Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Value of Holistic & Integral Thought now

I went to the library and when there's nothing specific I want I kinda let synchronicity guide me, I found two books which are very interesting so far. Abraham Maslow's Religion, Values and Peak Experiences, and dutch author Hans R. Vincent's Our World View and Integral Thought - In Search for Unity of Religion, Philosophy and Science. It describes loads of reality tunnels and therefore is very helpful in understanding the world better and finetuning your model of reality. I'll post from Maslow later, here's a translated excerpt from Hans R. Vincent's book, which is about the value of Holistic & Integral Thought right now:
In modern philosophy too has been sought for the fundamentals of a new way of living and thinking. Most authors lack a recognition of the spiritual dimension of life. Though Sartre doesn't only concern himself with society, but also with individual consciousness. The question where that consciousness came from, is not or barely asked by him. That question does not belong to the "existential". Marcuse speaks of 'awareness' and about 'reason', but in a societal context. Fromm includes psychology in his testimonies, but avoids the spiritual dimension as much as possible, although he didn't reject it at all.
There are other, more culture philosophical oriented streamings, that have criticism on our western society because of the prevalent materialistic thinking and life style. This is not only a big limitation for the individual man, because he does not know his own nature, but it is also harmful for man and his relations with his fellow man and nature.
Because of the one-sided emphasis on production and consumption, people become each others competitors. Our 'open' society stimulates the struggle for social status, wealth and power. What is being called self development is not that humanitarian. There is also insufficient attention for the consequences of our life style in the Third World, for the damage to the natural environment and the consequences thereof for humanity in its totality.
The criticism towards materialism is found mostly in the philosophical streaming, that takes an integral or holistic approach. This streaming is much less known in academic circles than existentialism or neo-marxism and that's a pity. Because precisely in this present time with its social-psychological and ecological problems a lot more attention should be paid to integral and holistic thought.

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