The origin of every life is based on connection and connectedness: two cells meet and from there a new organism grows.
The basic environment in which it develops, our basic experience as growing humans, is the deepest bond: being held in the mother’s body, a cellular exchange of nutrients, a completely physical connection via the umbilical cord.
The moment of birth marks a comprehensive, and often shattering experience, of separation. It is an entry into a world that allows us to continue to experience connectedness in new ways. Every inhalation and exhalation connects us with the air and the world around us; a gentle touch or gazing into other’s eyes can create new bonds; through fruits and vegetables, our bodies are connected with the earth.
Yet, we rarely experience this togetherness (with the organic self-evidence of our beginnings) as naturally as we did in the early phase of our existence. Relationships and communication are marked by experiences of separation; we are confronted with divisions in society as a whole and globally; we are separate from not just our deeper needs but also those of the Earth.
In the interCONNECTme work, we see the development of connectedness as the foundation of feeling in tune with ourselves, with others, and with the environment. We cultivate a quiet sense of confidence that we can shape a positive future together.
We use the term connectedness to point to an experience which includes connection, yet also reaches beyond a linear bond. We refer to a state of being and to an ever-deepening process of integration in the web of life.
For us, connectedness means touching and being touched. It begins with ourselves in the exploration of our own opening or closing, both inwardly and outwardly.
Connectedness implies recognising the existence of the other as well as the understanding we are neither isolated nor alone,, but rather embedded in a larger framework. Man, as described by psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut (1977) in his self psychology, needs the experience of inseparability and connectedness in order to develop a coherent sense of self.
The prospect of connectedness can trigger fears due to previous anguish: the worry of losing oneself, being rejected, or being invaded or controlled. At the same time, they prevent intimacy, closeness or trust. Here the interCONNECTme courses offer a safe framework to heal wounds and develop courage for a new approach.
From our point of view, true connectedness does not diminish the space for oneself – rather, it adds a new one: the us. When an “I” and a “you” connect with themselves and with each other, something happens: a shared space is created, allowing creativity and innovation to flow uninhibited.
The “interCONNECTme” approach also understands transformation and healing processes as processes in which connectedness grows. That which is wounded, repressed, which splits off, can open itself back up to life and is gradually reintegrated. At the same time, it is the feeling of connectedness, of trust, and of clear belonging and holding that creates the framework in which change can happen.
Connectedness does not mean egalitarianism or being dictated to. We understand connectedness as a framework in which individuality can develop, and this allows for an appreciation of uniqueness, not isolation or exclusion.
Division is and remains part of our human existence. From a multidimensional perspective, we can see it as something necessary to develop the drive to want to learn how to appreciate diversity, how to consciously connect and cultivate a state of connectedness.
We understand connectedness not as an abstract idea, but as a sensate experience of being integrated and present in the world.
You might wonder what the impressive black and white pictures on the interCONNECTme website are about. They are electron microscope images of the structure of matter – a formation of calcium carbonate crystals, a microscopic marine snail, a hepa filter – ultimately close-up pictures of planet Earth and our surroundings. We asked Aron, the creative mind and designer behind this website, to explain how he came to choose these pictures for our subject of inter-connectedness. Here is what he says:
“…it was about looking at a minuscule single bit of the world that surrounds us and seeing that, in itself, it’s full of interconnected elements… Nothing and no one, no thought and no deed, no particle and no field, is isolated from the others. Invisible lines become visible. You just have to look.
And the colour missing in the pictures is for us to fill. Just take in the trillions of connections hidden in microscopic plankton or a grain of salt. And let the colours come from within.
And then go big, go life, go consciousness, go multiverse…
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