Mên-An-Tol, or the ‘holed stone’ in Cornish, is a neolithic monument in West Penwith, Cornwall, England. It is the only known upright circular standing stone with a hole in the middle ( but really a torus) that is big enough to crawl through, and which is straddled on either side of its faces by marker stones. Cornish legend says Mên-An-Tol is magical and has curative properties when you pass through its centre. To me Mên-An-Tol represents a ‘holistic’ view of the Universe that pre-dates science but which is even more relevant today in our (godless?) fragmented scientific-materialist world.

With the relatively recent publishing of David Bohm’s Wholeness and the Implicate Order in 1980, it is only possible to explain our observations of the fundamentals of the Universe, ie quantum physics, in a holistic way. ‘Mind’ and ‘matter’ are not separate, neither are ‘content’ and ‘process’, nor even are the observer and the observed. Speaking as a biologist and not a physicist like Bohm, Jean Piaget’s fundamental components of Adaptation: ‘assimilation’ and ‘accommodation’ that describe the ‘process’ of life, and the ‘equilibration’ of an organism with its environment , follows the same holistic pattern of flows and processes, not concrete states (aka scientifically observable snapshots). Along with such integrated and reciprocating natural systems like respiration and photosynthesis, each being a reversal of the other and perfected as two parts completing a whole integrated movement, we can see the fundamental aspect of life is one of interdependent flow, a whole unbroken flowing movement in an holistic ‘unfolding’ Universe. Should we not then apply an holistic and integrated approach and world view to our work, our learning, our thoughts, speech and behaviour. True integration is what the mind seeks within itself where consciousness (as conscious awareness) brings the unconscious (archetypal) to life and in doing so promotes healing, wholeness and a deeper understanding of ourselves and our relation to each other and the planet as a whole.

David Bohm talks about the fragmentation of science as an expression of the fragmentation of knowlege which is itself an expression of the fragmentation of human thought, thought that is constrained and conditioned by language and (internal) ‘verbalisation’. Such is the problem with ‘language’, it is indirect description and interpretation. Mystics and gurus from the beginning of recorded time tell us that our creativity, spontaneity and connectedness comes from ‘the ground of being’, the fundamental space or potentiality out of which reality unfolds. This suggests that our thoughts are actually beyond words and often societally conditioned down to the lower order reality of language.

Consider the limitations of language, it describes but cannot experience. I can see and experience a painting but when I try to describe it in words, the result is a lower order experience ! If thought is solely bound to verbalised and (internalised) language it is not possible to enter a higher order state of consciousness and awareness and achieve integration of the lower order structures. Meister Eckhart repeatedy spoke of the unlimited potential of the “free mind”. Transcendence by stepping outside and beyond ourselves in the pursuit of the will of God sets us and sees us in our true perspective and relation, something that is not possible or recognisable from within the ‘frame of reference of a limited and separated ‘ego’. You cannot fix a problem from within its own order of reality, but only from a higher state of self awareness (or perspective). This is entirely why Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy is so successful and relevent.

Science is a linguistic ‘description’ of the observation of phenomena (‘perception’), its results, limits, method and validity are constrained by the act and mechanisms of observing, (giving rise to no truths, just theories) just like in Quantum Physics and in our verbalised conscious thought! Art on the other hand, in its ‘creativity’ is an intuitive expression of being (an ‘experience’ comprising no theories, just truth). Art tends to reflect the inherent divinity in Man who is caught up in ‘spirit’ whereas Science reflects the inherent materialism in Man who is caught up in ‘matter’. By integrating these two aspects of our humanity ( emotion and logic) through the integration of our divided brains we can go beyond words and evolve an holistic higher consciousness combining the focus and reasoning of the conscious mind with the awareness and power of the unconscious mind. Removing faulty or irrelevent conditioning releases bound emotion and energy from trauma which otherwise stresses the organism by being in a higher, un-naturally ‘charged’ state (much like an electron) and thus causes its dis-ease and degeneration.

Best wishes

Paul Vallance