Whereby “separated parts” maintain relatedness in a single system.
- The entire known universe consists of a single system of relatedness with a common ancestry in the “big bang”.
Relatedness of this reality can be understood, at least in part, in terms of patterns of cause and effects, whereby the movements of an aspect within this reality cause the surrounding aspects to react (effects).
A “cause” and it’s “effects” can be thought of as the perfectly inviolable and “division-absent” relationship between “physical” aspects of reality, such that any “movement” by any “part” results in a corresponding accommodation to this movement by the surrounding reality, which is of absolute precision.
This is inevitable, since it is all one reality.
One example is the activity of cause and effect between water molecules resulting in the transmission of waves through the communicating medium of water. More generally, “cause” and “effects” of all kinds represent direct continuation of transmission through the communicating medium of physical reality.
Since the precision of accommodation between the various movements of physical reality is absolute, so too therefor is this transmission throughout the communicating medium as a whole.
No “thing” exists as a “separate unified whole”. Rather various expressions arise and fade in accommodation with the wider flow.
The nature of separation between a “thing” and “everything else” is never absolute, but rather some zone of interaction between the two categories.
Within “itself”, any “thing” is also comprised only of relationships between smaller “things” which are themselves comprised of further relationships between even smaller things such as DNA … molecules … atoms and … so on…. Down to the scale where “thing” is no longer a meaningful concept.
In other words, this one whole system of relationship is divided into aspects of reality (“things”) which appear “connected” as an appearance of “unified selfness” within themselves, but “separated” from everything else.
It is both this internal relatedness, and the appearance of separation from everything else which gives them this quality of “unified selfness”.
Any point of relationship between such aspects of reality is however one occurrence with two names: it can be characterized as either connection or separation.
For example the moon and earth are separated by space and connected by gravity.
Such understanding incorporates connectedness between the thought systems of “holism” and “reductionism”, since any decision to understand a “thing” in one or other of these terms is a decision to emphasize it as either separate from or connected to the rest of reality.
If a system is interpreted as being “separate” from the surrounding reality, then the mind is likely to understand it as the relationship between it’s smaller parts (i.e. reductionistic-ally).
If the relationship between this system and the surrounding reality is interpreted as an area of connection, or if the connection is viewed as relevant or important, then the mind will consider the system in terms of it’s place within the wider whole (holistically).
The reality is that any system which is a sub group of the whole system of reality is simultaneously both.
Holistic systems regard the interactive functioning of the system’s “parts”.
“Reductionistic” systems such as machinery can also only function through the interactive functioning of “parts” and the resulting entity is only of use for relating to the wider reality.
Either pattern cannot be interpreted to mean that anything can occur outside relationship.
Further, if one considers the absolute impermanence of the various appearances of “unified wholeness” over time, and that the various appearances flow into other appearances only through intimate relationship with the surrounding aspects of reality which are not the appearance, it is clear that the notions of “separate form” and “unified self form” are more correctly viewed as an appearance analogous to a flowing cloud rather than any stable division of “thingness” and “non thingness”.
In other words, the processes by which a “thing” becomes a “thing”, is maintained as a “thing”, and then inevitably ceases to “be” a “thing”, all come about through this process of relatedness.
Although the concept of a “thing” is not always meaningful, and never fully meaningful, the concept of “relationship” is.
In other words, although reality is composed of appearances of separation and connection and manifest “things” that are never absolute, the precision by which each appearance accommodates to everything else is.
All this can be summed up as follows: The nature of any aspect of reality can be understood only through it’s relationship to the remaining aspects.
The extent to which reality cannot be separated into “separate unified whole” components, is directly correlated with the extent to which the “environment” of this “separate unified whole” cannot be clearly delineated either.
This has major implications for any enquiry into the nature of relatedness between aspects of reality such as evolution, or supply and demand.
The two categories (self and environment) are in a real sense meaningless since all change is merely the interactions of a single system.
They are however a useful distinction to particular aspects of reality (us and the biological aspects of reality in general), to the extent that the experience of not being transmissions within the communicating medium of one reality seems real, and to the extent that our interactions with reality are based upon this premise.
In order to apply these categorizations to non organism physical reality in general, any change to any aspect of reality would have to be simultaneously labelled change to a “self”, and “environmental fluctuation” since there would be no reasonable grounds for making a distinction.
For example the perspective regarding what constitutes “movement of self”, and what constitutes “environmental fluctuation” are very different from the “point of view” of a meteor, and that of the planet which it strikes.
- If no “separate unified thing” exists, then mathematics can only consist of methods for tracking relationship at least in so far as they are used to track the relatedness of reality. This includes numbers, except for possibly the number one representing the entirety of reality.
Mathematics can only link what we know to what we don’t via relationship: between what we know about what is on one side of a sign such as an “=” with what occurs on the other.
Copyright © 2013 by Peter Sillifant