Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The whole

'The whole is always more than, and different to the sum of its parts.'

Very similar to a well known Aristotle quote, but these words come from a Makewen book which illustrates Gestalt theory and psychotherapy (Gestalt meaning 'the whole')

I have been meaning to put these words in this blog for about a week now but haven't quite found the words (or time!) to do justice to their meaning. It's a philosophical way of thinking about human beings in a similar process to that of science, systems, and art. As human beings, there is a quality and essence associated with who we are. We cannot be reduced to our components; something more emerges when viewed as a whole. When human beings are viewed from this perspective, I like that it makes it near impossible to pathologise. We are always more than a heart, a body, and a soul. We are more than a list of defined characteristics and personality traits. We are more than our past and present experiences. We are more than our struggles and our triumphs. We are more than the clothes we wear and the shoes we put on our feet. We are more than the house we occupy, the surname we have, and the jobs we acquire. We are more than than all of our parts put together. We are more than we realise.

I like to read these words, not only because I'm a student and trainee therapist with a somewhat extensive reading list! But also because they have meaning in a bigger picture.

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