Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Celtx Non-Fiction Winner: The Web Of Life

The following essay by Yvonne Ryves won joint 2nd place in the fifth week of our 2014 Celtx Competition

The Web Of Life: The Interconnectedness of All Things 
by Yvonne Ryves

"I see the solution in each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often more subtle and complex than our rough and ready understanding of the physical world might naturally suppose." - Adams D (1988) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

In general we have a very limited view of the world around us and so are only aware of a fraction of what exists, what we have access to, what we impact on and what impacts on us. Due to this we are really only scratching the surface of what is around us and what we can use to help and support us in our lives, if only we knew how to connect with it all. 

The late science fiction writer Douglas Adams used his awareness of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things to help his fictional 'holistic detective' to solve cases, if we also develop our awareness and understanding of the connections that exist we too can use them to help us find answers to where we are, what is happening and where we are going. 

So what is this 'web of life', this 'interconnectedness of all things'? 

Many cultures and belief systems, both scientific and esoteric, have an understanding of threads and connections that connect not only human to human but to every living thing. Although they may come from differing viewpoints and with varying explanations there is a general consensus that these threads or connection and the communication between everything that exists is real and that all life forms on the planet communicate and interact in some way. 

In Buddhism, enlightenment is seen as an awakening to the the true nature of life, which includes the realisation that all things are interconnected. Buddists believe that there is an inseparable relationship between the individual and the environment. 

In Shamanism it is also believed that we are not separate from nature but a part of it. 

"Shamanism teaches us that everything that exists is alive and has a spirit. Shamans speak of a web of life that connects all of life and the spirit that lives in all things. Everything on earth is interconnected and any belief that we are separate from other life forms including the earth, stars, wind, etc is purely an illusion." - Ingerman S (2011) Shamanism: Healing of Individuals and the Planet (abstract on shamanism)

Dennis Meehan, Eagle Soaring, lecturer and Medicine Wheel Artist, is one of many individuals around the world who works with humans to help them develop an understanding that there is no separation between mankind, the animal kingdom, the plants and rocks: 

"All things on Earth have a common bond. When Earth Mother speaks to you, or the animals come to you, this is a message from the Great Spirit. Learn this simple wisdom and you can break down barriers that keep you stuck." 

Wiccan's also believe that everything that exists is connected and is part of a circle of vibrating energy like a spider's web or electronic grid and that this can be spoken of as the web of life or nature's web. 

Pagans have in fact, always held the beliefs that everything is connected and shares consciousness, that humans are a part of this consciousness not above it or separate from it, and that all parts of the web of life are equal in value. 

In terms of science, Quantum Physics when speaking about the subatomic particles that make up all forms of life can only describe them in terms of how they interconnect and act with one another. In String Theory these particles are described as containing vibrating, dancing strings with each sending out different vibrations or notes. This therefore can be seen as supporting the view that all life is interconnected and communicates, even at subatomic level. 

Robert Lanza and Bob Berman writing about Biocentrism speak about humans lying at the "heart of a great web of space and time whose threads are connected according to laws that dwell in our minds."

In their article 'The Web of Life', writing in relation to how connected we are, Harry Massey and David R Hamilton PH.D encourage us to.

"Think of a spider's web. Now imagine that every person on the planet is a node on that web, with its strands connecting them. Then imagine that this web is so big that it connects not just all of us, but everything in the universe. If such a thing existed, then every choice that each of us made would create vibrations - ripples or waves- on the web that would be felt everywhere and by everyone. In this way we would be in constant communication with the whole universe exchanging information and energy through the vibrations we create, and also those that we feel. Each choice we made would be information that would ripple outward, interacting with the rest of the web." 

They also cite Professor of Quantum Information Theory at Oxford University, Vlatko Vedral who believes that we constantly exchange information with the universe as a whole and that because of this, it is impossible to think of ourselves as separate from either our surroundings or each other. 

Vedral also states that "The point is, we are intimately connected in a deeper and much more fundamental way than we ever imagined, and that as we exchange information with reality, it's as if we 'speak' with it."

Ecopsychology, the science of healing, counselling and healing with nature encourages us to recognise that we are part of the web of life and so part of the balance of life. Only by being aware of the connections we have with everything can we find balance in our own lives. 

One way of finding this balance is to learn not only to speak with reality, but to listen to it and learn from it. In this way you may also learn to move through your life both with a clearer understanding of the interconnectedness of everything and of how you can harness some of these connections to help and support you. 

If you think about the myriad of connections that exist within the web of life and the fact that through these connections we may obtain information, knowledge, support, help and guidance, you may start to see how disconnected and isolated humans have become. 

Everything that exists can communicate with us in some way as explained in the vibrations or notes of String Theory. If we then follow the belief that in this communication there are messages for us then it may follow that all we need to do is to learn how to listen to and utilise these connections. 

To do this it important to find ways to reconnect with the world around you and the connections within it, not through books, the Internet or television but through experiential interaction.


Yvonne is a practicing shamanic healer, shamanic drum maker, holistic therapist and trainer living in West Cork, Ireland, where she runs workshops and courses on a variety of aspects of energy healing and shamanic work including Reiki, Chios, Munay-Ki, Shamanic Journeying, Pendulum Dowsing and self-development. She is currently studying with OBOD. Yvonne has had numerous articles published in Indie Shaman Magazine and is the author of Web of Life. You can find her online, on Facebook (here and here), on Twitter and on her blog.

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