Session 7 - One Body

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Whether we like it or not, this picture of our mutual interdependence, which we can already see before us, clearly demonstrates how interdependent and bound together we really are. An understanding of this interconnected, united view will necessitate me and all of humanity to change our attitude toward others, and toward our local and global environment. It is clear that we are interdependent in the areas of food, clothing, education, culture, technology and industry, energy, water, power, and even in our communal air, since if anyone doesn't keep important air pollution regulations these days, the environment will not be able to produce the oxygen we all need to breathe.


We know the rules of the Kyoto Protocol, which determines the amount of toxic gasses permitted to emit into the atmosphere, and how we can ruin our environment if we don't all work together to keep these protocols.

 

Additionally, we've already mentioned the numerous international organizations that exist and connect all of us around the world, dealing with a large variety of topics for the best benefit of the entire world. Some of them are located in Paris, some in London, and some in New York, but the majority of them work out of Geneva. Through these organizations we can sense the tight interconnections among us, giving us a sense of strong mutual dependence. This mutual dependence is far more significant than even that of family members, since in a family, one may be angry with another and even stop talking to that person, or disconnect all ties. Yet among countries, there really are no such prerogatives.


The hundreds of countries around the globe are set up in a kind of a "mosaic" from which none can escape, nor exercise one's own self-interests. We can evidently see that each time a country wishes to carry out an independent move that it fails, and after some time, that country is forced to abandon the idea if it is not in the best interest of everyone. Sometimes countries do perform such acts of separation, but it is more in words rather than in actual action, because today it is simply impossible to make any truly independent moves.


There is much more we can say about the connections between us and how they obligate us to be connected even in our minds and emotions. And this is not just because of the laws of ecology, industry, the global banking system, our common education, healthcare needs, and other areas. Today people must establish good connections between one another—each and every person must do this, and accordingly, each and every country.


Our technological and cultural developments throughout all of our entire common human evolution has reached today's interdependent and interconnected state of development. The inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels of Nature, as well as the human level, have evolved to the point where we are actually becoming one entity, like a superorganism, as one single person.

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Topic

Today's system of worldwide interconnections is transforming us all together into "one person," like a superorganism.

Main Points

  • We are one interconnected and united global human family that has a role  in Nature's entire system of existence in our world and because of this, we cannot detach from one another.  
  • The system of close interconnections between us forms a state in which it is given to us to imagine ourselves becoming as "one person."

References

"The global spread of ideas, information, and experience 'constitute[s] the overarching structure of human history.'"

Summary of: The Human Web: A Bird's-eye View of World History

"The clue of how we might proceed lies in the notion of connectivity. ... A diagnostic characteristic of contemporary globalization is that the component parts of the world economy are increasingly interconnected in qualitatively different ways from the past."

Book - Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy

"The use of social networks, trust, and reciprocity to enable cooperation among citizens beyond that required by law or employment – can lead to higher levels of economic and civic success."

Summary of: Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy

Engage Yourself

Question 1: Word associations about your feelings:

a. Which word associations are evoked in your feelings as you watch the following clip?  [link to video clip here, if needed.] (Please write the words that first arise within you after watching the video clip.)

1. _____________________
2. _____________________
3. _____________________
 

Note: If additional words arise for you (more than 3), you are invited to add them as well.

b. In your opinion, what will happen if one thread is cut from the interconnected web of threads that is described in the clip?

c. If you could firmly grasp one point in the web of threads that you saw in the clip and move it somehow, what else would move, in your opinion?

d. If they were to give you the free end of the thread, where would you connect it, if at all?

e. Let's conduct a small experiment. Please take another look at this same video clip an additional time, and record what words of feeling arise for you as a result of this second viewing:
1. _____________________
2. _____________________
3. _____________________

f. Are the words of feeling that you recorded this time identical to the words that you wrote the first time?

g. Did you feel slightly different after you answered the questions? If so, briefly share in what way the questions influenced you? If your feelings remained the same, please write "Same feelings" below:

Question 2: In what way are we all mutually dependent?

Question 3: Can we sever the ties of mutual connection between us?

Question 4:
a. What feelings are evoked in you when you hear about the tight connection between you and other people, and which obligates you to be connected to other people in a good connection, even more than you are obligated by your family ties?

b. Can you explain a bit more about the feelings that you indicated above? Also, if you selected "other," please specify and explain.

Question 5: How is the interdependence and interconnection between the nations like Lego blocks that are connected together as one whole building?

Question 6: Below are links to a summarizing of the background and purpose of the "framework of the UN Convention on Climate Change" and within it also, the "Kyoto Protocol" that was mentioned in the transcript text of this learning session.

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

http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/publications/08_unfccc_kp_ref_manual.pdf

http://unfccc.int/essential_background/kyoto_protocol/items/1678.php

 

a. Can you locate sentences or phrases in the documents that express the connection and dependence that exists between the nations in the realm of the air that we breathe? (For example "global concern" or "common coping" and so on.)

b. Can you write in a few words what your relationship is to a topic mentioned in any of the documents?  Do you agree or oppose the conclusions?  Can you specify?

c. In your opinion, how can the individual person benefit from an agreement like the "Kyoto Protocol"?  Please give an example of how this affects your life personally.

Question 7: The time has come for a little bit of nostalgia.  When was the last time you saw Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Michael Jackson all on one screen?  Allow us to invite you to a journey in time, to the eighties of the 20th century, to those distant days when it was still possible to be simple.  Fasten your safety belts, we are about to take off…..

a. If you recognize the song, please share the feelings that arise in you every time you've had the opportunity to listen to it in the past? [link to video here, if needed]

If you selected "other," please specify. Also, feel free to share anything you would like to regarding this video:

b. If you don't recognize the song in the above video, please share your feelings about the clip?  What thought arises for you in regards to hope or lack of hope?

c. Please take a few minutes to go back and reread the Transcript Text from the previous learning session called "Above all Differences" (Unit 5, Session 5).

After re-reading the above, please answer the following question: In your opinion, what is the main difference between the activities of charitable organizations (like "We are the World"), and global integral education (like what this course teaches) with regard to all that it touches to bring about a solution to humanitarian problems?

d. Okay, we now return to the 21st century. 

To our great sorrow, in our world there arise constant reasons for humanitarian charity.  In 2010, one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded happened in Haiti.  The tragedy claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, and left millions more without shelter.  Top musicians in the United States pitched in to help the inhabitants of Haiti, and brought out a new version of "We are the World."  Take a look at the clip below and return to us. [link to video here, if needed]

Did this video evoke the same kinds of feelings as the original "We Are the World" video?

e. In your opinion, in what form is it possible to use the power of music, and of singers as opinion makers, for building a better environment by the method of integral education?