There are many signs all around us that can help us to awaken from the illusion of our separateness, help us to awaken into an awareness of the larger whole to which we belong. Science has always been a form of revelation for me. For example, I am amazed when I think about DNA. All forms of life are propagated by this microscopic code. The human DNA includes elements in common with the DNA for yeast. Even microbes discovered deep within caves—bacteria that feed on poisonous chemicals and never enter the light of the sun—these strange bacteria also have a DNA code that has been measured by scientists. All life, as we know it, is written in the same language.
Our biological unity is present in the continuous interconnecting of all life on earth. It was bacteria that first began to create oxygen, billions of years ago, originally as a volatile waste product. Now, all of us are breathing oxygen every minute of every day.
Take a moment to notice yourself breathing right now.
As you breathe in, small molecules of oxygen are entering your lungs
and then passing through the membranes of its cells into your bloodstream;
from there those molecules flow to every cell in your body.
Imagine those oxygen molecules flowing down
into your belly, your legs, your toes.
Imagine the oxygen flowing up
into your arms, your face, your brain.
Without oxygen we cannot survive for even ten minutes. When we breathe, we bring into our bodies molecules that have been inhaled and exhaled by other beings. This air is common air. These molecules may have sailed here from the winds of Africa, or through the tempest of hurricanes in Japan. Lions may have roared these molecules; whales may have spewed them forth in a fountain above the sea.
Look at the trees outside your windows.
We breathe each moment with the trees.
As we breathe out, we release carbon dioxide into the air,
which the trees need for life.
As the trees breathe, they take in carbon dioxide
and exhale the oxygen that we need.
Breathing teaches us that we are one.