Jacob J. Walker's Blog

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Quote of the Day: “Creative evolution synthesises from the parts a new entity not only different from them, but quite transcending them.”

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In all the previous cases of wholes, we have nowhere been able to argue from the parts of the whole. Compared to its parts, the whole constituted by them is something quite different, something creatively new, as we have seen. Creative evolution synthesises from the parts a new entity not only different from them, but quite transcending them. That is the essence of a whole. It is always transcendent to its parts, and its character cannot be inferred from the characters of its parts.

Today’s quote comes from a search I went on for a quote that could relate both to it being New Year’s Eve, and also being the 6th day of Kwanzaa, which celebrates the principle of Kuumba (Creativity).  So, I did a search on Wikiquote for creative new, and it was quite interesting to me that it should find this quote from Jan Smuts, who identified himself as being an Afrikaner, and for a time was the Prime Minister of South Africa.

I had never heard of Smuts before finding this quote, and it seems he is similar in many ways to Thomas Jefferson, in the sense that in some ways he espoused great wisdom, such as this quote from his book Holism and Evolution, which pioneered the idea of Holism, that later became a foundational idea of Systems Thinking.  Yet, he supported apartheid and saw those of recent European descent being more superior.

So how does the quote relate to today?  Evolution comes only through time and change, and change is a creative act.  Further, may we work to have our creativity not simply be chaos, but the creation of structure that builds a better future for humanity.

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Written by Jacob Walker

December 31st, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

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