Everything is Connected: Week 6 | Day 2

Ecology is not about protecting the environment, but about realizing that everything – animate and inanimate – is connected. Br. Robert L’Esperance delves into quantum physics to marvel at our connection to the world and people around us.

Question: Recognizing the fact that we are all part of a web of being, how will one choice that you are making today affect that web?
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Activity: Date with Creation

Transcript: So I want to talk about – I want to say a word about – ecology. And I want to say something that I think for me is more and more becoming a guiding principle in my view about ecology and what that means.

First of all, ecology is not environmentalism.  Ecology is not about protecting the environment.  Ecology is about recognizing that everything, both living and inanimate are connected.  We are all connected.  There is an intimate connection between everything, and everything affects everything else.  And one of the amazing things about quantum physics is discovering this thing about the quarks, you know, where if you change the charge of one quark on one side of the world, then you have the opposite quark on the other side of the world – that these things will change simultaneously.  It’s the sub-atomic proof of what I’m alluding to here.  And just as if you sit in a room with other people, you’re continuously exchanging atoms with them.  The atoms in your body are passing to their body and coming back.  So there is this incredible web of interconnection, and this is what ecology tries to look at, all of the various connections that link everything to everything.

And we’re even connected to the inanimate objects around us, and everything is interchangeable.  This chair that I’m sitting in is – in a sense – this is energy that is in a solid form right now, temporarily, and my body is energy, which is in this form right now, and will someday return to the cosmos and be all mixed up again.

So I think that the guiding principle behind sustaining creation is for us to begin to recognize the fact that every time we make a choice we are affecting other living and non-living beings.  Nothing we do is neutral.  And we have to begin to think about that.  We have to begin to think about the fact that we share this existence with everything else that is existing with us. And we need to begin to start breaking down this sense of hierarchy, that human beings are at the top and anything we decide to do for our own convenience basically, anything we want to do, we can do without affecting everything that goes beyond that.

So here is a question I would like you to ask yourself.  Recognizing the fact that we are all part of a web of being, how will one choice that you’re making today affect that web of being?

– Br. Robert L’Esperance

Question: Recognizing the fact that we are all part of a web of being, how will one choice that you are making today affect that web?

Week 6 Activity: Date with Creation
Nurturing a healthy relationship with Creation takes time and intention. This week, schedule a few “dates” with Creation, finding a favorite spot in nature to return to each day. Nurture your relationship with Creation by offering thanks, being present, listening, protecting, and praying in this spot.

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  1. Crystal David John on April 3, 2017 at 22:53

    This is amazing and also echoes Arne Naess’s work. It’s so much to do with deep ecology which is so distinct from shallow ecology. It’s all about Gaia Philosophy

    • Stan on April 4, 2017 at 18:57

      My wife and I are currently visiting her son and his family in the Pacific Northwest. We hike a lot, but here, the woods are not just woods. The woods qre like an ancient cosmos. The forest here is truly a living entity; composed of uncountable individual entities, where the total forest is greater than the sum of the individuals. As you enter it, your first impression is that of stepping into a dream, yet … as alien and endless as it may seem, it also feels welcoming, as if to say welcome home. Here, you can fully understand how each individual affects the others, in turn, affecting the whole. And experiencing God’s work on such a grand scale will certainly affect you … to where you will probably never quite be the “same”.

  2. Kristi Leighton on April 3, 2017 at 14:35

    I think there can be a strong sense of DIS connect among people and cultures which creates a sense of division and seperateness. I do believe we are all connected but we tend to lose sight of that because we get caught up in our own tiny cosmic bubbles. We isolate instead of connect, especially with the growing impact of technology. I am a teacher and see how my actions affect students in a very strong and immediate way. I tell them the same thing, that their choices have an affect on others and we should try to make it a positive one. MY choices for today will be positive in nature and I hope that the connections I make even in the smallest way are helping and not hurting another being.

  3. Verlinda on April 3, 2017 at 12:49

    I’ll be mindful of how I interact with everything and everyone today–my cats, nature, other people. This meditation reminds me that what I put into the world is what I get back…and it’s also a reflection of the gifts and blessings I’ve received from God.

  4. Nicki on April 3, 2017 at 11:05

    Thank you Brother Robert. I’ve heard this alluded to before, but never took it very seriously, because of having not taken physics, I really didn’t get it. You’ve put it just right so I have got it, at least better than ever before. I will be thinking about this, and the food Quark (a form of German curds), is a delicious dairy product to put on fruit or use as a dip. Reading how Quark is made also helps me to see what you are saying.
    I’ve needed a good reference to our connection to everything else.

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