When acclaimed conservationist Lawrence Anthony, who became known as “The Elephant Whisperer,” passed away in 2012, something amazing happened: After being out in the wild for a long time, the elephants that Anthony had saved years before marched 12 hours back to his house to grieve his passing. According to BBC One, the elephants “stayed there silent for two days.” Even more remarkably, “Exactly one year after his death, to the day, the herd marched to his house again. It is something that science cannot explain.”
The world we live in is connected in ways we do not understand, but we are slowly learning. Our self-absorption wants us to focus only on ourselves, but reality is forcing us to look outside, and teaches us that there is so much more out there to be found.
As Anthony’s elephants demonstrate, all of nature senses its connectedness and lives according to its dictates. Humans, however, are devoid of that feeling and therefore act as if they are alone in the world.
However, civilization is becoming increasingly connected, in accordance with all of reality, and forces us to recognize that we, too, are dependent on each other and connected to each other. Today, we are learning that beyond the physical connection there is the virtual connection. Tomorrow, we will learn that we are emotionally connected, too, that we share and project not only actions or bits of data, but also thoughts and desires, even without verbalizing them.
Eventually, we will discover that our connection is even deeper than emotions: It is spiritual. We are all one being, whose organs and cells are all of us, all of creation. This is why the elephants knew when to come to pay their respects for their savior, and to return there the following year, to the day.
When we all feel one another, it allows us to work harmoniously, in a manner that benefits everyone. If we sensed our true reality, we would never make mistakes, never hurt anyone, and no one would ever hurt us since we would feel as one. Why then are we denied such vital knowledge, which all of nature but us seems to possess?
All of nature acts on instincts. Humans lack most instincts that animals have. Instead, we must learn everything from scratch through our own efforts and the teaching of our parents and teachers. There is a reason for it: When we learn through our own efforts, we acquire a deeper understanding of our world and of reality.
The same goes for the knowledge of our interconnectedness and what it entails. We are devoid of the sense of our interconnection so we may develop it through our own efforts. What elephants sense naturally, we must develop laboriously. However, in doing so, we understand how everything works and gain a profound perception of our existence. In other words, our ignorance allows us to achieve the purpose of our lives, but until we achieve it, we are a menace to the world.
There are two ways we can achieve our life’s purpose: The first is to let nature take its course. We can let it drown us in floods, burn us in fires, crush us under the ruins of earthquakes, or pit us against each other to the death. Another way is to take upon ourselves to learn the ways of nature, how everything operates in connectedness and harmony, and start changing our relationships according to what we learn from nature. As we “practice” kindness, we will become kinder and develop deeper feelings for the people and the world around us.
Practice really does make perfect. We can build social structures, such as small groups, where we will “practice” interconnectedness and mutual concern. As we develop these skills in our psyches, we will begin to feel each other on deeper and deeper levels.
If we do this, we will discover what allows elephants to know so well how others feel, as we, too, will become sensitive and aware. In addition, we will understand the “thinking,” the “logic” behind making creation so complex yet so inexorably connected, and what great knowledge and power it awards those who grasp it.
(See a clip about Lawrence Anthony https://bit.ly/33uTRqz)