The word “holistic” nowadays is mainly used in relation to health and ecology but in terms of evolution, a fundamental principle of the universe is the creation of “wholes” - complete and self contained systems from the atom to the most complex forms of life. On the physical level our bodies contain a series of holistic structures encompassed in a greater whole; a body directed by the brain and mind.
Holistic structures are not confined to biology. All stable complex structures display holistic organisation irrespective of whether they are living organisms, social systems or systems of thought. The thoughts of most people embrace several holistic patterns of self contained thinking. Some of these patterns of thinking can be contradictory to others.
A holistic approach is one based on a perceived whole within which each part serves the ends of the whole. A characteristic of any whole is that it has boundaries for without boundaries how can it be whole.
The word “spiritual” is of ancient origin and has acquired many meanings. A spiritual approach is one that identifies with all encompassing, ever expanding creative consciousness. Within it is all; no separations, no limitations, no value judgements other than those that foster the development of life and the awareness of all that exists.
A spiritual approach includes all those that cannot distinguish between the spiritual and the holistic. These are people living within a world view that they believe is whole. They see other people living in world views different from that of their own and because of that difference, they place these people outside of their self imposed boundaries. Characteristically the holders of limited holistic concepts describe themselves and their system of thought in the most flattering language, ascribing to themselves all that is good and true. This leaves them with at best words of tolerance and at worst words of enmity for those outside their bounded whole.
Holistic leaders are not uncommon. Some have no difficulty in finding among their followers people who can be convinced that they serve their holistic view best by the destruction of those who don’t share it.
True spiritual leaders are rare, their task fraught with utmost difficulty, for it is that of widening the awareness of individuals beyond the confines of holistic view. This involves a radical unravelling of habits and ways of thinking previously regarded as immutable, yet it is a task in which we all can share, by making effort to discern within ourselves whether our actions originate within the limitation of holistic thought. By changing these actions we can play a part in the awakening of the planet.