“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”
Fundamentally, we are part of something that is large and beyond any rational conceptualization—what we might label, “the inconceivable.”
The universe that touches our fingers and spreads out beyond the horizon is an infinite arena. We cannot comprehend it. We cannot control it. We cannot quantify it, for each and every moment we experience represents one instant of infinity.
Maintaining this expansive view and placing oneself within the context of the inconceivable vastness of what is, allows self-importance, distinctions and egoic self-centeredness to fade—there is too much space for small mind to grasp and control.
Letting the vastness seep into our daily motions and learning to rely on the inconceivable could be an interesting way into freedom.
Further, noticing the interlaced nature of our surroundings—the way the seasons interlink to bring their own manifestations of beauty, all the way down to the basic exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide that maintains the symbiotic relationship between the forests and mankind, might open the doors of the mind to a profound sense of intimacy to the life that is here now…or how about now…
A great calm comes forth (out of nowhere) when you are able to relax in the vastness of existence, of being.
Switching our identity from the foreground of our lives to the ever-present background might lead to a transformation; one that doesn’t need candy, rigid belief systems or sunglasses to be happy. It could be a wonderful thing to thrive on the silent extraordinariness of the ordinary—on the sound of distant laughter, wind passing through the branches of redwoods, an accepting nod to the driving force of life—that all things must pass on.
We live in a world where everything is interdependent. Things come and go, yet they could not have come or gone without the existence of other conditions.
For example, a seed cannot germinate into a flower without sun, water and soil. A painting cannot be made without the artist and he or she could not have painted without food for nourishment. We see the painting, we touch it, but we do not see everything that went into its manifestation. When we close our eyes, broaden our view, and let go, we begin to see the interdependence of all things: storms and sunshine, great tragedy and kind humor.
The human body itself is made up of roughly fifty to seventy-five trillion cells. We often see ourselves as “state your name,” a single entity that lives and moves around planet earth. This is a major misconception in itself. These cells do everything for us.
Each passing moment millions of cells die and are born in order to maintain our existence.
Every time we answer the phone, pick up the child, or run to the bus, our bodies diligently and intuitively work to maintain our being without us having to do anything. It is amazing to stop and let this simple fact seep into our busy day. This expansive perspective adds a sense of depth and respect to our lives that goes far beyond the confines of the hustling and bustling nature of the self-centered small mind.
Our insight into the organic and spontaneous inner-workings of our bodies can be extended into our daily lives.
We live on a giant living, moving, organic entity called planet earth: we are a small part of it—a creation that walked right out of the soil and trees. We were born from it and we continue to exist because of it. Stopping again and looking into the nature of our surroundings, we can witness the incredible complexity of natural design around us: tectonic plates, solar winds, atmospheric conditions, buzzing atoms and colorful bumblebees.
First, we see the people walking in front of us. Then we see the buildings, the trees, the angry cab-driver, the doves, the spilled coffee. We feel the sun and the wind and we watch the clouds hurtling by in the soft afternoon light. We halt, we breath, we relax and we understand.
When we stop and look, feeling the vital and energetic pulse of life, are we able to experience it?
All that is necessary is the openness to see beyond the borders of our smaller selves and the ability to let go of our thoughts and cherished opinions. Intimacy is just beyond the periphery. There is a vastly complex theater moving around us at all times. It is worth it to attend, to experience it fully and step into the present. We are an interconnected piece within the vibrancy of it all.
As we are able and willing to see this reality, we gain trust in the flow and a greater connection to the miracle of life around us. Having this view allows us to become more responsible with our actions, our words, and our intentions. It also lets us witness and experience the world in a different and more intimate way.
Seeing the web of life around us shifting, manifesting, and disappearing into and out of nothingness, brings about a profound change of heart.
An eye-opening practice for me was to imagine a string coming from my core shooting out before me. This was my connection to the universal web. I was plugged into everything because I was everything.
On the flip side, the web also gave me a sense of nothingness. I was such a small piece of it all and I could relax in this understanding—I could take ‘myself’ less seriously. The energy and matter that are part of every star, planet, solar system, and galaxy, are the same elements I am made of.
But I—we—have one other thing: We have the ability to be conscious of this. What an amazing thing in itself. You, too, have the opportunity to realize the existence of this web and your place within it.
Albert Einstein commented on the interconnected nature of our universe when he said:
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated 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.”
Albert Einstein, one of the architects of our present-day conception of the universe, was, on top of being intellectually brilliant, wise; he could see that the mind had created a barrier between man and his connection to all things.
Within our intelligence lay our greatest weakness—our inability to connect at the primal level to the source of our creation.
Having consciousness signifies that we have a choice. There is a spectrum of possibilities and it is never fixed or absolute. No matter what you have done in your life, you always have the opportunity to turn in—to reach down and touch a deeper reality.
This is a beautiful thing.
At any moment, we can choose how present and connected we wish to be. And just being present is the greatest gift of all.
Here’s a poem from one of those wonderful Zen lunatics, plyggHan-shan:
“I climb the road to Cold Mountain,
the road to Cold Mountain that never ends.
The Valleys are long and strewn with stones,
the streams broad and banked with thick grass.
Moss is slippery though no rain has fallen;
pines sigh but it isn’t the wind.
Who can break from the snares of the world
and sit with me among the white clouds?”
Ed: Bryonie Wise
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