Holon – A complexity unit

Although Wolfram’s book shows how to generate complexity, it says very little how to reduce or simplify it. Which is a pity since I encounter it in my practice. Among other my task is to reduce the extreme complexity of the human organism to a manageable number of components, otherwise cure is unthinkable.

In the search for ideas and methods to simplify the human organism, I discovered Arthur Koestler’s notion of the Holon.

A Holon is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part.  Viewed from the perspective of larger things, the Holon is a part. Viewed as an entity in its own right, it is a whole that has parts. Like an atom which when viewed from above (chemistry) is a  unit, while when viewed from below (quantum mechanics) it is an universe of quanta.

The cell which may be regarded as an atom of life, has similar properties. From the viewpoint of the organism it is a unit, while encompassing a universe of sub cellular structures.

Life is a Holon

The organism may be structured into the following Holons: organism -> organ -> tissue -> cell. Facing the higher hierarchies each Holon is viewed as an atom. "The members of a hierarchy, like the Roman god Janus, all have two faces looking in opposite directions: the face turned toward the subordinate levels is that of a self-contained whole; the face turned upward toward the apex, that of a dependent part" Each Holon is a node in a hierarchical tree, or Holarchy. Arthur Koestler.

The definition of a Holon and Holarchy is arbitrary. It is a way to simplify complexity.

v. CA-holon

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