When observing nature, haven’t you, too, been enthralled by the way a large flock of birds, a swarm of honey bees, or a school of fish will make sudden directional changes; all of them moving with flawless timing, perfectly choreographed dancers in the theatre of the skies and the seas? I was lounging by the pool recently, and looked up to see a flock of birds flying overhead. When they made a sudden swoop and changed direction, all without bumping into each other, knocking feathery heads or getting their wings in a twist, it got me thinking. Prior to their sudden turn, a unanimous decision to do so had been made. But how? By what process? How did they so suddenly know what to do? How were their movements so perfectly synchronized? I also remembered witnessing the same phenomenon when I visited the Seychelles in the early nineties and went snorkelling. Large schools of little fish would swim towards me, stop, look up and study me as I peered back at them through my goggles. Then, when they’d had enough, they’d suddenly turn with absolute synchronicity and swim off together.
In pondering this mystery way back then and again this week, I realized that there was only one way to know the answers to my questions. I needed to look at them from a higher viewpoint. So I shifted perspective, and viewed the issue through the eyes of God. When I did that, it put the human journey, as I’ve learned to understand it, into sharper perspective. This view made me realize just how much nature reflects our own processes, and that if we look really carefully, we’ll see mechanisms in place that we couldn’t before even begin to imagine. In having explored many fascinating phenomena in nature, and having seen the mirror of this magic in our own human condition, I want to share with you in this post what I learned about the cohesive nature of movement in different creatures and how we, as human beings, exhibit exactly the same characteristic without (for many) ever knowing it.
These behavioural patterns have always confounded scientists, and recently, in an attempt to understand what is happening in these collective groups of creatures, scientific researchers managed to find a way to reproduce what they believe are the same synchronistic effects of movement in a particle lab. While they are still not entirely sure what is actually going on, what apparently is clear to them is that an individual creature’s exclusive desire is over-ridden by the group intent. In the mind of the scientists, what appears to be happening is that while each one of these creatures possesses a functioning individual mind, this mind functions in sync with the whole group’s thinking. In other words, each individual’s thinking processes are a small piece of the larger collective thinking puzzle. The researchers doing the study contend that firstly, some sort of telepathy is taking place, and secondly, as in the example of a flock of birds, the decision to land, comes from the majority of birds who feel they need to do so, based on their more challenging flying positions within the flock. Researchers wonder if once a critical mass of thinking is reached, it is this over-riding idea that forces the entire flock to land.
When I look at the scientists’ viewpoint, I see them as looking at the issue from the outside in. To my mind, these scientists have made the only deduction that is open to them, considering the ideas that they hold, ideas that cordon off access to any other possible answers. In going along the route of the accepted conditioned human pattern of thinking, the ‘scientific’ outside-in approach seems quite plausible. Within the limitations of a mind that insists that the five senses are the only reliable informants in our quest for self-realization, this is an unremarkable and predictable conclusion. When the invisible spheres of existence which can only be encountered through the sixth sense of feeling and intuition are hidden by long-held limiting ideas, all other possible answers are out of reach.
My point of view presents the issue from the inside out; that the decision to land comes from the collective (or over-arching) mind of the flock. Yes, there is what we would term a telepathic command, but there is no leader that makes a decision. There is only one mind that directs every bird of the flock. When the flock is in close proximity to each other, i.e. when they are flying, or when they have landed, they are one entity and every single brain is in phase. Furthermore, when they are not together, when they are each off on their own mission during the course of a day, each bird is still directed by the one over-arching mind. In the end, what is it that brings a flock of birds, or any other group of creatures together, for any specific purpose? How do they know when and where and how to find each other? How do they know where they’re all going? Each and every one of them belongs to a collective. There is no individual mind, only a brain that processes the information that tells them what their role in the formation is. It is rather like the human body; its muscles and skeletal frame work to keep an individual upright and to keep balance, limbs perform their necessary functions, as do all of our internal organs and our senses. Every aspect of the body has its own intelligence, knows its job. And every aspect is directed by the one human mind.
So how is it that we human beings function in the same way as these aforementioned creatures? Can it really be possible that we live in perfect synchronicity, each and every one of us? How is it that this could be possible, when at a glance, it seems so ‘obvious’ that human life is a heaving confusion of random events, the only ‘magic’ directing the chaos being that of ‘chance’? My answer is this: it depends on which lens you’re looking through. With certain beliefs blocking your view, you will not see it. Remove your ideas and you will see it all. And besides, do you really think that a lone bird, up there in its large formation is aware of its place in the grand scheme of things? Tell a little birdie in the tree outside your window that its mind isn’t its own and that it belongs to a greater collective…well, he might think of you as being a trifle mad. Down at human ground-level, all we see are a bunch of individuals with arbitrary lives, existing in a chaotic universe. Looked at through the eyes of God, you will see something different entirely.
If you were to stand before a family of, say, six people (mother, father and four offspring), and I asked you to close your eyes for a split second, what would you think if you opened them again, only to find just one expansive being standing in their place? And when you blinked, all six people were back? Could you ever imagine for a moment that all six people could be just one entity? Could you ever envisage that the human experience is set up in such a way that we deal with our issues by splitting up into different elements and dealing with ourselves face to face?
What if I said that your brother’s alcoholism was your own addiction, even if you’ve never touched a drop in your life? What if I said that your mother’s abusive behaviour actually belonged to you, and that your father’s huge success in life was your own success, even though you’ve been homeless since dropping out of university and leaving the family unit years ago? What if I suggested that the murderer and his victim were one and the same person even though they’d never met until the day of the fateful event? How would you feel to be told that your cheating husband, and your heroin-addicted son are all just you, albeit in different forms?
How would it feel not to be a victim of anyone except yourself? Would it change your judgemental attitudes to realize that your drunken mother is mirroring your own addiction to ideas that keep you tied to a miserably grim image of yourself? Would this revelation that everyone you meet is part of you make you seek change with more courage? How would it benefit you to know that all the pain that we suffer is meaningful, that it has a purpose in the grand scheme of the universe, and that it all leads to something profoundly beautiful in the end? Would you be more inclined to find the beliefs that destroy your happiness so that you can heal, or would you stay in the same place, blaming the world and other people for the dreadful things that have happened to you?
How would it feel to learn that your mind is not your own? That it is a fraction of a greater whole, and that it is guided by a greater mind? How would it feel to learn that this greater mind directs the flow of your thoughts, beats your heart, breathes your lungs and operates all of your bodily functions so that you can get on with the details of life? Would it hurt you to know that all the happy and sad events that you have encountered were as carefully orchestrated as that of the flock of birds, schools of fish and swarms of honey bees?
How would it feel to learn that no-one ever dies? That the body that stands before you as your mother, father, son or daughter dies, but life itself is eternal and that we move through many different forms. What would you say when you learn that the emptiness you feel through any type of loss is a challenge to remove a belief system that keeps you imprisoned in your own unhappiness?
What if you learned that you were a passenger on the boat of life, and that the river of the greater mind swept you into every experience so that you would remove the beliefs that make you unhappy? What if you learned that you aren’t you at all, that your sense of self is no more than an illusion brought about by the individual body and a brain that processes the details of your own role in the grand scheme of things?
Would it make you feel more peaceful to know that everything is taken care of, that your sense of control is just an illusory idea, and that in this human form you’ve never had a choice about anything in your life?
I expect that for those who don’t already know the truth, this glimpse through the eyes of God will bring some peace, and that the understanding that all of life is governed by a greater mind and that an intricate order exists, will settle things once and for all. Others may take a look at this post, have a smile and decide that they prefer their own way of viewing life. As for me, I will continue to be enthralled by nature, always looking for new dimensions of seeing, for new opportunities to smash old belief systems. I will always be looking to open up a greater universe of experience. I don’t want to be stuck with this way of life forever. There’s just too much to see and a lot more to actually be!