The Web of Life
There is an old saying, so old in fact, that it's attributed to the ancient Egyptian mystics. It goes something like this, "As it is above, so it is below." Essentially, this statement points to a universal idiom that most modern people aren't comfortable with: All things are linked together. What happens to me, happens to you. What happens to our families, is happening at a larger scale in our community. When one suffers, we all suffer, for all systems are woven together.
In an HuffPost titled, "Your Brain is the Universe" by Deepak Chopra and several other modern day thinkers, put it this way,
"As is the smallest, so is the greatest has come full circle from ancient wisdom to modern science once we accept that every system is driven by feedback loops, homeostasis, and continuing self-organization. At this point, it is up to dissenters to prove that we aren't inhabiting a living universe, tied into it by the most fundamental characteristics of biological systems."
It all comes down to one word: Interdependence. We're all linked, all one, bound by the web of life. This bothers the modern world, because everything from our healthcare to our economic system is based on the idea that we're separate, on our own, and in it for our own selfish needs. We've literally setup a thought system that traps us in our own cages, oblivious to the connections we share with the world, with each other and even with our own technological creations. We feel trapped, but essentially, the door to the prison of separation is wide open. We can walk out of the illusion anytime. The choice is up to us.
One of my favorite modern thinkers, Charles Eisenstien, put it this way in his book Sacred Economics, "Having made nature into an adversary, or at best a pile of resources, it is no surprise that we manifest the same relationship of our bodies. The defining diseases of our time are the autoimmune diseases, the somatization of our self-other confusion. Just as the village, the forest, and the planet are inseparable parts of ourselves that we mistake as other, so our immune systems reject our own body tissues. What we do to the other, we do to ourselves, inescapably."
Imagine it, as we cut out parts of nature in the name of progress, we get sicker as a people. When we destroy the land around us, we feel it in our very bodies, for these bodies are made from the same essence, the same set of elements. We are all one, tied together by the material building blocks of life.
Much research has been dedicated to understanding this web of life. Our science, once set on compartmentalizing and individually naming everything in sight, has begun to see a bigger picture within our biology. Rather than running like a machine, nature operates more like a spider's web-when one strand is broken, the web starts to unravel. Our ecosystems are beginning to break down because we forgot this ancient truth that life is truly a web of interconnecting systems, each one dependent upon the other for survival.
This web of life analogy isn't lost on me as I prepare to launch eHuman Dawn as an eBook, sending it out on the world wide web to readers that live all over the globe. Research for this novel, and the next two in the trilogy, has led me down many interdependent pathways. The physics of consciousness has revealed how interdependent molecules, waves and particles actually are. Researchers are beginning to postulate that our consciousness is woven throughout our bodies, having no central space to reside in, but rather existing in every cell, in ever piece of DNA, simultaneously talking to one another, sending data in an instant, to keep all parts of the body in synch. And when things aren't in synch, when some part of the glorious communication system shuts down, the illness is pretty obvious. We stop functioning in health.
Does this elegant system of data transfer within the human body sound familiar? Does it mimic the world around us? Not just the natural world around us, but even our most powerful invention yet, the Internet, works this way. Data moves throughout the fiber optic network at the speed of light and travels across the globe to deliver information to millions simultaneously. There is no central place where the communication resides, rather devices by the millions embed themselves into the World Wide Web to share and receive data, perhaps not instantly, but quickly. There is nothing now we cannot know, for all data can be found, if only you ask the right question. It's no coincidence that we've given it the name World Wide Web. It's our creation, is it not? Therefore it lives and operates within our geometry.
There's no denying it…the geometry of life, and data, is a web.
When we use the World Wide Web and interact within its social structures, we might have the tendency to think we're alone, separated from the others by the iPhone in our hands, but in reality, we're not. What you use the Internet for affects me. What I do affects you. That we have some of the most beautiful ideas "floating" around out there alongside some of the most perverted, angry, and destructive impulses is natural. It's human nature to forget that we're all connected, and that everything we do is eventually revealed.
But life systems seem to find a way of reminding us of our error.
All forms of life tend towards abundance, and will create systems within its structure that expose secrets and lies. We call these the canaries in the coal mine. Nature gives warnings and hints when we've reached a place in the web of life that's broken and let's us know that the very fabric of that system is beginning to unravel. Though technically the Internet is not "life," it does have a life of its own and within the network, a system of checks and balances and a way to sound the alarm has come about.
Wikileaks is a perfect example of how all things on the internet can and will be exposed. Consider it a neural network not unlike our own, with its unique systems for monitoring health and wellness. We can call it evil and say our technology is separating our society and ruining us. Or we can see it as an organic system, created in the image and likeness of us. Our technology is as good, and as bad, as we are.
Ecologists tell us that the plight of the polar bear just might be our plight. Using the axiom of "as above so below" the plight of the internet whistle blowers should also be of interest to us. Those who hack into the internet and make sure the web is functional, whole and clean, and report back to us when it's not, are essential to the health of the network. Their plight is our plight as well. They're the canaries in our technological coal mine. If we exterminate them, if we decide to make them criminals, then the consequences will be felt by all of us. They exist to guard the web of data that has become the fabric of modern society, just like organizations such as The Sierra Club exist to protect the natural web of life that provides us with our resources. The two are linked by the human mind.
Nature created us in her image and likeness, and we created the internet in our image and likeness. Therefore it behooves humanity to protect them both, our data and our natural resources, so that we can live full, interdependent, human lives. After all, "as is above, so is below."