For as long as I can remember, I’ve created tension about needing to check every option before choosing. I feel compelled to get maximum benefit out of anything I am involved with. I must look at every option, every possibility, or else I might miss the best one!
When putting together a jigsaw puzzle, you need every piece to complete the picture it forms. That’s a situation where comprehensiveness is useful. And perhaps comprehensiveness applies to some aspects of computer programming and engineering. But most of the time I misapply this to situations where it doesn’t belong, and I do it in a way that makes it seem an issue of crucial importance when it’s not.
It’s the drive to make sure every base is covered, or the fear-driven compulsion to ensure nothing goes wrong. It rests on the idea that the crucial things in life are outside me not inside.
We are surrounded by things that were assembled by putting parts together to form wholes. I often call these manmade things fabrications. In a world where fabrications surround us – computers, cell phones, appliances, buildings, cars, etc. – it can be difficult to notice things we didn’t assemble, things that grew into being wholes through natural processes. (For more detail, see Fabrications vs Life and Nature.)
But I do encounter things that are not created by assembling parts, and one of those is me. Another is you, and every other human being, and every living thing.
I haven’t done a jigsaw puzzle for years. Yet I get caught up in thinking I have to be comprehensive as I try repeatedly to apply it where it doesn’t fit. I attempt to use a parts-based/fabricated approach with natural wholes. I wonder if comprehensiveness is stressful because it doesn’t help me make decisions involving people, which are wholes that grow to “completion” in a natural way.
When I write, I can easily get caught in demands of covering all possible points and answering all potential arguments. When I buy something new, I enslave myself with the need to check out every option before I choose. What if I check only ninety-eight out of one hundred options and miss the one that would have been best by far? What if I miss what would have been my favorite because I failed to check those other two? I wonder how many people do this in looking for a romantic partner: What if I commit to this person now and then later find someone better?
I’m beginning to realize that decisions involving natural wholes are best made from a natural-whole perspective. But I’m so immersed in the world of fabricated stuff that I can’t seem to break free of the fear of missing one part of the puzzle. I’m caught in a should that demands that I must find and place every piece to reach what my mind has defined as the all-important completion.
For me, comprehensiveness is the pressure to be perfect in a world of things that seem to be more separate than connected. What if they aren’t? What if they are more connected than they are separate? What if the separation comes partly from the this-not-that of our word-tools and partly from being immersed in the stuff of fabrications that are completed by attaching together many parts?
I sense I’ve been blinded to the Connectivity of natural wholes that would make my comprehensiveness unnecessary. If I put more attention on growing in life, and less on putting parts together, perhaps I could break free from this self-inflicted should.
Sensing a natural whole is different from what I’m used to – it comes out of realization that is much wider than the narrowing processes of logical analysis and assembly. I’ve found that I get to a whole by acknowledging and trusting it as a whole, and by acknowledging and trusting myself as a whole. This includes trusting the type of knowledge that is not analytical, not logical, not word-tool based – it’s a trusting of the not yet known that is outside my radar screen/surface self.
Acknowledging and allowing growth is key to sensing a whole. My belief that I need to “make things happen”, and to force or mold a specific shape or end result, relates to our world of manufactured stuff. Compulsively checking all possible options is a form of trying to force life into an end result as if it were a jigsaw puzzle that would be incomplete if missing one piece. It’s an attempt to force wholes into the word-tool world of this-not-that, and it hasn’t worked for me.
To allow and trust interconnectedness in life, I’ve had to stop rejecting the mystery of what I don’t know. I’ve had to stop trying to force everything I encounter through the this-not-that certainty of word-tools. I’ve had to stop immediately dismissing the noncognitive, and to stop fighting the feeling of “not knowing” by immediately putting everything I encounter into word format.
To open to Connectivity, I’ve needed to begin to believe in life, including so many things I know nothing about but that work for me every day. My disallowing and mistrusting have softened as I’ve been able to shift attention to the value of what I don’t know, including how electricity comes into being, how the glands of my body work without instruction, and the energetic interconnectedness of all that surrounds me as discovered by the physics of quantum theory.
Putting attention on a whole as a whole, without using word-tool technology to break it into pieces, has helped me loosen the stronghold of compulsive comprehensiveness.
And it has helped me sense the whole of Source. As I allow and trust life to be the moving and growing that it is, rather than using comprehensiveness to force a preconceived end result, I live more harmoniously with reality, more as A Whole of The Whole.