WHAT IS A HOLON?

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undefinedThought is creating divisions out of itself and then saying they are there naturally. The true state of affairs in the material world is wholeness. If we are fragmented, we must blame ourselves.

Physicist David Bohm, Fellow of the Royal Society


If you are wondering what a Holon is and where you can find one, you may be surprised you don't have to go very far to find it. You are a Holon -- as is everyone and everything else in life... and death. So obviously it’s not an ’it’ like some gadget you can play with but something infinitely more. The word 'Holon' is a name given to a multi-faceted approach to non-duality explaining how everything is in relationship to everything else. It's really about understanding the relationship of parts to the whole and the whole to the parts. Sound boring?

Well it really isn’t once it sinks in. In fact, understanding the significance of this helps us appreciate the implicit abundance of every relationship in our lives, both within and without, and how we are one way or another connected with everything that is. We aren't just in relationships. We are relationship... no more feeling lonely in this universe!

Actually, it’s a very a simple idea, and yet it's not well recognized or understood by too many. Perhaps that's because it’s too simple... and why so many of the clever in their fixation with parts (specialization) and effects (symptoms). Unfortunately , many holding positions of influence in the world remain fragmented, blinded to the integrated wholeness of all that is. We seen this artificial division everywhere... politics, science, religion, education... and within ourselves. 

The following excerpts from the Elysium’s Passage series are a few of the lively discussions that took place on the subject of Holons and Integral Theory. This dialogue on 'The Summit' may help illustrate the simplicity of the basic Holon principles.

Book 1, Chapter 16

‘But let us make it clear, none of what we are saying diminishes the importance of your earthly existence, whether you considered it a happy or unhappy dream. This is why, as we’ve been saying recently, most return to earth so they might have more opportunities for spiritual advancement. And that’s another reason why this lower plane of existence is not to be negated or dismissed as having lesser value. Contextualize your life as a holon that’s continually being transcended with new facets of exquisite character that are subsumed into new holons of expansive reality.’ 

‘Holon; what in bloody hell is a holon?’ I asked. ‘I don’t ever remember hearing anything about holons.’

‘And you likely won’t in the future either,’ Mo said, ‘at least not in your educational environment, even under different name. However, we'll discuss that topic later in greater detail. For now though, think of it as a conceptual device to help understand the dynamics of the part to its whole. Each whole enfolds its parts, just as it likewise is enfolded as a part in a more inclusive whole, all the way to Source.

‘Overall, the concept provides a paradigm for how the universe is held together and how even the lower intonations of the earth plane are connected to higher dimensions of enhanced existence. In other words, it’s really about how everything fits together as one, where nothing can remain separate, even though it may seem that way at times… such as you might have felt in the past.

‘Similarly, what we’re teaching at Summit U is how to mix blending and overlay knowledge to compose new symphonies of understanding that transcend separate categories of information bits. Nothing exists except in relation to everything else, which means all the planets in the heavens and each vibratory note on the scale exists as an integral part of the dynamic of the infinite Intelligence of Source.’

 ‘I’m still a little confused what this is supposed to mean. To me, it sounds too simple to have much significance.’ 

‘It’s not at all difficult to understand,’ Mo said, ‘but analytical minds have a way of making things more complicated than they need to be. Let me give you an illustration that even a philosopher like you might understand. To make this really simple, think of a Russian Matryoshka stacking doll set where each smaller doll nests within the larger and then the next into the next and so on until you have only one large doll with all the others contained in it. Obviously, you can put a smaller doll into a larger one, but not a larger doll into a smaller one. Each larger doll transcends and includes what was contained in the next smaller one. Really, what could be simpler?’

‘No doll I’ve ever found is that simple, regardless of size,’ I said, chuckling in self- amusement.

‘That may be,’ Mo replied with an obliging smirk, ‘but with regard to the stacking dolls there is much more to the relational dynamics of the parts to the whole. We may need to set a couple of days aside to discuss all the permeations. For now though, this simple example should give you a starting point. As we often suggest, the most profound philosophical concepts are often the simplest.’

Book 1, Chapter 18 

Orthodox academia, Mo once suggested, has no integral notions because their a posteriori orientation caused them to forget, or at least neglect, what’s most obvious; that effects don’t exist without causes. This is why things fall apart when effects are viewed separately without reference to a cause. However, “what is posterior subsists as well as exists from what is prior” (one of Mo’s favourite quotes from Swedenborg).

Perhaps this is why, with this dearth of understanding, I had never heard about Arthur Koestler's and Ken Wilber's articulation of the holon concepts, even though there was an academic Chair bearing Koestler’s name endowed at Edinburgh University where I graduated.

I decided after I returned back home I would study the scores of layers of concepts enfolded in the holon until I had a firm grasp of its relational dynamics. I can say now, I tried to share some of these ideas with my colleagues, but received mainly dismissive remarks about it being too arcane for any serious consideration. From what little they had to say, I strongly doubted if any of these critics knew the first thing about these concepts, which seemed rather peculiar, since the implicit logic made a great deal of logical sense.

There was nothing that I could tell that was metaphysical about these concepts; they were completely rational in demonstrating how the universe was integrated, not fragmented. Yet this was completely contrary to the reductionist orientation, whereby they had already decided they weren’t interested in understanding the connection of the parts to the whole, or the effects with the cause.

I wouldn’t have said this before, but now it seems to me that too many Western philosophers and scientists remain stuck in the deep ruts of their own narrow holons. This is not much different than the medieval church persecuting scientists who had moved on to higher, more inclusive holons that had plenty of room for such devises as telescopes and microscopes. As things often go over the centuries, the roles between religion and science gradually swung in the other direction. Many philosophers and scientists now refuse to admit to the existence of anything that transcends the plane of their mechanistic perspectives and beliefs.

Unfortunately, by constraining their theorems to the limited capacity of their Holon, they have chosen to ignore the spiritual phenomena contained in more inclusive holons. Rather than allow for what might exist outside their exclusivist/reductionist Holon, they shut down all debate. Eli said this was due to their insecurity in dismissing the very Source of their being. This is also why they are so eager to proclaim to the world that anything outside their purview is pseudoscientific and therefore untrue.

As Mo often said, the greater the smugness, the greater the ignorance, which is why the Flatlands remains so flat and continues to become flatter all the time. I didn’t know specifically what he meant until I later visited a virtual representation of the Flatlands, which I’ll tell about in my next narrative.

Book 2, Chapter 3

Like we’ve often talking about, it’s the holon thing that so few seem to understand on earth, though it could hardly be simpler. As we’ve said before, once you understand the holon principle, you’ll have a better idea of how everything in the universe is related. Even simple arithmetic shows this at its most elementary level. Number 4 has 1, 2 and 3 contained in it, but number 2 only has 1 contained and so it can’t deduce 3 or 4 from its 2 position. Or an IQ of 160 has the ability to perform at the capacity of 100, but an IQ of 100 doesn’t have the capacity to perform at 160. 100 is contained in 160 but 160 is not contained in 100.

‘To take this to a more complex level, as we’ve said before, the cube implicitly contains within it the lower dimensions of plane, line and point. And so these parts remain preserved within their greater identity. A solid third dimension cube transcends each of these lower dimensions of the point, line and plane. In fact, without the cube, none of other dimensions have a material existence of their own, no more than we can exist without being part of our Source. That’s why a point can’t know the cube on its own, any more than the line or plane because they are parts of the whole, in this case, the cube.

Again, it’s the higher than knows the lower, not the other way around.  The whole knows all about the part, the part cannot know the whole. So what we know of God as the ‘Infinite Whole,’ is only what is disclosed to us in the divine relationship, but we, being limited to the finite experience can never comprehend the Infinite. These may be very crude examples, but I think you get the point.

Book 2, Chapter 6

‘Recently,’ he said, ‘we’ve given a fair amount of consideration to the topic of relationships, which has taken on some keen interest for you ever since our clandestine visit with Julianne the other night. However, I’d now like to re-examine the various holon concepts we discussed a while back. I think this may be helpful to providing you with a more comprehensive understanding of the implicit dynamics of any relationship.

‘As we’ve said before, everything in the Infiniverse is a relationship of parts to the whole where the whole is never just a whole, but also a part of a greater whole, all the way to the infinite Source. And though there’s much we could say on this that goes far beyond what we’ve previously addressed, I’d like to focus primarily on the spirit body’s relation to the material earth body. This might help you appreciate the coherence that exists between these domains.

‘So to help illustrate this, think of the trillions of cells comprising your earthly body. How can these cells know what it’s like to be an organ even though an organ is, regardless of its function, a unique pattern of billions of these same cells? Rather than bothering to examine the intricate relationship of the micro-parts to the whole of each cell, we might ask, in the other direction, how this organ can know its relationship with the complete body that involves several organs. Each of these function in their own way, and yet not on their own since they need each other to exist. For example, the liver functions in its own way, and yet requires a heart in the body for it to function.

‘Then, to take this reasoning to the next step, how can your body in the hospital know its relationship with its spirit body. It doesn’t – at least not on its own. Each cell, each organ and each body is a holon on to itself that is a part contained in a more inclusive holon; the cell in the organ, the organ in the body, and the body in the spirit. In turn, the spirit is part of a larger dynamic of holons within the spheres of the cosmos.

‘And yet, mysteriously, each part contains the imprint of the whole within it, as illustrated by the whole holographic image appearing in any isolated part of the hologram. In this way each cell has the information of what it is contained in, be it the whole of the organ, body or spirit. And so the communication flows continues such that what is occurring in the thoughts of the mind is sensed by each cell. When the mind is not at ease, the cells can become dis-eased, cancer being one such pathology.

‘As an example of this interconnectivity,’ he continued, ‘we may examine the hologram of a human figurine and see the whole figure in any supposedly isolated part, even within a finger. We may even consider the whole Multiverse as being holographic in nature.[2] That’s why it may be said that God is never far from us because the Source’s divine energy has been extended to all creation through the light forms that manifest and re-manifest within God’s thoughts for all eternity. And so, as we discussed yesterday, nothing can be isolated from the only true Source which extends into all creation, not even humanity when it mistakenly believes itself to be separate.

'Take a look at yourself; you’ve already transcended your fall guy holon into a higher, or should I say, more inclusive holon, ever since you were caught up in your spiritual body’s updraft. And now the professor and child within him are contained in what you’ve now become in this octave. And who knows what other transcending holon who may emerge into next.

But whatever it is, it will always be something more than what you were, without ever diminishing what you were… a child, an adolescent, a sailor, a student and most recently, a professor. Though transcended, they remain contained in this more inclusive holon that you now have become as an unobstructed spirit.

Everyone is drawn to transcend their station, since expansion is the nature of the Infiniverse. Yes, it may be resisted and often this prompt is, yet souls remember their Source since they are of Source. Eventually, and for some it may take millennia, every soul progresses towards their divine Self; the accomplished Christ within. That’s what inspired you to ascend your Mountain at this time.

And now that you’ve made it this far, you will likely find yourself being attracted to those who likewise have ascended to a higher frequency. As you inwardly move towards their octave, you will become more at one with them because you share in the affections of their higher consciousness, no matter where they might be to be found on earth or in the outer cosmos. Likes attract likes, and so everyone tends to aggregate within the element of their mutually shared holon. And so now, as you reside in this dimension of consciousness, you will notice how you are drawn to the frequencies of those patterned in the image of Elysium and not that of the world… even when your return.


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I think the reason we have problems understanding the unified nature of relationships is that we are have things backwards. We are in the habit of perceiving life from without rather than from within; the material rather than the spiritual. Therefore, we see only what's before us, i.e. the effects, rather than relationship to the whole. Of course, where the transcending (God) Source is denied, understading the integrated nature of cause and effect; parts and the whole, becomes a logical challenge.

To help illustrated this, in the second novel of Elysium's Passage, called Surreal Adventures, there's an academic land called the Flatlands where they refuse to acknowledge the existence of anything related to transcendence. This is why their perception of everything is flat, including their education. Such closed thinking sums up much of the West's superficilaity. This is inevitable when it is not recognized that everything is integrated vertically and horizontally. (Hierarchical and heterarchical). Relationship, as we expereince it, occures at the point of intersection. Fragmentation results in our understanding about everything in life when we refuse to see the unity implicit in all. Parts remain isolated parts and effects remain detached effects without an ultimate cause.

However, once the principles of the Holon integration are understood, one becomes aware of how everything in the universe is held, entanged and enfolded within the greater whole. This is the implicit nature of the throbbing inter-dynamics in all relationships. It is never static, but alive, forever spinning and expanding for all time, outside time.   

As I've already said, our materialistic culture often remains fragmented because we don’t recognize that the Infinivere* of micro and macro parts invariable remain in relationship to the greater whole, just as the part's whole is likewise a part of a still more inclusive whole that goes all the way back to the Source of all that is.

Many continue to live their lives feeling alone, without purpose or meaning, simply because they don't understand how they are an integral part of the community of all that is, whether in heaven or on earth. When properly understood, the Holon concept may help a lonely soul see their lives differently. Rather than feeling fearful and disempowered on the sidelines, they may see the importance of their part in the loving dance of life. We all belong here, even when we, in existential despair, believe we don't. 

I'm not saying a rational understanding of the Holon principles is a substitute for having this sense of belongingness, but it may help. After all, the heart needs the mind as much as the mind the heart. I only wish to demonstrate the implicit nature of relationships from a philosophical foundation. These Holon principles of transcendence and envelopment will help us better appreciation that we are not just fleshly objects living out our few years on earth without meaning, but that we are spiritual beings in relationship to all that exists. This is especially so when we are aware we are not in just a passive relationship with the universal community, but active spiritual participants in it. 

On this point, I will once again quote David Bohm: "The world cannot be analyzed into separate and independently existing parts – moreover each part somehow involves all the others: contains them or enfolds them. This fact suggests that the sphere of ordinary material life and the sphere of mystical experiences have a certain shared order and that this will allow a fruitful relationship between them."  

Or to put it more succinctly in the words of G I Gurdjieff, "everything is connected and cannot exist without the other."

It seems, however, that there are few in the academic commuity that wish to take these concepts seriously. Perhaps this is a result of many remaining preoccupied with their a posteriori universe of effects. To counter this, I wish to do my part in illustrating a more holistic (Holon) awareness of life through the narratives of the Elysum's Passage novel series. Perhaps ths will help many appreciate how we are all vital participants in life’s immortal tapestry. 

In any case, this enlightened approach to the hidden dynamics of relations is probably best illustrated in Ken Wilber’s book; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution. This book is generally regarded as the most exhaustive work on the topic of Holons. In fact, an acclaimed literary review recently considered it to be one of the four most important books of the 20th century, along with Aurobindo’s The Divine Life, Heidegger’s Being and Time and Whitehead's Process and Reality. This Holon principle is further explained in Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything.

It wasn't Ken Wilber, however, who formulated the original concept, but rather Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), who coined this term ‘Holon’ in his book The Ghost in the Machine (1967). After his passing, The Koestler Parapsychology Unit was established at the University of Edinburgh in 1985.

Let me also suggest that the Holon idea can be an effective approach to helping someone appreciate the idea of ‘God’ in terms that may be more rational than what is generally found in religion.

When God is perceived as the transcendent Whole-Source of all being-ness,’ suddenly “thingness” begins to look rather silly. The Holon idea helps one to comprehend that God exists, not as an isolated being, but rather the Source and divine extension in all that is. God is not an object out there, but the divine essence subsiding within all that is. What greater, ultimate meaning could there be in understanding why divine love, (the glue of the universe), is intrinsic to relationships?

Certain scientists, such as evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and the late physicist Stephan Hawking, have often pronounced, with much fanfare, that there is no God. Some prominent atheists seem to take delight in mocking God (and all believers, for that matter) by caricaturizing God as a hapless god-being created in man’s flawed image.

Possibly there would be fewer atheists if there was a rudimentary appreciation of the implicit dynamic between the finitude of parts and the Infinite whole. When properly understood, some of the cleverness might lose its import and significance with an informed, non-dualistic recognition of reality. It should be obvious a god of ‘thingness’ can’t exist as an object existing ‘out there’ since such a notion is too small and ludicrous for what must be, of logical necessity, inclusive of all reality, both latent and existing.

Let me say though, as much as I often find Dawkins arrogant, obnoxious, and foolish, I have to agree with him when he says: “If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed.” Most definitely I agree with him on that much. In fact I would take it one step further and say not merely “any religion ever proposed” but rather “any religion can propose.”

The 16th French scientist, Blaise Pascal wrote: “Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere." Unlike Einstein, and other great minds of the past century, many modern scientists such as Hawking remain fixated on nature as the sole explanation for reality. Perhaps that’s why it such scientists seem to deify nature as something far more than it is; perceiving it as an evolutionary mechanism displacing God while masquerading nature as the causal Source of all that is, including itself.

However, for those who haven’t confirmed themselves in such materialistic idolatry, the Holon concept might cause some to recognize that the greater reality lies beyond things outwardly perceived. Much as Pascal stated above, C.S. Lewis wrote in his science fiction novel, Perelandra: “there seems no centre because it is all centre; there seems no plan because it is all plan.” 

Indeed, such is the essence of reality when properly understood as relational in nature. All is interconnected and enfolded in Oneness, or as many quantum physicists have come to recognize – “entangled.” Of course, a scientist whose mind is conditioned to consider only the ‘a posterior,’ will have difficulty in understanding this. But for those few who are willing, it is possible to recognize the holographic wholeness of all that is.

Again, as Pascal once wrote, "there is enough for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who are contrary minded."

I’ll give the final word to Emanuel Swedenborg, one of the world’s greatest scientist and philosopher. To all scientists, naturalists and nature worshippers of the 17th Century, and all those yet to come, he had this to say: 

"Those who deduce the creation of the world from any source than the Divine Love by means of Divine Wisdom, and who do not know that these two constitute the Divine Essence, descend from rational to ocular vision, and greet nature as the creator of the universe, and consequently bring forth phantoms. The thoughts from which they reason are fantasies – these cannot be called minds but eyes and ears without understanding, or thoughts without a soul --- deriving derivatives as primitives and effects as causes. Thus they turn everything upside down, lull to sleep the watchful powers of reason and see nothing but dreams." (Divine Love and Wisdom

* The word Infiniverse is a conjunctive term sometimes used when speaking of what is called the infinity of the universe. This concept, or something like it, has been referred to as the Multiverse or Many Worlds theorem by certain physicists such as John Wheeler.

** A posteriori reasoning is inductive or derivative from observed facts, whereas a priori reasoning is deductive or presumptive rather than observatory. Or, to put it simply, what is prior relates to cause, what is posterior relates to effect. The Big Bang theorem would be one such example of what's a priori that often not treated as such. What caused it? To apply a posteriori extrapolations into time is dubious at best, especially when positing a credible a priori explanation… just my opinion.)

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The following comments are among the first Amazon reviews of Elysium’s Passage: The Summit. All are Five Stars! Others reader reviews are included below, along with excerpts from two professional reviews. To read full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com

"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…"

"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture and humour; Mr. Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”

“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"

“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing, but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”

“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting, yet calming, experience that is not to be missed."

"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters, kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."

 “N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."

“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”

“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous thought provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humor together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”

“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”

“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.

“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr. Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”

“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)

“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.”  (CLARION REVIEW)

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CONTACT INFORMATION

WEBSITE: www.elysiumspassage.com

FACEBOOK: Elysium's Passage Novel Series, Elysium's Passage Public Group page, Elysium's Passage Author's Page, or to my personal page Neil Meyers

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LINKEDIN: Neil Meyers

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