“To realize that everything in the universe is connected is to both accept our insignificance and understand our importance in it.” ― Jeffrey Fry
The concept of ‘oneness’ has become a cornerstone in the New Age movement. With the release of popular books such as A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, the belief has been brought to the forefront of popular thinking.
In the book, Tolle writes:
“Love is the recognition of oneness in a world of duality. This is the birth of God into the world of form. Love makes the world less worldly, less dense, more transparent to the divine dimension, the light of consciousness itself.”
I admit that when I first read this passage, my eyes glazed over. It was esoteric and hard for me to grasp without tangible examples. Seeing my growing interest in the metaphysical sciences, my father recommended that I watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, a thirteen-part television series that was released in the 1980s.
Even though Sagan was an astrophysicist and a champion of science and reason, he was able to convey the mysteries of the universe, and the meaning of life through emotive stories. He clarified metaphysical concepts through a combination of science and shamanic wisdom. On the idea of ’oneness,’ he said:
“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it but the way those atoms are put together. The cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
In the newly released version of Cosmos, Sagan’s successor, Neil DeGrasse Tyson said:
“We are all connected; to each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”
To me, this made more sense. The idea that we’re made of the very same chemical compounds that are found in the stars, planets, and galaxies, suggests that we are connected to everything and everyone on a fundamental level. The carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms in our bodies were once found in stars over 4.5 billion years ago.
But what can we derive from the fact that we live in an interstellar soup?
Human beings have moved from a society that derived sustenance from interdependence to the era of the ‘self’. Capitalism has promoted competition, and materialism has given rise to the ego. People now increasingly view themselves as separate beings; beings who experience the human condition individually, separate from everyone else.
While this approach has fostered innovation, creativity, and progress, it has eroded the connection that we have to each other and the planet. When we feel disconnected, we lose our compassion and empathy for things that are not directly concerned with our advancement.
Most people are afraid to face their interdependence because it elicits feelings of dependence and vulnerability, two big no-no’s in the era of the independent-self. Author Carlos Castaneda said, “people are afraid of connecting with their natural selves. This is because our modern lifestyles have become controlled by the Corporate Illuminati and are now disconnected with the spirit of Mother Nature and the spirit of planet Earth.”
The key to experience our connectedness is to move away from seeing ourselves as isolated islands focused solely on personal gain, and more like interconnected oceans, making a significant contribution to the collective.
In this way, we can harmonize with ourselves, each other, and the natural world – we become connected to both the micro and the macro. We will become more responsible in the psychological and emotional energy that we emit and become more aware of how we treat each other.
Here are three fundamental reasons why we are all connected:
1. We all share the same human journey: As human beings, we are all the same on the inside – we all have the same mechanisms, like lungs, hearts, brains, and everything else. All of us experience the same life cycle. We experience common rites of passages, like school graduation ceremonies, weddings, retirement parties, and funerals. When we realize this, superficial differences, like appearances and status, fall away, and we embrace the humanness in one another. John Lennon simplified this truth when we said, “I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together.”
2. We experience the same universal emotions: All of us have to deal with the complexity of our feelings. Our inner world is ruled by the nuanced, vibrant, and varied fabric of our emotional lives. Over the course of our lives, each one of us feels basic emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise. While the way that we express those emotions will depend on our cultural backgrounds and natural inclinations, we’re all impacted by them in one way or another through their influence our experiences.
3. All of us call Earth home: We breathe the same air, eat food grown from the same soil, and drink water from the same oceans. Our planet sustains us with its resources and gives us a place to live and prosper. The earth under your feet is below all your fellow beings. We’re part of one, big, global family, and each one of us has the responsibility to take care of the only celestial home that we have.
You don’t need to be an expert in quantum physics to appreciate your connectedness to everything in creation. The key lesson to take away from the notion of Oneness is that you’re never alone. We’re all in this together, and we can be a positive source for good.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What kind of practices do you engage in to feel more connected to people and your environment?
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