We've all heard this, and I think, deep inside, we know this is truth - but it's hard to live it when we are immersed so completely in our modern culture which functions on separation. It’s how we speak, how we act and how we think. Duality thinking is apparent at every scale, from the “us & them” of global politics, to the unhealthy separation of humans & nature, to the erroneous division of mind & body.
As a landscape architect, we learn that ecosystems are complex and interconnected, and as a Feldenkrais® practitioner, we learn the same thing about ourselves. And if there is one take away from the 2020 pandemic, it’s that everything is connected – we are all interdependent. As John Muir put it, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
The idea of separateness and independence is a delusion. It is not found in systems outside of our manufactured, human-made culture. Even modern science, which operates as the quintessential paradigm of separating everything, has come to understand the nature of the universe is interconnectedness. Everything is made from the same elemental molecules, matter is essentially energy, time is relative, the mind and the body are a mobius strip and there is energy that we cannot yet fully understand that connects everything in the universe. Scientists call it dark matter. It’s also been called God, the Great Spirit, the Tao, the Holy Spirit, life force, chi. They are all just fingers pointing at the same thing.
This energy includes EVERYTHING. There is no “other,” no working outside the system. Everything is an inside job!
We are on the verge of realizing this as a culture, but cultural shifts are slow. Dropping old norms and developing a new ontological view takes generations. It starts here though, with the recognition that all the meta crises that we are experiencing are all interrelated and stem from the delusion of separation.
We can only dominate that which we see as separate. Racism, sexism, and any other “ism” are completely predicated on seeing another human as “other.” Climate change and mass extinctions come from the idea that nature exists as something separate from us, something that must be dominated, controlled, and manipulated, which is essentially “othering” nature.
The fundamental link is interconnection, feeling it, believing it, knowing it, and living in that truth. This is a shift at the most internal, personal level, and this is the change that we need for our own survival. It doesn’t even really have to “happen” because truth is always here. We just need to recognize it. How? Maybe start by slowing down, tuning out the noise, and see what emerges from a clear, authentic, curious & non-judgmental mind/body.