Interconnectedness of All Things

By Dr Tan Chin Yong

The law of conservation of matter states that matter/energy can neither be created nor destroyed. After the universe came into existence, no new matter has ever been created nor destroyed. All that we see in this universe are simply different forms of the same matter/energy. When a giant star runs out of fuel, it will explode in a supernova and in the process throws out massive amounts of matter/energy into space that becomes the basis of new stars and planets. The early universe contained only very simple elements such as Hydrogen and Helium. It was through multiple process of star births and deaths that heavier elements such as metals and carbon were formed. Eventually organic beings such as ourselves came into existence 13.8 billion years after the BIG BANG.

In truth, we are all made of star dust and intimately connected to all the stars and galaxies in the universe. Closer to home, science tells us that we are all part of the Earth’s Ecosystem. Our existence is dependent on all the other plants and animals which in turn depend on other beings in a cyclical loop. When we die, we become the sustenance for other beings which eventually become part of some other beings. We exchange air, water and organic matter with the rest of the ecosystem every second of every day. In that very literal sense, we are all interconnected in this world-wide-web of existence and are interdependent on every other living and non-living thing for our life.

As with the physical processes of birth, growth and death, what we think, say and do are also intimately connected to all other beings as well as the universe. Clearly our every action affects those around us in a good or bad way. As everyone is connected to everyone else on Earth by a maximum of only six person-to-person connections, all our actions affect everyone else in this tightly connected web. Like a spider web, a vibration at any point will reverberate to all other points of the web and rebound back. The reactions from everyone else on the web will come back to us at some point in time. Perhaps this is the basis of divine justice or karma. If we want to be truly happy, we must ensure that everyone else is happy too, otherwise our happiness will only be momentary before the negative consequences come back to us with interest.

By Dr Tan Chin Yong

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