Worlds apart or worlds together?

‘Oxytocin is released when we’re physically close to another person’s body, and can be described as a “social glue,” since it keeps society together by means of cooperation, trust and love.’*
(Meik Wiking)

We use the phrase “We’re worlds apart” to express how far we can be from finding agreement with someone.  But we only need look within ourselves a make the same discovery, that we are many worlds – many people, far from the simple person we make ourselves out to be.  This makes for a lifetime of discover and wonder:

‘To reclaim the beauty of the multitudes we each contain, we must break free of the prison of our fragments and meet one another as whole persons full of wonder unblunted by identity-template and expectation.’**

In these personal worlds we’re developing languages and cultures and systems.  These come into contact with the personal worlds of others, and, you an me, we are more than who we are, we are becoming:

“Each one of us is the custodian of an inner world that we carry around with us.  Now, other people can glimpse it from [its outer expressions].  But no one but you knows what your inner world is actually like, and no one can force you to reveal it until you actually tell them about it.  That’s the whole mystery of writing and language and expression – that when you do say it, what others hear and what you intend and know are often totally different kinds of things.”**

That our worlds are not fixed but are developing is how we are able to move forward together.  Our languages and cultures and systems are open. We notice how others have better words to describe things and use them ourselves, they live in fascinatingly rich cultures we want to borrow from, and have developed systems that work better than our own so we import from them.

When our worlds collide, there is the exciting possibility of togetherness rather than apartness.

(*From Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge.)
(**From Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: A Gentle Corrective for the Epidemic of Politics Turning Us On Each Other and Ourselves.)
(**John O’Donohue, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: A Gentle Corrective for the Epidemic of Politics Turning Us On Each Other and Ourselves.)

 

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