The Whole and its Parts

We are all divine souls who came into each others’ lives in order to understand, express, share, and experience who we really are. When we give love to each other we recognize that our nature is divine. We are here so that we may experience our divinity, which is made possible by the illusion of our separateness.

Each of our expressions of love for each other is a unique expression of love; and, the totality of our relationship, a unique signature of love. A particular relationship is but one thread in the tapestry of my life and in the unfolding of the universe. All of the threads come together to make one grand, beautiful picture—the totality of who we are, all of us.


Isolation is Distortion

The appearance of this single thread as being complete unto itself indicates that it is really a part of a larger whole. To mistake this part for the largest and only whole there is would be reductionist, and would deny the larger reality.

The parts matter, but to extract one part from the whole and feed it to yourself is to make yourself sick, for the part needs all of the other parts in order to function property and be beneficial, rather than harmful.

Anything becomes distorted when it is extracted from the whole and isolated. In general, isolation is unhealthy. It is a denial of all that is. This is why we must call ourselves metaphysical, rather than solely physical or spiritual. This is how body, mind, heart, and spirit all feed one another. We must remember it is apples that are good for us, and not merely the components contained therein. It is life that nourishes our souls, and not merely the particular people or experiences contained therein.

The parts are necessary and can be studied to be understood, but they can be understood only in relation to one another and, most of all, to the whole. This is why I have said that intelligence is the process of relating to all that is, including oneself. No sense can be made of each part without the context of the other parts. Otherwise we would make gods of our eardrums.

An eardrum is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship that is important to our functioning. However, it is not the only part of the ear, nor is the ear the only part of the body. To attribute all of life’s woes and joys to the eardrum would be to live a confused, small, life, indeed. Far better is it to attribute life’s woes and joys to life itself- to the universe-, much like holding one’s entire being accountable for the sicknesses and strengths of the body.

Indeed, sometimes it is one part that sickens the whole, as one spore turned to mold can spread through an entire loaf of bread. This is why we cannot forget the parts. It is the whole, however, that advises us what we shall do with the parts. For it is the whole, rather than the parts, that we ultimately seek to change.

The premise of immersing yourself in one part can be alluring. It ought to be, for this can benefit the whole. The danger, however, lies in forgetting and denying the whole. Each of us can only ever be in one place at one time. But to say that this place is the only wellspring of life there is, is misguided. It is true that life can appear to me in only its present form. But in the next moment it shall appear to me as another. Same with the next. When I insist that life remain in this present form, I limit it; no, I murder it, for life is movement, and movement is change, and no two steps are the same.


Consistency and Mystery

I can bring relatively consistency to my life, much like how two apples look nearly-identical to one another. But their differences, though subtle, are present, and these matter. For to eat the same apple day after day would fail to nourish the complex, dynamic being that is my body. Likewise, to live the same day one after another would fail to nourish the soul.

What relative consistency does is create momentum. I do not run the same path every day, but I run. This enables me to run stronger the next day. I do not eat the same apple each day, but still I eat an apple. This better adjusts my body to digesting apples.

Consistency does not inherently exclude alternative paths, for I too can eat an orange on the day that I eat an apple. The consistency of an apple each day cultivates the power of momentum. The variability of an orange today and grapes tomorrow yields the strength of unpredictability. From unpredictability arises mystery, and mystery reminds us that apples are not all there is.

When we combine life’s consistency and life’s mystery, we create life’s beauty. For in life’s consistency is the gentle touch of familiarity, and life’s mystery is the awesome embrace of wonder. Much as you would at times lightly touch the shoulder of another person, and other times bare your whole body to her, this is how life loves us fully: by its synergistic combinations of consistency and mystery.

Life is the master apothecary, and always knows the right dose of each. Simply heed his counsel (and, yes, you might say that consistency and mystery are the drugs of life).

Listen openly and with clear ears to life’s counsel, else you may overdose. An excess of consistency produces addiction and stagnation: an excess of mystery yields confusion and aimlessness. Ultimately an overdose of either leaves you with tunnel vision and stops you in your tracks.

When this happens you must abstain from the abused drug for some time- til it grips you no longer- and turn to the neglected substance. There you shall find substance return to your life.


Embrace the Whole

Consistency and mystery are the parts. Life is the whole. When life is embraced as its whole- by whatever doses of its parts are currently prescribed (and both are always prescribed, albeit in differing amounts)- there is beauty, growth, and flow, and you will find that you are your true self: all that is.

And in what forms shall you seek consistency and mystery? These, too, are prescribed by life. For while life always has form, this form is ever-changing, and never repeats itself. This must be the case, for life is both consistency and mystery.

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