In her book, The Bond, Lynn McTaggart suggests that it is the relationships between objects, be they atoms or people, that make all the difference. Life happens in the "spaces inbetween."
Here are some points she makes:
* Subatomically, there is no such thing as an individual thing
* Our bodies are created through so many complex interactions with our environment that they cannot be considered to exist independently
* We understand the actions of others by simulating the entire experience from a personal vantage point as though it were happening to us
* One of our deepest needs is to agree with each other, which manifests in a constant and automatic impulse to synchronize, physically, psychologically and emotionally
* Emotion, always considered wholly individual, is like a virus, transferring from person to person in an endless and unconscious circle of contagion
* We seek belonging above all else: for every $10,000 more your neighbors make than you do, your likelihood of suicide probably increases by 7.5 per cent
* Connecting with others is a matter of life and death: the lone-wolf, Gary Cooper-style all-American hero is a perfect candidate for a heart attack(1)
Much as Americans pursue an image of rugged individualism and self-reliance, these images can become pathological, and distance us from our more primary need to be interconnected with others.
Emotionally, neurologically and biologically, we are not designed to be "islands" or "rocks" that do not cry or feel pain. A healthy heart feels for others and grieves when another experiences hurt or loss.
If we work on valuing one another and investing more time and energy into our relationships (and perhaps less into our work and solo pursuits that leave little time for relationships), perhaps our world will feel less "cold" and "cruel."
Copyright Linda Marks 2011
(1) This list of points was prepared by Lynn McTaggart, author of The Bond