Sunday, April 28, 2013

Whole systems

It seems there is an epidemic affecting the "intelligentsia" by which they increasingly neglect the systemic nature of Life. More and more often, our attention is directed to certain aspects of life - our minds, our bodies, our societies - with utter disregard for the big picture and the complete context in which events occur.

The knee bone's connected to the leg bone, but the whole skeleton is also connected to the musculature, and both are linked by the vascular network, which is integral to the respiratory and digestive system. The interconnectedness goes on - and that's just the body! The body is also intertwined with the mind, and both are influenced by the soul. Beyond one human individual, we are all participants in families, communities, societies, economies, cultures, and nations; our species shares interdependence with all the others; we all affect each other on this rock we cohabitate, and Earth is but one rock in a planetary system surrounding our Sun star, in an even greater arrangement of stellar bodies. Then, don't forget the other direction: those bones are made up of specialized cells which require communication with other cells, and which are all supported by molecular compounds made up of atoms, composed of quarks and whatnot.

When a "doctor" tells you to consume a chemical compound synthesized in a laboratory to "treat" a particular ailment, the chances are pretty high that the larger system in which your affliction is operating is being overlooked. There is good reason why happy people are healthy, and more resilient to infection. People who have strong human networks are also flourishing economically, and those who help others, want for nothing. There is more life in environments where symbiosis is made possible. Health begets health, and every aspect of our nature is networked to every other aspect. So, when you are ailing in one aspect, first see how other aspects can be better supported, before seeking "band-aid" style symptom treatment. Remember that Life is a system, comprised of interconnected systems, and that it is often a disservice to address issues head-on with side-blinders.

If you are feeling down, try getting more exercise. If your neck and shoulders are sore, practice confidence-building affirmation. If your finances are suffering, go volunteer. When we treat ourselves as systems within systems, we are more likely to discover positive results than when we treat symptoms as though they have but one direct cause. "When people go within and connect with themselves, they realize they are connected to the universe and they are connected to all living things." - Armand Dimele