“All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.” -Buddha
Science is proving what great spiritual teachers have been saying for millennia. We do not exist individually, there is no action that we can take or perform that is not connected to all of us. Our lives exist within an intricate web of relationships that create our success or failure, not just individually but as a whole. The wake-up call is coming at us from all directions; whether in the form of economic collapse that travels like a line of dominoes or the complex eco-system failures that are destroying entire species on our watch. The concept of survival of the fittest must now be replaced by an emerging biological imperative that the system which holds all of us must thrive if any of us is to survive.
In “Spontaneous Evolution“, Bruce Lipton states: “Perhaps the most important message offered by both quantum physics and field experiments is that everything is interrelated. Our Universe is not hierarchical and linear; it’s relational and fractal.” He explains that by recognizing and understanding that the self-similar fractal patterns that repeat themselves throughout every level of the biological world, it becomes clear that any good or harm that happens anywhere in the chain, impacts the entire system.
Historically, the idea of survival of the fittest referred to a biological drive to reproduce. Our planet can no longer support this definition of survival. If we are to survive, we must begin to see ourselves as part of a larger whole and equate our well being to the health of the entire ecosystem that defines us. Alan Watts once said: “I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.”
This belief that we are one, suffering and thriving together flies in the face of our individualistic society, where we too often measure our lives by our wealth, where competition for resources is generally accepted as the truth of basic human relationships.
Looking for the places where we are connected, forging identities of family and tribe that include much wider circles of humanity is an effort in a world divided by partisan politics and divergent values. We have less and less time to get beyond the differences that separate us. Survival of the fittest is gone, now we must thrive together or perish together. Exciting times.