As already noted, we defined an entity through its structural and functional individuality. We used the term "level" to indicate a conceptual grouping of entities having the same basic constitution, such as, respectively, nuclei, atoms, molecules, micelles, etc.

We have used the term "part" to define an entity when it contributes to the formation of another entity. Nuclei and electrons are parts that form an atom. Molecules are parts when they are bound through electrostatic and quantum forces to form micellar entities. In progressive organization, each new entity thus is composed of parts which are entities from the level immediately below, and the new entity itself serves as a part for the immediately superior entity. We call this relationship "hierarchic," one entity being inferior to that which it forms and superior to those which have formed it. So conceived, each new organizational entity can be identified not only through the nature of the parts forming it and the manner in which they are bound, but also through its level in the hierarchic succession.

We have seen that most of the entities are made up of dissimilar parts. Analysis of what happens when an entity is formed has shown that the process is complex. In order for an entity to act as a part in a higher level, it must first pass through an activated stage. Activation opens up many opportunities, a plurality of possible formations. So does another process, an immediate consequence of activation. Almost continuously, several similar entities are seen to join together in a kind of "common grouping," adding further to the multiple possibilities of new entities. The multiplicity of possiblities at each step in organization explains the exponential increase in the number and complexity of the entities, resulting from the hierarchic pattern of their formation.

According to the holistic approach, an entity exists only through its own qualities. It must have characteristics other than those of its constituents. It is the relationship between the constituents, in the new entity, largely resulting from the operation of quantum forces, that characterize the entity.

Principal And Secondary Parts

As noted, entities at progressive levels of organization are formed of dissimilar parts. These parts do not have equally important roles. There is a "principal" part which is characteristic for a given level. There are "secondary" parts that are nonspecific for the level, the same ones can serve at different levels. The secondary part for a hierarchic entity often is an entity of a far lower level. (Fig. 1)

The hierarchic organization

Fig. 1. The hierarchic organization. In the organization in general, the different entities appear interrelated according to a characteristic hierarchic pattern. Each entity is formed by a principal and a secondary part. An entity is hierarchically "superior" to the entities which form its principal part and "inferior" to those in the formation of which principal part it enters.

Secondary parts have important characteristics in common. These become especially evident when lower level entities are examined. At levels below the atom, secondary parts for all entities are electrons. It is of interest to observe that in higher entities as well, such as molecules or micelles, all secondary parts have a negative electrical charge.

Also characteristic of secondary parts is their derivation directly from the environment in which the entities of which they are components, appear. This is clear for many crystals, where water molecules represent the added secondary part. This water of crystallization is not free between the ions but bound to them. Water appears indispensable to crystal formation, since its loss results in disintegration. Water can be considered to play a secondary part. Similarly, in some crystals such as gold, some electrons wander between the atoms while others are concentrated in certain regions. (Bril louin) These electrons represent a secondary part in these crystals as do water molecules in others. Water and electrons can be related to the environment from which they derive.

Derivation of the secondary part from the environment appears to be even clearer at the micellar level. In the case of the gelatinous precipitate obtained by coagulating a colloidal solution, a part of the environment in which the gel is precipitated enters into the formation of the new micelle. For example, the micelle of colloidal copper ferrocyanate contains potassium ferrocyanate as a secondary part for each principal part of copper ferrocyanate. Micelles of ferric hydrate, obtained by the hydrolysis of a boiling iron perchloride solution, provide another example. Besides the Fe2O3, molecules from the Fe6Cl6 solution used in the preparation enter into the formation of this hydrosol. The role of the negatively charged constituents becomes apparent when a part of the cation of this secondary part is removed from the intermicellar fluid and the hydrosol still persists. It is only when the chloride content becomes too low that coagulation results. The molecules of potassium ferrocyanate or iron perchloride, once considered to be impurities, must be looked upon as secondary parts of these micelle entities. Derived from the environment, they enter into the formation of the micelles, especially through their negative electrostatic character.

This concept becomes of even greater importance when entities are considered in relation to the constantly changing environment. The electrostatic balance between entity and environment realized at any given time cannot be considered to be permanent because of the changes which occur in the environment as it travels toward ultimate total homotropy. As a working hypothesis, it can be assumed that the relationship between entity and environment would change as the latter moves toward total homotropy. It can be assumed, too, that as hierarchic organization develops in time, secondary parts from the environment would differ for different entities. Changes in environment would provide evidence that these secondary parts are related more closely to the environment as it existed in the past when these entities are assumed to have appeared. We will see below how important this is for the more complex entities of higher levels.

In the role played by secondary parts in progressive organization, the changes in their mobility are of special significance. We have already seen that in hierarchic entities the secondary parts are simpler units than the principal parts, a factor which facilitates their mobility. The mobility can be related to the fact that these secondary parts are derived from the environment where they are mobile, with their motion not systematized. The intervention of quantum and quantum like forces, which help to create new entities, can be seen as a kind of organization of the relative mobility of the secondary parts. It is the systematization of their movement which prevents complete annihilation of electrostatic forces present. The relationship between secondary parts and environment thus explains the character of the mobility encountered throughout hierarchic organization.

It must be emphasized here that, because of the electrostatic nature of the bond between principal part and secondary parts, a principal part is capable of entering into the formation of more than one specific type of entity. Similarly, fulfillment of quantum forces can lead to more than one type of structure. However, of the many possible new entities, or structures, only a few will fulfill the requirements for developing a still higher organization, i.e. will be capable of acting as principal part in a new entity. Some remain at their original level without progressing, even after being bound to other entities. Even many of those which have some capability for higher organization can go only one or two steps. Only a very few will continue all the way up. In other terms, only a few will be able to utilize new quantum forces in order to realize new entities. While various bonds and structures offer a large variety of possible new entities, it is the entity with a capacity to adequately resist the effects of the changing environment which will take part in progressive organization.

In considering the forces which intervene in progressive hierarchic organization, one has to consider the free energy available in the environment. The immense amount of energy received from the sun represents a type of heterotropic energy which can intervene in organization. We will see that this is easily recognized for higher entities. The ability of certain entities to develop may be related to their peculiar ability to utilize heterotropic forces, most of them of solar origin. The less successful disappear or remain at lower levels.

The Organized Boundary

We have seen that an entity achieved through systematization of the movements of its components acquires a boundary between itself and the environment as a result of this restricted movement. The boundary does much more than delimit the entity and constitute a barrier between it and the environment. The electrons of the outermost shell form the boundary of the atom, for example. It is through them that the atom realizes its relationship with the environment. Chemical reaction is largely limited to this boundary. In the atom, where the nucleus is the principal part, and the electrons are the secondary part, it is evident that it is the organized movement of the electrons that provides the boundary. The form and organization of electronic shells, and specifically of the boundary shell of an atom, are results of quantum forces. The environmental nature of the secondary parts and their buffering role make them of great importance in complex boundary formation. Theoretically, hierarchic progress may be considered to depend upon the development of secondary parts which allow increasingly complex boundary formations. This explains the importance we attach to the study of boundary formation in higher entities.

To summarize the above concept of organization, the different entities can be integrated into a hierarchic organizational pattern which depends upon alternate operation of the two fundamental forces, electrostatic of coulombian nature, and quantum of organizational nature. Entities can be identified by the nature of the inferior entities that act as constituent parts and the relationship between constituents as principal and secondary parts. While the principal part is formed by an hierarchically developed entity, the secondary part is a second entity from the environment. The incorporation of a part of the environment into a new entity corresponds to a systematization of its motion. And it is through the organized motion that appears a boundary formation which marks the realization of a new hierarchic entity.

This concept of organization has made it possible to understand the relationship of the series of entities that compose the biological realm.