In the past week, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on our interconnectedness. I mentioned last week that I lost a friend, who I found out had been without a home, living on the streets. Because her body was found in an ally and the details were not known, I looked for some information online about her death. I found none. It’s like she didn’t exist.
There are people close to me that have also experienced homelessness, so this loss hit me particularly hard. The homeless community is often invisible because for many it’s easier that way. If we don’t acknowledge their existence, we don’t have to respond. But what happens to one, happens to all.
We, as humans, are a part of the bigger picture. We are not separate from each other, but instead are connected both physically and consciously. We find this connection in our everyday lives. By watching a sunset, or taking a walk in nature, spending time with loved ones, by sitting comfortably with a pet, by watching the night sky and feeling a part of something larger.
The earth holds all living beings with no bias, no discrimination, no separation. This earth is part of a larger whole, connected to a solar system and a vast universe beyond. Science tells us our bodies and the earth, the sun and the stars are all composed of the same matter, the same basic particles, joined in different ways. Be with that a moment. We are all made of stardust.
We are connected to our heroes and those we disagree with, to the wealthiest and the most destitute, to people who look like us and those of every race, to those who worship as we do and those who don’t worship at all. When you see someone without a home, that is your brother or sister, there is no separation. So you see, while there is no denying our interconnectedness, it is important to remember that our lived experiences are very different, informed and influenced by intersecting privileges and oppressions. To truly see another we must recognize our different life experiences.
The great Albert Einstein once said “A human being is part of the whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
I’m often struck by just how connected we are. We are drinking the same water, breathing the same air as the dinosaurs and for millennia before. It’s mind-blowing, really. There’s a particular poem that I have used in guided meditation that sums it up nicely:
By Ray Lucero
Every human being has shared every breath of air ever taken by fellow humans, and animal life since the beginning of life on Earth.
Likewise every drink of water consumed has also been shared.
Mother Nature knows not to waste…only to recycle.
Matter cannot be destroyed…only changed.
Does this not prove an inextricable connection of all matter in the Universe?
So what is there to fight about or over?
To make war on matter in any form is to make war on self.
Alas, the most neglected emotion that connects human beings is love.
Restoring love of self, each other and the environment is the key to peace.
Love births a host of other positive emotions and actions such as compassion,
Empathy, forgiveness, harmony and well being.
Know that evil, greed and exploitation wither and die when not fed fear, guilt and other negativity.
Positive change happens when chaos and turmoil are tamed by man making better choices.
As a human being with free will practice making choices that empower your fellows and all shall experience “Heaven on Earth”, as was meant to be by “The Spirit That Moves in All Things”.