22 May 2010

Zero degrees of separation

When I first heard of the ‘six degrees of separation’ idea I was excited because I knew there were only 5 people between me and David Bowie. No, I will not apologize for childish adoration I still have for him. We all need something that seems slightly inappropriate for our adult selves. Struck with a sudden feeling of closeness with David Bowie, the world became a much smaller place.

Last night I went out with a very good friend of mine whose husband had dinner with Madonna in her house in London. He was on the phone to her while we walked through Shoreditch. Madonna was probably a few feet away from him. Now, there is no such adoration for Madonna in my world – I mean she is OK – but it made realize that the world is shrinking yet again. Or maybe we have been wrong about there being any kind of separation.

Evidence to support the zero degrees of separation is everywhere. Let’s take physics – everything is connected. Or was it social sciences like anthropology that came up with that – man shapes and is shaped by her/his social relations. Or was it religion – God is everything and everywhere. Or laws of nature – ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Or the revolutionary research in biology that claims we can change our DNA by the power of our thoughts?

Or my bookshelves that contain books from all of the above disciplines, which happen to be connected in one thing – claiming that everything really is connected.

You see, there is an issue with my bookshelves. Those with ‘serious’ books and hard science are displayed in my living room. My friends admire them. In the bedroom, I keep a secret library of books that I know most my friends would mock. Why? Because I read self-help. Of course, only clever self-help. And you can see now that by apologizing I am hiding them from your view again. So I will stop, because everything is connected. Self-help and serious academic research are connected. This is what I realized after that phone call from Madonna’s house. To prove it to you, in my next post, I will write about what self-help and anthropology have to say about authenticity. It’s that thing that everybody is raving about. We have to be authentic, and there’s only one way to be authentic – that old tune. So stay tuned…

How else I know that everything is connected? Well, I write this blog thinking that no one really reads it. But recently, several people emailed me and told me they are my readers. We are connected. It’s nice. This one is for you, guys.