Archive for the ‘I Am’ Tag

Hard-Wired for Connection and Community

                My hope is that I AM is a window into Truth, a glimpse into the miracle, the mystery and magic of who we really are, and of the basic nature of the connection and unity of all things~ Tom Shadyac

The documentary I Am ( the brainchild of director Tom Shadyac, whose film credits include hits like Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, and Liar, Liar.  Shadyac decided to make this documentary after a serious biking accident made him reevaluate his priorities and share publicly what he had been thinking about for years.  Once he had recovered, he set out with a camera crew to interview the great thinkers and scientists of our time, asking them what is wrong with our world and what we can do about it.

Interestingly enough, Shadyac found out instead what was right with the world.  One thing he discovered was that science has proven every human being is hard-wired for a compassionate response to the troubles of others, and that there is a measurable magnetic field given off by every human heart which can have a physiological effect on other living beings around us.

This “hard-wiring” comes in the form of the vagus nerve, which gives us the physiological response (the tearing of the eyes, the tension in the stomach) when we see others suffering.  One unexpected proponent of this was Charles Darwin, who said in his book The Descent of Man, “Sympathy is our strongest instinct.”  We are equipped, at the most basic level,  to empathize with others.

At one point in the documentary, Shadyac was in a scientific lab where electrodes had been connected to a Petri dish filled with yogurt containing live bacteria cultures.  Whenever Shadyac was shown a gruesome photo or asked a stress-filled question, the electrical charge in the yogurt increased, showing the bacteria’s response to his stress.  Researchers at the Institute of Noetic Sciences verified that this response reveals how every living thing is connected.

This interconnection of all living things should come as no surprise.  After all, the Triune God permeates all of creation:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men (John 1:1-4, NIV).

Shadyac’s documentary I Am provides more confirmation that the life that pulses through each one of us, through all living things, has its origin in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Because “…in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), we are all part of a greater whole and hard-wired for connection and community.  Once we finally embrace this, we will never feel separated, never alone.

~by Nan Kuhlman

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