As we look out through our eyes, or listen through our ears, or feel through our touch, we feel like we’re separate entities and in some sense that the rest of the people and creatures are somehow somewhat less sentient and are, at some level, subservient to us. That is, if we are completely honest with ourselves.
I’ve been getting out of bed much earlier in the mornings than I have ever started each day in my life. I’m usually up and at ’em by 4:00 AM. Regardless of the season, that means my part of the earth hasn’t rotated to the part of the sky in view of the sun. If we think about what dawn really is, we get a different view of the universe and our place in it.
The gym was closed, so I poured some coffee into an insulated mug and stepped out for a walk. I looked at the clear, starry sky. It was my birthday, so I felt philosophical and analytical.
For countless centuries humanity’s vision of sunrise was somewhat like that described by ancient Greek mythology. The sun being a firy chariot being driven across the heavens by Apollo. That is, there was a geo-centric, or earth-centered, concept of the universe. Everything revolving around and relating to the planet earth.
Other, more observant, people saw through the illusion of the sun’s path over the sky and deduced that the sun did travel. But it was on its own journey, along a different trajectory than is apparent. These observant people figured out that the earth rotated and was also a satellite of the sun. They found out that we are just along for the ride.
There was great resistance to this knowledge. Some of these observant people were murdered by the authority figures of their day, others were forced to recant their findings. Eventually, though, the truth of the nature of the sky won out.
Later, we found out that the sun wasn’t the center of the universe and that it was just another star in orbit with billions of other stars in a galactic formation. And then we found out that there are countless billions of galactic formations in countless galaxy clusters.
A sputturing old pickup rattled by and woke me out of my reverie. I continued thinking about how stuff is part of other stuff.
I pictured how a motor vehicle is a good illustration of this. Cars and trucks can be thought of as organized stuff. When one part becomes worn out or falls off, the entire vehicle can either become less efficient or refuse to operate at all. Just like the sputtering pickup was a symptom of something gone awry with the engine. Think of the vital parts of a vehicle, the drivetrain, wheels, steering, etc. If one of them is missing, no go.
That is interdependence. It’s somewhat loosely like humanity. We are capable of doing many things on our own accord. We can create works of art, or start a company, farm the land or…? But we also need other people, and we need the earth.
If we have started a corporation, we must have people and equipment. The people who work in the corporation and those who manufacture the equipment both power the company and are powered by the company. All the people, ownership, management, and employees are essential to the continuation of the company.
The company–ownership, management and employees, in turn, is dependent upon the earth, and the sun, and the universe. The company is just along for the ride, just like the rest of us. One cannot continue without the others.
These days, the earth is sputtering along like that old pickup. We’re somehow struggling to accomplish something. However, some of our ideas and techniques are worn out or broken. Many of us have forgotten that we are interdependent beings.
I think it’s time to remember what creates the sunrise.
The Blue Jay of Happiness never forgets his place on earth.