“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is, infinite.” – William Blake
We are all connected. Mainstream coffee-shop talk suggests as much. So do advertising campaigns for wireless networks and social networking sites. But just how connected are we? It depends upon how deeply you look.
Begin at the surface of what we see, with our bodies. We seem very connected. We are all the same species of mammal. Every human being shares the same form. And 99.9% of our bodies are the same, leaving .1% uniqueness in the form of codes for proteins that express our differences. The pigment of our skin. The only excuse some people use to separate themselves from others.
What we share is a body that is 99% hydrogen, oxygen and carbon.
In the surprisingly moving Symphony of Science video, “We are All Connected,” Hayden Planetarium Director Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us,
“We are all connected; to each other, biologically; to the earth, chemically; to the rest of the universe, atomically.
“…I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos. That makes me want to grab people in the street and say, ‘Have you heard this?’ ”
We have more molecules in our body than there are stars in the universe. “Science is now confident,” reports the European Space Agency, “that most of the atoms in our bodies and, indeed, in everything around us, were once in the heart of stars.” I looked online to learn how many atoms exist in the human body. The answer is: 7, followed by 27 zeroes.
The late Dr. Carl Sagan suddenly emerges on the Symphony of Science video, saying, as only he could: “The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.
“…The cosmos is also within us, we’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
One of my favorite films is Bernt Amadeus Capra’s Mindwalk, based on the book, The Turning Point, by the director’s brother, theoretical physicist Dr. Fritjof Capra. In the film, actress Liv Ullmann portrays Norwegian scientist Sonia Hoffman. Speaking to two Americans she just met, she reveals that in reality, matter does not exist at the subatomic level, that what we view as matter are actually just probabilities of interconnections.
“A particle at the subatomic level,” Sonia says, “dissolves into a series of interconnections, like chords of music.”
Sitting in a church, with her hand on a wooden pew, Sonia says this about the connections between people and everything else: “At the subatomic level, there is a continual exchange of matter and energy between my hand and this wood, between the wood and the air, and even between you and me. I mean, a real exchange of photons and electrons. Ultimately, whether we like it or not, we’re all part of one inseparable wave of relationships.”
Our focus in this three-dimensional world of denser matter is based upon what we see, hear, touch, smell and taste. We see separate bodies moving in separate directions, people thinking separate things and living apparently separate lives.
But go deeper. As beings in these bodies of energy, we are actually doing nothing except interconnecting on the subatomic level. Nothing more. Nothing less.
And this interconnection between us is our intuition. It is coincidence. It is collective consciousness. It is love. And it is the miracle of life.
It is life.
Be grateful. Acknowledge your starriness. Awaken to this incredible journey of life in a world that can appear so bleak, and yet, simultaneously bloom into incredible beauty in a blink of an eye.
Artwork above is a view of the Orion Nebula taken from “Hubble 3D,” a new IMAX film released by NASA. It opens April 23 at the Minnesota Zoo.