earth-and-mars2 Recently I was shown a picture of our little planet waaaaaaay off in the distance of space from the perspective of Mars.  It was a picture taken by one of the Mars’ Rovers looking back at earth.  There it was, a small round star like glow, much like looking at Mars from earth.  It is sometimes hard to distinguish from a star.

Under the photo there was an idea expressed that viewing Earth from such a perspective really helped one to see just how small and insignificant Earth is in relation to it’s place in the universe.  And if Earth is so relatively puny in the vast scope of space, then each little tiny human on the face of Earth must really be just a speck of inconsequential fluff when compared to the massive abundance of matter and energy and cosmic massiveness in which we exist.

you_are_here_galaxyI’m sure you’ve been presented with this perspective before, typically when viewing our little planet from some space oriented perspective.  Or when shown our entire galaxy with a tiny arrow pointing to a tiny speck and saying “You are here.”  See how much “matter” there is out there, how much awesome and literally unimaginable energy and mystery is swirling about?  See how in comparison you and your problems and worries and concerns and petty little loves and celebrations and believes in the things that you think “matter” are all so completely inconsequential?

Well, frankly, no, that isn’t what I see when I get these glimpses of our place in the cosmos. The error in this perspective is that it compares me, or you, or us, to all that surrounds us.  It assumes separation.  It assumes that the energy and life within each of us is separate from that which created and infuses all other life and matter here on our own planet or on the far side (if there is such a thing) of this or any other universe “out there.”

If I take the logic of comparison into any other relationship, I see it’s error.  See how big and old and majestic that Redwood is?  In comparison, I am a tiny organism just renting about 100 years or so of insignificant space on this planet and am dwarfed by the awesome nature of this glorious tree.  Or see how much more successful and attractive and well adjusted that person is over there?  In comparison, I am a failure, or of less worth and of far less value.  All BS, right?

When we buy into the notion of separation and the inevitable comparison that comes with it, then we’re either going to come out better or worse off than that to which we compare.  This isn’t good for anyone.  In my mind, one day I win and you lose.  The next day you win and I lose.  And no matter which side of that endless game of comparison that I’m on from day to day, I am trapped in the endless struggle for emotional survival.  As Lily Tomlin so eloquently quipped, “The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

When the idea of separation is set aside and I allow myself to embrace that the life spirit in another is the same that fuels and inspires my own life breath, then I feel connection.  I recognize a unified life gift that we all share.  And if I share that same life presence with whatever person is standing in front of me at the time, then I also share that same life energy and mystery with the baker or banker or busboy across town who I have never met.  And of course, if that is true, then it is true for every living thing and being on the planet.  There is no separation.  The separation is an illusion that promotes disconnection and comparison.  And in that gap of separation is the only place that all the stories of wars, hatred, persecution and judgment can live.  It is insanity to war against ourselves, to war against the life that we all share.

So, when I look at that photo of our lithe planet spinning around out there in the massive expanse of matter and I imagine my little self wandering about on that planet, what I am blown away by is what awesome beauty and energy we all share.  When I stop drawing lines of separation and follow the knowing that I share the same life force as the person in front of me and therefore share the same life force with all that awesome majestic, magical, mysterious, marvelous matter in which we all swim and float and swirl, then I once again know that I am beautiful, I am worthy and I am precious.  Just as is all life, wherever it exists.

I see the awesomeness of the universe(s) and I know that that which breaths life into that, also breaths life into me.  As I stand in awe of the Redwood and I am also standing in the awe of my own precious life.  I witness the success and freedom and unabashed expression of another human being and I celebrate the same power and gift of manifestation that is mine to play and create with as well.

The greatest suffering I have ever known is when I believe that I am alone in all of this.  And I have lived within that suffering for many years of my life. It always lead me to believe in my insignificance. The illusion of separation traps me in the delusion of success and failure.  The poet and writer, Rudyard Kipling states it best in his poem “If” with the insight, “If we can meet both triumph and disaster and treat them both as the impostors that they are.

You are not a speck.  You are not insignificant.  You are the universe uniquely expressed as your most perfect you.  Yes, you are “all that” – and more.  Why more?  Because there’s always the “all that” that we haven’t even discovered yet.  There’s a lot of mystery still to be discovered out there and in your own heart.