Connecting with people and the planet starts with connecting to our inner selves. Author Laurence De Rusha discusses our interdependence and the need for a shift in consciousness. The Empowering Team finds his steps for how to strengthen our sense of connection to the whole and deepen our relationships with ourselves and others enlightening and invaluable.
Life is about connections–the connection with our conscious life and our inner self, with other people, and with the planet. When we are connected we have a sense of well-being; we feel as if everything is OK and is going to be OK. When we are disconnected, we feel confused, abandoned, lonely, separate, or lost.
Although we are never really disconnected from the whole, it can feel that way when our constant fascination and identification with the outer world hinders our relationship with inner beingness. This inner and outer dance is the seeming paradox you and I face every day—our inner world determines the outer experience. Yet we believe the outer experience of our senses and doubt the power of the inner. This is like the stream that flows from the mountain top down through the valleys and back to the ocean. Our world flows from the inner mountain to the outer valleys and to the ocean of life. All is interconnected.
There are many early cultural myths about creation, oneness and connection. The Native American Hopi Mother told of the great spider web of all existence: “Sons and daughters, all points on the spider’s web are connected to all other points on the web. Be careful what you do, for it changes the web.” Other great traditions like the ancient Vedas of India say that we are all part of a universal web of light and you and I are individual points of light within the whole.
The basic teaching of the Buddha-avatamsaka Sutra is the interconnectedness of everything. If everything is interconnected, then everything is also interdependent. Lama Surya Das in his book Awakening the Buddhist Heart says, “Reading it [the Sutra], we think of the world as the jeweled lattice of the Hindu God Indra’s web, in which each sparkling, mirror-like jewel reflects and thus contains all the others. Like these reflecting jewels we are not separate, and we are not one; rather we are interrelated and interconnected.” (Broadway Books, New York, 2000)
A more modern version of such a myth is described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. The story tells of the treacherous winter journey through the Himalayan Mountains following a plane crash. When the party arrives at this place called Shangri La, they realize it’s special. It’s paradise. Everyone feels connected to all the others and to a deeper part of themselves. There is no violence or upset, just peace and harmony. When the visitors become afraid they will never have their previous lives and friends and relatives again, they disrupt the peace (as the ego would do just before meditation) and most leave.
Have you ever felt separate from your friends or family, even though you may be in their midst? We make the climb to come back to our inner mountain and sometimes we lose sight of the summit and worry about the past and the future (ego mind) and our friends and family. We become cold and disconnected from others in our climbing party and end up isolated in a valley, suffering from delusions from the altitude. We get lost in our ego self, our judgments, worries or anxieties and lose sight of the big picture.
Look at the planetary picture and we can see that most of our troubles are the result of disconnection: wars, fighting, violence, greed, destruction of the planet. It is surely easier to kill, destroy and take when we feel separate. In this state, the ego mind creates endless divisions: black, white, yellow; smart, average, dumb; fat, skinny; rich, poor. This way the ego mind can feel OK because there is always someone better or worse off to compare to, but all this does is further the estrangement. Clearly our sense of separation from our true inner self has major consequences.
How did we become disconnected?
One of the most important shifts that took place in modern history was when science became the new religion. People in authority took the work done by some of the great scientists in the 1700s and 1800s and propagated it to the public as the standard of philosophy and religion. Remember that prior to this, religion dictated what science said, as Galileo Galilei discovered.
Sir Issac Newton, one of the great scientists of the 1600-1700s, was one of what I call the “gang of science.” Although they were not of the same time period, the rest of this gang was Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei; they all believed the world was a giant machine. These scientists laid the foundations for theories of classical mechanics. It explained that universal gravitation, the three laws of motion, stars rotating in a galaxy, and planets revolving around suns were all mechanical processes.
If the universe is mechanical, and we are part of the universe, then by deduction what interpretation must be made about who we are? We humans are machines.
The machine viewpoint persists. In the medical profession today, doctors specialize in parts. There’s a cardiologist for your heart. There’s a doctor for your stomach, an endocrinologist, neurologist, etc. Each knows about a particular part and how to fix it. When you go to the doctor with your problem, most often they send you to a specialist, then a different specialist, and no one has the whole, bigger picture. The result is that healing is really merely fixing.
We lose something profound with this concept of the mechanical universe. First and foremost is our sense of connection: connection to the universe, to the earth, to one another, and to our own souls.
A new paradigm
If you and I and everyone else really felt connected, we wouldn’t be doing the kind of things that people are doing in all areas of life all over the planet. Ultimately what I do to you I do to myself. The new paradigm is quantum physics and it demonstrates we are all connected. So, if we are all connected, we wouldn’t be doing this to Spaceship Earth or our fellow travelers, which Buckminster Fuller wrote about in the early 1970s when he urged us to do something to change or we would destroy ourselves and the planet.We know that consciousness is key. Yet consciousness is something people have not heard of or do not understand how it works or why it works. And yet it’s one of the most important understandings in our lives. ADD DEFINITION HERE–ONE SENTENCE
Emerson said, what you think about all day long is what you become. That is how we seed consciousness. This is where the shift has to take place because most of us think about what we don’t want all day long and that’s what shows up. We need to shift the collective consciousness in a new way to create health for ourselves and the planet.
We don’t need huge books to explain “truth” to us. It resonates within us. What we need are people like you who can learn simple tools, use them and teach them. This is the way we will build the consciousness of health on the planet.
The first step is your connection. We have to come back to our spiritual roots: the spiritual roots of our soul, our connection to God to Spirit, to the Universe, and everyone in it.
The second step is seeding consciousness. You can take classes and learn from those who know. Create a small group of nine or ten people to practice. Call up your friends and have them come to your place. Set the intention for the evening (this practice doesn’t have to last more than 30 minutes). If we want to see health in our lives and health of the planet, set the intention.
I give you the challenge that today is the time. Now is the moment to shift. Now is the time to get connected. Begin to shift consciousness by seeding this “garden” so that in a year or two years or three years life will be magnificent.
Buckminster Fuller said as he stood at Lake Michigan, contemplating suicide, that he heard a voice saying, “Your life doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to the Universe. You will never know the impact that you will have.”
I say to everybody, “Your life doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the universe, and you can do some amazing things. You may not think so but, what I know is, you can.”
We are the first generation in the history of humankind that will be saving the planet!
That’s pretty powerful! That means that every single person born and living on this planet has this challenge. The challenge is to shift consciousness to bring the planet back to health. We have to do it in our own lives. We have to do in our own community, and we have to expand that to the planet as we expand it to all areas through consciousness.
by Laurence De Rusha