vana Prewitt <> wrote:

>I think the reference point for Goerner's work is Ken Wilbur.
>The perspective is definitely one of holism, and working to
>integrate our understanding of human behavior and the sciences
>across disciplines rather than by dividing and conquering into
>siloed specialties as is the norm in academia.

Greetings dear Vana,

I am very disappointed in most of academia having thrown wholeness
overboard. Students get specialised degrees which do not signify that they
have been empowered to interact with society on a holistic basis.

After i have obtained in 1967 a MSc in physics, i began with a research
career in soil science. Within a year i discovered with a shock how much i
was in need of a seamless "integral science" consisting of physics,
chemistry, geology and biology (microbes, plants and animals) to
understand any soil. Thus my endless journey began to increase the
wholeness of my knowledge.

Many years later i read in the last chapter of Jan Smuts' "Holism and
Evolution" (1926) the following:-
"It is the nature of the universe to strive for and slowly, but in ever
increasing measure, to attain wholeness, fullness, blessedness. ....
Wholeness, healing and holiness - all expressions and ideas
springing from the same root in language as in experience - lie on
the rugged upward path of the universe, and are secure of
attainment - in part here and now, and eventually more fully and
truly. The rise and self-perfection of Wholes in the Whole is the
slow but unerring process and goal of His holistic universe."

Very few people give any second thoughts to soils. Yet they are
magnificent examples of Smuts' description above.

>At's comment about healthcare is central to my exploration
>into Integral Science. Physicians are actively seeking better
>ways to integrate human understanding as it can be used to
>better support patient health and wellbeing. We have far to
>go, but the goal is one that is gaining support and so I remain

It makes me happy that you remain hopeful. I am also still hoping, even
though i have to bear in mind that more than seventy years have passed
since the publication of "Holism and Evolution". Smuts gave the world the
idea of holism so as to make comprehensive sense of an ever increasing
maze of details uncovered by academia. But the world at large has still to
embrace this idea.

I decided to use Google's advance search engine to see how much
progress has been tmade owards wholeness in health services. The
following hits are the results:-
health 166 000 000
wholeness 351 000
hospital(s) 31 800 000
health wholeness 114 000
health wholeness hospital(s) 17 700

I became very curious when looking at the first page of hits for the last
search. All ten entries involved Christians. After having worked through
the first fifty hits, it seems that some 80% of them involve Christians. So
i did another search with the keywords:-
   health wholeness academia
excluding any file having the words
   Christian faith
I got 616 hits. (I did not use academy because the name is misused by
many businesses offering training for a profit.) However, the keywords:-
   health wholeness university
excluding any file having the words
   Christian faith
gave a much better 19 300 hits. But adding "integral" as another keyword
   health wholeness university integral
excluding any file having the words
   Christian faith
pruned them to 2 620 hits. (I first tried to use the phrase "integral science"
in the second window, but got only 11 hits.)

I wanted to write that hospitals should not expect much help from
academia. But i got submerged in reading many of the hits in the last
search and found out that those universities sensitive to wholeness as
requisite for health can make a difference. If only they would become
learning organisations to see it through! So, as perhaps the final search
i added in the second window
   learning organization
and got only 28 hits. How on earth can these universities expect to
promote health through greater wholeness?

I decided to do a final search spanning my net as wide as possible,
including Christian organisations. I used in the first window only
   health wholeness
and in the second window
   learning organization
and got 459 hits.

I worked through the hits on the first page. I found the tenth hit at
< >
to be really thought provoking. In it the author, at first a community
builder, wrote:
"I became convinced that living communities need learning
organizations in which to grow."
What a profound insight!

Vana, it seems to me (if you are not already doing it) that you will first
have to delve deep into literature on wholeness, trying to comprehend
what is meant by it and why it is necessary. I suspect that you will not
find enough under integral science itself. You might try using in the
first window
   health wholeness
and in the second window
   integral science
to see what is available on internet.

I did it and got 34 hits. I worked through them all. Only the following three
are of interest to me:
"Integral studies"
< >
"A critical appreciation of Ken Wilber's collected works"
< >
"Integrating science, religion and art"
< >
The site
< >
is more on complexity than wholeness.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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