Holistic Living: The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts

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“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Holistic living refers to making choices based on the concept of holism: that the value of the whole of an entity is greater than the sum of its parts.

Author Mark Penn (he coined the phrase “Soccer Moms”) has described our current society as one that has become more and more willing to design our personal life based on our beliefs.

There has been a continually expanding and powerful trend occurring with people looking for a more holistic lifestyle. People are looking to looking to live a fuller, more complete life.  Gone are the days of Oliver Stone’s classic movie “Wall Street,” featuring cut-throat workaholics as heroes.  Work-obsessed stock traders seem like a distant past as much as bell bottoms and disco balls.

Today, people are seeking out a more balanced success.  A positive work life with a balanced family life with personal happiness is the new goal.  And that starts with health.

Living things are holistic by nature.  The energy in a living system is not one that can be created by its parts.  Seventy percent water, 20 percent minerals, 10 percent protein, fat and nucleic acids are very difficult to cajole into a living, breathing, reproducing organism.  The power of holism is seen in the emergence of dreams and passions, of complex language and elegant movement.  The human body is a holistic entity that produces outcomes vastly beyond what could be expected from its parts and plumbing.

Holistic Living and Health
When it comes to our health, holistic living means evaluating how each choice we make in our life impacts our health.  The belief system of the medical paradigm is born out of a reductionist viewpoint.  Reductionism is the opposite of holism.  It means looking at the part, rather than the function of the whole.  Reductionist thinking has created a system of health care that is focused on treating the disease of a person, rather than helping a person get well.

The Bonfire lifestyle recommendations are holistic in that they are comprehensive.  We recommend that you purposefully evaluate all aspects of your lifestyle in how they impact your life and your health.  Your body has a broad range of specific needs, or essential elements, that it requires for health.  While people have come to understand how activity and nutrition are critical for health, this is simply the tip of the iceberg.  Human contact and social interaction, ongoing learning, and exposure to healthy environments are all examples of critical components of a healthy lifestyle.

Becoming a person that understands that humans are by nature holistic beings will lead to lifestyle that supports health rather than regularly treating the body as if it is a collection of parts.

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