Think for a few moments about the human body. It is a discreet and individual organism, made up of multiple separate organs. Each organ has its unique function and each one depends on the other organs to maintain its function. Networks of blood vessels, nerves and hormones nourish and give life to organs. Together all of these elements keep a system of ingestion, digestion and elimination operating. If one organ becomes sick or damaged, others react, sometimes by increasing or decreasing its own function, others by coming to the rescue. For example, when an infection is present anywhere in the body, white blood cells proliferate in order to calm it down. All of the organs, of course, contain universes of atoms and molecules constantly doing their work to the health of each organ and of the body.
This is called interconnection. We see it all over nature and we see it in the world. We are now focusing on managing COVID-19, a phenomenon that was possible because of this interconnection among all things in nature. Recent research has shown that millions of varieties of viruses, bacteria and fungi live naturally and quietly within the human genome. The interesting thing to me is that a virus cannot reproduce on its own, only when it has a host. So COVID-19 sought connection with humans in order to teach us how interconnected we really are.
An ongoing research project at Princeton University called the Global Consciousness Project is very convincing regarding conscious connection. Random number generators have been placed around the globe to measure their theory that when human consciousness becomes coherent, the behavior of random systems may change. Such changes were observed in the wake of such events as 9/11 and the Indonesian tsunami. Most recently measured are significant changes worldwide after the death of George Floyd. Sensitive instruments pick up our connections with each other as we all think about the same event.
Interconnection is such a strong force that we feel it intuitively. This passage from a book called “Active Hope,’ by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone expresses it well.
Something very interesting occurs when a group of jazz musicians improvises together. A number of separate individuals, all making their own decisions, act together as a whole. As the music flows, any of the musicians can take the solo spot, that leading role gliding seamlessly between the players. Who decides when the piano or trumpet player should come forward? It isn’t just the person playing that instrument, for the others have already stepped back just a little to create an opening. There are two levels of thinking happening at the same time here; choices are made from moment to moment both by the group as a whole and by the individuals within it. When people coordinate their actions through a collective thinking process, we can think of this as ‘distributed intelligence.’ No one person is in charge; the players act freely while being guided by their intention to serve the purpose of the group. For musicians to improvise together, they need to listen very attentively, expressing their individuality in a way that contributes to the overall sound. When they tune into the group and become connected with it, it is as though the music itself plays through them.
The reality of our interconnection in consciousness is important to realize because it is there, in conscious thought, that we can effect change. The paradox of our times is that Nature has moved us from clans and tribes to a global community, nearing the attainment of her purpose, yet the world is more divided and separated than ever before. Enter COVID-19, a global event that reminds us of our interconnections.
The Re-Connection Formula
The only thing that moves us is desire and the purpose behind the actions we take to fulfill our desires is what determines the state of our relationships with each other. The process we employ hundreds of times a day is: desire → thought →action. The critical element is the thought, also called intention, which gives meaning to the action. Let’s say a man plunges a knife into another man. The intention can be to kill or it can be to perform healing surgery. Thus, the impression that his action leaves on the collective consciousness is determined by his intention.
In order to decide on the meaning of an action, a specific discernment must be made. Will executing a certain action harm another? Or am I able to fulfill my own desire while not causing harm, or better yet, in service to the common good? This, dear friends, is where the correction is. These fleeting moments in time are the only freedom of choice that we possess and they activate the forces to which Nature responds. Humanity’s collective intentions determine the quality of society and because we are intimately interconnected, we all prosper or suffer together. The change that is coming will be fashioned out of what choices we make, individually and collectively, regarding connection or separation.