Meaning and the Whole


Why is it so hard for us to grasp reality from the perspective of the whole? Instead of trying to see the universal, the normal thing is to sink into reduced areas of reality. These are built through careful separations and the establishment of shared identities via what we are not rather than what we all are. Even the great separating factors of ideology/identity (nation, race, religion, class and gender) have to be eventually broken up into subsets of the initial divisions. Yet the paradox within each individual’s search for meaning through identity is that the more individual one is the more removed one becomes from the meaningfulness of the whole. In this way, a spiritual search for meaning in the whole can often end by trapping the individual within the separations of the religious community or sect, instilling a false-meaning because it is not embracing humanity as much as demanding that the subject embrace its own separateness.

Humans will always be alienated from humanity as long as they persist in clutching on to identities that are not the human, Sapien identity of self. It is through the abuse of the signifier which, whilst granting us the coherency that separation offers by differentiating things – by naming things – that we lose touch with meaning of the whole. In this aspect there is no more profound adage than that we cannot see the forest for the trees.

The idea of the lonely tree in the forest is an absurd one, but once we lose sight of the most meaningful revelation that we are all part of the same body, then separation can only instil us with loneliness and a xenophobic fear of that which is not of my own identity. Only by establishing a strong identity through species will a human society work as a human society.


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