Sunday Best – March 29, 2020

A human being is part of a whole…(yet) he experiences himself as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.

    – Albert Einstein *


We have had a lot of uncertainty and unknowing recently, and it’s showing. My social media feed is full of baking and hiking, and also full of suffering and prayers and data. Every day I visit one particular tree, and every day I update a spreadsheet of some of the saddest numbers I’ve ever seen.

We are all searching for understanding, but there is something more too: we are all searching for safety. I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard references to indicators that show well, it’s way over there, and then well, it’s only very old people, and then well, it’s only very sick people, and then well, it’s only smokers, well, it’s only people who are overweight, well, it’s just my one friend or my relative… by now it’s too close and we all have to let these analytical illusions fall and admit, here we are.

Friends, there is no other place. There is no other group. There is no other.

Yes, let’s draw our loved ones close.

All of them.

That’s the safest thing to do.



 * Einstein wrote this in a letter to a grieving father who had just lost his son. You can read wonderful reflections on this idea from Maria Popova of BrainPickings, and can learn more about the original text and its popular mis-quoting on the OnBeing site.

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