This piece is excerpted and edited from Orion's Opening Talking at the Orion Event in the Washington, DC area June 20, 2010. I have included Orion's welcome to the participants.
Good afternoon and welcome. And we'd like to say thank you so much for being willing to come, to share your openness, to share your curiosity, to engage with such as us to explore something perhaps a little different or perhaps, for you, something very customary. But your attention is always a gift to us and we always appreciate it and like to begin with honoring and appreciating it.
We've been talking a lot, with others, about Unity - the interconnection of all things. Talking about the movement towards Unity which includes the desire for comprehension and understanding with one and other, and on the larger scale as well. Many people experience disappointment when they reach towards sharing Unity and it either is not expressed, experienced or even rejected. They ask 'Cannot others see what seems so true and apparent to me? How can I share this so it will be received and understood as I understand it?'
We find is there are elements of paradox at play in the dynamic of sharing the sense of Unity. Often to reach the place of recognition of interconnection, you have to begin with acknowledgment of disconnection, acknowledgment of difference.
We're very specific when we say 'recognition' of interconnection. You are all connected. Culture is all connected. The planet is all connected. You are embedded in Unity. You are - we are – actuality itself - are expressions of Unity. To us the interconnection of all things is the root of existence.
But as inherent as the interconnection of all things is, people also carry a very strong capacity to not recognize the interconnection of all things. Therefore, the movement of many spiritual and philosophical teachings, is to remind people of the interconnection of all things; supporting them in finding ways to 'see' and recognize that which is present; helping people to seek again and again the wholeness of all things.
Yet, seeing the wholeness of life is not a constant. Rather, the myriad things which get one's attention in life, interrupts our capacity to really stay in such recognition. That is often why it is considered a special moment when one fully recognizes or experiences interconnection – a moment of bliss, a moment of 'aha'.
We feel that when you engage your intellect and give yourself a framework to conceptually consider the interconnection of all things, you enhance the possibility to consistently discover and recognize this underlying truth – that it is all connected. We are all a collective and in that, it is a constant, moving, dancing exchange of being.
But how do we actually tend to live? – by not recognizing the interconnection of all things. As opposed to this, many people who carry a spiritual perspective of Unity, want to come and speak to each other, saying, 'Do you not see we are all connected? Do you not want to celebrate our interconnection? Don't you see that you am I and I are you?' Beautiful indeed. Perhaps everyone in this room can understand that language and move to that resonance and follow it.
Often, what happens is that language of Unity does not reach someone. Rather, the person has a reaction and thinks 'I'm not like you. I don't think like that. Well, maybe those words are okay, but I don't feel like that, I feel like this. I feel differently than you.' And in response there may be movement to say, 'Oh no, you are like me, see?' And rather than them opening their eyes and hearts and feeling you, they feel threatened, uncomfortable, not seen, invisible and connection is simply not experienced.
In our view, most people are not resonating to this inherent connection. They are, naturally perhaps, seeing the world through their own eyes, language and consciousness first. They want to be seen as they feel they are. They want to be acknowledged as different from those they do not feel like. This can be on a very broad scale – 'I am this kind of believer and I am not like you, that kind of believer.'
It can be very personal, as in this exchange –
'I am very afraid of this. Aren’t you afraid of it too?
'No, I'm not.'
'Well, don't you understand how I am afraid?'
'No, I don't.'
'Well, can't you feel into how I'm afraid because, you know, we're really all one?'
'No, I don't really understand you and I'm not afraid.'
What is happening there? How are they not feeling each other? How is the unafraid person not moving into empathy with the afraid person? Because the difference is not being acknowledged. The difference isn't being allowed to be the card laid on the table.
To actually communicate, the dialogue could go this way.
'Well, I'm not afraid.'
'Oh, that doesn't scare you.'
'No, it doesn't scare me.'
'I see that, but it really scares me.'
'Okay, I see. It really scares you.'
'It really scares me so much, can you help me, even though you don't really understand it because maybe sometime you've been afraid about something else?'
'Well, I'm not afraid about this, but it is possible I was once afraid about something else. So in the big picture of being afraid, although I'm not afraid about this, maybe I can now understand that you are afraid. So how can I help?'
And so the two people in this simple scenario can move to a recognition of a possibility of a shared place and perhaps from there they can move into a true empathy. Further, maybe from there they can move into recognizing that perhaps it's true that many humans at some time or other have experienced being afraid. And from there, they might be able to consider fear at one time or another might be a universal experience that we share and where we can support each other. But the exchange had to begin with acknowledging and recognizing difference.
We feel people are so concerned that acknowledging difference will amplify difference - making it be bigger and stronger - that they want to pretend it doesn't matter or it's not there. There's a problem with this, though. Something that actually is, works best if it is seen and acknowledged.
Now we're using this word acknowledge. Acknowledge does not mean acceptance. It does not ask you to immediately give up your fear because the other is not afraid. It is simply noting the what it is – 'Together we can simply say, you are like this right now and I am like this right now.' And we can almost guarantee you, that when you find that the conversation of 'We are the same' – be it personal or global – is not being received, it is a clue to pause. To consider, 'Aha – something or someone here needs to be acknowledged just as they are now, before there can be any movement to what else they might be.'
We have to start with honoring and acknowledging - 'I see how you are different. I see how you are not like me. You don't have to be like me.' 'Whew, that's great, I don't really want to be like you.' And from that place – permission to be as one is – in that moment you can then bring the conversation, in language and energy, back to 'But you know, underneath it, we're sitting in this room together, okay.' And you can begin to build the language of what indeed may be our commonalities.
A way to do this also, is for you to remember your own direct experience of Unity - that moment of feeling connected with All There Is. When you can have an emotional, let's call it even a mystical trust, that there is this interconnection, that experiened trust can support you in riding the waves of difference. It can support you to not need another the person to be like you in every way. 'I can see you as different and I'm happy to find how we are alike and I know that no matter what ends up and what we say and what we do, to me the nature of reality is the interconnection, the wholeness of all reality.'
The principle of interconnection pulses in the background of your being. Echoing over time in spiritual philosophies, in philosophy, in science. Interconnection alluded to in language, archetypes, imagery. Let Unity simply be a flavor of the complex stew of life, embedded in the broth of being. Let it support you. Don't worry when it moves from your attention. Trust your recognition of interconnectedness will arise again.
And consider, that sometimes the way to find connection is to really begin with the acknowledgment of difference, of disconnection – within your own aspects of being, as well as with others. Orion