The Big Picture
I’m not here to say that there is one big picture perspective that is ‘the truth’. No. The big picture is simply your unique perspective after weighing up as much of the information as possible and, here’s the key, finding a connection between it all. Can you see the underlying pattern behind our global events? What’s really going on?
Of course, seeing the big picture is heavily influenced by our social, cultural and spiritual viewpoints. A white American Atheist is highly likely (but not necessarily) going to see a different big picture perspective to, let’s say a Buddhist monk from India. It’s not important whose perspective is correct. As individual ‘truths’ they hold equal weight. So, what’s your individual big picture perspective? Remember, it is YOUR individual perspective and thus carries equal weight, no more, no less, to others, no matter how misinformed they appear to be.
And never be afraid to stop there. Keep expanding your perspective by asking questions. It is simply your current map of reality, which is affected by your background, experiences and knowledge, and thus should not be clung to – this would likely be an attempt to fix and stabilise our reality. But reality is not like that – it is a fluid entity, ever changing from moment to moment – thus your map of reality can reflect this as much as possible.
The relationship between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm
We see this everywhere: nature, geometry, climate, our bodies, political and economic systems. The macrocosm and the microcosm are reflections of each other. Our actions send ripples into the world around us, which then get reflected back to us. Many people are shocked by the recent election of Donald Trump in America. But, he is a very interesting reflection of two opposing perspectives. Firstly, the consumptive, exploitative, selfishness that has plagued the human race for generations which is finally no longer being swept under the carpet, and secondly the realisation that our current political system just doesn’t work – a desire for change. (For a more detailed explanation of microcosm and macrocosm see this article at New World Encyclopedia.
So, how does this apply to our big and small pictures? Our big picture (macrocosm) is also a reflection of our little picture (microcosm). The question is, how can we work with the microcosm (ourselves) in order to positively influence the macrocosm?
The Little Picture
Do you want to curl up into a ball when you here about all the atrocities happening around the world right now? I know I do. There’s a definite pull to make myself a nice hot mug of Coco and lose myself in a fantasy novel. But, this would be denying my feelings, which want to express themselves. By denying your feelings (the microcosm/small picture) you are simultaneously denying the macrocosm/big picture. You are searching for a way to placate the feelings by reminding yourself of warmer, lighter parts of you. But, this is not how true healing takes place.
Here's a fantastic article on 'spiritual bypassing', which means when we use spirituality to ignore our shadow side, only focusing on 'love and light'. Whether spiritual or not, we have all experienced this at some point.
In order for true healing to take place in these times, one has to confront all the tightness and stress that comes up and move through it. By doing so we attain those coveted feelings of equilibrium, not by pretending that the other feelings are not there, but by finding ourselves within them. This is true alchemy.
So, how might we do this?
Honour the feelings and find the 'real you' within them
It’s of paramount importance that we honour our feelings, no matter how uncomfortable they might be, and that means that we find a way to express them. By doing this we are integrating all parts of ourselves and thus becoming whole. I was blown away by the recent campaign to raise awareness of male suicide in the UK. It can be difficult for men to cry.
Here’s the video.
After we’ve honoured the feelings by expressing them, we can work with ourselves in order to integrate them again into a more equilibrated version of ourselves. Thus, we can ask, what is this event reflecting to me? For example me way witness the apparent rise of racial hatred across the world (finally the outer world is reflecting what was always there in so many individuals – it is just no longer hidden). This can makes us feel angry, resentful and afraid. So, we express those feelings by shouting, crying, writing, singing, curling up into a ball – whatever is right for us as individuals (of course we must take care to do this in a way that doesn’t project on or harm others). But, then we can look at what this is really telling us about ourselves. What it’s telling us is that we care. We have compassion and we want to see the compassion that we feel reflected in the world. Well then, what are we waiting for? The only way this is going to happen is if we express that compassion. Thus we show those who are reacting out of fear that there is another way.
Putting the big picture and the small picture together
To varying degrees we all have the ability to work with the big picture and the small picture within ourselves. Some may see the big picture more clearly than others. Others may be more in tune with and better at expressing their feelings. We can call the ability to see the big picture and thus challenge the small picture as our catalyctic side, and we can see the ability to tune into global and individual feelings and express them as our empathic side. The challenge is first to aware of your overall configuration. Some may be stronger in one then the other. Second, it’s to establish a relationship between the two so that they may work together.
To do this we simply need to get to know ourselves. Fell what wants to come through in any given moment. Do you feel to express a bigger picture perspective or do you feel that the smaller picture wants to come through. Don’t deny either if it wants to come. You will hopefully have a sense that it is the right expression in that moment.
What will you do the next time you hear or read about something that shakes you to your core? Or, more to the point, how will you feel to be?
My name is Richard. I love to write, and here you can find my general musings, observations and articles. Enjoy!
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