From Our Readers

Incremental Gestures

With a couple of hours to go before boarding a flight from Los Angeles to Milan, I decided to grab a bite in the Emirates lounge, knowing dinner was still several hours out. Scoping out a table, I noticed three other travelers, each dining solo. Without much thought, squeezing behind one of these diners, I casually asked: “Would you care to join me?”

Perhaps a bit surprised but more than willing, a lovely gentleman popped up, gathering his plate and wine saying, “Why not?” Looking to my right, my eye caught another lone flyer and I immediately invited her. Without skipping a beat, the third side of the table was occupied. By then, it was obvious that the last traveler should be invited and so I extended the same invitation. “Oh, it looks a bit crowded,” came the reply. Granted these tables were smaller than the usual four-top, but I smiled and said, “There’s always room for one more,” allowing him his reticence, but leaving open the door to change his mind and still save face.

No more than ten minutes into a lively exchange among the three of us, our fourth showed up, plate and glass in hand, and he became seamlessly incorporated into what by now had become a very interesting conversation. Within thirty minutes, we learned of stem cell research in Texas, institutionalized gambling in Italy, raising a challenging Vietnamese teen as a single mother while running a deep-pocketed mutual fund, weddings in NYC, film shoots in the southern Tyrols of Italy, and possibilities of a new world consciousness.

This is ‘living activism.’
This is ‘living transformation.’
This is ‘doing it.’

This is stepping into, embodying, and living the idea that we are all one human race, devoid of false barriers and separation.

This is where we create and practice new behaviors that may take us a bit out of our comfort zones but where the potential rewards are unknown and possibly grand: the opening up of new relationships, connections, cross-pollination of ideas, and just plain joy in the sense of a life more based on a sense of similarities rather than separateness, on kinship rather than disconnect, and on safety rather than ‘security.’

This begs the question: has our relentless drive for ultimate political ‘security’ made any one of us anywhere feel any more ‘secure’? Or has this been a great and unfortunate co-opting of a lovely term that has only kindled a low-level, underlying, nonspecific sense of fear and in fact, a complete absence of a sense of safety?

But I digress… This, the aforementioned, is where the rubber meets the road.

The numerous wonderful, large-scale endeavors that most of Kosmos’ readers and/or staff have either participated in or indeed have founded are moving us collectively towards a new world whose vision we all carry within us. These visions feed us, propel us, inform us with a sense of purpose. They call us.

The question becomes, how do we take these higher visions and live into them in the small, daily, incremental gestures of our lives? How do we, collectively and individually, move the dial— one degree at a time—so that, like a steamship far out at sea, we make a minor course adjustment and end up at a far different point on the horizon?

We do it by making discreet, conscious choices at the most granular of levels that set a new pattern into motion. On an energetic level, these new choices have long-term, lasting impact. They are as significant as the great, sweeping acts that have come down through time.

My own teacher some 40+ years ago used to say that, on a spiritual level, there was no difference between Gandhi’s leading the salt march and going out of one’s way to help a needy person cross a street, or picking up what had been inadvertently dropped: it was about the intention. That is the ultimate measure. Each act sends out a vibratory frequency that is felt in the far reaches of the cosmos (the Butterfly Effect). Each has tremendous ripple effects, and one can never know nor underestimate the infinite implications of a conscious act borne of love and goodwill.

So where has our airport foursome led us so far? To an impromptu trip to Venice, to possible investments in what seems to be an extremely diligently researched fund, to a trans-Atlantic trip to participate in the annual Science and Non-Duality conference, and surely, to friendships that may long endure.

My next spontaneously shared meal resulted in a wonderful daylong expedition to recently-opened Tyrolean museum designed by Zaha Hadid with my new friend, a fine journalist from Munich and possible future Kosmos contributor.