Here Now & Aware
“We see...ocean patterns as distinct entities. As each wave is created, we can watch it crest, break and race to the shore. Yet it is impossible to separate the wave from the ocean.”
Deepak Chopra (The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire)
Most of us love being at the seashore. We feel deeply connected to the vastness of the ocean, and its rhythms are hypnotic, calming to us. The last time I was at the ocean's edge was in Costa Rica two years ago. The Pacific is entirely different from the Atlantic, and light years away from the Gulf of Mexico. It's wild rips and currents are strong enough to pull even an experienced swimmer under. Every morning at sunrise, I walked about a mile down the beach from the house where we stayed to the mermaid statue that sits thirty-or-so yards out into the water. I watched the California-blonde and bronzed surfers paddle their boards out past the breakers, and the hardy, brown-skinned fishermen wait for just the right wave to launch their small wooden boats. Some mornings, the water swirled around the mermaid statue, and some days she sat high and dry on her concrete pedestal with a rocky path leading out to her base. When the tide was that low, local women went out to collect muscles off the rocks surrounding her. They reminded me of that old painting by Jean-Francois Millet, “The Gleaners,” that my sixth grade teacher showed us. Everyday, it seemed, the sea displayed a different mood, and yet, it was the same ocean.
When the astronauts look at our planet from space, they see that it is one single entity. Mostly covered by oceans, broken here and there by large stretches of land. From that distance, it appears to be to be flat-calm on the surface. And yet as they get closer and closer, they can see the activity—the chop and flow of the oceans, storms forming and moving, long threads of highways with the hustle and bustle of traffic, the quilt-like patterns of farm fields and forests. There's a lot going on down here. Suddenly, everything seems separate, distinct and individual, and yet, it is one planet.
We consider ourselves to be individual and unique. We move, we see, we walk through our days doing this and that. Inside us, our organs are operating without thought, doing what they do, digesting our food, pacing the rhythms of our heart and lungs, secreting hormones to keep everything running smoothly. Our higher brains are thinking thoughts, making plans, completely oblivious to all that organic activity. Inside each cell of our bodies, millions of processes are taking place every single second. Each cell is communicating with every other cell to coordinate those processes. There's a lot going on inside us that has nothing to do with ego identification. And, yet, we perceive ourselves as one human being, different from all others, and separate from the oceans and the planet itself.
All these things are one. They are one huge, intelligent, conscious universe. And we are privileged to be here, now, and aware. Think about this today.
In the Spirit,