The Whole

April 18, 2015

Thinking of systems

“Good,” she said, resting her hands on her knees. “It seems like you’ve considered everything, Atrus. You’ve tried to see the Whole.” Atrus had looked down, gazing at the sleeping kitten. Now he looked up again. “The Whole?” She laughed softly. “It’s something my father used to say to me. What I mean by it, is that you’ve looked at the problem from many angles and considered how the pieces fit together. You’ve asked all the questions that needed to be asked and come up with the answers. And now you have an understanding of it.” She smiled and reached out again, letting her hand rest lightly on his shoulder. “It may seem a small thing, Atrus – after all, a dune is but a dune – but the principle’s a sound one and will stand you in good stead whatever you do, and however complex the system is you’re looking at. Always consider the Whole, Atrus. Always look at the interrelatedness of things, and remember that the ‘whole’ of one thing is always just a part of something else, something larger.”

Anna and Atrus — Myst: The Book of Atrus