Recently travelling back from Mainland China I passed through Hong Kong airport and like many international hubs it was very busy. It was very busy with people from all corners of the world. The variety in dress and speech were a joy to sit back and witness and it brought my mind back to a very basic truth, that underneath this veneer we are all actually the same. No matter what your beliefs are the common conclusion that we all came from the same place and we are all going to the same place.
To believe anything else is to feed the belief in separation, that somehow we are fundamentally different in any way. It is true we have made some interesting choices about our sex or our bodies or our paths but nevertheless we are still the same. To me these choices are a source of limitless curiosity making people-watching a delight. However to start believing we are not all connected, we are not fundamentally the same, is to enforce the belief in separation and with separation comes fear.
We then enter a vicious circle, for as we experience fear our mind tells us it is because we are too close to the source of our fear and we must distance ourselves further in the belief it will make us safe. Creative as we are, we have learnt many ways to separate. We usually start with making whoever or whatever we want to separate from wrong. We then build walls of every type; we shut off people and even the world and yet we still don’t feel safe and that is because the fear is a result of the distance we have created: fear is a result of separation!
At the heart of every problem is some form of separation, some belief in disconnection. For us to become effective in solving our problems – family problems, company problems and even world problems – we need to end the separation. We do that by our willingness to be intimate, to put ourselves in others’ shoes. Intimacy may bring up great fears for us but that is always when we are not being intimate; from that position of fear we can convince ourselves of many reasons not to move closer. But for those who have had the courage to close the gap, to be intimate with all, they would never step back. It is true there are many areas of our lives we need to learn to become intimate with, but it is helpful to start with the small steps, those close to you and then build the courage to become truly and widely intimate and heartfelt.
Right now the world really needs some intimacy; it really needs some walls being torn down, some differences to be seen for what they truly are and not a reason for fear. For me it helps to remember that every time I want to condemn or see differences in others I need to remember I am not right. Because how could I be right about that and still believe that we are all the same? Time to choose.