An Unnatural Disaster

Every now and then there occurs what we call a ‘natural disaster.’ An earthquake, a tsunami, a drought or a flood maybe. Often many people lose their lives and numerous others are touched by these losses. It is a time when difference is set aside and people pull together as one to do whatever is needed to help their fellow man. It seems this ‘natural’ disaster evokes a ‘natural response’ from humanity, arising perhaps from our innate sense of connection with each other or our understanding of each other.

This natural response is to set aside our ‘keep ourselves to ourselves/mind your own business’ mentality and work together with our neighbours to “pick up the pieces.” We see or feel the suffering of our fellow man and our innate sense is to help and support them. Perhaps there is purpose in these ‘natural disasters’ that recognises the need for such an ‘opportunity’ in order to remind us of our innate unity with each other.

Is it possible though, that the greatest ‘disaster’ of all has slipped under the radar of our awareness and its impact lives unfettered in our lives every day? Are we living the after effects of a ‘tsunami of separation’ from each other that we can all feel but rarely acknowledge? Take a trip on the London Underground and observe hundreds of human beings at close quarters – often sandwiched into carriages like sardines in a can. How hard we all try to avoid the gaze of another. How hard we try to not connect with our fellow human beings.

Living in separation from each other is hardly natural. Innately we are gregarious and loving beings whose joy is in connecting with another of our kin.

Why then is it so evident that we avoid doing so? Where does this desire to remain separate come from? If it is not our nature, how is it we have made it our ‘reality’? Perhaps we have been hurt and now live in self-protection, treading cautiously around our fellow man. Maybe we have been ‘bitten’ by another, having opened up to them and now we live “once bitten, twice shy.” Could it be that we have lost trust in each other, having witnessed cruel and selfish acts? But what is the after effect of living in this contracted way? Is it not that we live in fear of our fellow man? This is a high price to pay.

This ‘tsunami’ is anything but natural for it surely goes completely against the grain of our innate love for ourselves and for each other. We live in the after effects of a very ‘unnatural disaster.’

One of the significant threats of our time is the potential for nuclear war. Growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s was a time of fear that someone might just ‘push that button’ and those few who might survive such a war would end up living in an horrific ‘post nuclear society.’ The images were not pretty. Perhaps we should appreciate at this point that we have not taken that path – at least not on a global scale. That said, what if such an eventuality is in truth a reflection to us of the state of humanity? Is it possible that we can learn from the possibility, rather than the eventuality itself?

Could it be that we are in fact already living in a post-apocalyptic society, the apocalypse not being the nuclear war we have all feared, but the more subtle separation from ourselves and from each other that has led to a loveless state of being amongst human brothers? We may fear the physical destruction of our race, but are we looking in the right direction for the source of the destruction itself? Does the real disintegration of true society come from within us all in the shape of separation – firstly from our true essence, and then from each other?

Children are not born ignorant and unaware – in fact, they are acutely sensitive, tender and vulnerable beings. They feel when something is not loving and will clearly express the fact. This is perhaps because their true essence is love and they feel the stark contrast between who they are and what they feel.

But what happens as we/they grow? Do we nurture this sensitive and loving nature, or do we teach them ‘skills’ to protect and defend themselves from the harsh realities of the world? If so, do we bury our essence behind a suit of armour when it could in truth be the very thing we need to bring about a more loving way of being in life? Furthermore, is this insensitivity the very thing that makes the potential of nuclear war possible? Insensitivity that negates our feelings of connection with our fellow man supports our objectification of groups of people, leaving us able to contemplate this most horrific of paths.

Yet something that has been buried is not permanently lost. Perhaps a little digging is required. Perhaps some willingness to allow vulnerability is necessary. Maybe we need to be very self-loving and open our arms to our neighbours, even when there is no ‘natural disaster’ at hand.

This beautiful essence that each and every baby is born with is still alive within each and every man and can be reconnected to if we are willing to take what seems to be a risk and shed our armour. Doing so may in truth be the only truly ‘protective’ way there is.

We fear the worst but perhaps we should consider that “the worst has already happened” – and we are living in its wake.

By Richard Mills, Learning and Development Manager, Surrey, UK

Further Reading:
A feeling of connection
Connecting to People: No Such Thing as ‘Strangers’
What is Connection?

643 thoughts on “An Unnatural Disaster

  1. ‘a ‘tsunami of separation’ from each other that we can all feel but rarely acknowledge’ is most definitely an unnatural disaster we don’t want to clock. It is the source of all the man-made disasters we are experiencing from terrorism to genocide to racism to our internal separation from ourselves and the despair this engenders. But we look at separation’s symptoms without wanting to consider the real cause or address it. Just admitting what is going on is a necessary first step.

  2. “We fear the worst but perhaps we should consider that “the worst has already happened” – and we are living in its wake.”

    These are sobering words that explain how we do not yet allow ourselves to see and really feel the ‘tsunami of separation’ we live in, for then we would have to admit to the tidal wave of grief we are all soaked in, that comes from not living in connection with our true and godly selves.

  3. We learn a lot about what we are possible of in the midst of a natural disaster. But yet we choose not to live this on a day to day basis. Why should we put this way of being together away for the next natural disaster when we can be this way together everyday?

  4. What if a Tsunami is only the end result of a constant separation humanity lives in? We tend to focus to the release of the energy through that natural, very cleansing disaster (which I understand as it can´t be ignored anymore), but don´t see the suffering through separation beforehand that caused such a release. It is like an illness- what have been all the movements and choices beforehand? The illness is just the end result and a very loud STOP. How much did we listen and in what way did we live before the STOP came?

  5. When you watch children in general, they are just open and want to connect to others. There is no premeditation about what will happen, there is simply the feeling of we are all one and why should I not want to connect to you. This behaviour is in all of us at present, how much did we step away from it?!

  6. During a disaster we let down our walls, the walls that keep us separate normally. We let them down and we go out and help people, or we let people help us. We can do this whenever we choose to.

  7. The worst we can do is step away from our truth, love and harmony and that is the most greatest disaster we have created. No flood, tsunami or other can beat that. Hence, it lays in the way we live our lives all together, with each other and individually. Our key lays there.

  8. It is true, it is not natural for us to live in this separated way from each other. One thing for me that stands out with this way of living is how many of our elderly are very lonely because all they see is the carers who pop in for a half an hour to an hour each visit, and that’s if they are lucky enough to warrant an hour or can afford it. Otherwise, we as carers barely have enough time to do what’s needed, and then we’re off to the next one.

    1. Well said Julie. Yes, loneliness is such a big issue for our elderly. And we should appreciate those who works as carers much more than we do. They do a fantastic job.

  9. There is such a fear of natural disasters. But is it really the natural disaster we fear or the expose of where we have let ourselves get to in our lives? We can also ask what is the purpose of the natural disaster? What every single one of them highlight is how we can come together as a community to aid and help each other easily, without barrier or difference. The sad thing here is that it takes a natural disaster for us to see very naturally how we can live, but choose not to. Hence the need for more and more natural disasters.

  10. Yes we are so used to things like tsunamis and earthquakes, floods and hurricanes coming and going quickly… And yet as you say there has been ongoing devastation literally for eons taking place in humanities path.

  11. Thank you Richard, as you say the greatest devastation to the human race has already happened, the separation from our soul and the love and harmony we innately are. After that comes the abuses including war, so whilst we should do all in our power to prevent these things being a part of our global society their threat will always hang over us until we return to the harmony, sensitivity and love we naturally are.

    1. Yes, and rather than look out into our world and feel helpless, we can instead make our own choice to live in connection with our true essence and to be a loving presence. This is far from helpless but is instead embracing of the power we all have to make our world truly harmonious.

  12. With this ‘We fear the worst but perhaps we should consider that “the worst has already happened” – and we are living in its wake’, I wondered do we fear the worst or …. are we numb to it? Numb to all that is happening. Only yesterday I saw as a news headline that in Syria it is getting even worse (I didn’t think it could get any worse than it already has been for years, especially the last year) and that was just one headline of many, day in and day out. And after reading this I reflected that because it is not on my door step directly affecting me I forget about it. So how do we heal this, how do we heal the separation we have created globally? We make it about people, the whole time, in all that we do, everywhere we are. If we all did this the separation would start to cease.

  13. Disasters seem to reawaken the natural care and connection that we secretly crave between us. It breaks down all the false pillars of religion, class, culture, family ties and race and our natural sense of humanity returns. Although ‘disastrous’ on many levels, this is something we desperately need to restore to our everyday way of being with each other.

  14. Thank you Richard. Sometimes it feels too risky to open up to people yet when we do we can wonder what all the fuss was about and, as you say, feel a greater sense of brotherhood and unity. It’s as if the body sighs a sigh of relief that it does not have to hold that particular tension anymore.

    1. Perhaps we should take the ‘risk’ more often Elaine. It seems to me that it is what we express that reveals and evolves us, not the reactions we get from others.

  15. When we keep ourselves in separation and are not honest enough to lovingly engage with others, we are hurting ourselves as well a everyone else around us, yet our natural essence is to support one another and live in true brotherhood.

  16. “If so, do we bury our essence behind a suit of armour when it could in truth be the very thing we need to bring about a more loving way of being in life?” I think you are onto something here Richard.

    I lived in Sydney during the Olympics 2000 and my gosh the city changed during that time. It is like the Olympics gave the city permission to be themselves for a short period of time. People were open, friendly, sharing, engaged…when I got on the train, people were talking, laughing, sharing stories and I was like…woah,,,that never happens on a Sydney commuter train.

    1. It seems we feel the need to have some reason to be unified, some common experience. What if that common experience is life itself and the way we are currently living?

  17. The greatest tragedy is that we have separated from our body of love, our Soul, long long ago and the aftermath of that separation is seen in everyday lives that are filled with anxiety tension abuse and many many inhuman behaviours. Coming back to the innate love that was there in us as a baby is the only way forward for our human community.

  18. The word disaster gets a new meaning by realizing the healing that is offered by a natural disaster and by admitting how disastrous the way we live on this planet is. Without allowing the true potential, that we can’t even fathom, that is there for us and without surrendering to our natural desire to be and work together we are completely ‘lost’.

  19. When in the company where I coached recently a disaster happened everyone got together, shared about their feelings, supported each other, the difference in rank order due to different roles disappeared and there was communication. Now a couple of months later everything is back to ‘normal’ and everyone misses the feeling of unity and connection. How we act during a disaster is natural and we have accepted the rest as normal, but boy we lose in this way of being and working.

    1. We will perhaps continue to create disasters until we choose to make unity a way of life rather than an exceptional reaction to an event.

  20. The devastation inherent in a tsunami of separation is little understood. We tend to ignore our true essence and connection with other at our cost. To uphold the lie humanity is separate and distinct one from another is the source of all tension, conflict and war.

    1. Yes, when we understand that we are not separated individuals, but a one-unified race – then perhaps we will make the choice to work together.

      1. Absolutely Richard, to feel our inter-connectedness to every other human being is a glorious place to be and with this there can only be Love between us and willingness to co-exist with each other.

  21. I agree with the suggestion that we are living in the wake of the ‘the worst’ that has already happened. We’ve decided it’s normal that separation from ourselves and each other is the only way to survive life, as if our purpose is to be in combat our entire lifespan. But, there are some who have realised that there is an antidote, and bringing truth back to humanity, and bit by bit with no need to rush, it’s slowly being lived and experienced by others that there is another way.

  22. “We fear the worst but perhaps we should consider that “the worst has already happened” I would say it has. When we fear the worst it is of loss of life, a life standard and loss of possessions. But none of these are as valuable as the connection to our essence and the fact that we are all one. In fact, could it be that all that we fear to lose only has become important and a filler of the hole that we feel for having lost connection to us, soul and brotherhood?

    1. I think so. If we reconnect to our essence, the fear of losing those fillers diminishes significantly – if not entirely.

  23. Natural disasters take away the little things in life that we become so focused on that what is truly important gets pushed to the background. It breaks the hold our lives and daily routines have on us and therefore space is opened up to broaden our view, connect to our bodies and feel the innate longing for connection and brotherhood.

  24. Yes the real disaster is everyday human life with all its misery, struggle, discontentment, angst, stress, difficulty and all the things that we call ‘normal’ because it appears not as extreme as a flood, cyclone or fire…

    1. Yes Thomas, the real disaster is people living unaware of their connection to God or grand, sweet inner selves and instead dwell as lesser beings in drudgery and discontent.

  25. I really do get what you’re saying – what could be worse than living in separation from billions of other people that we are put on this planet to work together with?

  26. Your blog reminds me of how we see our children. They are living very disconnected, unsure of them selves and where and how they fit in the world, not knowing the gloriousness they truly are. We know this is how they feel on some level as we see and feel them every day. But it is only when they do something crazy we stop and get shocked. Yet if we let ourselves be aware of where they are truly at, when we saw them doing something crazy we would simply say of course this has happened with how they feel inside….

  27. The human language has an expression for unusual events of nature when it corrects itself. It is a natural disaster. But there is no expression for the disastrous way of living in separation to each other and how unnatural it is. This is merely a reflection of what are we obliged to see and what we choose not to see.

  28. “Living in separation from each other is hardly natural. Innately we are gregarious and loving beings whose joy is in connecting with another of our kin.” As I open up to the divinity within me I open up to a deeper connection with others, there is so much joy in the simple connection with another, a beautiful connection with just a smile or a hello shared.

  29. “We fear the worst but perhaps we should consider that “the worst has already happened”” – I agree. It feels like we think denying what we truly feel and saying ‘this is ok’ because we have cultivated a way to manage would make it ok, but it doesn’t.

  30. It is only when we surrender once again to love, that we will free ourselves from the chaos of separation that we have allowed to shape the loveless world that now surrounds us. For when we allow the love we innately are to move us, it is with the love of all, in which the potential and the power of Brotherhood can then truly be explored and realised.

  31. I used to live in a very seasonally populated place where in the winter you’d go for walks and every one you’d meet you’d say hi to. But as the holiday season grew, people put up protective barriers and didn’t connect. I had put it down to it being exhausting saying hi to everyone but there’s a definite cutting people off that goes along. I’m learning as I walk down the street to stay open. In the summer this would involve walking past large groups of people who were drunk. It’s not that I do not honour if I feel it’s not safe to walk past them, but that I don’t judge or shut my openness down. Indeed being open I get to feel if there is a danger from people I pass or people there that are there to say hi to and connect with.

  32. “Living in separation from each other is hardly natural. Innately we are gregarious and loving beings whose joy is in connecting with another of our kin.”
    I know for myself the excitement and joy of anticipating meeting with and spending time with friends or relatives. Yet also very familiar with the feeling of disappointment when the meeting is missing the beauty and ease of each being them selves. Often these meetings are tainted with past experiences and each person holding a protection around them to avoid another hurtful experience. It takes courage and a very clear love of self, and others to let down the protection and again open ones heart to another.

  33. Those great disasters connect me with humbleness and the urgent need of going to its root cause. It’s clear that there are many causes that originate the disaster itself, but going a bit deeper, from that humbleness, helps us to understand and take responsibility, as individuals and as society, about what has taken to us until that point and make the changes needed, to finally come back to our really Natural Unity, within and out.

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