Are We All Connected?

Transplanted from my main blog:

So, I’ve been playing around on MySpace lately, and I’ve come across a group of Gnostics. I’ve been enjoying some good conversation with them, and I’ve had several opportunities to impart my wisdom.
In one particular exchange, the question was asked, “Are we really all connected?”
The immediate answer, of course, was, “Yes, we are all connected. See how wise we are!” (Okay, I’m paraphrasing. But I was having a serious flashback to the scene in The Life of Brian when the gigantic crowd is chanting “YES! WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS!”)
I posted that we are NOT connected (“I’m not!” cries the lone voice from the crowd). Connection demands separation–for you to be connected to me, you and I have to be different things. We are, in fact, all part of a single, undivided whole.
“NO!” came the soon-to-be-paraphrased war cry. “Supraconsciousness! Quarks! The balance of light and darkness! We are WISE, dammit!”
And so, after ruminating for a time, I presented the following analogy:
—–
“Let us imagine that we are both apples, on the same branch of an apple tree. You see that I am an apple HERE, and you are an apple THERE. Then, one day, you look around and discover the tree.

‘AHA!’ you say,’we are all CONNECTED. See there, you and I are both attached to the limb of this tree. We both draw our nourishment from the same roots; our energy from the same leaves. A blight on that limb way over there will surely affect us as well. I am wise; I have achieved the true Gnosis.’

Well, you haven’t.

The tree, in this analogy, represents the physical universe. Humans are connected to each other in the universe in many ways: by quanta, by gravity, by society, by genetics. For the Gnostic, however, the physical universe is kenoma: it is illusion, a falsity. The true reality is the Pleroma: the truth over which the veil of kenoma has been drawn. The Pleroma is the realm of God, where all exists as undifferentiated spirit.

‘So where then,’ you might well ask, ‘IS the Pleroma in your story, if it is not the tree which connects us?’

The Pleroma is the seed from which the apple tree sprouted. To achieve Gnosis, you must return to the original seed. Now, ponder: when we were POTENTIAL apples, before the seed ever sprouted–were we connected, or were we part of an undifferentiated unity?

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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