Why Connect Online?

I feel awkward in some ways, inviting people to come to an online event right now. It’s a moment when everybody’s had it up to here with connecting online. And yet, I am continuing to do some of my teachings online. The upcoming Whole Heart Connection Intro is one of the examples.

I’m doing it online for a number of reasons. One is the usual reason that there are many people who would not otherwise be able to attend. The other reason is that I believe online connection to be egregiously misused. Our behavior when connecting through the computer—or supposedly through the computer—has become a hypnotic grab of each other’s energy. It’s a protruding and a grabbing at the same time: “I’m sending you all this energy, and I’m also going to grab your face, and pull it into me.”

That is exhausting; it draws us up to our surface, pulls us out of our depth, and then afterward leaves us looking for something on the surface to meet us…  Eventually, searching for something all the time becomes normal.

It’s similar to the phenomenon of holding hands. When we are holding hands with somebody, we are not just holding their hand; we are holding the whole person: “Take my hand; take my whole life, too…”

Elvis said it really well. When you take someone’s hand, your take their whole life too. It’s not about the hand. The hand is just a touch point. We’re not fixated: “Hand, hand, I’m connecting through this hand, I’m holding hands. I’m trying to stuff my whole existence through this hand.”

It doesn’t work that way. Or maybe it felt like that, at the age of 13, when it was happening for the first time. But then we come into our own; we are more and more in ourselves, in our vastness, and our hand is a place to connect with the vastness of the other person. Just so, potentially, for connecting through the computer.

Learning to be on the computer in a healthy way—in a universe-bonded and heart-connected way—is not the main reason why I do Whole Heart Connection Intros. I’ve been doing these for years, before bringing it online. It’s just that there’s this extra gift when it’s online, because of the need to find our way into these vastnesses—and find our way into these intimacies—despite, through, and around the computer.

The point of the Whole Heart Connection Intro is not to learn how to be on the computer. The point of the Whole Heart Connection Intro is to be able to find the ‘self’ that we can’t even imagine when we are frantic and tense.

One of the basic tenets of Whole Heart Connection is that insight is physiological. There are states in which you will not have any good ideas. How do we get into a state in which we are insight-prone, in which we are healing-prone, in which we are good idea-prone? These are states in which we become a location for grace, for wisdom, for the kind of self-knowledge and self-confidence that allows us to navigate this utterly bizarre thing called life—wherein, if we are honest, we have no idea what’s going on, nor any idea what’s going to happen next.

To meet that unknown with confidence is not the same as meeting it with a head full of ideas after a frantic Google search. It’s a confidence based on knowing who we are—though not a head-knowing. It’s a gut-knowing, a bone-knowing: “This is me. This is what I would do.” Not the frantic me; the actual me.

From a Taoist perspective, how we got here is that the Big Dipper took a scoop out of the Dao, plopped it into some skin, and presto! Here we are. We are part of the wholeness of everything—a part that’s been plopped into skin. This means that we are intimate with now. We are the other half of the Dao; we are the people of now.

It’s not like “Oh, somehow I got here, and this is what’s happening at this point in history.” No, we are the people of this time in history. We were scooped out of the punchbowl of now—which means that we are the only people in all of history who are equipped to be living now.

All the equipment we need is inside of us—and it’s unlabeled. Here we are, full of the unlabeled equipment—the resource, the treasure, the wisdom—to work with now. It’s in the deep, and it’s dark in there. It’s quiet in there.

What I say that Whole Heart Connection is about, whether online or otherwise, is the opportunity to learn the practices that allow us to read the secret messages written by the Dao inside of us. The confidence that this brings does not come from knowing what to do, but from knowing who we are, and being able to welcome “next step” insight on that basis.

I think that this is the most important work of our time: to be the people of our time, to come home to that purpose, down through the hectic pressures and anxiety, down through the misgivings and fears and deeper anguishes that can make it difficult to say “No, I really am going to sink all the way down to the silent bottom of the ocean in my bones,” in order to feel: Why am I here? What do I have to do with now?

That’s what we do in Whole Heart Connection. It’s just an extra that we’re learning to do it on computer. I hope to see you there. I hope to do more than see you there; I hope to hold your hand, in spirit.

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