Resources for Recovering Resilience: Interconnectedness… Seeing That Clearly

The e-quotes posting of Monday, October 8, 2012, on Seeing Clearly…Seeing At All, drew as much reader response as anything I’ve posted. One additional quote was sent to me by Margery Prickett from the blind and heroic French resistance writer Jacques Lusseyran:

“…This process has many names: thinking, concentrating, reflecting. When we really think about it, however, we understand that it is always a protection against seeing. After we have received pictures through the eyes, it is necessary to hold onto these pictures, to explain them to ourselves without any kind of visual support, in short, to give them an entirely new form of existence: the inner existence. Without this willingness to give up, at least temporarily, the impressions we receive through the eyes, no true cognition is in my opinion possible.”

Remembering that article, remembering Kim’s workshop at IONS, reminded me that IONS was founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell who, returning from the Apollo 14 mission to the moon and seeing the earth rise from behind the moon “like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery,” had a profound realization of the oneness of the earth and everything living on it, and began the research institute that explores how human beings can come to such radical shifts in consciousness.

Whether we come to see the interconnectedness of all of life through an expansive epiphany like Mitchell’s, or through an inner sight like Lusseyran’s: “the inner sanctum of my inner world which, thanks to my blindness I had learned to frequent,” seeing the interconnected clearly is essential to seeing at all. Lusseyran wrote: ” Man is nourished by the invisible, not by what is personal. Preferring the opposite leads to death.”

“See deeply the beauty and interconnectedness of all of life, then think, speak and act from what you see.”
– Maggie Streinchron Davis, Caring in Remembered Ways

was another quote sent in by another reader. A simple exercise in seeing interconnectedness, adapted from the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran:

  1. As you sit down to your next meal, notice one particular vegetable on your plate. As an example, a sweet potato.
  2. Begin to imagine the field where this sweet potato was grown, the farmer who cultivated it, the farmworkers who harvested it, the workers who packed it, the trucker who transported it, the produce clerk who stocked it, the grocery clerk who checked your purchases out at the counter.
  3. Begin to follow the thread of interconnectedness for any one of these people: sitting down to a meal with their own family, walking their children to school, the joys and sorrows, the hopes and struggles of their lives, each of them.
  4. Follow the thread in a meditation on interconnectedness for five minutes; notice how far the web reaches – what countries, what cultures, what times in the history of humankind. Come back to reflect on your own place in the web, your own place in the “one cloak of humanness.”
  5. Set an intention for how you will think, speak, and act from this place.