Whole System Relationship—Limits to What One System Can Be for Another

Adapted from Cultural Maturity—A Guidebook for the Future

Cultural Maturity confronts us repeatedly with limits inherent to what any kind of system can be for another. Such limits are themselves not new, but Whole-Person/Whole-System relationship requires a level of conscious acceptance of limits that would have been more than we could handle before now. This is true equally for love (as making another person our sole focus and support serves us less and less well); for leadership of all types (as we surrender parental images of authority); and for broader social bonds, from communities to nations (as beliefs that mythically elevate one’s own kind suddenly make us less safe instead of more). A primary function of mythologized interpersonal bonds, regardless of whether bonds are elevating or denigrating, has been to protect us from ultimately inescapable limits to what we can be both for ourselves and for one another. They have shielded us from being overwhelmed by the greater responsibility and complexity inherent in real relationships between real people.