A Slice of What ‘Wholeness’ Means

‘Wholeness’ is among the growing list I have of words and phases that are thrown around but possibly not deeply discussed nor fully understood. I don’t claim I have a full understanding of wholeness, but here’s a perhaps deeper discussion of it!

First, this is what I think people mean when they mention wholeness: Some therapeutic, wellness, or education institutes will talk about honoring the “wholebeing” or the “whole person.” This is great because it acknowledges and takes into consideration the larger spectrum of our experience, through body, mind, and spirit/soul/what have you. More commonly you see people referring to their partners or best friends as their “other half” or indicate feeling more “complete” with them around. Similarly, I agree that I feel “whole” when I’m doing something I love, among people I love, through creativity, traveling to connect with the unfamiliar, and ultimately when I’m fully present in my body.

All of this, I suppose, is a sense of fulfillment, lasting or fleeting. Feeling whole for many of us is likely when we are effortlessly authentic. Fulfillment seems like a chase. Some people may not reflect on it until their death bed. Too often it’s seen as something that happens on a condition, “if” or “when.” Without the chase or the meaning making behind all that we do, to be content can feel like settling. We compare ourselves to others’ accomplishments to build a “fuller” life. Full lives? Great! Comparing? Eh. The danger is seeing that anything less is unfinished or incomplete.  

Are we parts and fragments? This is where a little more perception comes in. A quick origin of wholeness study is Jung’s work. Much of Jung’s most influential work is his study of wholeness. We all in some form long for it. The development of archetypes and interest in religion was said to be ways in which we attempt to be whole. We tend to perceive things as parts dependent on each other. Good and bad, light and dark, Yin and Yang, etc. are a few of the dualities we hold. To be balanced is to have two sides of a scale. Harmony is merging to a middle or overlap. 

From canva

Wholeness can also come from belonging to something larger. For some people that involves the pride in your home country. For others, it’s joining the military or faith in a religion. It can get smaller and smaller, like sport teams, sorority/fraternity, hometown, anything related to community interests. Inclusivity is also found through the internet; there’s something for everyone! The greatest wholeness from a larger collective I feel is living as a being in the web of life and nature. The tiny speck that I am in a multiverse.

There are so many places I could go from that paragraph. Group culture, social psychology, the entity of the internet, and the feelings of oneness. All major, and possibly budding topics for another post. In attempt to stay on track, I will say that something to think about is to be a part of something is to see ourselves as apart

From canva

Most of our drives, repressed or expressed, come from the drive for wholeness. Is it a destination? Personally, I think wholeness is an illusion. We create the idea of it, the idea that we are separate, the idea that we need more to be complete. Of course, I’m an advocate for individuality. A big reason I am is because if we are going to live in a world where we only see the differences between us, even resent the differences, then we might as well embrace the uniqueness we see.

However, to really feel whole is to acknowledge that it is already in you. That sounds lonely and separate (with undertones of Glinda The Good Witch), but going inward is how we begin to see similarities, interconnection. I think that is as close as we can get to wholeness. To assume completion is to deny the cycles of existence and the world turning.

In a world of measuring, know that you are not fraction. If you like this page, please share it!

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