Every single day I marvel at the incredibly complexity of reality, the layers upon layers of dimension that make it possible for us to even be alive. It’s not just a collection of muscle cells that allows your heart to beat, nor just a collection of neurons that allows your mind to think. And how do you explain emotions and synchronicity and the transformation of a chrysalis into a butterfly?
On a very mundane level, I understand that what makes the internet work are the links that connect everything into a single web. These links are like the spaces that connect the words that make the sentence. Like the silence that connects the notes that make the song. Like the nails that connect the boards that hold the house together.
What I am beginning to realize is that there is not one thing out of place. The father’s anger teaches the son the value of peace. The fallen tree is now shelter for a family of squirrels. The shadow of a newly risen skyscraper darkens the corner office across the street, giving solace to a migraine sufferer who fought the sun every afternoon for twenty years.
Acknowledging the interconnected totality of all that is, we are led to Sir Isaac Newton, who told us that for every act, there is an equal and opposite reaction. From a holistic perspective, that means that every action affects the whole. The prime directive for time travelers is to not disrupt the space-time continuum – if you change the way things are, then the way things were will never be the same.
And then we come to the prime directive for the rest of us: the Law of Karma, which tells us that similar actions will lead to similar results, or what comes around, goes around.
All of this leads me to share with you a video that I had ordered via Netflix, one that sat near our television for several weeks, neglected I guess because it had the potential to be forgettable. Last night I said to my wife, “I guess we should watch that movie so we can send it back.”
The video, Home, a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, is a history of Earth. It reveals how the metals in the Earth’s core are the stuff of stars, and how Homo sapiens (Latin: “wise man” or “knowing man”) is one of the newest species of life on the planet. And then it proceeds to show how this new species, in a relatively short amount of time, has proceeded to do what nothing in the history of Earth had ever done, destroyed the incredibly complex balance of nature.
Link by link, it has been broken.
While the facts about our environmental crisis are just as upsetting in this film as all the others, Home hits home by reminding us how much we are nature. It reveals the Earth’s incredible beauty, and reminds us that the imminent danger we face is an opportunity for us: It is not a time for pessimism.
I encourage you to watch this film, and allow yourself to be moved by it. I was, to my core.