Three Pillars of Wholeness


What’s It All About or What’s the Meaning of Cheese?

I assume that you have read the first blog and have an understanding of what a curated blog is and how to use it. So, now we dig down into the how and why of it. As with any exploration into what is new territory for most of you, let’s start with defining some key terms and getting at peek at the ‘so what can I do?’ question.

What I am going to do here in this blog is to deepen that discussion by sketching out a thinking framework to let you begin categorizing all the data and theory of wholeness into something can integrate into your life.

Let’s take a deeper look and unpack that complexity of wholeness beyond what I have already offered. As you know there are many definitions and descriptions of the entire ‘wholeness’ idea, in which the subset of well-being is embedded. For example: Let me map those dimensions into more general factors.






Roughly these factors annotate the mental (will); emotional (being) and physical (function) parts of our lives. I first discovered this triad view of humankind working on ‘Biopsychosocial’ research in the 70’s. Notice that this contemporary classification schema is overly weighted towards the physical, or functional, aspects of life.

One of the things I’m trying to do in my expansive view of wholeness is to move the conversation towards a more solid social scientific base. That base, in my research always comes back to this triad structure. It is from that structure that I will be curating data, information and knowledge going forward.

Now some may disagree. I will say that over the years I’ve investigated more than 20 different approaches to human science. They all seem to converge on these three. If any of you are interested in a more expansive discussion if this, I’d be happy to share my research results with you.

So, for the sake of simplicity let’s stick with these three and we can expand from there if necessary. But before we dive down I ask you keep a couple of instructive thoughts in mind.

Number 1: We are human beings not human doings. 

Number 2: When you manifest your soul in physical from (function) it’s hard to see the others aspects.


Will – Being – Function

While I have been using this three part analytic framework for quite awhile it all came into focus for me when I was doing an intensive study of systematics which led me (in order) to Gregory Bateson, George Gurdjieff and finally John Bennet. Space prohibits more discussion on the chronology of this intellectual tradition, so bear with me as I try to digest and synthesize a century of work. In order to simplify things, I have selected three other schools of thought to show a correlation with Bennett’s categories of will, being and function. One a quite current systems theory approach to transformation; a social psychological path and finally an integrated esoteric tradition.




I’d love to go much further with each one of these but this is a curated blog where I am supposed to boil everything down to its’ essence for you.“U” theory is a recent outgrowth of Peter Senge’s systems theory at M.I.T. Theodore Kemper has pioneered a branch of sociology called ‘the sociology of emotions’. And Ken Wilber is best known as the author of ‘A Theory of Everything’.

OK, so what does this have to do with design? The workplace? Or my own personal leadership development? Or my community? Right now I just want to give you a taste of how all this relates to the practical. In the blogs that follow this introduction I will be pealing back the onion, so to speak, of each of the three foundational pillars of wholeness.

But in linear fashion it works something like this using ‘will’ as an example.






















What this diagram shows are the systematic relationship as we move from a meta-factor of wholeness down to an actionable design implementation. Of course, it is far more complicated in execution than I’ve briefly shown you here.

The take away here for either a person, a team leader or a community is that there is an explicit, tested, and knowable pattern to moving from motivation to action.

Is Wholeness Greater than Wellness and Wellbeing?

Yes it is. So, there you have it. The three pillars of wholeness as I see it. The functional, the being and now the willfulness holds it all up. I promised a quick read so in the interests of brevity I’ll put all this together in one table.

Foundation Principles High Level Objective Cognitive


  • Planning not accidents
  • Your Purpose in life
  • Social Impact you can have
Trust in yourself and with others
  • Your Identity as presented
  • Accountability to Whom?
  • Integration with who?
  • Uniform ‘look and feel’
  • Individuality with unity
  • Ease of navigation
  • Reliability
  • Brand message
  • Collaboration in action
  • Fluidity of movement
Community building
  • Identity –  roles you fulfill and value you add
  • Interaction – Being connected and related to other entities
  • History – pride in the heritage
  • “Neighborhood” – localized support
  • Links to outside – links to larger non-local groups
  • Arrangement – How do the pieces fit together?
  • Container –what’s the vessel (both physical and social)
  • Control – how are signals sent and received?
  • Collaboration based on shared purpose and values
  • Knowledge information and data which has been placed in context
  • Accessibility of how you can get to it and expand it
  • Coordination in time, space and levels of energy
  • Time allocation across actions
  • Searching algorithms
  • Verification ascertaining ‘truthiness’
  • Project management
  • Workflow visibility or transparency
  • Learning and education processes
  • Interactive with multiple feedback loops

This is your overall design map for self-development, creating workplaces, and building sustainable communities. There is a whole here and I suspect your brain is hurting about now. Any one block in this matrix (i.e., being and cognition competencies) is a discussion in itself. I’m presenting them here in condensed format to let you see the whole picture before you decide to dive down on anyone of them. This is work and a lot of it.

But, remember the map is NOT the territory. You still have to do a lot of exploring, the physical, the emotional and the willfulness of those involved in the process

By | 2017-12-05T19:44:34-07:00 December 1st, 2017|wholeness|0 Comments

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