Most medicines were developed by isolating the main active chemical of a very useful plant or herb and synthesising it so it can be patented and artifically produced in mass quantities, ignoring the fact that the healing properties of most herbs are best obtained from using the whole plant.
In nature, the quality of the whole is usally much greater than the sum of its separate parts. All too often, modern civilization, seems to be built on the opposite concept, that certain very clashing parts are more important than the whole, and is filled with “solutions” based on “nature dominating” fragmented thinking. The automobile, for instance, works well at getting one around until far too many other cars are also out on the road blocking its way, forcing more and more roads and freeways into construction until the environment is nothing but vast construction of congested roads, buildings and freeways with air no longer a pleasure to breathe, thanks to limited, non-ecological, fragmented thinking.
Instead of recycling tree and garden waste into valuable compost that could be used for organic farming, it is packed into near-by landfills where the overflow of garbage is already a great burden. In bankrupt third-world contries, rainforests are being burned down to make way for grazing and growing sugar cane. No vegetarian in his or her right mind would have much use for beef or sugar. “Gas guzzleing” incandescent light bulbs are burned where more efficient energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs could be used at 1/4th the cost of electricity.
When will solar-charged fuelcelled cars ever appear on the road? Think solar power is an inefficient way to recharge electric cars? How many cars are left parked out in the hot sun all day? It is incredible that everyone is not yet driving cars running on split water molecules or hydrogen powered by the sun. Why is living around or near an airport still so annoying? When are all governments ever going to wake up and see the “Population Connection” and stop the exploding birthrates in third world countries? It is high time for changes in the right direction!
The workings of modern civilzation are based on what is now a very bad idea personified in the seventeenth century by Francis Bacon that nature is to be “hounded in her wonderings,” “bound into service,” “put into constraint,” made a “slave” and to “torture nature’s secrets from her.” This reflects a “patiarchal” value system, the way man as a limited, selfish ego, tends to want to dominate and control everything. Thus, mankind has two tendencies to overcome: “solving” problems with fragmented reasoning, and the desire to control and dominate. Frujif Capra goes on to say:
“These violent images of nature as a female whose secrets have to be tortured from her with the help of mechanical devices is strongly suggestive of the torture of women in the witch trials of the seventeenth century, which were very familiar to Bacon, who was attorney general for King James I. So here we have a crucial and frightening connection between mechanistic science and patriarchal values, which had a tremendous impact on the further development of science and technology.” (2)
Western thinking, dominated by the above mentioned human tendency, is putting humanity on a collision course with nature, and with himself. With overpopulation combined with the threat of global warming and eventual flooding of vast areas of land, we are all going to be in very serious trouble. Until humankind is in harmony with the long-term consequenses of his actions, his very survival will be challanged over and over again by very brutal forces.
A similar version of this article The Whole Is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts can be found here: Science of Wholeness News Journal.
(2) The Tao of Physics © 1999 by Fritjof Capra, page 335. Shambala Publications, Inc.