We have never once in our history been separate. We have always been linked to one another for survival, and our joy and our sorrow have never truly been our own. Every action, every word, every thought… they broadcast new strands of connection at every moment. This is an inescapable truth- we cannot disconnect these strands, and we cannot stop creating them.
When we try to sever or deny their existence, any perceived success is only a numbing of our awareness, and this numbing prevents us, not only from seeing each other, but from sensing our own Self.
It is only possible to say that we don’t want to be involved because we are numb to the truth that we already are.
Every action we take has an effect on our community. Likewise, every success and failure we experience is due, at least in part, to the previous actions of others- every law that protects us or puts us in harm’s way, every invention that eases our lives or pollutes the environment, even social conventions like family structures, greetings and the amount of eye contact we make all shape our overall wellness for better or worse.
It is common in spiritual life to honor the teachings, teachers, lineages, and traditions that have made it possible for us to walk on the path. With this comes the realization that even our walking is not our own- it is driven by every foot that has stepped before us.
This is true in every aspect of our lives…
I become aware of this with every new melody that soars from the lips, every word that descends to the page from the pen, every metaphor and poetic form, every spark of creativity arising from contemplation. My mind is simply a pot stirring its influences, and even this stirring is the product of cause and effect.
Was it the rock that created the ripple? Or the fallen branch that dislodged the rock? Or the wind that snapped the branch? Or the heavy rains that weakened it?
Of course it is the interaction of all of it, and it is in this systemic view of things that we gain a glimpse of something bigger, deeper, whole. It is a great honor when we can witness this Totality through our own work, when it coalesces through our individual awareness to form a new nexus in the web of life.
These words are one such nexus. They are meant to inspire us to turn towards each other. They show that our only true possession, if there is any at all, is our sense of duty to one another.
These words are meant to inspire the next nexus of creation. The ripples in the pond inspire the frog to leap from the lily pad, and this makes new ripples.
From the first eruption of the Big Bang to the creation of carbon in the stars, these ripples pulsated through the cold depths of space and time until that right moment when the first human could translate them into words. They have since been echoed by spiritual teachers, philosophers, activists, scientists, and yes, even the lily pad in the pond. It is these ripples that convince me we are not separate, that prompted the lifting of the pen to paper, that prompted the typing of keys, that prompted the clicking of “publish.”
May this little post continue the spreading of ripples until all beings are free.