Connected

It would be great if we could sincerely care and love everyone and everything on Earth in the manner that many philosophical and religious teachers have recommended to us. Since this is only possible in our imagination as a virtuous concept we can honestly only practice this type of loving attention to people by which accidents of birth, circumstances, locale, and time are brought together.

We can take this thought experiment another step further to include the controversial assertion that we have soulmates. We have feelings about someone upon meeting and interaction, we feel a profound sense of familiarity. In other words, we feel connected.

Our conscious perception of life is basically a sophisticated illusion. We do not directly experience life as it happens. The brain gathers data from our sense receptors–auditory, visual, touch, taste, etcetera–then swiftly processes the information into a useful form. The results might or might not be accurate. That is, we may obtain a clear image of a form or be fooled by an optical illusion. We then consciously analyze the image to determine whether it represents danger, safety, foe, friend, or other category of thing or being.

We then engage the this information with prior knowledge we have been taught through prior experience or social indoctrination along with a particular emotional state. It is from this “dream” of sorts that we percieve connection or lack thereof.

For example, let’s say that you are visiting the Grand Canyon of Arizona in the United States. You are impressed with the massive rock formations and the depth of the erosion caused by the Colorado River over the eons of time. The senses are overwhelmed to the point of euphoria. The entirety of the situation feels like a spiritual experience. You feel connected to Earth in a deep way.

What is compelling and interesting about connection is that it is about intimacy and our desire to meaningfully interact with another being, place, or activity. When we feel connected we begin to make sense out of the complicated mess of the world and our place within it. Many people believe that connection is akin to experiencing love. In more rational terms, connection is relationship.

“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.”–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Basically, everything in the Universe is connected. The feeling of connectedness arises out of our realization of this truth in personal, emotional terms. As society increasingly becomes more digital, it is important not to forget about face to face human interaction. It is through personal contact that connection is authentic. Society is undergoing a deadly epidemic of loneliness. While isolation can potentially cause physical illness and death, it is connection that has more potential to heal and enable personal growth.

All things considered, where there is no authentic human connection, there is little chance of authentic compassion, commitment, understanding, and love. While solitude is often seen as a panacea, there is the danger of solitude devolving to isolation and self-centeredness. Instead, solitude is a tool to help us achieve connection with our inner being, which in turn helps us connect with the Universe. In the end, connection enables us to better get along with oneself and together with others.

Ciao


The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders a quote from activist and poet, Amanda Gorman. “I think that’s the challenge of our generation: if we are all technology natives, how do we live with influence both online and off, and how do we make sure that both of those aren’t lacking in some type of deeper human connection and substance?”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Health, philosophy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Connected

  1. True, connections seem to be lacking lately.

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