The health of the world- peace- a concept that the most enlightened encourage, that country leaders tactfully intertwine into international relations, that most don’t want to live without but have difficulty living with- peace.  Peace sometimes seems like a far-away utopia, an ideal that is always just out of reach.  “Staying in touch with the world” means staying in touch with the news, most often meaning knowing which rebellion in which city of which country of the world is now underway, where was the latest bombing, and where disease has stricken or famine has tightened its grip.  In this bleakness it is easy to lose a sense of intimacy, one of the driving forces in maintaining a sense of humanity.  The child soldier is lost in a memory that never existed, the mother pregnant with her hopes is absent in her global home, and we cannot see their faces as we look at the loved-ones around us.  The truth is they are there but caring sometimes seems like the most exhausting option one can choose in a life already peppered with swirling thoughts and concerns, deadlines and dues, and the intermittent relaxation that subdues you into the peace that you knew was yours to take and savor.

In reality, you don’t have to go anywhere to care and to help.  It is a bonus if you can but just better understanding the construction of connection can bring a peace of mind from which many branches can easily stem, bringing nourishment to you and to many others.

Scientifically, the connection between people and other living creatures is unavoidable and present no matter the distance.  The same entrainment or sychronization of brain waves that occurs with a practitioner and patient during a Reiki session can also spontaneously occur between two individuals at any given time if they are next to one another.  Distance as well rarely acts as a barrier since space itself may in some sense be an illusion.  In fact, constructs of space and time as they currently exist in relation to the concept of matter may not be as adequate as once supposed.  Most quantum physicists acknowledge that matter is not a set structure, but rather, as Einstein’s famous equation points out, is energy.  Given this dual nature, “matter” can move about and interpenetrate other set “matter”.  Other notable quantum physicts, such as David Bohm, a protege of Einstein’s, go so far as to suggest that matter is not only not separate, not composed of particles, but rather is intertwined and in constant flux as an undivided whole.

What does this mean? The implications of these conceptions can be a bit jarring to some and freeing to others.  The bottom line is: we’re not as separate as many once thought.  Mystics and traditional leaders have used many metaphors and images to describe this sense of cohesion, one of the most famous being the web of life.

With this in mind, goals such as ending poverty by 2025 (Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty), making antiretroviral drugs available to HIV/AIDS patients, recognizing and ending institutionalized racism, stopping the genocide in Darfur, and many others become not so distant.  To care through action for all of these issues could quickly drain the individual.  But to simply care and to incorporate this care into growing awareness, a heightened sense of responsibility, and feelings of compassion can begin to unlock the mechanisms of unified consciousness.

Examining the interconnectivity of the body-mind can shed light on just how simple it can be for humans to affect one another.  Masuro Emoto’s work in Japan has demonstrated that active thoughts and feelings can have an effect on water crystal formation.  Water makes up a significant percentage of the body and it is also a medium for communication in the body.  As it turns out, the heart is also a significant control center for communication, at times taking on the role of the “brain” of the body, directing physiological mechanisms through perceived sensations and internal emotions.  Emotions on some level act as molecules in the body, triggering communication and action to be carried out in a particular way.  All of this internal work and communication is simultaneously projected into the individual’s biofield which surrounds the body like a cocoon.

If the internal workings of an individual, particularly on an emotional level, can become readily available to others it is only aptly concluded that our internal state affects one another.  The Gandhian philosophy of “Be the change you want to see in the world” takes on a very practical meaning.

“Changing yourself” may in fact lie in simple steps towards gaining deepening awareness of yourself.  Moments of focus such as through meditation or journaling or the high of a morning run can bring about a natural sense of awareness, with the individual more able to open up to the experience of enjoyment with a degree of greater flexibility as it arises in the opportunities of each day.  This is not to say that awareness takes the place of necessary and called-for action; rather it is a foundation for joint leaps and bounds.   Peace for the individual lies in his expression of it towards himself, in his acceptance, appreciation, and love of himself.  These pillars are simple but inside them are myriads of mazes and worlds to explore into an ever-deepening sense of peace.  These steps are those which take the individual down a path towards peace and draws all those along the web in that direction as well.

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