The world is all connected. After all, what are we but a reconstituted version of all the plants and animals that we have eaten in our life. And when we die, plants often our decomposed body to nourish their growth, before animals come to eat them, and before we eat the animals.
So there is nothing in this world that we know, that is not connected to any other thing in the world in a physical way.
And in our essence we know this fact, that we are all connected. However we feel that we are alone in the world, since once we have cognizance, we become aware that we have no physical connection to anything else. So in the absence of this physical connection, we create our own emotional connections to those that surround us; friends and families. These projections, allow us to create a sense of connectedness with another, and further allow us to get back to our natural state of being.
And this is why when we lose someone we love it hurts so much. The natural connection that we had is torn asunder. Because with the loss, the projection of connection can no longer be maintained, we again feel that we are adrift in the world, on our own. (Tangentially, this is also why touch is the natural outcome of emotional intimacy, and we are only comfortable with touch after we have created an emotional connection.)
However, the most important thing to remember is that just because we don’t FEEL connected, doesn’t mean that we are not connected, for in truth, we are all connected, as I explained earlier. By remembering this fact, we no longer need to rely on the emotional connection to create a feeling of connectedness, and not feel alone. And by simply recalling this fact we can feel connected to those around us, and the world at large.
Interestingly, I have found that when I bring this truth, that we are all connected, to cognition, the world reflects back at me with instant emotional connections. So perhaps this is a two way street.
* Afternote: Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to read another fabulous book by John O’Donohue, called Eternal Echoes. In it he shares his version of our desire to belong and those things that influence it. I can only tell you that I have never read any author that is closer in line with my own beliefs. So if my blog speaks to you, check him out. His understanding and grasp of the subtle nature of the world, is truly amazing.
By nature of the fact that I am in the middle of his books, any of my current thoughts on the topic of belonging are going to reflect some of his ideas. So for that I thank him posthumously, and highly recommend that you read his books Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes (in that order).