The Web of Life: A Divine System



The first time I met John (alias) I knew I was in for a battle. His face was hard and his gaze was steady. My characteristic use of warmth, fun and humor were not working; if anything, I was making things worse. His answers were short and brusque. He was angry and sarcastic. He loved to argue and I could tell that he was a black belt in dispute. I was scared.

I wasn’t sure whether John would come back. Not only did he have a session the following week, the weeks turned into months and I gradually saw his heart soften and his soul heal. Since that day I have had the joy of being in relationship with John for many years. John was the proverbial lion with a thorn in his paw. His anger was a shield used to protect his wounded heart. He presented himself as a combatant, yet, underneath his mask he was a lover.

John, like all of us, was deeply impacted by the family he grew up in. It was in this system that John learned the rules of life and roles that he was expected to play. He was the oldest and it became his responsibility to raise his many siblings since dad was an AAA kind of guy—angry, absent and alcoholic. John experienced a lot of pain and endured a lot of hardship—not the least of which was witnessing the senseless death of his brother.

We are parts of a whole, never meant to operate independent of one another. We are interconnected and form what Fritjof Capra has termed the web of life. We are unique and interrelated individuals; each of us is separate and unique, yet, designed to be a part of a whole much larger and more complex than the sum of its parts.

Without an understanding of systems, we will live life with a very narrow and limited perspective. We will see only the parts and miss the mystery and awe of the whole. We will not understand the building blocks of lasting change. We will live isolated and insulated lives that will blind us to the larger system of which we are a part.

The Apostle Paul understood the importance of systems making up the core of the divine creation. He wrote, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (1Corinthians 12:12-14)

Life is a series of interdependent systems. Systems have a hierarchical nature and consist of subsystems combining together to form increasingly complex and dynamic systems. The human body is the picture of interdependent magnificence—cells combine to form tissues, tissues form organs, and organs make up organisms.

We are all cells, tissues, organs, and organisms created in the image of God. All of us are fashioned to love and care for one another. We are intended to need each other. What better way to honor God than to live authentically and consciously in the here and now, maximizing our potential in every moment. There is no greater calling than to love ourselves, love each other, and love the Source of All.

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Published: 27.08.2012 / 06:11 AM

Category: Grappling with God,Podcast,Relationships,Spiritual Growth

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