I’ve never felt at home in the world, and most days I still don’t. “The sense of being an outsider,” as Radhule Weininger explains in her book, Heart Medicine, “has become part of my ongoing experience” of being stranded amongst the strangeness of this terrestrial sphere. Some days I swear I can feel the hurtling of the earth as it turns round the sun, and I am motion sick from it’s spin.
Lost, lonely, and pulled down by the uncertain gravity of a planet whose atmosphere is plagued by the death of a thousand tiny paper-cuts; everything aches and bristles. Perhaps the inbuilt anxiousness of ambiguity and unknowing is simply part of what it means to be here, to be alive, to be human. Weininger writes that “None of us knows for sure how the universe unfolds, nor how we as humans are situated in time and space.” James Victore seconds Weininger’s sentiments when he says that “The secret of the universe is that no one knows shit.”
We may not know who we are, why we’re here, for how long, or much of anything else for that matter, but the one thing we do know amongst all the things we don’t, is that, no matter how separate or isolated we may feel, we are here together; bonded to one another by the mutual crisis of our human short-sightedness.
Heidegger said that Being means Being-in-the-World, and Being-in-the-World is always Being-in-the-World-with-Others. We are beings in relation; an interwoven ecology of aliveness; a conspicuous community of interbeing. We are the whole world made miniature. We are each comprised of the entire cosmos intricately and meticulously condensed to person sized scale.
This means that belonging is not tied to a geographic location. Nor is it an explicit quality of a place or situation. Instead it is an intrinsic condition and characteristic of our abiding actuality. And it comes with the realization and the understanding that there is always, and at all times, a reciprocal exchange taking place between ourselves and the world in which we comprise together.
There is no real you/me, inside/outside, distinction to be made between ourselves and the world. In her Forward to Heart Medicine, Joanna Macy says that “My freedom is your freedom. My freedom is our freedom. The freer I am, the freer you are, the freer we all are”. When one of us wakes up, we all wake up. When one of us comes alive everything comes to life. Macy goes on to say that it is “not my freedom first then yours. Not inner work first, then outer work later. Not self-care first, then care for the world afterwards. Rather, our freedom. Only together, only and always together.”
To open ourselves is to open ourselves to one another in total. It is to open and expand the breathing fecundity of all that we are coterminous with. It is to break the illusory bounds and borders between us. To know that as we each become bigger, the whole world becomes bigger too.
We rise and fall, crest and collapse, we run aground and we get back up, never alone, but together, ever and always as one.
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