by Kelvin Chin, Life After Life Expert
How many of us have heard theories about “all of us being connected" on some level? Some talk about us all being made of stardust. Others use the physics theory of quantum mechanics to base that claim on.
What is the purpose of that statement? What are they really trying to say? And might there be potential pitfalls?
Saying we are all made of atoms and molecules or some other subatomic particles is one thing. If they are saying that our minds and our bodies are essentially made up of energy, then I agree. And that we share a 'commonality' in that we are all made up of such particles, such energy.
However, I have a problem when people jump from that to "we are all one, we are all connected" — implying that while we may very well share that similarity in make-up, that that similarity somehow creates a level of influence on each other that trumps our individuality. Or even further, implying perhaps that there is some ‘hidden force’ that inexorably links us together in some unique fashion that ‘makes us make each other’ behave in certain ways.
That, in some way, we are responsible for the actions and behavior of others. Or that — because of that similarity in make-up — we can influence others to the point of being able to control their actions and behavior. Even if our intentions are most laudable, I think this flies in the face of freedom of thought.
I think this conflated view of ourselves and our relation to others and the world around us stems from an internal insecurity that many of us have — and is a way for us to make sense of the randomness we experience in life.
Instead of embracing the freedom that Free Will, and the variety that personal choice, afford us — we tend to create belief systems that attempt to define and confine our actions in a way that imply a control by external forces that we don't understand — or perhaps worse — a control that we ourselves may claim to have over others.
In that, we try to find security, we try make sense of it.
But, I think that is a false sense of security. It is unfounded and illusionary.
Now, don’t misunderstand the focus of what I’m saying. Yes, I do think we can influence others somewhat and that we are affected by each other, but this is far different from being "connected to each other" in the way described above.
I also think the "feeling of oneness" is often confused for this idea of inextricable connectedness.
I have often experienced this "feeling of oneness” myself. But I think it's actually due to 2 different things.
First, I think it's my mind experiencing itself in a way that I may not have been used to before. In a much more expanded way, much like how I describe it in my blog essay on the "Houston Astrodome Analogy."
My mind feels so huge as to be seemingly infinite, and therefore it’s as if it's recognizing some sort of connectedness with all existence. And while I think my mind may actually be recognizing that ‘similarity’ that it has with everything, it still retains its individuality and therefore is not "the same as" everything.
In other words — “similarity does not mean sameness.”
The second phenomenon that may be going on in my experience of “feeling of oneness” is my connection with this other area of existence that we can simply refer to as the "superhighway of information." This is something that many people tap into already in the world — you hear people often talk about "knowing stuff that they didn't know about before, that it just 'came to them'."
I think this is that "superhighway of data" that exists and into which people can tap — a constantly growing databank of “existing data” which has existed for time immemorial, that anyone can tap into.
Tapping into that body of information may also lead us to sometimes think or articulate to ourselves as if it is this ‘connectedness’ type of experience.
The Sovereign Mind
Here's the key point I think...
I think each of our minds are "sovereign." They stand on their own, separate from every other mind.
Yes, as I said, we influence and are affected by other minds, and in that way we are 'connected.'
But, we do not control or usurp the ability of any mind from choosing to be 'uninfluenced' by us at any time. It is a choice their mind can always make.
There is not some unseen hidden force that somehow decides that our thoughts or energies are "better" or "more healthy" than theirs, and that somehow makes our thoughts and influence overpower theirs.
Everyone has a right to think and behave as they choose. Notwithstanding that basic right, we as a society may have rules that define what is acceptable for various social reasons. That is appropriate and is not what I'm referring to here. I'm referring to the ability or appropriateness of controlling another person's mind…even if the intentions to do so are well-meaning.
That is inappropriate.
And I get nervous when I hear people speak of "all of us being connected" and that "by doing X we can influence other people's behavior in a certain way." Because I don't think it's too many steps from there that we may start to trample on the sovereignty of each other's minds without initially perhaps intending to.
A cautionary word to the wise...