Saturday, July 6, 2013

Interconnectedness is a Long Word

“Write drunk; edit sober.” - Ernest Hemingway

Papa meant this literally and figuratively. Although, having read a few biographies about the man, I suspect he meant literally more often than figuratively. Writing-wise, though, I’m in a drunk phase. From the figurative standpoint, this is that brain-rattling place where there’s a multitude of ideas, but not a lot of writing going on. I’m filling up and taking notes, as it were. It’s a goat screw.

This condition comes out of a dry spell that lasted a couple of weeks, which grew out of an extensive editing and rewriting run, which birthed from a drunk period. It’s cyclic. But it can be an annoying as fuck cycle.

If you’re trying to  conjure a mental picture of a “fuck cycle” right now, we’re going to get along fine.

Here’s how it works: I get “drunk,” come up with great ideas, write them all out, and then sit on them and fret for a couple of weeks. After letting that stew, it’s time to start sifting through it. Stuff that was hysterical or insightful is now complete garbage, and it’s an underwater mining expedition in a Disneyland character costume to find anything worth keeping. Swallow the few decent bits, puke them out, and then sit quietly for more weeks knowing in my sad little soul that I’ll never write anything again.

Then get drunk again.

It takes a lot of faith to write, just like it takes a lot of faith to love. Both are the kind of faith that requires devotion, soul searching, and a good deal of rum. It’s faith like porn. You might not know how to define it, but you know it when you see it, and you’re probably going to be left standing there with your dick in your hand. You do it anyway.

When it hits, though, everything starts popping, the drunk comes, and everything lines up. The drunk phase is where shit just happens. There’s nothing. You stop worrying about the nothing.  Suddenly there’s something.

Which, with much ado, leads us to the concept of interconnectedness and how the universe gleefully lets us screw ourselves over. Or if you’re more of an optimist, get whatever we want.

Too much of a leap? Let’s see.

“The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.” -Yasutani Roshi, Zen master

I had been out a bar alone and, upon returning home, was putting the finishing touches on a nice buzz. Turning on a movie seemed a good idea because, at some point, masturbation loses it’s appeal entirely. Sans a woman, a satellite receiver connected to the Internet is a modern wonder for the drunk and bored. I settled on an indy film called Free Samples. The movie reminded me of That One, but I couldn't figure out why.

So, I texted her and said as much. I hadn't heard from her in over a week, and not for a month before that. I don’t know what she does during these absences from my life. Then again, I suppose it’s none of my business. She texted back that I needed to read a book called The Law of Attraction. That’s it. No reason why.

She does that.

Dutifully , I downloaded the book onto the Kindle. There were half a dozen with the same title, so I picked one that seemed reasonably interesting. I’d read one or two about the subject in the past. Napoleon Hill and The Secret (horrid) and a breeze through the Esther Hicks “Abraham” schtick years and years ago.

I was buzzed and I was hungry. So, I sat there at 2 A.M. drinking Heineken, eating a bowl of Cheerios, and reading this short little book about how all things are connected and how to tap into the power of those connections. Then I passed out. When I woke up I downloaded another book on the subject. Then another. A process which completely jacked up my Amazon recommends. I threw in a little Internet research for good measure.

And I’m thinking, “I know this.”

The law of attraction is a side effect of "interconnectedness." More accurately, it’s a theoretical way of tapping and attempting to control the interconnected nature of all things.

The idea of interconnectedness goes that at the very core of everything, including you and me, it is connected together. The theory has some loose pseudo-scientific basis in that all things are made up of the same original particles or energy (you pick which you like, I’m going with particles). These particles are still connected to each other through resonating frequencies, sub-atomic attraction, mystical force, or some other undiscovered and/or unproven means.

Some of these connections are “more there” than others, and there’s a good reason for that. They've been connected, or resonating, together for millions, even billions, of years. Some of the interconnections, though, have been together since just after the start of time and are so powerful that they are either joyfully, or disastrously, unavoidable.


A single particle floating in space shortly after the creation of the universe. Particles have spewed out of the original creation event in every direction from the singularity. Even at this relatively short point in time the violence of the event has accelerated them to unfathomable distances. By chance or design, two of these particles collide.

The two particles spin around each other and join together. As they travel through space they attune to each other. They remain separate but, at the same time, are one. To each other they are The One. The only other thing in existence. By cosmic law, and unless something violent or malevolent interferes, they are bound for eternity now. They continue their journey together for billions of years.

Time passes. In one billionth of a second change crashes down on the joined particles. Something is different, subtle at first, but over millions of years, the effect becomes more and more pronounced. They've been caught up with billions of other particles, all swirling and coalescing around a burning bright mass that yanks them with irresistible need into it’s influence.

The violence that ensues is almost too much. The two mated particles are pulled and pushed. Other particles join them. That group of particles joins another. Heat and cold blast them. The masses of particles continue to form into the building blocks that create atoms. The atoms in turn form into molecules. The process is furious and our two star crossed particles are ripped from each other in maelstrom of raw power and creation.

Eons pass. Our two particles are so perfectly attuned that eventually they find each other. They merge together once again and form. The primordial chaos that is their existence, however, tears them apart once more.

More time passes, the attraction continues and the two particles come back together impossibly, but inevitably. They've learned from their time apart. Despite the hellish nature of their existence they form something new, something better, the pull between them stronger than the chaos. Other particles have attuned with them now, as well. Not as perfectly, but close enough. They join in.  Life is born.

Billions years pass and two small, scaly creatures flopping their way through life on a gravelly beach bump into each other. There a multitude of primitive predators with which to contend, the environment itself conspires against them, and there are a variety of choices for mates, but these two stick together. They spend their short lives never far from the other before death separates them once again.

The scenario plays out, in some form, over and over.  Each time the attraction grows minutely stronger, more adept at overcoming the limitations creation has imposed, becoming  just a little bit better at reasserting itself.

A young boy wakes up in a cave. Strangers have arrived. With them is a little girl. Unlike those he knows, she has strange, big blue eyes. He has never seen a young female before, but he knows this one is for him. The strangers move on. They are not the same kind as he and his. Now, though, he is unsettled. A restlessness invades his waking and sleeping time. He leaves the cave soon after and spends his life roaming in the wilderness, alone, searching for that one thing that is for him.

A girl grows up in a tenement house in large European city. The smell of horse manure and waste dumped into the street is always present. She goes to work in a factory as a child and never knows anything different. In the house next door lives a boy. He works in the same factory, but in the dank basement where no one but those assigned would go. They never meet but spend their entire lives within a hundred yards of each other. One day, as an old woman, the boy, now an old man, sits next to her on the stoop in front of her building and smiles at her. He takes her hand and looks into her big, still beautiful blue eyes. The two never speak, but they are both filled with a sense of fulfillment and contentment, knowing that with just a smile this life is complete.

More ages pass. The attraction gets stronger. The pull between the particles accelerates the joining  with each meeting, returning the vibrations to their original, natural state.

A young man meets a girl. The synapses in his brain, combined with the biochemical reaction of of his body, begin accommodating her. She’s sexy and strong and his brain begins building an image of her and his relationship to her. The biological and mental processes ignite in what is called falling in love. When they've completed the process, the image is built and set, and he is in love. He stays with the girl and they join their lives together. They live together, work together, have children together.  But the mental image he has in his brain, the neurons firing along  synaptic pathways that were determined billions of years ago, don’t match up with reality. His brain has created what is suppose to be, what he knows should be, but it doesn't match what is. He knows she see’s him the same way.

They try. Society tells them of love and how to work it out. New neural pathways have formed. They are less tenuous, less ancient, but they are there and strong. He’s use to her and she’s use to him. They both put forth the effort, again and again, to accommodate each other’s ideal. It never clicks quite right and they fail. Finally, after years of trying, they give up. In his brain, a block builds, a resistance to the ideal that his brain’s chemistry and makeup have required him to form from the most elemental part of what he is. He meets another girl. Miraculously, she falls neatly into the ideal pathways his synapses have formed. Surprisingly, after years of believing in the ideal constructed in his mind, it has nothing to do with what he believed.

They both have families, lives, friends, experiences. They've fought and cried and loved and hoped, separately, for years. None of it matches up with what they believed was the ideal. They've lived and grown to a place where they simply can’t come together. But they fit. He can see it in the way she smiles when he looks at her, the way he feels perfectly at ease and content when he’s with her, the joy he feels when he hears her voice, they way their lives bump into each other in ways too impossible for chance, the way he can see what she’s thinking when he looks into her big, beautiful blue eyes, even in the way they seem to experience the same things at the same time. The connection, the draw, the inevitable rightness of it is too explicit.

They stay that way for years. He fills his life with family and experiences. The block has made him understand that it’s not being in love that matters, so he stops looking for it.  She falls in love, not because it’s the love that fits, or is quite right, but because she needs it and it’s close enough. Her block is a hole in her soul that needs to be filled with the familiar. They continue to stay close but separate. The two can’t become one, it’s far too late for that, but the need to be one remains. They smile at each other, share with each other, and live their lives hand in hand with each other, but separate, like two particles spinning around each other, travelling together through the vastness of space.

The two particles travel through time and space, torn apart by creation, but always coming back together, inevitably, the attraction getting stronger with each encounter, moving toward that perfect time and place when they will join once again for eternity.

Multiply that by trillions of particles, all interacting for billions of years, and all forming some connection at some time or another. The longer the connection stays intact, the stronger or more “in tune” it is. The original connection, the strongest and most powerful, is the concept of a soul mate. Other strong connections form, as well, though; teachers, mentors, loved ones, and enemies. All and everything connected together in some way.

“Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”  - Douglas Adams

A completely non-scientific and overly romantic way of looking at it, I suppose. The basic concept of interconnectedness, though, is universal.  It is the basis for just about every religion and cultural construct we have. The Buddhist concept of Oneness. The Hindu concepts of reincarnation. Even the Christian concepts of heaven and hell and a return to grace. Every culture and religion has their understanding of interconnectedness.  They all have built in, sure fire methods of connecting and controlling the interconnectedness of all things, as well.

The Law of Attraction is a relatively modern version of that attempt at control, though it’s roots are unfathomably ancient. It’s based in the belief that if you think of something in a positive way, and be open to letting those positive things come to you, then you will experience positive things. Your thoughts will affect the inherent resonating frequencies (or what-have-you) and bring you what you think.

I suspect it’s more psychological than anything else. If you have happy thoughts then the bad stuff won’t seem so bad and the good stuff will seem deserved. I try to keep an open mind here, though. The geek in me squirms in delight at the idea of a controllable, semi-mystical Force running willy-nilly through the Universe. Preferably with lightsabers.

Whether we can or can’t control the interconnectedness of everything, we can certainly feel it. As we go through life and come in contact with these connections, they get stronger.
In religion, it’s the feeling of wellness and peace that comes from faith and belief. In love, it’s that knowing there’s a connection with someone else and you’re not alone. In science, it’s that eureka moment when everything snaps together. In writing, it’s the cyclic nature of just letting it happen.

Yes, Papa. Write drunk. Edit sober. Ride the fuck cycle. It’s all connected. It will all come around again, better and stronger.


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