There is undeniably one single most important ‘thing’ in our shared Universe.
It is that which allows any one (and all of us combined) to experience any and all aspects of our life and identity as a living being.
It can be summed up in a single word.
In English that word is: RELATIONSHIP
Put simply, relationship is the shared connection between any two or more individual identities, be they atoms, cells, complex organisms, such as human beings, stars and planets or between galaxies, and even the entirety of the Universe itself.
Unless and until we have a relationship with something other than what we perceive of as ‘Me’ we simply can have no idea that we exist and are unable to perform any task of any kind.
Perhaps the very first relationship any of us ever recognise as experiencing is the one between our mind (thought) and our physical body as we begin to realise that we move, see, hear, touch, taste and smell and can experience different emotions in relation to these things and the things they have a relationship with, that are seemingly not of our own Being.
It is a sign of the importance to our being of the word relationship that it is what we use to call those other beings who caused us to come into existence as a separate being – our closest direct relations, our Mother and our Father.
Once we have established in our mind that there is a thing called ‘me’ and we have determined also that there are things that are ‘not me’ we then start to explore all the myriad of kinds of relationship that we are free to establish with whatever parts of the Universe we come into contact with.
We start to learn about the ‘relative‘ strengths of the various relationships we begin to put names to. We begin to learn where we can have some degree of control in our relationships and also what our limitations are in relation to certain things we have relationships with.
For example, we soon learn we have a definite relationship to something called ‘The Ground’ (which we later recognise is actually something called a ‘planet’ that is very, very big and massive in relationship to us!) that is, we can lie or stand still on it, we can crawl or walk upon it, but we cant walk ‘off’ it and we can’t walk ‘into’ it, in fact if we try walking into it (or falling head first into it) we usually get a painful sensation somewhere in our body that reminds us not to try that again!
Our relationship with the ground has certain ‘limits’; there are things we can do and can master and become quite good at, like running and lying down in the sunshine on it, and there are other things we just can’t do (on our own) like flying above it for more than a second.
Most relationships have some kinds of ‘limits’ – extents past which it is not advisable to exceed too far or too quickly.
By their very definition, relationships are 2-way things: just as you have a relationship to something else, that something else has it’s relationship to you. Those relations, while mutually dependent may not actually be of equal nature and scale.
Take the ‘Me-Ground’ relationship again. There is a single force that directly connects (or relates) the two of you in that relationship called gravity. Just as the ground exerts gravity on you pulling your body to it, so to your body exerts an equally proportional force upon the ground pulling it towards you. The fact that the ground has so much more mass in relation to your body is the reason why it seems like the force you exert seems so small as to be undetectable – yet it does exist. It’s kind of like a tug-of-war between you and, say, the population of China. You exert all your strength on the relationship (in this case the rope) but it is no match for the much larger force of numbers. They win!
It is interesting to note though that despite the unbelievably small size of you in the Me-Ground relationship, that you are actually able to overcome the force the entire planet is exerting upon you for small periods of time simply by the effort of your own muscles! When you jump up (those of us who still can) your puny-sized muscles exert enough force to very briefly surpass the pull of the entire Earth upon your body and you can ‘overcome’ the force of gravity – Yayyy! 🙂
Until you crash back to the ground with a thud. Gravity is actually a very, very weak force, as you probably notice whenever you pass another person or, say, a bus; you are not pulled very much toward either one (fortunately!). Where gravity has the advantage however, is it’s persistence and in the case of planets, or even stars, their exceedingly larger size. Size and persistence matter in most relationships. Whoever has the most generally wins out over time.
Similar principles can apply to inter-personal relationships. There can often be a stronger (bigger) and a weaker (smaller) part. However the relative scales are probably not anywhere near as great and so the ‘balance’ between them is more ‘fluid’ being able to swing one way or another; sometimes one party has the strength and sometimes the other. There can also be multiple areas of relationship between just two parties who each have different qualities to the other.
In relationships there are three main types:
An entity, could be a person (you) or a feeling, or a material thing or any one thing/type.
One-to-one relationships involve a single action or force or description between two separate entities.
One-to-many relationships involving either single forces or perhaps multiple different forces/descriptions relating to one thing; or
Many-to-many relationships involving a single or perhaps multiple forces/descriptions. These can get very complicated and it can become difficult to establish just what is affecting what, and how!
One very particular and special relationship that is especially important in the area of Science (as well as everywhere else), but which can easily be confused as to what is going on in it, is that of the relationship between an Observer and what is being Observed. Putting it another way: what you ‘see’ relating to who is doing the ‘seeing’.
We can easily fall into the trap of not recognising that ALL relationships are 2-way relationships including and especially this one. What you ‘see’ affects you AND you affect what you ‘see’. It can be tempting to think we can separate ourselves from an observation and think we are watching it and not affecting it – this is never the case. there is Always some degree of interaction between you watching and the thing you are watching. You both affect the other to some degree… even if it is a similar degree of you pulling the earth towards you, i.e. almost undetectable.
You have a greater effect than you think though, in many cases, by reason of the way you think and the way our human brains work in detecting those relationships with the things that are ‘outside’ of us. What we ‘see’ is often a simplified or reconstructed version of what is actually ‘out there’. It is also almost entirely biased. By that i mean that we, because of how we are built and grow over time necessarily make things out to be a certain way that only we can see because of sexual, familial, social, cultural and physical ‘biases’ we all have that are not equally shared by all humans.
It can be all too easy to forget and allow for this in all our relationships, either with other people or with animate or inanimate things, or, for that matter, within our own self.
It is perhaps for this reason that it is necessary that we better allow for a degree of uncertainty when reaching conclusions about those things we are in relationship with, whatever their nature.
None of us are perfect and we all think differently. What we see as being either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ has largely been formed by our own individual experiences and our own choice of belief, which, by it’s very nature and cause, is limited as compared to all that there is.
It is up to all of us to recognise this and to determine for ourselves how we view all our multitude of different relationships with whatever and whoever is in our own environment, within the One Universe.