Separate                         -                      Connected
Newtonian                     -                      Quantum
Particle                           -                      Wave
State                                -                      Process

In our culture the church steeples have ceased to be sacred poles. The cosmos that once surrounded them has vanished and chaos again is come.

The center will not hold. In the absence of a collective myth, some of us are being forced for survival to try to establish our own sacred space in the midst of chaos, but in the hurly-burly of modern life we can't find our own myth. 

[Marion Woodman]
Addiction to Perfection, p. 118

I looked back on the past and recalled my people's old ways, but they were not living that way any more. They were traveling the black road, everybody for himself and with little rules of his own [...]

[Black Elk]
Black Elk Speaks, p.215

Whether on a personal or collective level, we are discovering that the stories of separation are untrue. 

What we do unto the other, inescapably visits ourselves as well in some form. As that becomes increasingly obvious, a new story of self and story of the people becomes accessible to us.

[...] The new story of self is the connected self, the self of interbeingness. The new story of the people is one of cocreative partnership with Lover Earth. They ring true in our hearts, we see them on the horizon, but we do not yet live yet in these new stories. It is hard to, when the institutions and habits of the old world still surround us.

[...] "It is impossible to abide in Nirvana alone. If any sentient being is left out of it, then part of me is left out of it." Only someone under the delusion that he is a discrete, separate soul would imagine otherwise.

Enlightening as these teachings might be, mere information is not enough. As many spiritual traditions recognize, a living teacher, a guru, is necessary to bring the teachings to life in their unique application to each individual. We need something from beyond our old selves, someone to illuminate our blind spots, to humble our conceit, to show us the love we didn't know we had within us. This presents a problem today, because the age of the guru is manifestly over.

Spiritual self-sufficiency ignores the fundamental truth of our interbeingness. Without each other, we cannot make those peak experiences, those glimpses we have all had of a more vivid way of being, into anything more than glimpses. How can we make them into a new baseline for life? How can we enter into the world that they show us, how can we redeem their promise? How can we bring into living reality the knowledge that we have been shown something true and real?

Each time, the old world drags us back.

The inertia of our habits and beliefs, the expectations of the people surrounding us, the way we are seen, the media, the pressures of the money system all conspire to hold us where we were. Coming off a peak experience, we may try to insulate ourselves from all these things, to live in a bubble of positivity, but eventually we realize that is impossible. The negative influences find a way to creep back in.

[...] Each one of us is pioneering a different aspect of the connected self in the age of reunion, and each one of us as well carries vestigial habits of the age of separation that are invisible to us or that, if visible, we are helpless to overcome on our own.

Quite practically, to inhabit a more enlightened state we must be held there by a community of new habits, new ways of seeing each other, and new beliefs in action that redefine normal.

In other words, in the age of the connected self our guru can be none other than a collective, a community - as Thich Nhat Hanh put it, "The next Buddha will be a sangha." By a community, I don't mean an amorphous "we are all one" mass devoid of structure, but rather a matrix of human beings united in a common story of the people and story of the self. Aligned with these defining stories, this community can hold us in the vision of what we are becoming.

[...] This realization often manifests as a desire to find one's true purpose in life, one's service to the world. Such a purpose is never just about the separate egoic self. It is always about service; it is about one's gifts and how to give them.

Purpose is about gift and relationship. 

The emerging state of vitality, joy, and love that humanity is entering is not a place where we can abide for long on our own. We need each other.

[...] To be dependent is to be alive - it is to be enmeshed in the give and take of the world.

[...] We can do for each other what a guru does for a disciple: hold each other in the knowing of who we really are, and teach each other how to live there. Each of us, as we experience our own piece of the age of reunion, becomes a guide to a small part of that vast new territory.

[Charles Eisenstein]
'Why the Age of the Guru is Over

Pintupi find it unusual that one could be happy sitting alone.

To be among kin, to be shown affection and concern, and to show it: these are what should make one happy. Those who travel alone, for example, are suspect, and those who wish to be alone usually offer other reasons.

While feeling "happy" is an endopsychic matter - described as a "rising of the spirit” - Pintupi seem to think that an individual experiences such states largely as the result of smoothly running relations between the individual and those he or she considers walytja.

[Fred R. Myers]
Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self, p.111

Liberalism is most fundamentally constituted by a pair of deeper anthropological assumptions that give liberal institutions a particular orientation and cast: 1) anthropological individualism and the voluntarist conception of choice, and 2) human separation from and opposition to nature.

These two revolutions in the understanding of human nature and society constitute "liberalism” inasmuch as they introduce a radically new definition of “liberty.”

[Patrick J. Deneen]
Why Liberalism Failed, p.31

How absurd such a posture must seem from a worldview in which the individual emerges out of the society, rather than the other way around. The Indigenous worldview is one of relationship and out of that relationship, emerges the individual. In place of individual rights there are obligations and requirements of behavior.

One does not so much sacrifice individual freedom by joining the group as achieve freedom by being a part of it.

Quasi-particles, with such exotic names as phonons, excitons, polarons, plasmons, and "dressed electrons," are in fact the collective expression of an astronomical number of entities that make up the solid. Out of this collectivity emerges something that appears just like a particle. It is localized in the sense that it exists within a particular small location and can move around, colliding with other excitations, bouncing off them and exchanging energy. The elementary excitation has all the attributes we associate with a particle, yet it is an expression of the whole. Thus it can never be removed from the totality.

Indeed, if one attempted to remove a polaron or a phonon from a metal, then, like Alice in Wonderland's Cheshire Cat, it would cease to exist. The elementary excitation manifests only by virtue of the totality of the system.

[F. David Peat]
Blackfoot Physics, p.299, 300

The social consequences of decolonization are, in some ways, similar to those that have appeared recently in the poorer areas of Western cities. This has been called “anomie” (the shattering of stable social relationships), and arises from rapid social change rather than from decolonization.

It gives rise to isolation of individuals, destruction of established social values and of stability, personal irresponsibility, shattered family relationships, irresponsible sexual and parental relationships, crime, juvenile delinquency, a greatly increased incidence of all social diseases (including alcoholism, use of narcotics, and neuroses), and personal isolation, loneliness, and susceptibility to mass hysterias.

The crowding of large numbers of recently detribalized individuals into rapidly growing African cities has shown these consequences, as, indeed, they have been shown in many American cities, such as New York or Chicago, where recently deruralized peoples are exposed to somewhat similar conditions of anomie.

[...] one of the most obvious problems brought to Africa by European influence has been the detachment of atomized individuals from the social nexus, based on blood and marriage, that previously guided their lives and determined their systems of values and obligations.

[Carroll Quigley]
Tragedy and Hope, ‘The New Era,’ p.750-1, 754

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