Friday, November 13, 2015
Every (person) is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less... Any [person’s] death diminishes me because I am involved in (humankind); and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
From Meditation 17 by John Donne 1624
I love the "Meditation" by John Donne three centuries ago and was reminded of it, again last week when a friend lost her mother, unexpectedly. I did not know her. On hearing the news I felt loss. It also reminded me of a journal writing in August of '04. "A 'part of the main' broke off last week and I am less for it. Sergio Viviera de Mello, who many people identify as "the conscience of the world" and who has worked “miracles” to help reconstruct shattered societies in Lebanon, Kosovo, and East Timor, died yesterday in Baghdad when terrorists blew up the UN headquarters there."
And now, 15 years later, when I check the news, I still hear about bombings in Syria and Baghdad before I have walked one block. And then there are the faces in rubber dingus trying to escape war that also leave me sad. Why should I feel loss? I didn’t know Viviera de Mello nor did I know the others. Yet my feelings tell me “a part of (my) main” has broken off.
These same feelings also shout, "Augusta, from the sages and enlightened hearts through the ages, you know you are not an isolated enclave of separateness." The scientists also confirm our connectedness. Jeff Kimble, a Caltech quantum physicist, finds that on separating two entangled particles, when one is tickled it is like the other particle laughs at the exact instant, no matter if one is on another planet. I suspect a similar event happens when we focus the higher qualities of human feeling: love, wisdom, understanding and a felt compassion toward a situation on the other side of the world.
We are all particles. Imagine, how one and connected we are! However, I do live in a fractured world. Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall every hour and for the most part I still feel hopeless to put it together again. Yet, I do (as we each do) have the power of the universe in my particles and heart-tip. I am a part of this earthy-main. The invitation is out; I need not be a bystander. I know too much to live in hopelessness and impotency. I can Be in my sacred self; flesh and heart the higher human qualities of wisdom, compassion and justice. I can Be those particles that tickle other particles in this fracture world. And maybe, I can shift, change and influence what happens.
So the Sergio Viviera de Mellos' and the Putins' still have me asking, what energy am I releasing into the world? What kind of emotion, passion? How am I affecting those around me and those on the migration from Syria and Iraq? Maybe my energy can help tip the balance of Humpty’s precarious position on the wall. I am a global citizen. Maybe I can help to create a new world. I need not “send to know for whom the bell tolls”; it does toll for me.