Wide Identification

Wide identification of self, and self-realization:

We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

—Carl Sagan

What do you have in your own circle of life that is so precious that you cannot put a price on it? What would it be? And if someone tried to come and take it from you, what would you do – how far would you go to stand for it? For me it was my land. For me, it was my mountain.

Larry Gibson, Keeper of the Mountains

The requisite care flows naturally if the self is widened and deepened so that protection of free nature is felt and conceived of as protection of our very selves.

—Seed et al. (1988), Thinking Like a Mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings

Once we have experienced the fierce joy of life that attends extending our identity into nature, once we realize that the nature within and the nature without are continuous,
then we too may share in the exquisite beauty and effortless grace associated with the natural world.

—Seed et al. (1988), Thinking Like a Mountain: Towards a Council of All Beings

 

 


You are not an encapsulated bag of skin dragging around a dreary little ego. You are an evolutionary wonder, a trillion cells singing together in a vast chorale, an organism – environment, a symbiosis of cell and soul.

The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out — there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.

Quote in context:

“For instance, the scientific article may say, “The radioactive phosphorus content of the cerebrum of the rat decreases to one-half in a period of two weeks.” Now what does that mean? It means that the phosphorus that is in the brain of a rat — and also in mine, and yours — is not the same phosphorus as it was two weeks ago. It means the atoms that are in the brain are being replaced: the ones that were there before have gone away. So what is this mind of ours: what are these atoms with consciousness? Last week’s potatoes! They now can remember what was going on in my mind a year ago — a mind which has long ago been replaced. To note that the thing I call my individuality is only a pattern or dance, that is what it means when one discovers how long it takes for the atoms of the brain to be replaced by other atoms. The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out — there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.”

Richard Feynman, “The Value of Science” (speech at NAS meeting, 1955)
reprinted in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short
Works of Richard P. Feynman
 (Jeffrey Robbins, ed., 1999)

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

Quote in context: 

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

— Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,”  Leaves of Grass (1891)

http://whitmanarchive.org/published/LG/1891/poems/27

Did you know that the phrase “and sing myself” didn’t appear in the 1855 version?

I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.

Quote in context:

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.

Buckminster Fuller, I Seem to Be a Verb (1970)

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Buckminster_Fuller

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminster_Fuller

You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.

It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? 

[…] If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time.

Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. […] You are still the process.    

You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.”

– Alan Watts, The Nature of Consciousness

http://deoxy.org/w_nature.htm