YOU are where Science and Spirituality collide.
"The Dis-Ease of Disconnect" (Part 1)
I first learnt this phrase from my teacher Sharon Gannon, co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga. I was at my Jivamukti teacher training in New York in 2011 and Sharonji started talking about the “Disease of Disconnect”. Hearing her speaking of it started a chain reaction in my thoughts that has dictated the course of my life from that point on.
“If you want to bring more peace and happiness into your own life, the method is to stop causing violence and unhappiness in the lives of others.” - Sharonji
We are so privileged to live in this age of overwhelming digital connection, the internet puts the entire world into your hand. It connects us to people, information and ideas more so than ever before but at the same time, we have lost that intimate connection with ourselves, that personal connection with others, that compassion for animals and the very connection our lives depend on, our connection to our home, Earth.
As a species, we are disconnected from ourselves, from our bodies, from each other, from other animals, from the planet and from the divine. There is a fundamental disconnect between our brains, our breath and our bodies. We live our lives in isolation from each other, but this is the biggest cause of Dis-Ease. The greatest illusion in this world is the illusion of separation. We think that what we do only effects ourselves but that is a great untruth. Every thought, word or action we take sends ripples of energy across our planet and the universe. We are all inextricably linked to one another. We are connected right down from our very molecules all the way up to each action we take.
Science tells us that all life is made up of six main elements. These being carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. As different as all the humans, animals, insects, plants and amoebas seem, under a microscope, we are all made up of the same stuff. The exact same atoms and molecules. Stephen Hawkins said, “What we normally think of as 'life' is based on chains of carbon atoms, with a few other atoms, such as nitrogen or phosphorus"
In his blog, DavidW. Deamer writes, “To sum up, the atoms of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus that comprise all life on the Earth were forged in stars at temperatures hotter than any hydrogen bomb. As living organisms, we are not in any way separate from the rest of the universe. Instead, we borrow a tiny fraction of its atoms for a few years and incorporate them into the transient molecular structures of cells that are the living unit of all life on Earth.”
The atoms and molecules that makeup you and me, that make up every human, that makeup dogs, cats, cows and chickens, that make up every single plant, moss and bacterium, were all forged in a star billions of years ago. (I have goosebumps writing this).
In this article from Live Science, Carl Sagan’s famous quote is backed by science:
"We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff".
His statement sums up the fact that the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies, as well as atoms of all other heavy elements, were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5 billion years ago. Because humans and every other animal, as well as most of the matter on Earth, contain these elements, we are literally made of star stuff," said Chris Impey, professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona.
Does learning this not make you feel so magnificent and powerful and so unbelievably connected to all life? Knowing this makes me feel like I can do anything, and I can be anything because I have the Universe inside of me. Knowing this makes me feel so connected to all life, because what brings me to life, what runs through my veins, what makes me take a deep breath in...these things are all in YOU as well. They’re in every single being on this planet and out there in the universe.
Even the air we breath has at some point been INSIDE millions of other humans beings, our breath literally connects us to each other.
Illustrated in this article by Carl Stager, “Keeling showed that oxygen gas emitted by plants and plankton mixes throughout each respective hemisphere within two months and spreads worldwide in a little more than a year. The sensitivity of the oxygen and carbon dioxide balance of the atmosphere to the activities of living things shows that recycling is not just a passing fad but a tradition that has always been practiced on the atomic level by all life on Earth. To live, rather than to merely exist like inanimate rock, is to borrow and re-purpose the elements of the world around you, and then release them again.
As brilliant as he was, Henry Ford apparently failed to realize that he needed no test tube to capture the atomic essence of Edison’s last breath. You can collect a sample of it anytime—along with samples from the last breaths of Jesus, Shakespeare, and Leonardo Da Vinci—and even with a few bits of air that carried your own first cries as a newborn. It’s easy to do, here on this sky-blue sphere of atoms. Just take a breath.”
Woah, I’m diving deep into the interwebs now researching this. Back to the task at hand.
Yoga is all about reminding ourselves of this scientific fact that we are all one, we are all connected, we are all divine, cosmic energy made manifest to learn and love and connect.
If we want more kindness in the world, we have to be kindness. If we want more peace in the world, then we need to be peaceful. If one single being is suffering, it means we all are.
Let's make a commitment to be kind, compassionate and loving towards each other...maybe choosing these actions will change and save, our world.
All you need to do to feel connected is just take a breath. We are all doing the same thing right now.
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P.S. This topic is so vast and all encompassing (just like the Universe) and this blog is already A LOT to take in so I've decided to write this in a series. This is Part 1.