Part 2: Connectivity

61. Narrow In Order to Expand

I view a wise person as one who realizes a wider view. An obsessed, fixated, moralistic, and closed person is one who gets stuck in tools of narrowed focus: word-tools/concepts/language. I’ve come from a place of being stuck most of the time. I was closed off from realizing a wider view because I saw words as so much more than tools.

As I drove down the road each day, I was quick to call other drivers bad because they slowed me down or pressured me to drive faster or cut in front of me. Why didn’t they make me and my convenience their top priority? Like many two-year olds, I viewed everything outside as if it should revolve around my desires and convenience. It amazes me how frequently my egoic surface self still reacts with this type of inner mind chatter.

A muffin was bad because it wasn’t as moist as I like. And as I narrowed my focus to the dryness, I missed out on the flavor I may have enjoyed. Immersed in the isolated word-tool bucket called dryness, I could see nothing else.

As I practiced breaking free of the confines of bad drivers and dry muffins, I discovered that life could feel lighter. I realized that drivers had feelings and that their own life situations were as worthy of respect and compassion as mine. I found I could widen my view of muffins to include flavor, texture, and color; and that I could enjoy these even when I didn’t find the dryness level enjoyable.

The wisdom deep down inside me had waited, and finally I was peeling away layer after layer of narrowing word-tools.

Now as I continue to watch these negative stories passing through my mind, I replace them with a different kind of story-making. Stories with “others” as human beings like me, rather than as irritating objects that are always in my way.

Those wider stories free up energy previously used on criticism and blaming. I let go of inner tension as I view other people as like me, as beings who want to feel free to live their lives too. I honor the fact that they don’t put me at the forefront of their existence. I feel a sense of Connectivity. And that leads to a wider outlook toward the outside that springs from uncovering what’s been inside all along.

Eventually I realized that the whole purpose of narrowing my focus is to benefit me, other people, other living beings, and the environments where we live.

More and more, I see that everything I do is to assist with the flourishing and nurturing of living beings and this planet which supports them. And I am one of those beings, but I am not solo, not in a vacuum.

When I carry a view of Connectivity, I feel open to life with a sense of embracing existence and Being wherever I encounter it. The function of narrowing my focus in order to “get things done” is a mere tool, just as words and everything made of them are merely extractions in relation to this whole of Connectivity, the whole of reality.

Word-tools by their nature are narrowing devices. But their purpose was originally to expand by providing shortcuts to help us communicate more efficiently. When I misuse them by trying to make them do more than they can do, I create resistance to the expansion that life offers. For example, when I judge people as bad/good, I miss the core Being that lies deep down in them, including those who drive badly and sell dry muffins. I miss out on life when I get lost in the narrowing. I forget that the purpose of narrowing is to widen and expand. It’s to serve life, but not any one life as if it exists in a vacuum.

Grouping across many in order to narrow the attention to a this-not-that difference can be constructive, but only when I use this tool in awareness, and only when it serves the interconnected whole from which the grouping came in the first place.

This includes me as A Whole of The Whole. The synthetic separation that word-tools make seemingly clear is actually less real than the reality of the whole of Connectivity. That separatist clarity that seems so real, resides only in the network of the symbols that lead to that impression. What seems real in our world of artificial symbols is not real to the whole of “what is”. Connectivity is reality. Separation is a byproduct of our synthetic word-tools, essential to cognition but not to the Being of what is real in life.

The whole from which words come cannot be described by them. Words represent merely slivers, extractions that indicate, but word-tools omit most of the “what is” of the whole of Source.

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