Do you see a relationship between the earth, business, and the interconnectedness of things?
You’ll often see the titles of my articles connect seemingly different topics — like this one. How do you think the earth, business, and interconnectedness relate?
Imagine that we walk together in nature and you point to a river. I ask you, “what is more you — the finger you are pointing with or the river?”
Can you live without your finger? That’s an easy question, “YES” we all can. Can we live without water? And of course, that’s even an easier question, “NO we cannot live without water.”
And so back to my first question, “what is more you — the finger you are pointing with or the river?”
A person that assumes itself to be only the mind-body will of course say, “my finger.” But is that so?
We celebrate Earth Day this month and while my work is more in the office than nature, I love taking the teachings from the natural world and the nature of reality and connecting them to the way we create businesses.
To think that there isn’t a connection between us, the earth, and business would be an uninformed concept or what is known as ignorance.
Ignorance is the false identification of self as a mind-body identity. A self that derives its identity only from its mind-body appearance.
That kind of misidentification leads to a discriminating type of thinking; discriminating what seems external or different. The naming itself of external and different are discriminating; unnecessary judgment on What Is.
But, what is self?
What most of us refer to as self, myself, me, or I is nothing but a set of labels, characteristics, beliefs, conditions, and conditioning.
For example, if I need to describe myself in this common way I may say “I am a man, 6’ 5”, I was a professional basketball player, I am an entrepreneur, I grew up in Israel, I am married, etc.” All of these are real descriptions of the story of a character called Gilad. Yet they are not true about the nature of myself. I, as all of us, would still have the same experience of I am myself even if I had a different story to tell. If you read my last newsletter I wrote, “everything we can name is an appearance and all appearances are illusory.” This relates also to that self. Every description is a description of an appearance in our perception; they are all real in our experience but not true in reality.
How may this ‘self’ be different than you think?
When we inquire about the nature of self, we discover that it goes beyond any description and the mind-body identity.
When we remove the layering and conditioning of the mind, at the end of this inquiry we get to the most irreducible part of ourselves, and that “part” is what we call awareness or consciousness.
That’s a great realization — who I am is not all the labels and appearances but awareness itself.
“I am awareness” is a very powerful recognition!
And why awareness is our true nature? Because to be able to recognize any appearance, awareness must first be present. Without awareness, there is no recognition, appearance, or experience at all.
Why is it important?
That’s a great question! Only for one reason that if you get and apply the following sentence you’ll not need to know anything else— all human beings seek freedom and happiness, it’s the drive to all of their actions; the only source of true and everlasting freedom and happiness is knowing your true nature.
Knowing your true nature is the only source of freedom and happiness. It can never, and will never, be anywhere else.
The thing that always seems to be missing, is the only thing that is ever-present.
Transcending our false perception of self
To transcend our false perception of self and with it our discriminating thinking we must understand the “connection” between what we call me and what we call the world outside me.
Isn’t me and the world made of the same subatomic particles? Aren’t subatomic particles just energy appearing as a form?
But caveat, even saying there is a connection would be limiting since connection already refers to multiple components. But is that so? Are there really multiple components in the world that require a connection or anything is an apparent expression of the same source which needs no connection as it was never separated?
Robert Lanza, MD in his fascinating book and research on Biocentrism discovered 7 principles. Two of which directly relate to our topic:
- “The behavior of subatomic particles, indeed all particles and objects, is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist at an undetermined state of probability waves.”
- “Without consciousness, matter dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could precede consciousness only existed in a probability state.”
Multiplicity only appears to be real in our perception. Thus we determine separation and with it the need for connection. It appears real yet it is not reality. We will never be able to connect anything as nothing was ever separated. We can, however, dissolve the kind of thinking of the apparent separated reality and align our thoughts, words, and actions with this new understanding.
Yet we still think that the pointing finger is more me, and thus more important than water. We do not pollute it or throw garbage into it in the same way we do to the water on this earth.
The same is true for all “parts” of the universe — we could not live without the sun, without trees, or without the minerals in the rocks.
We could live without most of the body parts we associate ourselves as “me” but we could not live even with the tiniest shift in the ecosystem we live in.
The recently laid Zen master and social activist Thich Nhat Hanh termed it Interbeing and said.
“If you are a poet, you’ll see clearly that there is a cloud floating in the sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without the trees, we cannot make paper… You cannot point out one thing that is not in the sheet of paper— time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything coexists with this sheet of paper.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
So why do you think we assume ourselves to be a single mind-body organism?
To think we can thrive as a human species without looking at the earth in the same way we see ourselves is an idea that cannot last very long. It’s a law, nature and the universe will outlast us and if we want to keep being on this planet as long as possible, we must ask ourselves about nature and the universe.
When we say me it is just a point of reference like we say tree, nothing of this me stands out from the rest of the components on earth or in the universe; it is the component of the earth and universe, and as much, the earth and the universe are components of me. In reality, there aren’t any components there is just What Is and the rest, is a story developed in the human mind.
Contemplate on this for the rest of the week; what is reality and the nature of myself, versus what is just a story developed in the human mind?
Next week we’ll touch on how the false thinking of self, the world, and the earth is detrimental to the way we create businesses.