Watched Tom Shadyac’s “I Am” last night. I don’t think I was aware that his motivation for the documentary was his own personal struggles with a near death experience following an injury. The message, the story being told in this documentary? Certainly not a new one, but one that most of us do not, or in some cases refuse to, accept or even consider seriously. “I Am“, “The Secret“, “What the Bleep do we Know?“, “Examined Life“, “The Quantum Activist“, all the same message, but not a new one. At the most fundamental level of human, physical and conscious experience, we are truly ONE. Our interconnectedness, our interdependence, our relational attributes and NOT our “perceived” separation, distinctiveness or identity, is what we truly ARE. If you can accept this, you cannot escape a transformation in thinking, acting, feeling and seeing the world and the people around you, differently.

Ok, admittedly, a tough pill to swallow at first. Conceptually not so hard to imagine, but in order to embrace this idea completely one has to put aside a lifetime of learning and personal experience. This is not so much about learning something new, but UN-learning much of what you currently believe to be true, to be REAL. Now, just for a moment, consider the POSSIBILITY this it true. At the most fundamental level of human, physical and conscious experience, we are truly ONE. If this is indeed the case, then our devastatingly self-destructive, self-interested and morally vacuous pursuits of socially determined external values, material things or ego-driven pursuits, would appear to be the antithesis of REAL life. It is no longer surprising how poorly we have done as custodians of this planet. It is no longer a mystery as to why so many people suffer and die when the change in our pockets, or the water which flows freely from our taps, could easily keep them alive. It is no longer a surprise when we see others turn their backs on or condemn those less fortunate than ourselves. It should no longer be a mystery as to what we need the most in order to LIVE and not just survive, barely.

Paradigm’s, be they social, psychological or scientific, change all the time. Even just a brief and superficial review of history, science, the philosophy of science makes this painfully clear. The ideas, the “pictures” we draw and stories we tell about the world, the universe and our selves, changes time and time again. Each generation ignorantly, naively claims they (we) have the RIGHT answer, a superior, more evolved, more “right” story of the world, of “us”, than those that have come before. This is certainly comforting, unfortunately it is naive and is more often wrong, more often incomplete, than “right” or a complete story. Science, materialism, reductionism are no different, they are wrong, incomplete. Our current epistemology (empiricism), based on observable, repeatable and measurable attributes of the (apparently) separate world, is based on a lie, an illusion. Nor can, or will, empiricism ever explain anything beyond the most basic or obvious attributes of the physical, extended world. Objectivity is an illusion.

Fortunately, actually ironically, it is this material, physical and empirical world-view and (paradoxical) scientific discoveries in the area of quantum physics which has lent support to the age-old, cross-cultural and unmistakable message that we are all connected in a fundamental way. Something called quantum entanglement, what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance“. At the most fundamental level of human, physical and conscious experience, we are truly ONE. Our separateness is but an ILLUSION. Think about this the next time you feel anger, judgment, criticism or disdain for someone less-fortunate than yourself. Think about this the next time you see someone digging through a garbage can looking for food or clothing. Think about this the next time someone extends their hand to you asking for spare change. Think about this the next time you see someone suffering from mental illness or addiction. Think about this the next time an immigrant from a country far less economically or socially stable than ours, asks to live with us. Think about this the next time you see anyone suffering.

It is simply not possible, in fact it is HIGHLY IRRATIONAL, to ignore these emerging ideas. Far too many of the most brilliant and respected individuals, scientists, teachers and spiritual leaders are telling us the same thing. At the most fundamental level of human, physical and conscious experience, we are truly ONE. At some point, I believe (I hope) we will reach a tipping point where humans will accept this old story, this old message, this revised message, this unifying message, and embrace it. We managed to get past the idea that the world was flat, or that the universe revolved around us. We will get past this flawed notion (our separateness) as well. Will it be the last story, the last time we change our world-view, the last time the paradigm shifts? Not likely. Will it help to create a better world, I believe so, I hope so.

We are truly ONE, our separateness is an ILLUSION. Compassion, love, cooperation, social and cultural interdependence will INCREASE the probability our species will survive and thrive. When we see ALL life as part of us, it becomes far less likely we can exploit or harm the planet. When we see ALL life as sacred, it becomes much harder to dismiss the suffering of others, or the destruction of the planet for economic purposes or what has been unfortunately and euphemistically labelled “sustainable development“. When you consider, or accept the possibility that at the most fundamental level of human, physical and conscious experience, we are truly ONE, it becomes difficult, if not impossible to ignore the feelings, the welfare, the happiness of everyone around us.

Even some of the fields of psychological research concerned with the “self” have started to recognise this enhanced interdependence in the way of a new model, a “theory” of how the human “self” is developed, construed. No longer can the simple or dual model of the self as “independent” (internal locus of control) or “interdependant” (external locus of control) suffice as complete models of “self” development. This new model, has the unfortunate name of “metapersonal self-construal“. Which simply means that one’s sense of self and identity is based on a fundamental belief, experience, realization that not only are we humans all ONE, but all life is interconnected, is ONE.

When one construes the information about a relationship between the self and others as one that includes all things, all life, all of creation, then this construal is the metapersonal self-construal.” (Stroink)

So the answer to my question last night on Facebook, is human nature fundamentally competitive or cooperative? I believe we are fundamentally cooperative, we are social beings and we are fundamentally connected. At the most fundamental level of human, physical and conscious experience, we are truly ONE. Our unique identities, or separateness, is but an illusion. We cannot act, make choices, make decisions, without affecting, or being affected by, the world and people around us. Although a bit more challenging to consider, quantum physicists also tell us that our observations BRING THE WORLD INTO EXISTENCE out of a world, a universe of probabilities. Something a bit easier to consider, did you know that the magnetic fields which emanate from the beating of your own heart, changes the way the hearts beat of those around you? Consider that for a moment. I learned this when I ran a cardiovascular research lab at UNBC where heart rate variability (HRV) was one component under study in combination with human emotions and I was reading a large volume of research literature on the topic. The heart also gives off characteristic signatures (between the QRS) which are highly correlated with human emotions. If we accept that our emotional states manifest themselves at least partially as subtle variations in heart rhythms and the heart gives off magnetic fields which can, and do affect the heart rhythms of those around us, the conclusion should be self-evident. If you are angry, you will make those around you angry. If you are stressed, you will make those around you stressed. If you are filled with love and compassion, those around you are likely to sense the love and compassion and their bodies, their hearts will reciprocate. You, your body, your heart will sense this love and compassion and respond even more in kind. Where have we heard that before?

So go out and love, go out and feel, show and demonstrate compassion for all people, all life. You ARE, We ARE all truly ONE. This is not silly, New Age spiritual mumbo-jumbo. This is REAL. Even if it is not the ONLY story, the ONLY paradigm, or the last world-view, it is probably better than the one we have currently. Wouldn’t you agree it’s worth a shot to consider?

At the most fundamental level of human, physical and conscious experience, we are truly ONE. 

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” (Dalai Lama)

To see a world in a grain of sand,And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,And eternity in an hour.” (William Blake)

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” (Thomas Merton)

Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality.” (Gandhi)

When the province of physical theory was extended to encompass microscopic phenomena through the creation of quantum mechanics, the concept of consciousness came to the fore again. It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.” (Eugene Wigner)

The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.” (Dalai Lama)

The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment.” (Bernard d’Espagnat)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” (John Muir)

I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘ But how can it be like that?’ because you will go ‘down the drain’ into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.” (Richard Feynman)

…for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

The Power of One: Ghandi, Mandela, Mother Teresa – everybody has the Power of One. Just do something.” (Desmond Tutu)

Johnny Stork

An Old Hippie and Jolly Mystic Dude with a background (or interests) in psychology, sexuality, philosophy, spirituality, consciousness, contemplative practices and technology. In a few different previous lives/careers I have been a youth-care worker and program developer; statistician; database developer; web developer; WordPress developer; Linux administrator and open-source consultant; network/website security administrator; social-media and web marketing specialist; male waiter on Ladies Nights and a pourer of molten steel.

I currently hang out in Gibson’s BC while attending Alef Trust (Middlesex University) as a Master’s student in Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology. When I am not reading, studying, writing, blogging, listening to music or contemplating my navel, I like to spend time taking photos, hiking, 4x4ing, camping, kayaking or challenging social, sexual, gender and intellectual stereotypes.

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“I Am” One. We are One. Time for a Shift in Paradigms. by Johnny Stork is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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