Realization of Interconnection: Game-Changer for the World?
by Marianne Rowe
OK, here’s what I’m contemplating these days…
What would it be like to live from feeling a deep connection with ourselves, others, the animals and plants, and all the elements of the universe…to exist in a knowing that is beyond conceptualization, one that is sourced in a deep sensing of the reality of relatedness in which we all exist?
An Inquiry: What shifts would a Worldview of Interconnection catalyze?
What changes would emerge in my way of being:
…in my perceptions?
…in how I spend my time and my money?
…in my values and how I assign meaning?
I’ve just returned from Wisdom 2.0, a gathering of 3,000 people from over 30 countries, focusing on the “intersection of wisdom and technology.” The theme of this year’s conference was “The Power of Transformation.” The word that predominated the presentations and conversations was interconnection.
Here, amid the diversity of narratives, age, nationality, skin color and profession, there was a profound sense of unity sourced in valuing consciousness, compassion, and well-being. There was a distinct intention of cultivating these values through how we are in relationship with ourselves, each other, the world…and our use of technology.
A Possibility: Consciousness in Technology
Technology is shaping our culture and, quite possibly, our brains. I left Wisdom 2.0 with a deep sense of inspiration and hope, knowing that there are people who are designing and developing devices— which set the tone of cultural connection in today’s world— and who value wisdom and compassion.
From this level of consciousness, these folks are dedicated to creating technology that cultivates connection in a deep, meaningful and authentic sense.
I imagine that I’m not alone in feeling that this is a really good time for some good news…news about people coming together and cultivating a sense of community that is beyond differences in political perspective, economic standing, or geographic origin, but a community with respect for shared humanity and a reverence for life of all beings…with a consciousness of our Interconnection.
Again, Ahhh…and Whew!
A Contemplation: “How do I ‘Enter Connection?"
What are the assumptions or stories that I bring into any given interaction?
How do these narratives affect my perspective?
How does this perspective affect what I say? … and what I hear?
How do I show up if I am sourcing my doing and being in the deep nature of reality— that we share a value of happiness and well-being— that we share a need for a sense of safety and belonging?
In the documentary film, Our Story, Barbara Marx Hubbard raises the question, “Is this the meaning of our power? Are we moving towards a time where the individual will find a way to express their life purpose within a planet that’s integrating into a whole, where there will be a jump in consciousness of each of us as part of the whole system?”
But how do we get it, I mean really get it that we are interconnected with all beings, with the entire universe?
How do we live in what Brene Brown calls our “inextricable connection?”
Seeing Life through the perspective of Interbeing does not mean “we believe/are the same.” Instead, this perspective respects the uniqueness of all beings as being an essential drop in the wave of evolution— different people are in different places, moving at different speeds, and are all part of the larger sea of change. In fact, diversity in cultures and perspectives is as essential to a healthy system of humanity, as bio-diversity is essential to a healthy forest or ocean.
“It is only due to our concepts that we feel separate from the world. We are isolated by ideas of inadequacy, ideas of danger, ideas of loneliness, and ideas of rejection. While we may indeed face external difficulties, our thoughts can amplify them— or even create them— leading us deeper into delusion. If we do not want to be enclaved by our thoughts, we can choose to transform our minds. In any given moment, do I choose to strengthen the delusion or the truth of connection?”
A Sustained Change: Transformation
For those who seek their truth through cognitive understanding, quantum physics and neuroscience offer research and data, but understanding the sense of something is very, very different from sensing something from an experiential level.
Research from the Institute of Noetic Sciences, as discussed in the excellent video “Consciousness, Communication & Change,” points to the fact that sustained shifts come from changes in worldview, rather than from information or motivation. Direct experience changes what we believe into how we are being.
Just knowing we are interconnected on a cognitive level is not quite enough. We need to cultivate recognition of who we truly are through intentional action.
A Path: Embodied Experience
So, how to we begin to cultivate this deep sensing of Interconnection? Here are 5 ways to begin this process as we live our daily lives:
1. Play “Just Like Me”
When you witness someone else expressing an emotion, acknowledge your shared humanity with that person… that you, too, sometimes feel that same way, even though you may express it differently. “That person feels ____, just like I do sometimes.” When the emotions are painful ones, this practice awakens compassion sourced in knowing the discomfort of this life experience.
2. Recognize we’re all in the same boat
Remembering that we all want to be happy and that we all want to be free from suffering, helps us over-ride reactivity that is sourced in judgment and allows us to respond from a larger perspective. We’re all just doing the best that we can in this moment; no one is purposefully withholding a higher way of being. Throughout our lives, we all deal with circumstances that we did not consciously choose…and, often, this reality is difficult. Recognizing this challenge, we can realize that, basically, we’re here to help each other out and to grow…and then respond accordingly.
3. Connect the dots
When we pick-up our food at the grocery store or buy our clothes at the mall or on the internet, it’s very easy to not see the people, animals, and resources that have had a part in bringing that raisin to our hand or that sock to our foot. Taking a moment to contemplate the journey of what we, often thoughtlessly, unpack from a bag, can help us remember the depth and breadth of our interdependence. When I pause to reflect on this aspect of my daily life, I feel a rush of gratitude, wonder and humility.
4. Appreciate service
Whether it’s the person who puts your groceries in a bag or the one who cleans your teeth in the dentist’s office, these folks have lives, families, joys and sorrows…just like you and me. And each of these beings are giving a large part of their waking hours to helping folks in one way or another. Taking a moment to feel this assistance and gratitude for it makes a difference to both people involved. One of my teachers suggested, “Never take service from anyone without knowing their name.” I’ve made a practice of looking at the name tag (or asking), feeling the gratitude, making eye contact, and expressing my gratitude…it makes for a very sweet moment in the day.
5. Receive Nature’s teachings
Take a walk anywhere outdoors and see how many interconnections you find. From the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that we have with the trees to the sound of the jays calling an alert to the animals to the mites being nourished by the decomposing stump, the whole shebang is connected one way or another. Follow the path and the weave to discover the totality in which we’re walking around… Amazing!!
An Opening Question: Radical Idea
What if peace is possible not by cultivating sameness in values or perspectives, but by deepening our consciousness of interconnection and ability to exist in a dynamic coalescence that reflects and honors the diversity and allows us to express our unique being in the unity of experiencing Life?
It might look something like this:
An Invitation: Transformative Retreat
For a deep dive into experiencing the fields of connection with ourselves, each other, and, well…everything, please join us for “Awakening to Interconnection: A Paradigm Shift for Conscious Evolution." In this three-day, oceanside retreat, we will engage meditation, mindful inquiry, ceremony, movement, relational and nature practices in service of cultivating consciousness and transformation. The registration deadline is March 19.