And We Are All Together

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I just finished this amazing book called Remainder, which is deeply philosophical, unnervingly psychological, and wicked smart all at the same time.  And the idea that resurfaces over and over in the book is this need to be in harmony with the world, to be woven intimately and inextricably into the fabric of the universe.

It reminds me of this amazing TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor (definitely worth the watch).  She is a brain scientist who has a stroke, and because of her background, she is in an intensely unique position to both have her experience and observe it in a scientific manner.  Although as it turns out, her experience ends up feeling much more spiritual than clinical.

I am he as you are he as you are me.  Our individuality is so beautiful- it gives color and variety to life.  But clinging too tightly to our identities, getting so wrapped up in ourselves that we insulate and isolate, is what makes us feel separate and alone.

It’s so fascinating- and terrifying- the places our minds can take us.  I have had a few moments lately- moments when the horizon of my vision has narrowed to this tiny tunnel.  And as soon as it becomes all about me, and my problems, and the tiny details that normally don’t matter- that’s when I’m in trouble.  Suddenly I’m anxious, irritable, defensive.  I’m out to protect what I have, and everybody and everything else seems to want to take that away from me.

This longing we have as humans, this quest to know, to learn, to do, to feel- more, always more- I think it’s part of that wanting to be back together.  To feel united and complete, to be in total harmony.

The irony is, we already are.  No matter how many barriers we throw up, how we clothe ourselves and house ourselves and communicate through wireless signals, we are a part of everything all the time.  There is nothing to get back to.  There is only here.

I may never feel the atoms of my body actually merge with the atoms of the air around me, swapping electrons to give me only the impression that I have a body with a steady and constant shape.  The closest I can get is this: when I lie in savasana long enough, so long that I lose the desire to get up, it becomes hard to tell where my body ends and the earth begins.  And in those moments, I am you.  And you are me.

Be well.

*photo credit theatlanticcities.com.  From the Inside Out Project

-Learn more about street artist JR at Artsy