Individuality or Interconnectedness?

In these times of turmoil
Individuality, a treasured idea
That so many people live with
Is worth a closer look

This time of being confined
To your living space
Is a good time to go beyond
The usual news viewing
The regular entertainment
The social media sharing and
Indulge in a
Deeper contemplation!

So please come with me
As we explore
For just a few minutes
The notion of ‘Individuality’

Just as you are
Where you are
Whatever you are doing
Pause to consider this

What about you is so
Ruggedly individual
That makes you think
That you can take care of yourself
Even if at the cost of others;
That you stand alone
Or that you can stand alone?

What can you be without
That is not of your own making?

The clothes you wear?
The tailors, the cloth makers
The dye makers, the cotton farmers
Who can you leave out
And still have clothes?

The food you eat?
The vegetables, the fruits
The grains, the meats
The farmers who grow them
The laborers who harvest and pack
The drivers that bring them to warehouses
The workers who stock them in retail shelves
The people who operate retail stores
Who can you leave out
And still have food?

The home you live in?
The designers, the construction workers
The makers of materials and tools
From which your home is built
The financiers who support your loan
Or the staff that manages your rental apartment
Who can you leave out
And still have a place to live?

The way you get around?
The public transportation
Or private transportation
And the thousands of people
Whose work made it possible
To have roads, and railway tracks
And the vehicles that are built
To operate on land, water and air
Who can you leave out
And still get around?

When your dwelling is on fire
When a theft has happened
When you need medical care
When you desire entertainment
When you need work to make money
When your money needs safekeeping
When you need children educated
When you want care for your infant
For which of these can you say
You are in no need for someone’s help?

Why! Take your own body
That you think of as being you
Trillions of living cells clustering
Into tissues, organs, and subsystems
Joining forces in harmony with
Trillions of non-human cells
To form the ecosystem
That is the living human body!
Where in this dynamic ecosystem
Is the you, the individual
The separate-self
That you think you are?

Were you or weren’t you
In those millions of cells
That died today?

Were you or weren’t you
In those millions of cells
That were born today?

See dear One
Nothing, nothing at all
In your real experience
Shows you real evidence
Of this separate person
That you think you are

There is only
An intertwined collective
Operating as the Solar System
Operating as the Earth
Operating as living brings
Operating as human body
Operating as societies
Operating as countries
Operating as the world

All of this is “life”
And you aren’t
Separate from life

A global crisis
Like the coronavirus pandemic
Is a real reflection to us
Of this deep interconnectedness
Of our existence
Of life

What affects one
Affects life
What affects life
Affects us all

Life is akin to a web!
How can a change be made
To one part of the web
That doesn’t affect the web
As a whole!

The coronavirus experience
Like all life experiences
Is a wake up call
To recognize this
Deep interconnectedness

Set aside your strong sense of
Being a separate person
Even if only for just a few minutes
And take your attention
To the silence within you
For this where you will get
The experiential proof
Of your real nature!
Proof that beyond this body-mind
Is the unchanging love
The unperturbed peace
The causeless happiness
That you look for
In the world
But cannot find!

Wake up dear One
What the world yearns for
Is not your personal achievement
Is not your individual glory
Is not your fame or reputation
What the world thirsts for
Is that peace-love-happiness
That is your real nature

This Self-Realization
Is the greatest service
You can bring to the world
Because your very existence as such
Will be the soothing healing
That the world needs

It is through this inward journey
From being anchored in individuality
To realizing the interconnectedness
That the real awakening stabilizes
In the experience of truth
That there is only One!

God. Brahman. Tao. Buddha.



* Beyond the sense of otherness, exists No-otherness, the Reality, the One without a second, unchanging, as it is. Realize your true nature as No-otherness. Get guidance for Self-Inquiry with the book, “Awaken: An Experiential Exploration of Enlightenment.”

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