Last winter, I was asked to speak to the resident chaplains in the Pastoral Care Department of the Westchester Medical Center. Specifically, they asked me to present the shamanic point of view of team building with an emphasis on creating alliances and community.
After much rifling through of books and files as well as several periods of deep meditation on the topic at hand, I realized that there is no such thing. From a shamanic point of view, it is redundant to think of reaching out to build teams, alliances and communities, as we are already all connected, allied, joined together as one.
Just us folks, here, all being born and all just trying to live life as best we can. We are all the same, allied, much more alike than different. There is no us and them. There is only us. We -- all of us who occupy this planet: organic and inorganic; living and not; past, present, and future -- are the world.
We all come from the Earth and return to Her belly, as ash, as mulch. We are all made of the same substance, same as the sea, the soil, the stars. There are, and ever have been, only so many molecules in existence with no more ever created, and all the rest -- birth, growth, death, development, change, adaptation, transformation, evolution -- is really just about recycling.
We breathe the same air as our cave-dwelling ancestors; inhaling and exhaling, exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen with our plant relatives untold billions of times over the millennia. And the same holds true for water. We drink the tears of crocodiles and elephants. It rains, it pools, it evaporates, it rains. We drink, we pee, we drink. Again and again and again in a grand scale cosmic round robin.
All borders and boundaries and separations are pure illusion. Each time we touch someone, we leave some particles of our skin atoms behind and pick up a parcel of new ones. Thus we merge, literally becoming part of each other. I am you and you are me and we are we.
We are all in this together, woven into the wondrous world wide web of life, inextricably bound on our beautiful blue planet spinning through space. Remember that extraordinary photograph of Earth taken from the moon? We are one family, one community, one world, one living, breathing entity. And the sooner we realize it, the happier, safer and saner we will be.
These are terrible times of artificial division, manipulated resentment and fear. The real dynamic being played out right now is not about warring religious, economic or nationalistic factions. Not even about war. The struggle is actually between those who believe that the world is defined in terms of opposition -- war or peace, right or wrong, rich or poor, with us or against us -- and those who are able to see things in a more holistic, congruent manner.
These are deciding times. It is imperative for those of us who see the big picture to decide, to commit, to make a concerted effort to reach out in ever-expanding circles of affinity and embrace. Now is the time to create healthy, functioning, truly social networks in recognition and in honor of our mutual state of being and our common fate.
Converge. Convene. Convent. Coven. Coop. Co=together.
Let us come out of the cocoon closets of our isolated, separate selves and come together. To make connections. To make friends. To make whoopy. To make magic. To make sense. To make art. To make amends. To make time. To make love. To make change. To make peace in our hearts and on the planet.
Let us put ourselves forth as co=operative partners; as inter=dependent members of our families, communities and species; as consciously co=existent inhabitants of our planet and as conscientious co=creators of our combined future.