Is Whole Greater Than the Summation Of Its Components?

Do you think that having coffee in your favorite coffee shop is sum of the taste of coffee, comfort of the seat and the music in the background? Well, I do not think so. We do not perceive the world with focusing on every small component. Instead, we perceive the world with directing our attention to the whole objects which are more complex than the parts of them. Gestalt psychology is a psychological theory which illustrates this phenomenon as a mean of perception. Let me give an example to clarify this concept. When you see a moving car in the street, you do not focus on its wheels, doors etc. You do not actually think about how it differs from other objects in the street. The only thing you see is a moving car. How your mind groups it as a whole and how you see a moving car rather than just wheels and doors and maybe other objects with different colors and aspects in the street? This is the concept which is explained with some principals of perception by gestalt psychologist. I would like to think about our perception of the life experiences rather than visual perception with respect to whole being greater than parts of it.

Experiences consisting social interaction may be different for extroverted and introverted people. For instance, extroverted people feel comfortable when working with a team and they mostly prefer to working with a team rather than working alone. When the task is an easy one and each part must be done alone, either someone choose working in office with people around or working alone may differ. Why is that? Working in office is not sum of the comfort of seat, internet performance, and silence. There is something more which makes it more charming than working alone. Here is a question though. Is the cause of this greater part of working in office unobservable?  What I mean by this is that the greater part might stem from deficiency of our summation model.  There could be some aspects we do not take into account such as the things we do on breaks or after work. Life is a flow rather than discrete events. Working in office may make you feel better. Maybe you do not know why. However, it does not mean that it is unreasonable.

There are a lot of cause and effects in life which are not that easy to observe. We do not know why it feels better to be with a partner rather than being alone. The feeling of being with someone may make you feel complete, secure etc. You do not know why, right? To be honest, I do not know too. Maybe it is about your insecure attachment style which is formed when you are a baby, or it could be about your inner urge to be with a partner. No matter what, if it makes you feel better you should go for it. Trust me, there is a reason behind that.

To make a long story short, I would say that whole life experiences are complex, but they are probably not greater than its components. We could not say that there is something more just because we cannot observe all the components of our life experiences. However, it is sensible to accept that we cannot observe all the causes in the flow of daily life. We do not have to understand all the causes though. Maybe the best strategy is accepting our urges and demands with considering that there are components of the whole which we do not observe all the time. Do you like better the coffee in coffee shop or at home? Do you like working remotely or in the office? Whatever the answer is, go for it. Do not be too hard on yourself and enjoy your life!

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