The Myth of Separation

Creating a world of heart-centred relationships
Continuing the theme of disparity and inequality between and within nations, it is striking that as the ‘age of austerity’ - the 6th year of it - hits all of us, it reveals the huge paradox that sits at the heart of the wealthiest nations on earth.

On the one hand Europe is discarding hundreds of tons of food every day, including dead fish thrown back into the sea because of a ridiculous and unworkable quota system, while many people are scrabbling in waste bins for food to feed their families. How does that make any sense? We won't mention parts of the world where children go to bed hungry and die of malnutrion.

Since austerity hit the UK, hundreds of food banks feed the  thousands who nowadays queue for free food; and the numbers are said to have doubled in the last nine months. What is there to say about that? How does that happen in a society that prides itself among the top seven wealthiest nations on the planet? And these people are not the usual suspects: the homeless, and 'residual poor', but ordinary citizens who have lost their livlihood or whose income is now insufficient to meet everyday needs. 

This is neither about poverty nor austerity, it's about a self-serving, self-perpetuating and hugely dysfunctional system. And the periodic shuffling around of players on the political game board is not going to change it. But it will change, in fact it is in the process of change now, even while cosmic wheels turn very slowly.

Western perceptions and beliefs about the ‘survival of the fittest’ were shaped long ago by ideas formulated in the 17th Century and developed into theories by Newton, Descartes and Darwin et al – theories that presented human being as separate from each other and from their environment.  In the main, we assign a hierarchy of power and privilege. We lose sight of community, in its broadest sense, and of interdependence.
          We readily accept that everything in our biological bodies are connected, one organ system is dependent on all other for optimal functioning, yet one of the defining characteristics of human nature is the belief that we are separate from the earth and from each other.
         Our perception of separation is expressed everywhere in our lives, between humankind and the nature kingdom, in our relationships one with the other, particularly between men and women, between work and play, in families, communities, cultures, religions, within and between different races and nationalities (we even place a value on how much a life is worth, based on ethnic and/or national origin). In turn this separation is reflected back to us in the disparity in the health, wealth and status of nations and in the very geophysical structure of the planet itself.
           Our sense of separation from each other and from Mother Nature, regarded as here to serve us, continues to result in major catastrophes for the global family and for the earth itself. With the advent of globalization, the autonomy of nations states, traditionally unassailable is now being challenged, and the impact of the global financial catastrophe, which began long before it actually started to manifest in 2007, continue to reverberate in our lives.

          The interests of nations now overlap and it is impossible to stand apart from the rest of the world and assert sovereignty, if this poses a danger to planetary resources important to the well-being of the whole. Yet there are those who ignore the critical link between interdependence and survival. We wait with a mixture of hope and despair to see how the leadership of the G7/G8 resolve a situation that, in some nation states, threatens to seriously derail social cohesion.  Our solutions do indeed lie with growth, but to focus solely on 'growth in the economy' no longer cuts its.


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