“The Web of Life” by Robert T. Weston

A beautiful poem about the interconnections in reality, and some thoughts about our place in that web of life.

There was a beautiful poem shared in our congregation today that I thought I would pass on to you.

There is a living web that runs through us
To all the universe
Linking us each with each and through all life
On to the distant stars.
Each knows a ­little corner of the world, and lives
As if this were his all.
We no more see the farther reaches of the threads
Than we see of the future, yet they’re there.
Touch but one thread, no matter which;
The thoughtful eye may trace to distant lands
Its firm continuing strand, yet lose its filaments as they reach out,
But find at last it coming back to him from whom it led.
We move as in a fog, aware of self
But only dimly conscious of the rest
As they are close to us in sight or feeling.
New objects loom up for a time, fade in and out;
Then, sometimes, as we look on unawares, the fog lifts
And there’s the web in shimmering beauty,
Reaching past all horizons. We catch our breath;
Stretch out our eager hands, and then
In comes the fog again, and we go on,
Feeling a ­little foolish, doubting what we had seen.
The hands were right. The web is real.
Our folly is that we so soon forget.

Source: Robert T. Weston, in “Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood

This brings to mind the Eastern idea of Indra’s net, of the Buddhist concept of Pratītyasamutpāda, of the deep interconnections of life and being which often lay below the surface of our awareness, hidden from our consciousness. But if we look closely, if we allow the thoughts of our mind to subside, our consciousness may shift and suddenly they come into view, these dazzling wondrous connections with all things, this hidden treasure that we are and that all things are. Suddenly we perceive this deep interdependency of all being, of all reality, of the One in which we are embedded and of which we are, and we recognize that interdependency as Love itself, or what Christians call the Christ. It is an at-one-ment of all Being, God’s Being, Reality’s Being, the Cosmo’s Being. We realize that we are not separate and isolated from the All, but are One with it, and in it, and it is One flowing process in Spirit, in this one Uni-verse, this “One Song” that we are singing, that God is singing through us.

My wife and I are currently watching the Netflix series One Planet, narrated by British natural historian David Attenborough. It is a beautiful program showing just how deeply interconnected we are to the natural world around us, and to each other, and how our activities are affecting the world. At times it is quite somber, as the consequences of human activity have destroyed many places around the world. But it is also a wake up call, to change our ways, to help protect these places of beauty, to realize our oneness once again with Nature, to grow in consciousness of our interdependency and interconnection with planet Earth, and to start living differently, mindful of this connection. I will be exploring that topic more in an upcoming post.

The photo at the top of the post is one I took in nearby Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, at Children’s Lake, this past Sunday.

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