The Sanskrit term, samadhi, describes the meditative revelation of oneness with all that exists. We are interested in how coming to this universal realization with greater frequency will contribute to expanded consciousness between individuals. Humans have a long tradition of being wary of the unknown and resistant to change. Yet, with change as the common denominator for our radically divergent period of technological, scientific, and spiritual development, individuals and collectives are becoming more accepting of difference. In this more open common space, we hope humans will also be able to better harmonize the interconnected bonds between all life.
Unification, in its true sense, does not dull or suppress, but rather honors the fullest expression of diversity. The ways in which we each unify the different parts of who we are—our aspirations, limitations, and realities—and weave them together defines who each of us are as individuals.
Though we might not always be aware, we are indeed all integrated within a state of inter-being. The more we fail to notice the ever-present interconnectedness of life, the more we mistake our place on this planet. One of the greatest errors we as humans make is to see ourselves as separate from nature. This sense of separation can have drastic consequences.
E pluribus unum / One from many
There are two different ways of regarding relationships: either through a lens of atomization or through the perspective of holistic integration. In sociology, atomism refers to a framework in which the individual is the primary unit of analysis by which everything else is understood. In contrast, holistic integration states that all the various parts of a system are interconnected. We believe in the importance of describing systems such that each piece of the puzzle is acknowledged for its necessity. In this way, a sense of belonging corresponds to balanced integration and interrelation.
The collective requires the individual many times over. Conversely, the individual vanishes without the collective to supply context. Among the nearly infinite expressions of life, the web of human activity is distinctive in its emissions of light and gas. We also significantly contribute to outpourings of love, which occurs through resonant connections between individuals.
“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together” — John Lennon, “I am the Walrus”, 1967
When we feel a sense of connection, we are more in touch with our true selves. The acknowledgement that everybody is going through some great journey, struggle, or even suffering can serve to alleviate the heavy tension that sometimes dominates the thoughts of our daily experience. We can feel elation when we exercise our innate drive to connect with others or with a place. Feelings of separation from one another and the environment also cut us off from ourselves. When we feel deprived of supportive relationships, it becomes more difficult to find meaning, so we substitute meaning with sensation. We end up looking for solace in temporary distraction, living only for isolated instances of sensory stimulation. With repetition of over-stimulation, our senses can become dulled, leaving us perpetually dissatisfied. In this state, we are in great need of finding ways to come together.
Community plays a critical role in the development of unity—it’s built into the word itself. How might we conceptualize and examine the idea of a completely unified civilization? Adopting different perspectives than our own may help. Even shifting between different points of view within our own outlook can help open our minds and modes of experience.
In The Practice of Everyday Life, the writer Michel de Certeau describes two points of view within a city: that of the voyeur and that of the walker. The walker is always in the midst of experience. Vision is limited to what is nearby. She or he only experiences the sights and the sounds of what is immediately in front of each step taken. However, for the voyeur, experience is shaped by her or his vantage point high above. From this perspective, everything appears more expansive. The voyeur is able to see what’s around every corner, and over every hill. She or he can see the wider scope of our world with greater context, although perhaps less detail.
Each perspective holds value. Whereas the walker experiences the immediacy and intimacy of life down on the street, the voyeur’s position allows for a view of how the city is organized on the whole, and provides insight into the inner workings of governments and corporations. Yet, isn’t the wisest option to find a way to experience both perspectives? We believe that only by having first-hand experience as both a walker and a voyeur can one really understand how best to maneuver the various interconnected facets of contemporary life.
- The Power of Humility
- Healthy Habits
- Environmental Actors
- Economic Priorities
- Lessons Ahead