Tag Archives: illusion of separateness

Let’s End the Story of Separation In 2015 _ The One-Many (OM) Project

Next up in the One-Many OM Project: “Let’s End the Story of Separation in 2015,” by Lissa Rankin. Her thought-provoking article is quoted below:

As we embark upon the journey of 2015, I am dreaming of a world in which we remember, as the indigenous people do, that our Story of Separation is only an illusion, that we are all connected, not just to other people, but to the plants, the animals, the mountains and rivers and oceans, that we cannot harm one another, we cannot violate nature, without directly harming ourselves. What would a world governed by our certainty of Oneness be like?

I just had the unspeakable privilege of living in such an experiment while spending most of December in Australia, preparing to speak at the Uplift Festival amidst a group of modern day spiritual teachers, indigenous elders, and sacred activists. The experience was so profound, moving, and hopeful that I was launched into a phase of grief after leaving our bubble of Oneness in Byron Bay. Even though I know this shift towards Oneness is already underway, and more and more of us are acting from a space of kindness, generosity, compassion, appreciation, and love, I still found it hard to walk through the airport on the way home and feel the pain of the remains of the separation story among us.

What’s Next?

I’m still integrating and digesting it all and asking myself, “What’s next?” How do we go about dreaming into being such a world, characterized by compassion, collaboration, imagination, flow, interconnectivity, recognition of our inner Divinity, and respect for Mother Gaia in all her glory, a world free of the greed, competition, anger, selfishness, judgment, and righteousness that stem from the Story of Separation?

What’s next? How do we balance our tendencies towards Being versus Doing ? Is it enough for each of us to do what it takes individually to peel back those layers of All That Is Not Us so that we collectively raise the vibration of the planet? Or is there more to do? Is this a time of exiting the old systems? Should the doctors just quit participating in a system that is so out of alignment with their nature as true healers? Could we as doctors possibly just leave our emergency rooms untended in protest of the old way that isn’t working? What about our commitment to care, our ethics? Should the lawyers who really care about real justice stop going to the courthouse? Should the teachers who really believe in educating our children to be conscious humans just walk out of the schools? Should the politicians who truly care about their constituents walk out of the vote because they know money will win, rather than true democracy? Should the bankers who know that the economic system is all one big sham ready to dissolve with the slightest unraveling quit signing the loan checks? Should the corporate executives, asked to compromise their integrity every day by putting money ahead of sensitivity to good people and nature, just go fishing?

Should we just quit participating in a culture of separation so a culture of Oneness begins to reconstruct it effortlessly from a new consciousness of interconnectivity? Should we all just sit down right where we are, opening our hearts, freeing ourselves from all judgment or victim stories, holding hands with one another as we imagine this more beautiful world? Should we just occupy the new world and refuse to participate in the old? Would this catalyze a revolution of love?

Or is it time to do something more active? Where do we start?

What Would LOVE Do?

I, for one, feel called to love more. When I’m making daily decisions, I ask myself “What would LOVE do?” Right now, in this Now moment, love wants to use me to write. Aside from that one inspired action, I am just surrendering it all, turning it over to Divine Will and trusting that we will be guided in the direction of That Which Wants To Become. This guidance will not be subtle.

Perhaps we are simply in that space between stories, as Charles Eisenstein , who also spoke at the Uplift Festival, so eloquently describes in his book The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible :

The old world falls apart but the new has not yet emerged. Everything that once seemed permanent and real is revealed as a kind of hallucination. You don’t know what to think, what to do; you don’t know what anything means anymore. The life trajectory you had plotted out seems absurd, and you can’t imagine another one. Everything is uncertain. Your time frame shrinks from years to this month, this week, today, maybe even this present moment. Without the mirage of order that once seemed to protect you and filter reality, you feel naked and vulnerable, but also a kind of freedom.

Possibilities that didn’t even exist in the old story lie before you, even if you have no idea how to get there. The challenge in our culture is to allow yourself to be in that space, to trust that the next story will emerge when the time in between has ended, and that you will recognize it. Our culture wants us to move on, to do. The old story we leave behind, which is usually part of the consensus Story of the People, releases us with great reluctance. So please, if you are in the sacred space between stories, allow yourself to be there.

It is frightening to lose the old structures of security, but you will find that even as you might lose things that were unthinkable to lose, you will be okay. There is a kind of grace that protects us in the space between stories. It is not that you won’t lose your marriage, your money, your job, or your health. In fact, it is very likely that you will lose one of these things. It is that you will discover that even having lost that, you are still okay. You will find yourself in closer contact to something much more precious, something that fires cannot burn and thieves cannot steal, something that no one can take and cannot be lost. We might lose sight of it sometimes, but it is always there waiting for us. This is the resting place we return to when the old story falls apart. Clear of its fog, we can now receive a true vision of the next world, the next story, the next phase of life. From the marriage of this vision and this emptiness, a great power is born.

What do you think? What’s next for you? What’s next for us?

Lissa writes of herself: “I’m fired up about healing our broken health care system, one empowered patient and one conscious health care provider at a time. I’m obsessed with helping patients and health care providers view illness, not from a place of victimhood, but as an opportunity for awakening. I doctor not just bodies, but souls. I write pretty much every day and I love it as much as life itself. I believe that the key to living a long, vital life is an optimistic attitude, the willingness to love expansively and receive love in return from a wide circle of people close to you, engaging in work that lights you up, tapping into Source, allowing your creativity to flow boundlessly, being unapologetically
who you really are, moving your body in ways that make you smile, and drinking as much green juice as you can. I relish helping visionaries find their callings and realize their visions. I’m inspired by people brave enough to transmute adversity into spiritual growth, vulnerable enough to let their imperfections be witnessed, and courageous enough to keep their hearts open, even when those hearts are at risk of getting hurt. I’m moved by hiking in redwood forests, skiing in fresh powder, live music of all types, and dancing barefoot.”
Find Lissa at


The Salmon of Knowledge _ When Two Worlds Meet: Part 12

December 22, 2013

It is now Tuesday, and I have yet to hear from Caoilte or Oisín about the letter I sent them. I wonder whether this has been the best way to communicate. I do remember thinking, however, that if anyone from the otherworld would read a letter on a computer screen, Caoilte would.

Now however, my anxiety over whether or not anyone will understand is growing rapidly. Are they angry? Have I failed my commitment to do my best in all things and follow through on what I say? This last thought threatens to send me into despair. After all, I said that my place was theirs also, and now I am taking it back. I remind myself that I am changing my mind for good, perhaps even legitimate reasons, but I cannot convince myself that those in the otherworld will find such reasons sufficient. I am hoping I have not inadvertently created a conflict. More than that, however, I take the vow I have made to live by the fianna’s values extremely seriously and would rather not break it in only four weeks’ time because I hadn’t the foresight to realize just what I could and could not commit to.

I get to my routine Tuesday appointment, conveniently within walking distance from home, a good fifteen minutes early. Happy with myself on this count, I sit down on the plush couch in the waiting room and close my eyes. I’m going to use this time to think.

Thinking yields a plan of action that, I admit, feels outlandish to me. Where did this idea come from? It is this: go talk to the salmon of knowledge and ask after how Oisín and Caoilte and the rest of the fianna feel about my decision.

In my mind, I recall the story in which Fionn, comes by the wisdom of the salmon. The salmon, Finton, acquires the wisdom of the ages from eating the nuts of the nine hazel trees which I have only learned very recently are said to have stood around Nechtan’s Well at the mouth of the river Boyne. The druid Finegas gives young Fionn the task of cooking up the salmon as well as warns him not to eat any of it in the process. However, while cooking it, Fionn attempts to squelch a blister on the salmon’s skin. In doing so, he burns his thumb, which he instinctively places in his mouth. Upon hearing this, Finegas instructs Fionn to eat the salmon, as its knowledge is obviously meant for him to have.

Closing my eyes, I am surprised at how easy it is to come by a place I should know little about. The grove of the hazel trees is so vivid to me, that I can’t imagine I’ve never been here before. But I can’t fathom how or when this could have happened. It is located near a very steep hill, which by my rough estimation is 20-30 degrees in slope. I must walk up the hill and down the other side to get there properly, avoiding lots of loose rocks and tree roots along the way. The pool is surrounded by many slopes leading down to it, in fact, and lies slightly below the grove which lines the slow stream running straight through the middle of the trees.

As I walk into the grove, I suddenly remember things that seem rather silly to find important at the moment. Facts such as that there are better places to wash, it isn’t safe to navigate the stream or even some of the river it turns into further on with a boat or coracle, and that the willow trees nearby can’t properly burn in a fire. Since I am not interested in making a fire, washing in the stream, or boating, I wonder briefly where these seemingly random thoughts have come from, and why. I decide I definitely have to have come here before even if I find it baffling.

It’s super cold and windy here today. Due to the time zone difference, my venture at 11:15 A.M. pacific standard time puts me in the grove at about 7:15 in the evening. The water feels like it is under sixty degrees when I test it, and after leaving my hands in it for over a minute, they turn numb. Around me the leaves rustle in the wind, while the stream gurgles around small boulders and dances over pebbles. I sit on an ancient flat rock with my hands in the water, hoping the salmon of knowledge will appear sooner than later.

After five or so minutes, a relatively short time, I note to myself, I see the salmon in the water and catch it immediately. To be fair, I think it is easy for me to get hold of the salmon only because, a few months before hand, I have a dream in which I catch the salmon of knowledge in my hands. Since allowed this in the dream, it seems that the salmon is quite happy to hang out again with me now. Holding the salmon gently under the water, I realize with relief that I don’t actually have to enact cooking it or sucking my thumb. This is quite fortunate for the both of us, I have to say, the exemption from thumb-sucking particularly appreciated on my end of things. Just touching it is sufficient. Unsure of whether or not sending pictures to the salmon in my head is an effective way to communicate, I give it a try anyway and ask my question.

Next, I let the salmon go, after thanking it for its help in the matter. Then, I wait. Not for long, it turns out. But I have to say, the next few minutes pass with interminable slowness. I have finally come home. The last thing I would ever want to do is find myself rejected after such a long time yearning after and searching for those in the otherworld with whom I truly belong. I am sincerely worried, convinced that I can’t trust myself to ever do the right thing, and it is a bit existentially terrifying to not know where I stand. These are the feelings I have in any similar situation in this world, but somehow multiplied exponentially in this situation where I tell myself that I might lose everything– an everything the likes of which in this world I have never known. Yet, as these things so often go, I am soon to have a lesson in just what real belonging looks like, and it is, for the most part and with some crucial exceptions, the truth against anything my past experience urges me to believe.

Presently, the salmon returns, with an answer in the form of a picture. of course everyone understands why I’ve had to close the portals to the otherworld, and have not been upset with me in the slightest. I can let go of my concerns. Real belonging is unconditional. It is my own sense of separateness and fear that has prevented me from knowing this before. Succumbing to the fear of rejection, I have inadvertently spun an illusion of the very isolation I dread around me, until I have convinced myself that “real” belonging is conditional and capricious, any actual evidence otherwise notwithstanding.

Secondly, they have been waiting for me to recognize the value of my own needs and commitment to myself, and change my mind. They’ve known for a while it hasn’t been working out for me, but I needed to come to this realization on my own, and they are surprised by how long it has taken me to concede. I, however, am not surprised. Conceding, it seems, is only something I do once it becomes absolutely necessary. It has now become necessary. However, at any moment beforehand, I was determined to stand my ground indefinitely. Oh well: I know myself well enough to recognize I can be recalcitrant, even to my own detriment. “Perhaps such a steadfast commitment to self-defeating stubbornness is no longer needed?” is the suggestion offered kindly in the picture. I find the idea a bit strange, against my instincts really, but because it is part of the picture, I start to take it seriously, a little at a time.

Later that day I get a very vivid vision. I am told that if I go to the Aquatic Park, to a particular tree near a picnic table I’ve found last week, I will find a gift from Oisín to thank me for the hospitality I’ve shown the fianna. I have hosted so many of his family and friends that he wishes to give me a tangible token of their gratitude. It is clear from the picture he sends me that he doubts I’ll consistently remember the bit about just how understanding everyone has been and still is, unless there is something in this world to remind me. I have to admit he is probably right about that. Moved by such unexpected reciprocated generosity and full of curiosity at what Oisín has in mind, I decide that tomorrow, as soon as I can get out, I’m going to head off and investigate. I’ve now forgotten all about doubt and worry which have been replaced by the sheer excitement of participating in this unfolding mystery that spans two worlds. So, in my return picture I say, “Wow, that’s incredibly thoughtful of you. Oh, and if there are more adventures to go send me on, I’m up for it.”