David Axelrod, Ph.D.
by David Axelrod, PhD
An approach to understanding holonomics is to imagine the universe as a single, whole field of undulating energy. The moment you identify yourself as a particular form of energy, the complement of that form becomes your surroundings. It is as if the world is a unified aura, and only through filtering our view do we create the consciousness we have of self and surroundings.The desire to better self and surroundings has three concepts essential to holonomic thought: optimization, decision- making, and self-perception.
To better-or, more specifically, to make the best of-invokes the concept of optimization. Optimization occurs when, given a set of limited alternatives, you choose the most preferred mix of goods/qualities.
The self invokes the concept of decision- making. You can make things better only if your decisions, through your choices, make an impact on your self and/or surroundings.
Surroundings invoke the concept of the world you see your self immersed within- a world that can be changed-and they are part of how you experience life. Your surroundings include not only objects (such as home, work space, car, or finances) but also your relationships and how people imagine who you are. Your relationships influence the availability of experiences you have.
In traditional economics, it is assumed that your self/spirit, in the nature of your preferences, is fixed and does not have a direct impact on your sense of well-being. Holonomically, who you are influences your self-consciousness.
It is much easier to enjoy life when you are "being in integrity" than when you are juggling a mixture of lies and self-deceptions. Keeping "facts" or knowledge within your consciousness requires energy. The greater the quantity of "facts," the greater the quantity of energy used. Further, conflicting facts create cognitive dissonance, which leads to creating mind compartments and thereby reducing the free flow of energy. In the case of self-deception, even more energy is used.
A principle of energy holonomics states
If the amount of energy required to sustain the whole of your experience exceeds that which the experience generates, you will eventually reduce the complexity of your experience.
That reduction can be either of your own choosing or forced by your surroundings. Hence, it is prudent to avoid creating long-term complexity for short-term gain. Some complexity adds flavor to life; too much drains life from the flavor
As an exercise, write a description of your surroundings, including anything that affects what you experience directly or anything that places boundaries on what you can choose to experience. It might be useful to consider your body as part of the surroundings of your self, a sort of inner environment. You might also want to consider others' perceptions of you as part of your surroundings. Sometimes this exercise alone is enough to provide a breakthrough when you seem stuck
Then, write out a description of your self, including your preferences, desires, and beliefs. Notice which are contradictory. If you are part of a relationship, community, or organization, include their goals, values, and beliefs as well. For example, corporations commonly have a mission statement or a description of their core values. Working for a company whose values you do not share can create a lot of stress about who you are, which decreases disposable energy for other aspects of your life.
When you have done these mindstretching exercises, reflect on which ideas were the easiest and/or quickest to write and which were the hardest and/or slowest to write. Do you notice any relationship to decisions you might be avoiding? Is it easier for you to describe undesirable aspects of your surroundings than undesirable aspects of your self? How does who you are correlate to the surroundings in which you perceive yourself? Are you where you want to be, doing what you want to do?
Ultimately, from a holonomic perspective, attempting to change your surroundings is associated with a change in your self. A second principle of energy holonomics states:
When you make your life different, both your self and your surroundings change.
You can facilitate this change holonomically by choosing the mix of changes in your self and your surroundings that takes the least energy to manifest.
There is no point in working hard to change your surroundings if who you are being is getting in the way. A small effort expressed sincerely is often more effective than a huge struggle done in resentment. It is important that the surroundings you are creating fit well the self that will be living within it.