Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Holding Hands

"Side by Side"

This past Sunday I was watching the evening news, and a Mother's Day story came on - a story about twins born to a couple in Ohio. At first I paid little attention to it - just a "nice" feature to pay homage to the fact that it was Mother's Day.  

But as the story unfolded, I became utterly engrossed in it. What started out as a pleasant Mother's Day story turned into a moment of epiphany for me.

Two tiny twin girls had just been delivered into this world, and as they were delivered they were firmly holding each other's hands.  Lifting them from their mother's womb, the attending physician held up the  newborns so that everyone in the delivery room could see what was going on.  

There they were  - all wrinkled, red, shriveled up, hardly breathing, weighing no more than 3 or 4 pounds each. Their tiny little hands weren't simply touching. No, their fingers were entwined in a firm grasp with one another. They had been in the womb side-by-side and now they were somehow resolved to enter into this new life bound to one another, side-by-side and hand-in-hand.

I could hardly even look at that picture of those newborn infants. It was somehow so excruciatingly touching and wonderfully tender. My eyes flooded with tears. I also noticed that everyone in that delivery room was weeping, some were sobbing.  The mom and dad were in tears, hard-core doctors who had delivered thousands of babies were weeping at the sight, nurses, attendants, orderlies- all in tears at the presentation of two tiny infants lifted out of their mother's womb hand-in-hand, grasping onto one another "for dear life."

Sitting in front of a TV set watching the evening news became a moment of revelation for me, a thin-place experience of "transcendence."

I've been asking myself why I was so "taken" by the sight of those infants? Why was everyone in that delivery room so moved by it?  I have come to believe that we were all experiencing a moment of universal truth, and bathed in the experience of that truth, the only response was to weep at the beauty of it all.

Those hand-holding twins were an icon of the human condition.  They were somehow teaching us all a great wisdom: We all belong to one another. Our humanity is a shared humanity. We are destined to walk through life side-by-side, hand-in-hand, and if we don't, we will surely lose our way 

Interestingly enough, just yesterday someone asked me if I thought there was such a thing as Truth- Truth with a big "T."  

I immediately understood what this question implied. After all, some people think they have "cornered the market" on truth. They believe that their religion or lack of religion,  or their ideology or political philosophy has somehow captured the truth even when these so-called "truths"  can often be very different from the truths held by others. So maybe there is no such thing as Truth with a capital "T"- a Truth that applies to every human being?

I actually believe there is a common Truth,  and that it universally applies to our human condition.

I think it is universally "True" that borders and boundaries are all artificial. The idea of a separated, isolated individual is a myth, an artificial construct. We human beings "are" a complex web of relationship.  We "are" one another.  And we will never find the meaning of life and never be able to experience a deeper peace if we are cut off from one another, hiding within the walls of our artificial self. 

We are all born into this world side-by side, hand in hand, and our True destiny is to live our lives accordingly.

Two tiny newborn twins spoke this universal truth to me the other day and I wept at the experience of this revelation. 

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