One of the main shifts in our understanding of science involves complementarity, or balance. What do we mean when we say we want to become whole?
In essence, we really mean we want to be happy. We want to be fulfilled, on the inside and the outside. We want to strike a balance between being and doing, between helping others and helping ourselves.
We can see how the law of balance affects everything else. The easiest way to look at it is a global perspective. Is it not apparent that our earth is out of balance? One half of our world is starving, diseased and dying, whilst the other half is affluent and often obese. Is it not correct that our world is essentially unhealthy and unbalanced?
What we so tragically see at a global level is interconnected with ourselves at the social and even individual level. How many times have you heard someone say well, on the one hand I would really like to, but I don’t think I can? Or even a person who advocates well being and then over-indulges on a regular basis?
This level of unbalance is not only damaging on a physical level, but also a mental and emotional level. Essentially, we can look at it as a split between the head and the heart. Lets go back to the global level again. If we had a ‘head’ relationship to our earth, we can dominate it, rationally control it for our means, and disconnect ourselves from it. However, if we had a ‘heart’ relationship to our world, then we would feel as if the earth was a part of us, and have a rich and meaningful connection to it. Is it possible to see how we are currently out of balance here in the West?
New research has shown that rather than our head and our heart being separate from each other, they actually depend on each other. Rollin McCraty at the Institute of HeartMath has conducted a wealth of research demonstrating the interconnectedness between the heart and brain. They have devised technology that can prove that positive emotions generate physiological order and harmony within the body.
The brain and the heart are in constant communication with each other. It’s also been proven that the heart has neurones within it, which some call the ‘little brain’ within the heart. Our heart also secretes hormones, one of which being oxytocin, the hormone produced when we are in love.
Our hearts thus appear to have their own unique intelligence and studies by HeartMath have shown that when our hearts are in balance with our minds- i.e. we feel contented and happy- then this affects our brain- our ability to think and process information.
This harmonic relation between the brain and the heart can lead us to achieve greater health at all levels. The division between thinking and feeling dissolves in a Whole Science view of health, as what we feel is aligned with what we think and vice versa.
Understanding that balance is vital to both our health and our happiness leads to a shift in our actions on a global scale. Our over-emphasis on a rational relationship to the world has disconnected our emotions from the world. We now treat the earth as if it is a commodity to be used, rather than a home which nurtures and feeds us.
Many Eastern cultures have focused on cultivating heart-based relationships based on compassion, care and love. They place an emphasis on being, rather than doing, and use contemplation and reflection to solve life’s problems.
You could say that here in the West we live in the opposite way- primarily using our head, cultivating relationships based on reason, function and logic. We place an emphasis on doing, rather than being, and rationally plan and order to solve life’s problems.
In a balanced, whole perception of health, neither way is correct, as it denies the importance of the other. The myth that feeling and thinking are somewhat opposed is counteracted in the interconnected view of Whole Science.
This view of complementarity is not a new idea. Integrating the qualitative and quantitative aspects of ourselves is advocated by many spiritual traditions.
To begin to use our heart as well as our head allows us to be more authentic as people-more true to ourselves and what we want. It also enables us to become more whole, becoming free of inner conflicts as we match our inner world with our outer- our feelings with our actions. What would happen if you applied this Whole Science principle to your life?
Copyright 2008 Whole Science ©
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