Everything in the universe really is interdependent on and connected to everything else in existence. Using science we explain how through three examples.
Now anyone who understands that "everything is connected" will attestify, generally when you tell most people this simple and fundamental reality they tend to look back at you with an expression as if they're wishing it was true. This is generally because in Western culture and society we've been conditioned to believe in a false sense of separateness between ourselves and other people, between ourselves and our environment, and this is reinforced by various expressions commonly used in language. 'Face reality', or the 'conquest of space' or even 'protecting the environment'. There are all kinds of different ways in which we think of and perceive all kinds of divisions and a kind of separateness which doesn't really exist.
It's all an illusion. A figment of our imagination.
This is something we wish to point out on this somewhat more 'sciency' page where we draw on our extensive research from such areas as astrophysics to give examples of how everything in the universe is connected. We've done a lot of research after the development of Creative Law, which forms the fundamental basis of our work and community (you can find out more about Creative Law by digging into the links below) but generally what fascinates us are the gaps which remain for us as human beings and what remain in what we all think of as civilization relative to the challenges which lie before us in our communities and in society in general.
You see the concept that everything in existence is connected in some way to everything else in existence is such a simple concept. But while many people talk about this and speak of it, many seem to think that this concept is something which is abstract, that it's somehow esoteric, or that it's something which cannot be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. These are some of the notions we seek to challenge or even disprove on this webpage.
Let's share three examples which show how everything is really connected in a way which is very concrete, direct and understandable. We're going to use examples which are connected with the heart, the lungs and breathing and also the mind.
Okay so let's start with the heart. As you're reading these words your heart is beating. The reason your heart is beating is because you need to move a molecule through your bloodstream known as hemoglobin. Within hemoglobin is this smaller molecule which is called Heme B.
Now at the heart of Heme B is a single atom of iron (Fe). Which means in the heart of our heart is a single atom of iron. This is a central part of the hemoglobin molecule because this is the thing which allows us to bind oxygen and move it through our circulatory system.
BUt what you may not know is that the only way that iron is created in the universe is through supernovas and supermassive stars.
The universe started with basically no iron at all just gases such as hydrogen, helium.. It was only through the process of these stars forming, exploding, forming and exploding, was iron able to be created - the exact same iron that courses through our veins.
But this is not where the story really ends because why do stars keep forming? Actually after a supernova happens it may be a long time before those gases come back to form another star. So in order to understand how this works, we need to understand why stars would form. Even though there's a couple of different ways that stars form one of the most robust is the following process.
These are galactic collisions. These are images from the Hubble Space Telescope and they show a series of different panels which are actually different galaxies, because this process takes around half a billion to a billion years. These are different galaxies showing what the process of a galactic collision would look like. In some of the panels you see different galaxies coming together and in the frame in the bottom right hand corner you see the galaxies smashing into each other. As they smash into each other their interstellar gases are mixing, and in the process of doing that they set on fire with new star formation across the entire galaxy, plus whatever remains after the collision.
But even this is not the end of the story. Why would galaxies collide? This probably isn't something which just happens for no reason. So to understand this we're going to have to go back even further.
Here we are at the level of seeing about 100,000 galaxies. Every one of the tiny dots in this image is a galaxy that is in our supercluster and we're approximately where you see a red dot. The glowing lines you see are not galaxies, but are the trajectories that these galaxies are going to take through gravity over the coming billions of years. This is all going to be part of a beautiful gravitational dance of all these galaxies swirling together in a gravitational structure that we call Laniakea. Laniakea is a Hawaiian word which means 'the immeasurable heaven'.
It's this process, the gravitational dance of 100,000 galaxies swirling together which drives the process of galaxies colliding, which in turn drives massive star formation, which in turn drives the process of creating the iron essential to hemoglobin so that we can pump oxygen through our bloodstream with every heartbeat.
In this way every one of our heartbeats is connected.
So now we move on to the second example and this example based on lungs and breathing is actually about breath. Taking a deep breath is one of the most simple ways we can connect to our own bodies. But taking a deep breath was not something that was possible on this planet three billion years ago.
Above we see a graph showing the composition of the Earth's atmosphere over time. We had about the same amount of nitrogen but we almost had no oxygen at all. So three billion years ago you wouldn't have been able to breathe. We actually had a huge amount of carbon dioxide. The net effect of course was an almost inhabitable planet. The only organisms that could exist at this time were single celled organisms inside of stromatolites and other closed spaces.
Now fortunately for us one of those organisms which was alive at the time was something called a cyanobacteria.
Cyanobacteria had the special trick we know of as 'photosynthesis' which is the ability to take energy from the Sun and transform carbon dioxide into oxygen. Over the course of billions of years, starting from two and a half billion years ago little by little these little bacteria spread all over the planet and converted all that carbon dioxide in the air into the oxygen that we now have.
It was a very slow process. First they had to saturate the seas. Then they had to saturate the oxygen that the earth would absorb. Only then, finally, could oxygen begin to build up in the atmosphere.
So you see just after about 900 million years ago oxygen starts to build up in the atmosphere. Then about 600 million years ago something really amazing happens. The ozone layer forms from the oxygen that has been released into the atmosphere. This sounds like a small thing, because we talked about the ozone layer a couple of decades ago. But it actually turns out that before the ozone layer existed Earth was not really able to sustain complex, multicellular life.
We had single celled organisms, we had a couple of multicellular organisms but there really wasn't anything around like people.
Shortly after the ozone layer came into place the Earth was able to sustain complex multicellular life. There was a Cambrian explosion of life in the seas. Also the first plants got onto land. Prior to plants there was no life on land.
Above you see a chart illustrating the history of life. Right at the start is the formation of the ozone layer. Nothing you are familiar with today could exist without the contributions of these tiny organisms over those billions of years.
So where are they now?
They've actually never really left us. The direct descendants of the cyanobacteria were eventually captured by plants and they're now called chloroplasts.
Here we see chloroplasts within the structure of a plant cell and you eat these things with your fruit and vegetables. Tons of these little chloroplasts are still trapped contributing photosynthesis and making energy for the plants which continue to be the other half of our lungs on earth.
In this way we are all connected through our breathing. Every out-breath is mirrored by the in-breath of a plant. Their out-breath is mirrored by our in-breath.
Imagine if you were one of these little organisms two billion years ago. You might be born. You live a couple of weeks. You die. You kind of feel like well nothing has really changed. I had no purpose in this life. The world I came to is exactly the same as the world I left. But what you wouldn't have understood is that every breath you took contributed to the possibility of countless lives after you - lives that you would never see, lives that we are all part of today.
It's worth thinking that maybe the meaning of our lives are actually not even within the scope of our understanding. It's true of every one of these organisms and it may also be true of us as well.
So now we come to the third and final example which is that of the mind. This is not a statement to claim that our minds are all connected in some kind of psychic way. There is no need for that. Our minds are all connected in a way we can understand easily - through language and culture. However first we have to define what the mind actually is?
So maybe you can tell me what the inside of your head looks like. Or the space behind your eyes. Can you see inside your mouth? There is a principle here. Water cannot make itself wet. Fire cannot burn itself. A knife cannot cut itself. Nothing can be the object of its own knowledge. A mind is something you sense, perceive and think through. You see you are living, but what is life, but an experience or a relationship. In order to live there has to be an experience and also a perceiver of that experience. You are the perceiver of your experience, and the mind is what you use to perceive everything through, rather like the part of the camera which captures the image, or image sensor.
This means that your mind is what you use to perceive, sense, feel and think about everyone and everything which isn't you. So who are you? Essentially, you are your individual conscious perspective. This is covered in much more detail on the webpage Being yourself but your mind is the focus of everything which isn't you, just like the sensor of a camera is focussed on what comes through the lens of a camera rather than anything to do with the camera itself.
So above we see the image of a street scene in Paris, centring around a cafe. It doesn't matter who you are, where you are in the world, you will perceive a street image of a cafe in Paris. We assume that you're not going to disagree and claim that the image is that of the San Diego Zoo. Now this is where the language comes into it. The printed words on the awnings such as 'glaces' and 'limonade' will only conjure up mental images of ice cream and lemonade if you figure out what these words mean, but if you don't understand what these words mean you will just perceive the words without associating them with anything.
This is important because we don't perceive the world in terms of atoms, molecules, energy and consciousness, we perceive the world in terms of language and culture (or cultural references). We verbalize our feelings, our emotions, and while what we perceive, how we perceive things and what we experience may be individual and unique to us, we verbalize that what we experience and feel in the exact same way as everyone else who is using the same language as us. When someone speaks to us in a language we cannot understand, we just hear the noise which comes from verbalizations and guttural sounds.
Culture is a major part of language and the words we use and it changes over time. Nobody would claim that they are having a 'capital' day, which was a common figure of Edwardian speech. Nobody today uses words such as 'groovy', 'far out' or 'tripping' which were common terms in the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's.
So now we come to language and culture on a much more fundamental level - music. As much as it's mathematical music is also language on a different level, because music develops culture and it also communicates. Musical instruments can be seen as instruments which produce language just as much as our vocal chords and voices produce music. However what we want to focus on is one particular instrument - the piano.
You see the piano is a musical instrument which is so complex, so nuanced and so textured. So much language and so much beauty can be created from a piano that people can make an entire career and spend their whole lives playing the piano. Professional musicians, such as concert pianists, get to know this instrument intimately and deeply over a number of years. This enables them to create with sound in a way that dazzles us, challenges us and deepens us. The relationship between a pianist and a piano is really not that much different between a writer and a pen and a language.
If you were to look into the mind of a concert pianist and you used all the modern ways of imaging it, one of the most interesting things you will learn is just how much of their brain is actually dedicated to this instrument. The ability to coordinate ten fingers, the ability to work one or two pedals, the sense and feeling for the sounds produced, the understanding of music theory, all these things are represented as different patterns and structures in the brain. While playing the trained pianist has to coordinate numerous variables simultaneously while most people cannot simultaneously handle more than two variables without training and practice because this requires careful division of the focus of conscious attention.
Now that you have that thought in your mind, recognize that this beautiful pattern and structure of thought in the brain was not possible even a couple of hundred years ago. The piano was not invented until 1700. This beautiful, complex pattern of thought in the brain didn't exist 5,000 years ago.
In this way the skill of the piano, the relationship to the piano, the beauty that comes from it, was not conceivable to human thought until very recently in human history.
The invention of the piano itself was not an independent thought. It required a depth of mechanical engineering. It required the history of stringed instruments. It required so many patterns and structures of thought that led to the possibility of its invention and then this led to the development of the mastery of playing the piano.
All of us are born into this life having available to us the experiences of humanity that has come so far. The Palette of Being refers to the 'palette' of thoughts and experiences that are available to us and with which we can 'paint' our lives. We are typically only able to paint with the patterns of thoughts and the ways of being that existed before.
So if the piano and the way of playing it is a way of being this is a way of being that didn't exist for people 5,000 years ago. It was a colour in the Palette of Being that you couldn't paint with. However nowadays if you're born you can actually learn the skill. Being born nowadays you can be a computer scientist or a smartphone app programmer which wasn't possible even a century ago.
Our lives are really beautiful for the following reason. We are born into this life, we have the ability to make this unique painting, with all the colours of being that exist around us from our point of birth. But in the process of life we also have the unique opportunity to create a new colour and add that to the palette. That might come from a new invention, a new way of doing something, or even new culture. It might come from something you discover. It might come from the way you express yourself as a human being. It might come from something you create, such as a piece of artwork, a song you write, something you write, or something you design.
But each one of these things we create, or design, or somehow put out into the world through the creative process of mixing together all the other things that existed at the point that we were born, these things allow us to expand the Palette of Being for everyone in society who come after us.
Finally we'd like to share with you a simple concept which we call 'levels of being'. We are perhaps all aware that we exist in this amazing universe but you might one of many people who think that you're this tiny, insignificant part of the universe. This is because you've been socially conditioned to believe in this entirely false illusion of separateness.
What we instead suggest you consider or think about yourself as is as an expression of the whole universe which is taking place at a specific point in this planet. You are a unique individual human being. There's never been anyone who's exactly like you who's ever been born in the entire 1.8 million years of human evolution. There's never ever going to be another 'you' born at any point in the future. You can probably understand that you are unique within your own family right? But it's also true that you are just as unique in your local community, your society, and so it follows that you are unique among the 7-8 billion human beings who make up the human species.
You see, what was also happening right at the exact location of your birth at the time of your birth? Nothing right? Everything is connected, and this is what makes you, and us, and everyone else just as much a part of the whole universe as anything and everything else. You might want to think a little about what you do, and how what you do can affect other people, your friends, your family, your community, your society and even the whole of humanity. And not just now, this week, or this year, but on and on and on into the future.
Now that you are aware of how everything is really connected, how do you want to live?
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