Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Net of Things – Millions of Years Old

(Image from

I admit this is a bit of a play with words – this blog has nothing to do with the exciting developments in the Internet of Things. This is instead about a net of things we have had since millions, or rather billions of years. 

It is generally accepted knowledge today that the universe emerged from a big bang. This created matter, forces and energy. The universe was a hot small tight fireball initially till it cooled over time. The expansion of the universe created more space – but the universe is still held together as one till today. So the universe has always been a “Net of Things” - held together by forces, energy being transformed and directed.

Well, this was not be a discussion of the physical universe! As it turns out, we many times consider ourselves to be evolved beings, while perceiving the universe as a purely physical entity – somewhat like a building or any other man-made structure. This view however is neither logical nor useful – we are not separate from the universe, but rather are a representation of an essential oneness which has always existed. We cannot break away from the universe nor can it from us – both references are ultimately the same.

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
― Alan W. Watts

Science has been able to make remarkable progress in sequencing DNA, and also recreating the sequence of the events since the start of the universe. While much remains to be known, what we do know is profound as it is – everything in the universe has the same past. The evidence suggests we have ignored and assumed too much – water possibly has consciousness, and plants can feel. The universe has a delicate balance and anything which happens to any entity affects all others in some way or the other. The universe is truly an incredible “Net of Things” (admittedly we don't like being classified as things!).

“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.”
― Swami Vivekananda

A view such as this makes a difference to how we view other life forms and the rest of the universe. If we recognize and experience the essential oneness of the universe, we do not need to debate the need for tolerance, kindness and sustainable living separately. While those who practice mindfulness experience this oneness, it is apparent even otherwise. We can be truly happy only if others around us are, and emotions travel very fast. Everything is connected - all part of the "Net of Things"!

While we emphasize the need to celebrate our differences, should we rather recognize our oneness first and celebrate that?

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