I recently watched an interview with Jon Anderson, former lead singer with the progressive rock band, Yes. Yes produced a number of hits in the seventies and eighties with songs including Roundabout, Owner of a Lonely Heart and It Can Happen. Anderson talked about his career with Yes and his current musical interests. He also spoke about the interconnectedness of the universe.
To illustrate his point, he recalled a time when he was on tour in Europe. The band was in Denmark when he woke up one morning worried about whether their music was reaching a wide enough audience. He wondered if they were connecting with people in Asia and South America and he spoke to his band members about his concerns.
Later that day while walking through the airport he decided to look around one of the shops. The shopkeeper was Asian and she tried to sell him many things which he kindly refused. Then out of the blue she asked him if he was a rock star. She said he looked like a rock star and she wanted to know if he could help her find a musician who greatly helped her during her escape from Vietnam. She said she was looking for Jon Anderson because his song The Friends of Mr. Cairo had given her great inspiration during her escape and she wanted to thank him. Anderson said to her, ” I’m him! I’m Jon Anderson!” At which point, the shopkeeper collapsed to the floor shrieking and crying. Anderson helped her to her feet and the two became fast friends, staying in touch for some time afterwards.
Anderson said the woman put to rest his concerns that their music was reaching the Asian and South American markets because clearly it had helped this Vietnamese woman. Two people, one searching for validation, the other searching for her inspiration, coming together, exemplifying the interconnectedness of the universe.
My introduction to oneness happened in 2005 during a workshop with a former Buddhist nun. The purpose of the workshop was to teach us a technique to transform unresolved emotional pain. It was a two step process. The first step involved visualizing the problem and the words that best described it. The second step involved visualizing what it would look like if it were healed and again, the words that described it. One of the words that popped into my head during the second part of the exercise was oneness. I had never heard the word before and I didn’t think very much of it at the time.
It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I really began to understand what oneness was all about [particularly our oneness with God] and the interconnectedness of the universe. Since then, I have had many remarkable oneness experiences. One in particular stands out. In 2009 I decided that it wanted to teach karate at a summer camp. A week later one of my students brought a friend to one of the karate classes I teach. The friend had had some experience with karate … the previous summer at camp. Remarkable! And what made it even more remarkable, was that the camp he attended was dedicated to children who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, something I’m very interested in. I got the contact information from this young man and two weeks later I had a job teaching karate at summer camp.
When you understand that we live in oneness, as Anderson said, you treat everyone and everything with kindness, because you understand that when you hurt other things, you hurt yourself. And life [the universe] starts working for you. It brings the people into your life who can help you and it connects you with people who you can help. It helps you solve problems. More importantly, it changes the way you look at the universe. It changes your perspective! It certainly has changed my life, particularly as it relates to how I view people. I have become more empathetic and compassionate.
Have an awesomely interconnected day!