The primal force of the universe is one thing and one thing only. It is connection. Nothing whatsoever exists independently from everything else. We are all connected to everything and everything is connected to us. There is just no place to assert a line that divides self from other.
If you ever doubt the truth of connection take a hard look at the contents of your refrigerator. Everything comes from farms and from the soil, which is the earth, and nothing could be there were it not for the rain and sun. Examine your city or town. It’s all interconnected. Examine your self. You are connected to your parents who were connected to create you. We are all connected to our society and culture and, if we trace the roots far enough back, we too discover our origins in the sun and even to the very origins of the universe.
Truly our body, our thoughts, our feelings, and our all too human culture are rooted in the monumental explosion that erupted into time and space 13 billion years ago. We are THAT.
Wisdom is recognizing the primacy of that connection in our moment-to-moment existence. That is realization, that is awakening, that is truth.
Everything arises out of connection, but that most confusing and challenging aspect of the human journey that also arises out of connection is this: our personal and individual severing of our very connection to connection!!!
This manifests as fear and contraction. The development of our personal psychology is a direct outcome of that severing. Who we believe ourselves to be is linked not to connection, but its absence.
Thus for nearly all of us the healing path is one of return, as it is so often stated in the Tao Te Ching. And we return through the recognition of fear and contraction in our own lives. We don’t synthetically ape what we believe to be connection to realize connection. Instead, we see the manifestation of its absence in our lives as fear and contraction a thousand times and a thousand times over.
And how does fear and contraction manifest in our lives?
It manifests through invalidation – we negate ourselves and seek to be somebody else. This manifests through compulsive ambition, the compulsive need to please others (and ourselves), the compulsive need to transcend the everyday nature of our daily existence, the compulsive need to resist the effects of time on our bodies, the compulsive need to be perfect in whatever form that might take, the compulsive need to control and predict …
But fear and contraction also manifest through rejecting the very nature of the world and investing our fears, hopes, and desires into the realm of belief. These hopes, desires, and fears work to create an alternative universe which blinds us to the wonder of this very moment.
This is the immense source of ignorance in the world. We believe it’s all about ME and we believe that our hope based personal universe is more real than reality itself. I’m scared of losing the little I possess. I’m scared of my own vulnerabilities. I’m scared of losing my health. I’m scared of being alone. I’m just scared. So it is only frightened people that create and sustain belief systems that substitute themselves for the nature of life as it is in this very moment.
The true manuals of healing can be found in the many words of the Buddha, through much of the wisdom of Native America and in the wisdom traditions of many pre-industrial cultures, and it is found in my book, Liberation from the Lie. Nearly all of us need a guide to uncover the many sources of fear and contraction in our own lives.
I was fortunate that my journey led me to the Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Buddhism, and many years working with traditional healers on the Navajo Nation. But another key ingredient was my own formal education, which enabled me to separate the wheat from the chaff which contaminates some aspects of all these sources. The philosophy of science can be an invaluable tool in re-discovering our own wisdom.
Ultimately, it ALL comes down to us. The journey of return is akin to the process of removing our clothes – the many psychological layers with which we invest our crippled notions of personal safety. As we return to our primal selves, our Authentic Being we explore whether these many psychological layers protect us or whether they hinder us. What is it that we fear? That is a question that each needs to answer and to answer many, many times. The cost of protecting the self is a very high one – it is the sacrifice of your own freedom to be who you truly are.
Awakening and realization is opening up, ultimately, to the false clothing of the self. It is to be aligned to the primal truth of this very moment. Alive to is wonder, to its simplicity, to its complexity, and to its mystery. We are that very mystery. Our many clothes are designed to insulate us from the mystery. But the more we seek to protect ourselves through belief, through compulsive action, through reliance on others, and through hope, the further we stray from our own awakening.
Rather, we must turn ourselves around and journey to the core of this very mystery. Not with the intent of solving it or solving anything, but to discover what it’s like to be naked to this moment, absorbed it, one with it – in connection – in love.
Thus to heal is to see, in this very moment, where we draw the boundaries between the illusory self and the illusory other. Where we substitute hope for truth. Where we ignore what is real with robotic faith and belief.
When we truly become warriors of the real, then we are truly on the path of return back to our selves. We have traversed the territory of fear and contraction so long, that it seems like it’s the only place we know. But there is a far vaster knowing that undergirds fear and that is awakening in our innate connection as one … manifesting as this … manifesting as that … but always one underneath this and that.
Right now, open to this moment as this moment! Your only future is the held in this very moment. Allow it be as it is. Cease substituting your fears and desires onto it. Watch with wonder how it all unfolds. Fill yourself with the wonder – the mystery. This is the pathless land where we are all together as one in this very moment. It’s more amazing and incredible than any description we could impose on it.
This is life. This is truth.