No Wholes Barred

Alan Rayner
2 min readJun 14, 2020
Landed, Stranded (Oil painting on canvas by Alan Rayner, 2004)

Please, don’t speak to me of parts and wholes

When you know

There are no such things

In a life that comes and goes

In ebbs and flows…



In minds that seek to capture every instant.

And put it in a cage.

As a figure set apart.

From where it comes from.

Where it’s going to.


There, to be held under arrest.

As lifeless installation.

Fixated by Definition.

Dissected into fractions.

Unaware of each other’s presence.

As the Sum Total of the Whole.


Please, speak to me instead of natural communion,

Continuity, openness, motion, inclusion -

Not connectedness, unity, oneness, completion, selection.

So we can free our selves from this web of singular entrapment

In universal bondage

And be with each other in lively companionship

Not leave me stuck

With or without you

In a loveless marriage to mechanical objects

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Actually, Nature is not a Whole, and we are neither a part of nor apart from it. Nor is Life a Web, in which are all tied up as One. Nature is all actual occurrence and we are dynamic occurrences within this, living inescapably in one another’s mutual receptive and responsive influence, which can be both compatible and incompatible. Life is sourced in a flow of energy around and between receptive centres of space. It is when we deny — or feel obligated to deny — this reality in one way and/or another that we cause needless suffering by treating ourselves individually or collectively as if we are mechanical objects created and governed by executive force. This is the common theme of ‘natural inclusion’ in all my essays on Medium, and can be explored further via my personal website at, where references and links to my books, articles, artworks, and oral presentations can be found.



Alan Rayner

Alan Rayner is an evolutionary ecologist, writer and artist, who is pioneering the philosophy of natural inclusion