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Lacking the security that comes from "knowing" our role in the cosmos, we have become demonically obsessed with ever-increasing power and control, trying to remold the earth until everything becomes a "resource" to use. Ironically, if predictably, this has not been providing the sense of security and meaning that we seek.

Culturally as well as individually, we have become more anxious and confused. Just as there is no need to get rid of the separate self, because it is a delusion, so there is no need to return to nature, because we have never left it. The Earth is not only our home, it is our mother. In fact, our relationship is even more intimate, because we can never cut the umbilical cord. The air, water, and food that pass through us have always been part of a greater holistic system that circulates through us.

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If this is an accurate description of our collective situation, the ecological crisis requires more than a technological response. We must recognize that we are an integral part of the natural world and embrace our responsibility for its welfare, for the well-being of the biosphere ultimately cannot be distinguished from our own well-being.

‘Illusion of Separateness’ by Simon Van Booy

But how does realizing our nonduality with the Earth resolve the basic anxiety that haunts us now, because we must create our own meaning in a world where God has died? Like it or not, today we are called upon to serve a vital function: the long-term task of repairing the rupture between us and Mother Earth. That healing will transform us as much as the biosphere. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.

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Taoism 4 - The Illusion of Separateness

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Impact: This New World. Hugo engage in a tense, but ultimately inconsequential standoff in a field in war-torn France.

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Others, like when Martin cradles the dying Mr. Hugo in the book's opening pages, seem like contrivances meant to give the narrative the appearance of structure and meaning. These pivot points serve only as distraction from Van Booy's masterful prose.

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His characters are dazzling when they're not being forced to support the wobbly plot. From minimalistic sentences he wrings out maximum impact, stripping away artifice and elaboration in favor of stark, emotional clarity and honesty. They feel like short stories unto themselves, as in Mr. Hugo's bleak recitation of his experiences after his questionable release from a rehabilitation hospital: "Driven to Gare du Nord.

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    Simon Van Booy: "The Illusion Of Separateness" - Diane Rehm

    The Amelia chapters, in particular, are replete with beautiful imagery, as Van Booy explores the sensory world of someone without sight in rich, poetic flourishes. Everything has a voice. Our house was once a flock of trees in the wilderness. Though the overarching story never quite jells, great talent can be found at the heart of "The Illusion of Separateness," and Van Booy impresses with his ability to make even the smallest moments seem grand.