For this chapter, we will examine a principle of universal unity and an interconnected relationship between all things living or otherwise. In regards we will examine the shared reality which binds all things together. Overall the purpose of this chapter is to expose our interdependence so as to help facilitate all genuine community building practices.
In thoroughly examining our self and our identity, we inevitably realize that much of who and what we are is dependent on circumstances and external conditions. In fully grasping this realization, we may consequently obtain the wisdom to see that the line we have drawn to define ourselves, which surely we once thought was a fine one, is truly blurred merging with many things far beyond our distinct personage. Inasmuch as, we can see our identity is not entirely our own, because it also is greatly defined by the many people and circumstances which are beyond ourselves – including cultural and social environments.
Accordingly then, we may see that who we are is not just our private and personal property, governed and established merely by ourselves, but it is instead significantly shaped by individuals and conditions around ourselves as well. As a result, we may see that we don’t exist as an island to ourselves, but as wholly integrated agents into a mutually shared reality. Furthermore we may see how we, including every other individual, have degrees of influence on every single community and ecosystems we interact with.
Where our identity is not limited to just our own personal choices, we may understand that our physical self is not simply limited to just the space our individual self occupies. Where we depend on things outside of what we call our own individual, we may say that those vital objects similarly constitute an essential element within the make-up of our individual as well. If without some willful agent or life-giving object we could not maintain our idea of self or continue to exist, then how is the object in question not a member of our total self as well?
In this truth, just like the identity we choose for ourselves, the socially perpetuated views (and worldly preferred I might add) definition for our body is egregiously inadequate. In logical regards, it falls far short in defining the accurate description of our true boundary. If it is so that what truly constitutes our body is all things we depend upon for our existence and continued survival, then our body must certainly be immeasurably greater than the unfortunately common perception.
So forth, where in the simple perspective we would say that something such as our lungs are major part of what constitutes our full body, in the higher perspective we would also see the air we breathe as equally vital to our existence. Insofar as, in the simple perspective, we fail to realize that our lungs would serve no purpose if our environment was not producing oxygen; likewise, where we are only considering our eyes as part of our body, we are unwittingly failing to understand that our eyes would be of no use to us without a source of light.
We then may rationally include, by this logic, all the things which are essential for our existence and continued survival as parts in our total body as well. In doing so we may rationally perceive that our whole body includes things that are far outside of what many among us normally assign to its totality. Inasmuch as, our ability to breathe doesn’t begin with an inhalation of air, but our environments ability to produce air; our ability to see doesn’t begin with an opening of an eyelid, but with a flow of electrons along a wire, the combustion of a volatile gas, or even the dramatic fusion processes of a star. In this integrated view of reality, these objects and processes are just as much a part of our body as the organs in our head, chest, and abdomen, for we could not function or survive otherwise.
Surely, in so many countless ways we are held on life support by things outside our personal boundary. Nonetheless, such external bodies and complex dynamics are not the end – but only the beginning – of the grand boundary upon which our existence is possible. It is not just the things around us that complete us, but also the things that have been before us. In this manner we may even suggest that the origin of our physical body’s life began far earlier than on the day we were conceived into the world, and it truly began – at the very least – the initial moments that energy, the fundamental forces, and time-space gave rise. So then, the whole of the universe itself, the physical laws we cannot exist without, and the complex yet significant events which have passed since time began, are also a part of our total body. Inasmuch as these circumstances are essential and vital for us to exist.
Naturally, as we start to open our awareness, we realize that we are not just this immensely discrete object existing helplessly in the tides of the cosmos. In opening our awareness we begin to see that we are connected to all things that are, have been, and will be. In doing so, we begin to grasp the fullness of our true physical vessel and truly understand who we are. Where our full body is not just an isolated and fractional volume our skin encloses, we also see it is the earth, all things living and inert, the moon, the sun, and the stars throughout the celestial heavens. All of which that is connected, allowing for our existence, culminates in the true expression of our full tangible body.
Though we observe our experience of life from deep inside this vast totality, from this view our full body is genuinely the entirety of the universe itself, where there is no such thing as a line to adequately divide the two. Accordingly, we can legitimately claim that we are the universe experiencing itself merely from an exceedingly localized and discrete vantage.
In observation of this perspective, we then know we can enhance our well-being by concetrating on the veritable interdependence we share with eachother and all things. Accordingly, we are able to see the destruction of our selfish desires, and we are able to see the creation in our approach to inclusive community. For, where there is suffering in one part, there is suffering in all parts, and no wall can truly divide us from our true relationship to each other and all things.
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