We Are One Being

We are one being, linked in profound and essential ways even though we rarely pause to consider them.

The surface of Earth is seventy percent water just as we are made up of seventy percent water. This is the same water that has been on Earth for four and a half billion years. It flows in and out of each one of us. In cycles too infinite to imagine this water has been drawn up in plant cells, swirled in oceans, circulated in bloodstreams, sweated, excreted, wept out tearfully, drunk up thirstily, formed into new life, risen into vapor, and locked into ice. The saliva in your mouth is made of water molecules intimately shared with beings that lived long ago and will be shared with all who come after us.

We breathe about 600 million breaths in a lifetime. The air we rely on is a balance of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and a dozen or so other gases perfect suited to our existence. It circulates through endless forms and uses, moved by the wind of our planet and by each exhale of living beings—-trees, crows, humpback whales, and newborn babies. It recycles just as the calcium in your jawbone may well have been quicklime poured on a criminal’s grave, a garnet on a nobleman’s finger, cheese carried by a nomadic herder, and a coral reef in a tropical ocean.

Nothing about our bodies is separate from what’s around us. We are nourished by what has grown from the sun’s energy and we remake ourselves constantly, replacing millions of cells every second using only the materials that have been on this planet for millennia.

Quantum physics tells us the principle of entanglement explains how particles, once linked, can remain connected even when physically separated by vast distances, possibly even by time. Entanglement occurs between living beings as well, both human and animal, indicating a greater connection same call a morphic field and others call a holographic universe.

On this planet we are linked to every particle and every life form so intimately that science is beginning to echo what poets and sages have been saying for thousands of years. We. Are. One.

Each person is truly your kin. Our human connection begins with common ancestors. Genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts estimates that everyone on the planet is at least a 40th cousin. That’s because the family tree expands as each generation traces back. You have eight great-grandparents. Their parents had 16 parents. Go back 40 generations and you’d find a trillion grandparents at a time when there were fewer than 15 million people on the planet. That means we share 40th great-grandparents. In that way you are connected to eighty percent of the people on this planet. That includes the guy driving the delivery truck right outside your window and the woman thousands of miles away struggling to find water in a drought.

The smallest children seem to recognize that existence is an “alive poem.” They find kinship with rocks, animals, as well as people. Our human family, built on kindness and cooperation, helps one another heroically. We are waking to the ways our Earth sustains us, working harder than ever to restore justice and ecological balance. We are reaching out to share, laugh, explain, and find kinship with one another.

We are entangled in a universe so holographic that we can’t help but sense the oneness that has been there all along.

19 thoughts on “We Are One Being

  1. Well said. I still struggle with the idea that creeps and nasty-guys are that interrelated with me and mine, but I guess that’s why I’m a work in progress. 🙂


    • In a larger sense, what we push away (creeps and nasty guys) are the shadow side of human nature. Unless we all acknowledge that we have the capacity for evil within us, the choices we make to do good aren’t as fully conscious.


  2. I am not sure what quantum non-locality has to do with Gaia. It is not needed to support Lovelock’s original Gaia hypothesis, because causes generated at one place on, in, or near the earth can chain-propagate to affect the rest of the planet.

    The viewpoint on conscious existence asserted here is intriguing. With other people, particularly those from cultures very different from our own, or with youngsters, we may simply be making assumptions about what they experience. This is an epistemological error. Philosopher Nagel [(1974). What is it like to be a bat? The Philosophical Review 83(4), 435-550.] points out that the mind-body problem in consciousness is intractable because some of the information in a conscious mind is private. Spirituality is a major component of the quality of human existence, and perhaps the one that social work is unique among the helping professions in addressing on a universal basis.

    If someone claiming Native American cultural affinities tells me about an animal spirit, then do I have an intellectual right to dismiss this claim as nonsense? A totem is the animating spirit of some object in the natural universe, acting as benefactor, perhaps ancestor, to the person that spirit has chosen to bless with its attentions, and usually to that person’s family and broad kinship as well. Lest all this seem to us primitive superstition in our enlightened era, we need only look at the lions recumbent of English royal heraldry, or at the communion wafers in our churches, to see how close to animism we still are.

    So it is not odd that a youngster should see the face of a felix domesticus embedded in another person’s face. Biologically, there’s not all that much divergence between the basic construction plans of the two. I’m given to understand that housecats do not use face recognition as a mode of intelligence for conducting their affairs, however. That’s something people are sort of big on.

    But I’m just one of those nasty guys creeping about the face of God’s green earth. Somehow, though, I am aware that I’m running out of time and therefore must become more accountable for what I do to other people. Mindfulness, I suppose.


    • Galaxian, I hope you didn’t take my impression that we are, in a larger sense, one being to imply any sort of judgment. I’m talking about opening to possibility. I am talking about the state of awe experienced at moments of transcendence, when we feel the kind of unity with all that’s too great for words but is known forever after as truth. I’m talking about considering there may be bigger mysteries than our human minds are made to recognize. I’m glad for all the wondrous differences between us as we creep “about on the face of God’ green earth.” Well beyond those differences (I believe) we are one.


  3. Recently I wrote a blog entry offering a leftist critique of the ideology of “Green” environmentalism, deep ecology, eco-feminism, and lifestyle politics in general (veganism, “dumpster diving,” “buying organic,” “locavorism,” etc.). I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter and any responses you might have to its criticisms.


  4. Laura, I loved finding your post on the web, looking for images of ‘together’, if I remember rightly. I’m posting quotes from this blog on some of my community pages on facebook, with a link back.

    Responding to the sense that sometimes comes that ‘one’ means a loss of uniqueness – yes, we are one being, and no- the eye does not need to look like the toenail, yet biologists tell us that cells have the potential to become one or the other before something turns one into a muscle cell and another into a brain cell.

    Beyond the words and thoughts, the sense that we are one being flows in and I’m thankful for finding your blog today. Off to hear you singing to the bees now!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps what is shifting for us is our consciousness of what, apparently, is an eternal situation? If that is true then perhaps our consciousness, particularly our trans-personal sense of collective Self, is something driving our minds, our expressions, our sense of existence? All I know is that I’m rooting for love and compassion as we grow toward that challenging consciousness that simultaneously recognizes the unity of our oneness and the individuated uniqueness of each separate thing and being that differentiates and articulates the world as it is, or at least seems to be. Namaste either way

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “You are descended from eighty percent of the people on this planet. That includes the guy driving the delivery truck right outside your window and the woman thousands of miles away struggling to find water to drink.” I like this post, but in this particular passage surely you don’t mean I am “descended from” eighty percent of people alive today? I’m only descended from the people who are my direct ancestors (that is why I am their “descendant”). I think there is a mixup here between “ancestors” (people who come before you in your direct lineage — your parents, grandparents, etc.), “descendants” (people who come after you in your direct lineage — your children, grandchildren, etc.), and “relatives” (anyone you have any kind of kinship connection to). These terms are a common source of confusion. Of course, I am (as you point out in this post) ultimately a “relative” of everyone alive today — and in fact every living thing on Earth!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I may have failed horribly in my word choice, although it’s clear I wasn’t speaking in genealogical terms. I used “descend” to mean, as I find it in the dictionary, “To come down from a source; derive.” But you’re right, the word muddies my meaning. I’ll change it to “connected” and hope it’s somewhat less muddy. Thank you!


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  8. Pingback: The Commons, Common Sense, and a Common Field of Consciousness - ARealGreenLife

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