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Separation is the great divider and the grand illusion. We human beings have different colored skin, nationalities, foods, religions, all differences that make for a richer existence – different species of plants and animals, types of flowers and terrain which has shaped our skin, eye, and hair color, as well as the shape of our eyes, our language and the foods we eat over the centuries. As men and women migrated out of Central Africa thousands of years ago, we moved north into what is now Europe and for our skin to absorb more sunlight our skin went from brown to beige, eyes from brown to blue, and hair from black to blonde. Necessity is the mother of invention, and evolution plays this out in the longest of games with the deepest of lessons.

What I have learned over the course of my lifetime and what I believe is most important, essential really, is whether we view these varieties of life as a rich tapestry of diversity or from a place of separation where one is looked at as superior to another like saying Judaism is better than Christianity for example, white skin is better than brown, or almond shaped eyes are better than oval.

One view or approach comes from a place of loving and respect, while the other comes from fear and judgment of differences. But trace our genetics back far enough and we find more similarities than differences.

As I look around the world now I see growing pains, something we’re all experiencing currently. The world is getting smaller, and more complexly, it has to deal with this uncomfortable shrinkage. We’re being brought more closely together via the internet and all the other technologies that bring us to one another so rapidly, be it email, cell phones, or jet planes. And with this connectivity comes positive and negative experiences. I get care packages from my mother which she sends in cardboard boxes from Florida to California, a distance of over 3,000 miles, made in only two to three days, except for the occasional delay. These packages bring me great joy and express my mother’s loving for me. At the same time, someone wishing to do others harm can get on a plane, hijack it, and fly it into a building destroying thousands of lives and thereby changing the course of history.

We are billions of people living on planet earth right now. We’re each walking through our days making our way from one moment to the next. As human beings, we occupy a collective consciousness, with some of the thoughts in this consciousness expressing in a positive and life-affirming way, while others express in a negative and highly destructive manor taking away from life, sometimes to the point of destroying it. This has always been our world, and now, our awareness of it is acute. We see and hear these positive and negative expressions every day via the various social media outlets that so readily stream the latest bits of information across the planet at record speeds. We no longer live in a vacuum of just one country or even continent. Now, we’re all connected everywhere in all ways. I don’t think Ma Bell, the telephone company, had any idea we’d be this connected.

So here we are now in present time working to manage our connections and to manage our differences, of which there are many. We have different religious beliefs, political views, and educational approaches, as well as different cultural practices, and ways of treating animals, and groups of categorized people like gays, Muslims, women, heterosexuals, Christians, and men.

I have heard it said that what makes us different from the rest of the species on this planet is our ability to reason. I believe it’s actually our level of consciousness and ability to love that sets us apart. We have brains that are capable of amazing feats, most impressive of which is the capacity to look at the world, life, situations, people, and think before we speak, think before we act, and make choices in our responses, actions, and behaviors that can and will affect others in either a positive or negative manner. And we do affect others. Everything we say and do affects others. There’s no getting away from this interconnectivity. It is the what-is-ness of life. Cause and effect. Karma.

As human beings, we have the privilege and responsibility of co-creating the world we live in together. This can either be a collaborative process or one done without thought or care as to how the larger ecosystem we all exist in is affected.

Polluted oceans, toxic human blood streams, and closed minds filled with prejudice and hate are the result of our lack of mindfulness, while clean air, well-educated children, and kindness and caring occur through our presence of heart.

When we buy into the illusion of separation we do so at our own peril. @barryaldenclark (Click to Tweet!)

Nationalism, as we’re seeing today, cannot work because the human heart has no borders.  Perhaps there is a momentary gain, a quick fix, but then, because the action is taken out of the context of the greater good, we erode the system just a bit. And all these little bits add up over time to a degraded society, one in which we all lose. Again, some may make a momentary gain, but at inconceivable cost.

The illusion of separation comes from fear. Fear is birthed when the mind loses its elasticity. Fear is also a part of our reptilian brain, that original region we’ve developmentally enhanced for several thousand years used originally to identify and take us out of danger. And with fear, the double-edged sword can yield safety or death, wisdom or condemnation.  And ultimately, we choose, whether we do this consciously or not.

As we evolve we experience growing pains. Each new step brings challenges or possible learnings which we either rise to meet with an open heart or a closed mind. There are trial and error, ebbs and flows, checks and balances, each netting proportional results. Three steps ahead, one step back. Our population here in the United States is shifting. We’re going from predominately white to Latino, Asian, and Black. Population growth amongst whites is at an all-time low, while there are higher levels of growth amongst Latinos and Asians. Soon they will surpass whites in the U.S. as the ethnic majority of our population.

So what. That’s my view of this. So what. This is part of our natural evolutionary process unfolding before our very eyes. We’re diverse. We’re interesting. We’re creative. We bring so much to the table of life and the world. Our strength is in our diversity.

But, and this is a big but at the moment, some minds believe that diversity is dangerous.  They fear the diversity, the differences, and want to minimize their discomfort by doing whatever they can to keep diversity out. Out of schools, out of churches, out of businesses, out of the laws, and out of the country. The thing is though, we can’t keep nature from doing what nature does best, which is to continue to evolve producing diversity at every turn. And all of creation, if we are to come from a place of believing in God, or a higher power, comes from God. All of creation is God’s. If we believe that, we can’t just decide to single out the gays as evil sinners, or the Muslims as terrorists, or women as second class citizens with lower earnings ratios, because they are all God’s creation, and ultimately deserve our respect if we are truly people of faith.

Some folks seem to forget this all too easily creating great schemes to build up this illusion of separation and difference. But the facts are what they are. We can make up new ones that resemble a fact, but at their base, it’s simply fear masquerading as substance, with a hollow core.

What are we to do now? How do we continue moving forward in a way that allows us all to flourish? Separation creates illness. Look to royal families in European history, who had to actively pursue new members from outside their bloodlines and borders to ensure survival of their lineages. Mixing adds strength, health, and longevity. Mixing supports our existence, but we cannot mix if we buy into the illusion of separation.

It all comes down, I believe, to approach. And our hearts must be a part of this approach as well as our minds.

Great minds will do great things, but not without heart. We are human beings not human doings.

Our very existence reflects back to us our truth, our true colors, our diversity, and to the extent to which we can look to nature and that natural order, is the extent to which we’ll walk through this current time successfully. For many of us, living in our material world our emotions have been shut down, turned off or we’ve disconnected from them. So many of us are operating from this cut off place which we see in our current political climate.  The heart has been cut off, and because of this clear lack of empathy, we’re seeing and hearing things is the current zeitgeist of our national conversation that are highly disturbing to many people, myself included.

But we will evolve. That’s how we were designed. That is how our species survives. It is a matter of survival, and survive we will. Take heart. Connect to your heart. Connect to another’s heart. Look them in the eye and recognize that another valuable human being is standing directly across from you, wanting the same things you want.  Seeking the same love we all long for. Trying to make sense of their world.  And remember that when you look them in their eyes, they are a spirit in living form, divine in nature. We all are. We all are.

Let us look to one another with compassion, with loving, and with deep understanding, because at the base, we are all one.

So I say to you all, “Namaste.” The love in me sees the love in you. The exquisite nature of my human being sees the exquisite nature of yours. We are different, and yet we are the same. And if we’re gonna make this wild ride called life work, we’re all gonna have to see our reflection in one another. Or else. Or else we’ll simply learn all this the hard way.  And I’m going for grace. Care to join me?


Barry Alden Clark has coached thousands of individuals in connecting more deeply with their hearts, their life purpose, and helped create a pathway for these folks to move forward in a direction more aligned with who they truly are. He & his creative partner Eliza Swords are currently delivering uplifting content on social media every Wednesday via “Best Day Ever with Barry and Eliza”, a Facebook and You-Tube phenomenon reaching thousands of people around the world. They are also inspiring love and joy through creating heartfelt and entertaining content via their production company Pure Honey Ink. Currently they have projects in development for social media, film, television and publishing. You can reach Barry at www.barryaldenclark.com.

Image courtesy of Baim Hanif.

April 9, 2017