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Separation versus Belonging

           "A man said to the Universe, 'Sir, I exist.'

          'Yes,' replied the Universe, 'But the fact has not created in me a sense of            obligation.'"

     I remember as a teenager coming across that quote of Stephen Crane, and it really bothered me.  Is the universe really that indifferent?  It would make me depressed to think that our existence had no significance. 

     Decades later, through my own practice of yoga and self-reflection, I realized that the quote revealed more about the state of mind of the man having a disconnected relationship to the Universe than about any lack of concern on the part of the Universe.  The man seeing himself as separate ("I exist") from all that is, of course, will lead to the sense that the Universe is indifferent.

     The state of Yoga is all about experiencing samadhi or the coming into unity consciousness. Yoga is about personal transformation.  The transformation taking place is from the perception of being separate to that of being connected.  Yes, we are physical with our separate appearances, but beyond being physical, we exist within a cosmic flow. Our every thought and movement counts towards the collective and the totality of experience. (Just look at global warming.)

     As long as we continue to feel separate we will suffer with a struggle for belonging.  This wanting to belong is like living in the ocean wanting to experience wetness not knowing that you live in wetness continually. Only once you come out of the water and experience dryness do you realize that you had been wet all along. We are born already belonging.  Circumstances may arise to show us what not belonging can feel like, but inherently we belong. Yoga helps us to be in greater awareness of our connection and belonging. The collective matters, and so does each one of us as part of that collective matters. 


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