What is Separateness and how is it causing many of the world's current dramas?

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

From mass hysteria over the pandemic of COVID19 to the outcry of the Black community with the Black Lives Matter movement there’s a lot of feelings and disruption in the world. And this is just the stuff that the mainstream media are reporting! There’s a huge humanitarian crisis going on in Yemen that we seem to care very little about!

Why? Why is it we only care about a few selected topics? How can we just pick and choose which humans to care about? Why do we often choose wilful ignorance over acknowledging the struggles of our fellow humans, of our brothers and sisters across the globe?

I want to address what’s going on in the world in an attempt to open up people’s hearts and minds to see the bigger picture and think more from a perspective they may not have done before. This blog post I guess is more of an indulgence into my philosophical and spiritual ideas (which is, of course, the beauty of having my own blog! I can do what I want!)

What is separateness?

Separateness is the idea that we are all individuals on this planet. It’s the idea that what happens to another is independent of what happens to yourself. It’s the idea that there is a divide between us and them, you and I.

Separateness is what causes this division between humans and the planet. The very same planet that gives us air to breathe, food to eat and that has the power to give or take life. The same planet that we are destroying by stripping it of its natural resources, suffocating it with pollution and generally treating it like sh*t!

Separateness is what gives space for us to judge one another on how we look and cast judgment on what we think people should or shouldn’t do.

It is what allows us to walk past homelessness and pretend that it does not exist.

It is what allows us to ignore the great suffering of animals for our food.

It is what allows us to say Racism doesn’t exist while ignoring the voices of tens of thousands of people saying that it does!

It is separateness that causes war, economic unbalance, global warming, bias and racism.

Pretty shit ey!?

Society and Separateness

Separateness is a lie that we have been taught, that is taught by the powers that be which we continue to reinforce. It is taught by those in charge to keep us polarised and divided. To divide and conquer is the aim of the game and it is done very effectively.

The government will have you believe that there are only two choices: left or right. The media is used as a tool to help portray this message to the public. This is all in the interest of the government to keep us divided. To keep us focused on arguing over who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’.

This means we don’t look at the bigger picture and realise that whoever is in charge does not hold the answers.

We are taught Nationality, race, gender, the class system, religion, language, professions. These are all labels that we choose to stick behind and in doing so form our identity. We are taught that these labels are important and that we should protect these identities. We are taught that certain identities are better than others.

For example;

What’s one of the first questions you ask someone new? It’s normally “what do you do?”

I hate this question.

I don’t feel a career truly defines you as a person. If you are lucky to be in a career that is your passion and purpose, then fantastic, good for you. However, for many of us it is a means to earn money so that we may live.

Your career or your job does not and should not define you. It can be just as fluid and transient as anything else in life. But society generally frowns upon people who transition from job to job or care very little for material things and thus do not put great emphasis on careers. We are taught to get in a role and stay in our lane and be good little worker bees.

A much more appropriate question would be; “What do you enjoy doing? What’s your passion?”

Labels do not serve our true nature

Any of the identities we’ve been taught are not who we are. They are merely societal constructs used as tools to label and divide us, they are not real. They are designed to draw lines in the sand and maps to divide “you over there” from “me over here”.

They are no more real than saying you are your name. For example my name is Daniel but Daniel is not me, it is not who I am. I am more than my name, I can change my name, but the person I am does not change. What is more accurate to say is “I am”.

If we are all just “I am” then are we not all the same? In fact in the book of Exodus, God speaks his name and that name is “I am”. So if you, I and god are all “I am” then are we all not one and the same?

Does the talk of God make you cringe? Fine, flip it to science. We are all constructed of all the exact same atoms and within those atoms is energy. That energy is what unites us all and the planet that we live in. What makes you whole is what makes me whole and is what makes our surroundings whole. Like they would say in Thailand “Same Same” (but different).

Hiding behind labels is very fashionable now. All it is really is the attempt of Ego trying to establish itself. Otherwise, we have to admit we don’t really know what or who we are, as it becomes very hard to describe without labels!

Ego and Separateness

We ourselves reinforce this separateness, All to protect our sense of identity. Our ego.

Ego is the translation for the Latin letter “I”. It is the sense of self. What one thinks of themselves. To operate from ego is to focus on what “I want”, what is in it for me. This of course is natural to an extent as we all operate from an egocentric viewpoint. We only have experience viewing the world through our own eyes.

In order to unveil the delusion of separateness, we must first understand that the ego is a construct of the conscious mind. We are not born with ego. As a little baby, we may be egocentric in the respect that we only think about I. “I want food” “I want my mother”. However, we do not have a sense of identity (Ego). We believe we are one with our mother until around the age of 6 months.

This Identity is something we learn and create as we grow. We learn from our experiences, from our environment, from our parents.

We form this idea of I. Who I am. What I do. What my worth is.

Of course we need a sense of identity to protect ourselves and become separate from our mothers and family. Often this identity becomes very rigid when combined with a fixed mindset. This means the sense of ego is strong and is often defended fervently and irrationally.

When Ego, the sense of self, is strong it doesn’t allow any challenges for growth. A challenge to the sense of self could shatter the illusion of who we are and the construct that we have built up over years of living.

The Ego is very much part of having a Fixed Mindset as it does not like not knowing or being wrong as this creates a feeling of failure. The opposite is a Growth Mindset, where challenges are seen as learning opportunities. Having a strong sense of ego means that we are closed off to learning and growing.

Instead, we paint everything we see with what we already know because acknowledging that we don’t understand diminishes and humbles the sense of ego. (This is something the ego will fight to your detriment).

This may be the reason why there are many white people in Britain searching for evidence to say Racism doesn’t exist. Because acknowledging it does exist means a lack of knowledge. That would mean the system they are part of is unjust, which would cause a degree of shame.

This is why we need to watch out for Ego. Because if we want to avoid having a Fixed Mindset in situations, identifying ego will help us understand when we are acting in a way that may not be beneficial to our growth and development (See my blog on Mindset to understand the importance of a growth mindset).

If not our Ego then what are we?

When we strip back our ego, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs we may learn that we are an observer.

If we practice Mindfulness and sit quietly we may find that we are able to listen to the mind’s ramblings, hear our story, witness our thought patterns and the noise it creates.

So the question is: who is the one witnessing?

Well, we are in essence!

We are the observer. We are the one who is trying to understand the way in which we think and act. The one that fights the mind’s urges to take the easy route or the path of least resistance. The one that is questioning what we are thinking (hopefully). The one that tries to control our impulse reactions and negative thought patterns.

The one witnessing is also known to some as our consciousness. That consciousness can bear witness to the noise of our minds and, with practice, we can learn to separate from the ego and understanding when it is acting.

Consciousness may be known as the soul or spirit. Remember that I said Science can connect us all by atoms and energy? Well I believe that energy, that essence is Love. The love that permeates all living things, the earth, nature, animals and us.

I believe our human experience is a test. That test is to strip back the constructed ego and sense of self and reconnect to love, that energy, the “I am” that connects us all. This reconnection I believe is the only thing that will bring humanity forward.

Separateness and Judgement

The feeling of separateness enables a lack of compassion and empathy. A lack of compassion and empathy leads to the ability for people to wrongly judge others.

We cannot comprehend what another person has been through in their lifetime and how they view the world. We need to accept that everyone views the world differently. That we are all just doing our best with what we have been given. That nobody knows what we are doing and that we ourselves are not perfect. Then we can create some room for a little compassion and empathy.

Using our experience of life, the lessons we have learnt, combined with a detachment from our fellow man allows us to cast judgment on others. This judgement is born from fear, which is merely manifested forms of ignorance and insecurity.

As a wise man once said:

“Fear is the path to the Dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” Yoda

This is incredible wisdom taught to us by the wise little green man. It actually draws its wisdom from the teachings of Buddha.

Fear is being scared of the unknown, caused by not being present. Anger and hate are wanting things to be different from how they are. Suffering is caused when we do not accept the impermanence of all things.

The current situation with COVID has highlighted further how separateness impacts our society. Most people have adhered to the guidelines and clubbed together to help stop the spread of the virus.

However, what also has been highlighted is how quickly people cast judgement on others and condemn their actions. Things like, “This person did this”, “I saw these people do that”. I’ve been sad to see so many people judging others when they themselves are surely less than perfect.

This lack of compassion and empathy is astounding. For example; How a person at home with their loved ones and pets during lockdown can judge someone who lives on their own and might be struggling with their mental health is beyond me.

If that person on their own decides to “break the rules” to see someone in an effort to look after themselves, it is a decision made on that person’s individual circumstance. To judge and condemn that person when you’re sat surrounded by loved ones shows an incredible lack of empathy.

Life isn’t so black and white, although some things are objectively clearly wrong (such as racism, genocide and pedophilia). However, most things that are said to be right and wrong are completely subjective based on our individual versions of reality.

Once we understand that we each live in our own worlds created by our past experiences, then we may understand better that we are not in a position to judge others.

We must learn to practice understanding what others may be going through.

Once we exercise compassion and empathy, we can begin to see the truth. That truth is that we are all on this journey of life together just doing our best. The truth is that we are all human and we are all equally perfectly flawed.

We are all just balls of consciousness or energy or love trapped in these human bodies trying to enjoy life until our bodies reach their expiry date.

Separateness and Racism

The murder of George Floyd in the US sparked worldwide anti-Racism protests and highlighted how much inequality still exists in the world

Why was he killed? Because he was Black. Because the officer was taught to hate. Because the officer was taught that there is a difference between a Black man and a White man. Because this officer was taught separateness.

Separateness teaches us to fear things and people that are different. It teaches to focus on the differences instead of the similarities. To focus on reasons as to why we are different instead of the reasons why we are the same.

Separateness is the reason I have seen people on social media only share the negative elements of the Black Lives Matter protests. Focusing on the few that are rioting and looting and damaging monuments, instead of looking at the bigger picture of people from all backgrounds and all skin colours coming together to march for justice and unity. It is the reason that people can wilfully remain ignorant of racism even though hundreds of thousands of people are saying racism is still a problem!

Racism is a disgusting virus taught and passed from generation to generation. It is born out of fear and a feeling of separateness from one another. In fact, a 2014 study proved that Mindfulness can help to reduce implicit race and age bias. Showing that if we are more mindful and bring a greater sense of compassion and awareness to ourselves, then we change the way our mind thinks and responds to our environment.

Racism is something that we must eradicate, we are one human race all connected to one another. Racism is a problem for everyone and we cannot afford to let it divide us any longer!

Separateness is causing us to avoid what truly matters

The government and media are focusing their attention on polarising and dividing us. We are allowing the reality of the world and the way in which we live to go unchanged bringing us, I believe, closer to an end as a race.

We as humanity are doing a fantastic job of stripping the world’s recourses and condemning ourselves to extinction. We have this arrogance that we can continue on our path and just ignore what we are doing to the earth.

We are polluting our waters, our air, killing the rainforests. We waste so much food and resources. We are led by media and marketing to tell us what we should value. All of this is bad for both our physical and mental health.

Why? Why does all this happen? Why isn't the government doing anything about it? Why is the government allowing all of this to happen?

Money and Power. All of the above is in the interests of the very few at the top that profit off of humanity’s pain and misery. It’s all about profit to these people. They financially benefit off of a divided, sick and addicted nation.

War is big business.

The pharmaceutical industry is big business.

Addiction to junk food, alcohol and materialist things is all big business.

Imagine a world where we are united as humans, where we eat healthily and grow our food free of chemicals, where we exercise and look after our bodies and a world where we value less material things and are just happy spending time with friends and family and pursuing activities that don’t involve the latest technology.

This world I believe is achievable, but this world is bad for business. Very bad. To achieve this, It would mean changing the way in which we live and changing the system in which rules over us. A rebirth.