Author : Cyril Prince
The world is full of connections. Some of which we know and some of them we do not. Some of which so common and straightforward for our eyes to realize as we glance at them and some of them so complex and unfathomable for us to even imagine.
There are more connections than we can even think of between our bodies, our ecosystem, our world, our galaxy and even our universe. It is fascinating to know that even the atoms of iron in our blood that flow through our body came into earth because of stars exploding in our inter-galactic universe. During the beginning of life on earth there was little or no oxygen in the atmosphere. Without oxygen there would be no multi-cellular organisms, let alone other creatures. Luckily, for us there was one organism known as cyanobacteria which had the unique ability we now call photosynthesis. It took them billions of years to absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and build up the level of oxygen for organisms to thrive. The oxygen that we breathe today is being created by the descendants of the same cyanobacteria. So, there’s a subtle connection between the oxygen we breathe today and the organisms that lived during the beginning of life. While trying to study evolution, researchers found that humans did not evolve in a straight manner as many pictures and references of evolution show rather there had been innumerable interconnections and relations between the primates and finally got to the stage which we now know.
A topic of mathematics which is of major interest to mathematicians and scientists alike is Chaos Theory. Chaos Theory studies the dynamics and interconnectedness between systems. A topic which is really interesting in Chaos Theory is the Butterfly Effect. Butterfly effect is about how tiny changes in big systems can have complex results. The name of the effect was derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. Butterfly Effect truly shows us how intertwined is our world.
Connectedness is an element of almost every spiritual tradition of mankind throughout all of history. Spirituality, in a sense is nothing but finding the connection between the mind, body and soul. It is in having that unity that one finds peace. A good novel writer or a film writer is able to make subtle connections throughout the story and deliver them in a pleasing manner at the end. A good detective like Sherlock Holmes is able to find connections between the evidence, suspects and the victim. These connections help him to come out with a theory and eventually leads him to the perpetrator. All good scientists and mathematicians observe and discover meaningful connections between the elements of nature and try to use that knowledge for the benefit of humankind.
As I conclude, I want to quote a sentence from the book The Vocation of Man (1800) written by Johann Gottlieb Fichte.
“you could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby … changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole”