How We Are All Connected In Our Crisis

I have been thinking about the connectedness of things lately.  In fact, it's been weighing heavily on me.  

It's probably because I have also been thinking more deeply about how going through a collective trauma (like the one we are experiencing right now with COVID) affects not only individuals, but also society as a whole.  

Here's what I've been pondering...  

There is an energy that exists between us, all around us and in us that is connected to the universe in intricate, unseen and also very fundamental ways.  I believe that energy to be the Spirit of the eternal, universal Christ--just so you know where I'm coming from on the issue.  

It is through the Spirit that all things are created, exist, live, move breathe and have being.  This isn't original to me, by any stretch of the imagination--it's straight up Apostle Paul.  

Along those lines, there is a holy interconnectedness that exists between ourselves and all of Creation, including those who share our humanity... other people... even those we don't feel all that connected to at times.  

I recently read this amazing William James quote, and he put it like this:  

Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest, which co-mingle their roots in the darkness underground.  Just so there is a continuum of cosmic consciousness, against which our individuality builds but accidental fences, and into which our several minds plunge as into a mother sea or reservoir. 

There is so much I love about this---the imagery, the ideas it conjures up... but the part that resonates with me right now is the part where  James speaks of how our "individuality builds accidental fences" against the interconnectedness.  

Let me explain why this is so important for us... 

Despite the fact that we have these deep roots, these intricate connections that exist below (or beyond) our basic perceptions of ourselves and the world around us, we keep putting up "accidental" fences to separate ourselves from it... until we realize we can't. 

Maybe the thing that brings us to our senses is a global pandemic... 
Or the realization that there are people in serious pain in our country... 
And that there are systems that exist that perpetuate that pain, and our own...   

But in order for us to get to that point, we need to let go of the illusion that we are merely an island, or a lone tree standing in the forest.  Or that we are able to find our way to the "mother sea" of cosmic consciousness (Spirit) and plunge into it on our own.  

We have to let go of our need for control... to become less in order to become more.  We need to lose ourselves to find ourselves, in other words.  This is what Jesus taught over and again to his followers.  

I heard a line from a song by Bon Iver today that I can't get out of my head.  The singer is reflecting on a thing that has happened to him, a realization that whatever he was going through isn't going to be the end of him, even though he had believed it would be.  He sings: 
And at once I knew I  was not magnificent. 
You might say, "Well that doesn't sound very positive."  But it does.  It's the moment when the singer loses himself at last, surrendering to the moment, and acknowledging the powerful realization that what he thought was the end, isn't, and more importantly, that he is not alone.  

None of us are alone.  None of us.  

You might feel alone in all of this.  God knows I do... more often than I'm willing to admit here in these lines.  But I'm learning that is an illusion.  There is connectedness between us and everything, to one another and ultimately to the Spirit who makes all of it possible. 

Surrender to this and be free.  Let go and sink your head into the Spirit's reservoir.  Those accidental fences will vanish when your head comes up covered in a new way of seeing... of being... of knowing.  

May this be true for you today and every day, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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