Written on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2008
I feel like I’m making progress in understanding that I am not a separate, isolated part of the universe, but am rather a part of an infinite whole. I’m realizing, more and more, that whatever affects someone else, affects me. It’s as if the entire universe is an endless web, where the slightest motion in one part of the web ripples out to even the most distant part. When someone is sad in one part of the world, I, in some way, am affected, or changed, by that sadness; when someone is filled with joy, no matter if they are on the opposite side of the world, I share in that joy. I think the word “share” is especially important here. In a very real sense, we all share our lives with every other life. Take a feeling like happiness, for instance. If I see a person walking down the street in obvious happiness, I actually possess as much of his happiness as he does. After all, happiness is not a physical, material thing that can be “owned” or “kept” by anyone. It’s a spiritual, unlimited quality. Once it is felt by a single person, it instantly flows out on the web to the farthest part of the universe. The sad reality is that most of us rarely feel this connection with the rest of the universe. We think of feelings like joy and sorrow as sensations that we privately own, not realizing that we can no more own them than we can own the wind. The wind blows across the entire earth, and so do our inner lives. If I am totally aware today, I will share the happiness or sorrow of the world as it ripples to me across the infinite never-ending web of creation.