There is a Greek myth that tells the story of how the Goddesses and Gods came to be. In the beginning, the Goddesses and Gods were joined as one entity. They were a part of one another, as a child is a part of a mother's body when still nestled inside the womb. In fact, they couldn't be any closer. One of the only inabilities they had was not being able to see the other with their own eyes. For, you see, they were pressed back to back, joined as one entity looking out in opposite directions.
In their longing to see the Other, they split themselves apart. Turning to face the other, they fell even deeper in love. Their love gave birth to a new longing - to be reunited as one entity, again. Yet, no matter how hard the Gods and Goddesses tried, they could never draw close enough. The divine embodied union once shared would never come to be. And so the Goddesses and Gods live an eternal existence of longing for wholeness.
There are many things to be drawn from this myth. Many lessons. Many meanings. Many symbols. One facet of this myth that stands strong in its conviction is the ability to see oneself in the Other; to recognize one's interconnectivity with the Other. Another facet rests within the imagery of wholeness - Goddesses and Gods joined as one single entity.
Both of these facets (individuation and wholeness) transmit philosophies that in-form larger cosmologies. A cosmology contains the beliefs and sciences of a people that tell the story of the origins of the Universe. Cosmologies seek to answer the ancestral questions that have followed humanity for centuries: Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is the meaning of life? What happens when we die?
All of these mammoth questions illuminate something of great importance: our own impermanence. We are here, in this form, upon this stunning planet for but a moment. If you compared the lifespan of a human being to the lifespan of a Star, our existence would be but one breath of a single Star.
One would imagine, then, that humanity would hold each one of its own breaths as infinitely precious. That life would be so sacred we would do everything and anything we could to honor our own and each others existence.
Why, then, do we see so much violence? When, then, are we bearing witness to atrocities committed against the sanctity of life? Why, then, are we hearing of shootings in Orlando, wars across the globe, Other-than-human beings (animals) such as Harambe the Gorilla, Cecil the Lion and Blaze the Grizzly Bear being killed, and Gaia herself being raped and torn apart? Why, indeed!
I sit here writing these words in my own house, using my own hands to type. I am seemingly separate from each of you reading these very words with your own eyes. We are individuals - single entities living out singular lives. And yet, each of our individual bodies is a complex and dynamic web of cells. Cells, that if given voice, might exclaim their own individuation. Cells that we understand to be the sum total of "I" or "Me". And these "sum totals" of each of us are interacting and coalescing, all the time.
The question that rises like smoke from a recently extinguished flame is this: where does Self end and everything else begin?
Make no mistake, individuation is an immense gift. It is what invokes a tapestry of complex beauty. It's what births artists and mathematicians, philosophers and doctors, poets and astronomers, Bears and Lions, Humans and Earthworms, Gods and Goddesses. But, if we fail to see ourselves within the Other, we are but half a face. When we fail to stand in our deepest longings, in our pain and heartache, in our grief and despair, we distance ourselves from our own and each others divinity. We distance ourselves from truly feeling the depth and strata of joy and love. When we cast blame, when we forget how to relate, when we turn away from feeling our impermanence, there is a deep othering that occurs - a fracturing of the heart that is held within the web of life.
When we can see the divinity within an Other, we begin to hold all of life as sacred, again. Divine is to be godlike. To be godlike is to know and understand that your inhale is a Tree's exhale, and that your exhale is a Tree's inhale. That what you do in this life with every breath you take matters!
I will leave you with a word that is becoming more commonplace in our modern, western culture. A word with ancient roots.
Though a word such as this contains a life in and of itself - it is an organism of teaching and truth because it finds life and expression through the human collective psyche - I will nonetheless supply a translation.
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