Parts & Wholes

He will bring another world into existence
A hundred words like this world of parts and wholes
Spring up, like roses, from the seed of his imagination.
He makes every raw nature ripe,
He puts the idols out of the sanctuary.

-Secrets of Self, M. Iqbal, The Poet.


A part is not equal to its whole, of which it is a part. And that scientifically and evidently, it is proven to be so, with or without going into the interior of substances which, as 'parts', form up a 'whole'.


Construction of a whole and its deconstruction
Let's take a building and the 'thing(s)' that building is composed of, i.e., 'brick(s)'. We take those bricks and make a building out of them. What we are doing is making a whole out of those parts.

Suppose that now we deconstruct the building and lay its individual units (i.e., bricks) on the ground. My question to you is: Are those bricks individually equal to that building as a whole? Evidently not!

metaphysically, the same concept has been used to explain the individuality of Self by poet-philosopher Iqbal. He uses the analogy of water drop and sea. He says that our Self is like a drop of water which is a part of a sea of other drops. Although the 'drop' apparently annihilates its individuality by uniting with other drops and thereby forming a sea, it never, however, loses its individuality by merely uniting with infinity or a large finite sea!

Thus a final chemical 'composition' (as a whole), made up of some substances, is of different nature than the individual elements (or substances) which it is composed of. In chemistry you may have come to study reactions and reversible reactions. In a simple chemical reaction, more than two substances (or even one provided some other medium or condition is fulfilled) react and give a product utterly different in chemical nature from the initial substances. On the other hand, in a reversible chemical reaction the formed product goes into a reversal with the aid of some conditions or reactors, and gives us back its original components (or parts). All chemical properties which we know of the parts and whole are always hugely different from each other. Both, the parts and wholes, exhibit different behaviors, are of non-similar nature and so on and so forth.


The unity of parts may be a necessary thing, but it is never prone to dissolve the individuality of the self, or part, into nothingness.

(Do you agree with my thoughts? If and if not, then why?)

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