By A.J. Palmer
‘We still do not know one thousandth of one per cent of what nature has revealed to us’ .Einstein
A hundred plus years on, we may have shifted the equation slightly in our favour, but such an infinitesimal increase hardly does justice to this primal insight. And, more importantly, how we might now interpret it to more fully understand the factors still holding us back, as a species, from embracing Einstein’s insight.
How we use our human brain is key.
For me, opening up the interconnectedness between ourselves and Earth’s processes is a seminal cultural move. The idea is well seeded. However, seeds only grow in fertile soil. Until humanity, generally, sees the benefit, the personal benefit, of adopting an interconnected mindset, the ‘business-as-usual’ default position will rule. Don’t ask the children to do it. They are not yet able to distinguish between reinventing the wheel and true paradigm-shifts. This inability produces glitzy bizarre stuff labelled ‘new’, not deep thoroughgoing change.
As sages other than Einstein have indicated, it is the human brain that needs the laser light to get us over the seeming impasse. To completely avoid the left hemisphere/right hemisphere debate is impossible. It is generally accepted, however, the right hemisphere is itself more interconnected, neurologically, through myelin than the left hemisphere.
We must face the fact there is no panacea – love, laws or leaders – to take people decisively in the direction of an interconnected mindset. Writers, more than many professions, toy and play with its possibilities as a tool-of-the-trade. Known as thought-leaders, writers are in a good position to help one of Einstein’s brilliant sayings take fire in hearts and minds worldwide.
Anthropocentrism is the term we use to describe our own species-centred mindset. In my writing I use the word ‘Earthcentrism’ to access the interconnectedness I believe is the subtext of Einstein’s saying.
So, to get to the nitty-gritty, what are the personal benefits of adopting an interconnected mindset? Automatically we inhabit a more expansive world where the words ‘isolated’, ‘alone’, ‘alienated’, are rendered invalid. This, despite the strong feelings of vulnerability these words bring up for everyone at some time in their lives. As the healing/wholing capability of nature receives more prominence in the media, people are pushed towards the connective cusp. An inner strengthening is the result. Scientifically endorsed, an increased sense of well-being, centredness, happiness, okayness follows on from seeing the self as contributing to the whole. It’s the overarch model nature constantly offers.
Psychologically, fear is linked to a reduced immune system, cortisol flooding the body, so close-webbed is the mind/body/spirit interweave. Our personal capability to create a happy, stable, positive, creative outlook is, first and foremost, an inner game. To learn to play it in ways that suit us as individuals is a good foundation for the ongoing EcoQuest Einstein started over a hundred years ago.
A. J. Palmer is author of ‘Writing and Imagery: how to deepen creativity and improve your writing’ published by Aber in 2011.