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Understanding Holism: How it May Form a Basis
for Understanding Many Other Things

By Dr Paul Freinkel


The symbiosis of Entropy and Holism is not new to man's thinking. The Kabalah referencing the biblical verse (Genesis 1:2) "and the earth was formless (tohu) and void," describes two symbiotic, parallel processes of reality that take place in the unfolding of creation; Tohu - chaos or entropy; and Tikkun - restitution or organization. Neither can exist alone. Tikkun requires the energy of Tohu and Tohu requires the organization of Tikkun. When together Tohu and Tikun raise the world to completeness9 . In Greek mythology, Prometheus steals fire from the gods and with it brings civilization to mankind10 , not only because the conscious use of fire sets man apart from animals and because it keeps them away, but because fire involving the burning (disordering) of an organic chemical system we choose to call fuel, fuels the complex organization of society. The increase in entropy in burning wood (glucose) decreases the entropy of the people warming themselves at the fireside. The organization and existence of western style civilization relies on the massive increase in entropy (fuel burning) taking place at the local electrical power station. It also relies on the humble potato meal recently eaten and metabolized by the power station staff. The human body burns (metabolizes) the glucose of its food to maintain its own structures and the meta-systems dependent thereon. The process of burning wood and metabolizing food is very similar in that both oxidize glucose11 . Every human being quite literally has a fire inside. The myths of the Eskimos and others well understood holism's dependence on disorder in another. Cross culturally fire making symbolizes the sex act. The socket stick symbolizes the male, the spindle symbolizes the female and the emergent flame symbolizes the newly generated life12 . Fire is almost synonymous with life as we know it. Given the right conditions, life will balance entropy and create itself.