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?

671 thoughts on “An Unnatural Disaster

  1. “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..?” This is exactly how we need to look at things, not try to just prevent a potential nuclear or other war, but deeply question what’s going on in human life that we are actually willing to harm or kill our fellow human beings. What are our collective responsibilities here and what do we all need to correct and heal?

    You whole blog Richard is asking me to question why I don’t let in all of my fellow human beings… sure there are some terrible behaviours and crimes, and the news highlights and focuses on these, but there are also billions of great people on the planet that don’t warrant my suspicion or lack of openness. A great topic for us all to look more deeply at.

  2. ‘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 among human brothers?’ What a great question. I grew up in the eighties and went to bed fearing nuclear war, having nightmares and a sense of how is it possible to live in a world where this was even a conceivable choice for people to exist. Only later I found out in documentaries that this feeling was in the air and most people were feeling it. If I connect to what if felt like and what it feels like today, it feels like a frenetic need to survive with so much war and division and the drawing up of bridges and the making of walls.

  3. You pose a great question for us all to ponder on Richard – is the greatest unnatural disaster the fact that we live separate to each other in our own little silos, and not in the supportive communities that help grow us all to live our potential.

  4. It really does feel like the worst has already happened because the ripple effect of living without the connection between each other means we are capable of hate, genocide, war, competition, belittling, bullying, murder, rape, domestic violence – all those things we now consider normal to come from our fellow man.

  5. I used to wonder why unnatural disasters occur. But over time I’ve come to understand that they are needed just like the seasons. If you really pay attention to the trees, in autumn and winter and then along comes spring and summer, the trees look and feel different.

    So what is the difference to what mother earth does to her planet, it feels she needs to have her seasons or spring clean too. With every disaster there is a new beginning for all including the animals. Everything happens for a reason, it may not always be obvious and we could continue living in this ignorance or we have a responsibility to live in a way that respects who and what resides on mother earth, after it is her home and we are her guests.

  6. As we grow up, we can somehow feel that being ourselves is not going to be welcomed in this world, and pretty quickly adopt a strategy to survive, and as a collective, we further ingrain the world in its falsity – we are enforcing creation. If the world itself was amiss, is it worth bending backwards and lose ourselves to fit into the falsity? Definitely not. It is far wiser to just be ourselves to co-create a world that we truly belong to.

  7. Could it be that every emotion that fuels disharmony among the human race to be against one another (personally or globally) lead to wars begun from individualism, jealousy, corruption, ownership, boundaries etc. This disharmony is rooted in the greatest disharmony of all – our separation from God and our divine essence. Easy to point the finger of blame at others and other nations – rather than clean up our own internal separation and choose to live from love again.
    “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 among human brothers?”

    1. If we are willing to take responsibility for being love rather than pointing fingers at others who are not being love, we might allow more love to be present in our world.

  8. I was sitting outside the local supermarket yesterday waiting to get a ride home and enjoying the very warming afternoon sun; a very enjoyable moment in time. But what was missing from the scenario was the connection between the people walking past me, as not one turned their head my way as they passed very close to me, so the smile that was already bubbling up inside me was not able to be shared. It was as if they were scared of connecting with me, or anyone else they passed. They were simply wanting to get to where they were going, head down, hoping that no one would say hello, and so missing out on the connection to another that is so very natural to mankind.

    1. It is very natural Ingrid, I agree, and yet so often we seem to ignore or deny this nature. I observe these moments in life too and actually find it hurtful when we ignore one another. The hurt is in the denial of the brotherhood that is so innate in us and one of the ‘proofs of this pudding’ is how wonderful it feels when we do let ourselves connect with another. Why would we reject something that feels so great? It doesn’t make sense.

      1. I have felt how hurtful in my body that the ignoring of another is Richard. In fact, I know I have always felt it, and these days the memory of that pain is the one thing which reminds me that the person I am choosing to ignore is my equal brother, and another wonderful member of my global family; so to ignore them definitely doesn’t make sense.

      2. It seems to me we get used to feeling this pain and in that it becomes normal. But it doesn’t go away, we simply dull our awareness of it. Feeling it once again is a great thing because it allows us to reawaken the truth of the matter rather than deny it.

  9. Yes, these natural disaster situations show our true potential. Imagine living like that with each other every day, and consider how much we could get done and get done well.

  10. I also feel that unnatural disasters allow people to have a stop moment. Just like an accident or cancer diagnosis. It enables a person an opportunity to either reconsider the way they are living and their priorities change or continue living the way they used to. All opportunities to change the way they are living.

    1. Yes, it is what we take out of the stop moments that is crucial. Do we return to our familiar ways – or do we make more loving choices?

    2. We could even ask is the unnatural disaster actually an opportunity for great healing, especially if we respond by coming into unity and brotherhood together? When the surface of life is going well we don’t question life, even though it could be quite harmful because we are all living in fear and separation from one another. What I am learning is to see past the outer appearance to what’s going on underneath the surface – is it love and brotherhood or not? If it’s not then we could say we are in an energetic global disaster, which eventually can become a physical event to catalyse healing.

  11. I agree that people come together when there are disasters and help each other out. And like you already mentioned, when it comes to everyday things, they avoid that connection. That connection for one another is never lost and within us all if we are willing to tap into it.

    I would only connect with certain people and now I’m breaking that barrier because of healing my past hurts. There is more to go but compared to where I used to be, ‘Ms Angry’ and ‘don’t talk to me’ attitude, I have moved mountains – a possibility for all.

  12. Wow, what a powerful statement Richard:” We fear the worst but perhaps we should consider that “the worst has already happened” – and we are living in its wake.” We are more busy in avoiding war and disharmony outside of us, instead of realising that we have allowed the greatest war and disharmony in ourselves first.

  13. No one on this planet can step in their true potential on their own. It always needs another to connect back to the wholesomeness of your multidimensionality.

    1. And I have found that reconnection in the most unexpected moments of connection – sometimes with total strangers that you feel you have known forever. What if we have that with so many more people, that it is our connectedness rather than our individuality that is our future and how we will ‘cope’ with living in a world full of so much separation.

  14. The way we are raising kids is definitely a disaster, I hate that kids get tainted by all our stuff and they get loaded with how to protect themselves and how to survive in life – instead of taught how to remain an amazing, open, loving human being that has the potential to change the world around them.

    1. I feel we equally need to look at the ‘end of life’ too. What is the way we live out our final years doing to us, and what are the consequences of this? My feeling is that we live many many lives and how we end one life impacts on how we come into the next.

      1. Yeh I agree, from visiting a number of nursing homes I think our end of life care and quality of life is pretty bad. Perhaps it comes down to ensuring that every moment is considered not only important and precious and that life is intended to be a certain quality that we have dropped way below in all areas of life.

  15. Having travelled on the London Underground a lot in the past, it is incredible how everyone tries so hard to not look at each other and pretend you don’t exist, there is such apathy and disconnection amongst people. Sometimes it takes a disaster to shake people out of this attitude and to remind them of what truly matters.

  16. ‘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.

  17. “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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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?!

    1. I really love what you’re saying here, it’s a bit like we have a doorway to ourselves, and as a child it’s totally open normally and we just love to connect to everyone, but as an adult we slowly close it as we realise the world is incredibly untrustworthy and incredibly out of order – but it doesn’t need to remain closed and we can choose to open and let people really and truly back in at any time.

      1. I want to share a beautiful moment of reflection I experienced a little while ago. I was in the park walking on a narrow footpath and some kids were running directly in my direction. I stepped to the side- and the girl in front said “Thank you “- whilst running, not losing speed or even looking at me. Why I share that? It reflected to me, how we are in true purpose- you are connected to everyone but you are not losing the purpose out of sight and you are simply going for it.

  21. 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.

    1. Very true Heather. A crisis or disaster brings something deeper out of us, an essential and natural connectivity with others. The most unnatural part of this process is rebuilding the walls once again after the crisis is over.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. “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?

  32. 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.

  33. 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’.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. “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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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?

  41. 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….

  42. 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.

  43. “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.

  44. “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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. “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.

  48. 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.

    1. We don’t always welcome being humbled, but it seems to me being humbled can be an opportunity to open up to greater levels of awareness – which is surely welcome and worth the momentary discomfort.

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