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Holism, Meaning & Reality

July 7, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

26th July, 2021 18:00hrs UK Time

How do we distinguish between reality and virtual reality?

Reflecting on a rich and exciting life on his 75th birthday, Claudius van Wyk, will look at ‘reality’ through the perceptual lenses of Bernard Shaw, Carl Jung and James Lovelock who, slightly surprisingly, all share the same birthdate. Leading our discussion will be the convenor of the Holos Earth Project, who even more surprisingly also shares the same birth date!

Join us in considering a variety of helpful lenses through which to understand what is really, real


Carl Jung – 26.07.1875

Jung, said we are living in the right time for a metamorphosis of our fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time is an expression of the changing unconscious within us. “Coming generations will have to take account of this momentous transformation if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology and science.” The Undiscovered Self (1958)

James Lovelock – 26.07.1919

Author of the Gaia concept, James Lovelock, argues that a post-Anthropocene ‘new age’, the Novacene, has already begun. He predicts that new beings will emerge from existing artificial intelligence systems who will think 10,000 times faster than we do – and they will regard us as we now regard plants – as desperately slow acting and thinking creatures.

So how do we distinguish between reality and virtual reality? What is the critical role of subjective human experience in generating a meaningful reality – especially in the post-Truth era of increasingly sophisticated media manipulation?

Bernard Shaw – 26.07.1865

George Bernard Shaw expressed the essence of psychoanalytic focus of his time in his play ‘Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy’. He suggested it was exercising control over behaviour to meet the conditions imposed by external reality. In act III the Devil asks Don Juan what the use is of ‘knowing oneself’. Don Juan replies: ‘…to be able to choose the line of greatest advantage instead of yielding in the direction of the least resistance’. Shaw’s proposition was that the reality principle involves the conversion of free energy into bound energy.

We will attempt to explore the creative role of humanity in reality, our participation in the holistic nisus, at this time of the great conversion.

The originator of Holism, Jan Smuts, in addressing students at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg – 1941 said   “I do not believe that we human creatures are the acme of the universe. I believe that much greater forms of spiritual wholes will develop than those we see before us now”






July 7, 2021
9:00 am - 6:00 pm