(To see the continuing comments on previous posts, click here for Unity is Powerful, here for The Need To Be Right and here for Disorientation. You may also be interested in a very good article on dealing with failure over at Maurits' Blog.)
The concept mooted by Einstein that "we are all part of a single unified whole" is an appealing one to me. (See the previous post for the whole of this Einstein quotation.) My instinct tells me that his words are not some pretty, poetic idea but are rooted in the truth: that we are indeed, in essence, an integral part of the universe rather than separate entities.
I've been fortunate enough to have various experiences - some spontaneous, others through meditation - which have offered me glimpses of what it's like to experience this. The words to describe these glimpses are hard to find, but the overwhelming impression was one of tapping into a vibrant source of energy. There were also impressions of light and bliss, and of letting go of a heavy burden I've carried (without my conscious knowledge) the whole of my life.
It may be that such glimpses are due to some mental aberration (like deja vu for instance) caused by wonky synapses or too much rich food, but the way I look at it is this: what else do we have to go on if we can't rely on our senses? So I prefer to go out on a limb and believe what they tell me.
But what does this mean? If I choose to listen, what are my senses telling me?
The message I get is that there's a different way of looking at things from the one we normally use - it's like taking off a pair of dark glasses and so transforming a gloomy landscape into one of light and beauty. The beautiful landscape has been here around us all the time, but we haven't been able to see it. And yet if only we could see it, and continue to see it, our lives - and with them the world - would be transformed.
As I say, I've been lucky enough to snatch glimpses of this for myself, but you may be asking what that has to do with you. What are you supposed to do if you haven't had such glimpses? How can I expect you to believe a word I'm saying? Why should you believe that what Einstein said is true?
One possibility would be for you to simply believe it because it sounds kind of nice, an option which has worked surprisingly well throughout human history. But belief without any evidence to support it has never seemed to me to be as admirable as some people seem to think. So what I suggest instead is to pretend.
What you can do is this: instead of thinking of yourself as an individual who has to battle against everyone else to survive - which, let's face it, tends to be how we view the world, even though 'survival' may really be nothing more important than being first across the line at the traffic lights or having a better-kept hedge than the guy next door - instead of thinking of yourself like that, try to imagine that you are part of a massive composite entity which embraces the whole world. It may be easier to do this if you think of one of those pictures of the earth taken from space: try to imagine the sphere that you see in your mind's eye as a living, breathing being, and that you are a part of that.
Now imagine that you are connected to everyone else in the world by a network of fine gossamer threads. Imagine energy flowing through those threads, flowing through you and flowing through everyone else. Imagine that this network extends to embrace all living things: all the creatures and all the plants and trees, everything connected together with that same energy pulsing through them. Now, finally, imagine that this network extends beyond the planet, out into the universe, connecting the whole of What Is in a single vibrant entity.
Now feel that same energy flowing inside you. Look into someone else's eyes and see it staring back at you. Smile at them - and know that you are smiling at yourself.
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