What Is Wholeness?

I’m trying to define what ‘wholeness’ means.

I think that seeking wholeness should be the holy grail for every intelligent human being, on this journey one will grow and experience their full potential.

No person is whole, I doubt that any person can be whole; however seeking to be whole is seeking to improve one’s abilities, and requires one to live up to one’s highest potential in all aspects of one’s being.

Dictionaries define wholeness as:

* The state of being entirely whole
* The condition of being free from defects or flaws
* The condition of being physically and mentally sound
* The quality or state of being whole, entire, or sound
* A state of robust good health
* Psychic stage in which the union of the unconscious with the conscious has been achieved.

Sources: http://www.answers.com/topic/wholeness | http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn | http://www.carl-jung.net/glossary.html

Did you notice that wholeness in itself spans over your mind, body and spirit? In the above definitions we see that wholeness means ‘robust good health’, it also means ‘physically sound’, ‘mentally sound’, ‘free from defects’, and finally it is known as a ‘psychic stage’ where your unconscious self is aware and in harmony with your conscious self.

By looking at synonyms of ‘wholeness’ we can further understand what wholeness is:

completeness, entirety, integrity, oneness, totality, durability, firmness, integrity, solidity, soundness, stability, strength, health, healthiness, heartiness, holy

Wholeness is all encompassing; it spans the entire human experience and existence, from human spirituality, reasoning, morals, practices, to the body and physical health. It spans conventional science, traditional medicine, and includes paranormal science and alternative healing teachings and practices.

To talk about wholeness we have to talk about spirituality, health, science, logic, cultural norms, modern life, meditation, medical research, mind-body, and more.. At minimum, to seek wholeness we have to seek all the dimensions of wellness.

It’s tempting to think of wholeness (or the seeking of wholeness) as an entirely spiritual or mental process. The last definition listed above refers to wholeness as a “Psychic stage in which the union of the unconscious with the conscious has been achieved.” Words such as holy and oneness also refer to transcending the physical and the social norms.

Other spiritual definitions of wholeness refer to it as one’s union with the creation (or any higher power). Perhaps wholeness can be reached when one’s consciousness or soul rejoins the source of all consciousness or life?


Should we seek dimensions of wholeness similarly to wellness? We’d have spiritual wholeness, mental wholeness, etc ?

What is the relationship between wholeness and wellness?

Does one have to reach enlightenment to reach wholeness?

If one does reach enlightenment, are they whole?

How are enlightenment and wholeness different?

In your opinion, what does wholeness mean? How does one achieve it?

  1. January 4th, 2009 at 03:23 | #1

    We’re deeply flawed individuals, to begin with. So that’s where the aspiration for wellness and wholeness is coming from. Is it achievable in one’s lifetime? Maybe, maybe not. Some of us are just content to occupy space and time. Some of us aspire for wholeness, for enlightenment. Takes great effort and consistency, but the enterprise is noble.

  2. January 4th, 2009 at 06:26 | #2

    Jan, I agree. Thank you

  3. Ethan Z
    January 9th, 2009 at 20:58 | #3

    Don’t confuse wholeness with perfection. My functional definition of wholeness is simply “giving more than you take.”

    A person who is emotionally broken tends to see others only for the support they can provide. The greater the brokenness, the less a person contributes to the relationship and the more they demand. Emotional wholeness is seen in what you can contribute to others. The spiritually whole consider others more important than themselves.

  4. September 21st, 2009 at 12:03 | #4

    Thank you for your comment, I apologies for the long delay in responding.

    Would you say that when a person is well in all the dimensions of wellness they are then whole?

    Perhaps just as we have dimensions of wellness we should have dimensions of wholeness, one can be whole at work, whole spiritually, whole emotionally.. ?

  5. Mike
    January 14th, 2013 at 14:37 | #5

    What is a Whole Man ? Thanks for answering me.

  6. January 26th, 2013 at 19:17 | #6

    I cannot answer this question. I can only talk about my experience.

    Be cautious of anyone (no matter who) that claims to have an answer and want to give you the answer.

    It might be a state, a state of feeling whole, that you strive to get to / be in.

    Your answer is yours, it is personal, and it is something you need to figure out and experience.

    Other people might have answers, but their answers are their own, not yours. ;-)

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