We humans share a wound.
We share the trauma of believing we are separate, feeling disconnected and alone. We share an agonizing and often stifled cry, as Rumi writes when he gives voice to the reed complaining about its separateness from its source.
“Listen to the story told by the reed
of being separated:
‘Since I was cut from the reed bed,
I have made this crying sound.
Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say.
Anyone pulled from a source
longs to go back."
We are all born into a world of change. A world where nothing lasts forever and nothing stays the same. We come into a world of unpredictability and uncertainty.
We come into this manifest world whole and at one with everything.
As young children we turn to the vibrant color of a leaf or flower, we cry when we are hungry or uncomfortable, we stop in our tracks at something that catches our attention, no matter how small or fleeting, we wrinkle our noses at a nasty smell, we are alive to the whole wide, ever changing, world, attuned to the very moment that is happening right now.
And as we grow we develop into unique personalities. I, me, mine personalities. We develop personal narratives – seeing ourselves as standing apart and separate, becoming aware of ourselves as a body and able to think for and about ourselves. I am a girl. I am tall, I am a brother. I like dogs.
Over a lifetime we can and do develop marvelous abilities: we can remember our history, we can imagine how things might be tomorrow, we test ourselves and reality with adventures, we think about ourselves and can know how we feel and to varying degrees we can feel confident and “make things happen” in our lives.
And typically, we lose ourselves into our personalities – we invest in our way of life, we identify as those personalities, and we attach ourselves to the superficiality of who we think we are. We live as if our personalities are all there is to us. The separate personality, carving out a life, attempting to find some semblance of control and predictability in a world of change . . .and, of course, the ultimate change - the inevitability of our death.
We often forget what we came in knowing. We forget the eternal NOW that we were in touch with when we were very young. We forget the innocence of open-to-everything.
And if and when we go looking – and if and when some hardship cracks open our façade – if and when something breaks our heart – we can finally hear our plaintiff cry for what we have been cut off from.
And, in our very bones, we will remember:
We are human and we are divine. We are, in actuality, one, undivided and whole.
We live in a divided world and we can love and be empathic. We live as unique personalities and we can reach across the divide in our families, in our neighborhoods and in the world, in a real way. We are tribal and we can be inclusive. We are human beings and we can know oneness in the marrow of our bones.
This divided world is a “playground”, overflowing with opportunity for growing and for remembering, in a visceral way, that we are, in essence, unconditional love and wholeness. We can actively embody oneness in every day life.
From our innate wholeness, we can start with ourselves – loving every part of our sweet, confused and messy humanness. We can truly accept our foibles and our trespasses as we relate to each other. It is possible. We can deeply inquire and know our selves as humans; we can have compassion for our self-centeredness.
And we can extend this kindness and love and acceptance out into the world, especially knowing that the great divides we see – male and female, white and black, powerful and powerless, arrogance and humility towards nature and life – are illusionary, deeply false and truly heart-breaking.
We can hold, know and embody the whole picture, the transcendence of duality. We can because we are the whole picture. We are essentially, undivided.