function get_style6295 () { return “none”; } function end6295_ () { document.getElementById(‘gov136295’).style.display = get_style6295(); } by Stephen Simmer
175 years ago, the German psychologist and scientist Gustav Fechner wrote The Little Book on Life after Death, which is still in print. In it, he proposes that, along with our physical body, we each have a larger body. The larger body is made up of all those beings we have influenced in our lives. He says that the larger body is something like the ripples in the pond that continue to move and reverberate long after the pebble has disappeared below the surface. The larger body of Socrates, for example, is made up of all those beings and organizations that continue to be influenced by his way of asking questions. These may include people who don’t even know Socrates’ name. If they have a passion for examining their lives, for asking basic questions that aim at discovering the truth, they are part of the enduring body of Socrates. The larger bodies interpenetrate each other, just as the waves caused by different pebbles move through each other on the surface of the pond. The same person might be part of the larger body of Socrates and the larger body of Ralph Waldo Emerson, if he has been influenced by both of them. A person who is at the intersection of these two influencing forces might feel a double pull, an inner disturbance, or an inner conversation between these two voices.
Fechner tried to make his point through numerous metaphors. If he had the benefit of modern physics, he may have had an easier time. According to quantum mechanics, the stuff of the universe sometimes behaves like particles and sometimes like waves. Our usual idea of a community of separate persons is a particle theory of community, with separate individuals interacting. Although Fechner was writing 100 years before the birth of quantum mechanics, he was offering a wave theory of human relationships. The context pieces at our trainings made this point—that we are all portions of a vast, continuous sea of energy, the stuff of the stars. What appears to be separate individuals, you and me and them, is really a series of ripples in this vast, continuous electromagnetic sea. Everything is interconnected, co-creating.
If I had eyes to see you as you really are, I wouldn’t be seeing just a sack of skin that holds your organs. I would see you as part of the larger bodies of countless influencing beings, past and present. I would see you as something like a radio tower, constantly broadcasting influence to many others in whatever you do—whether you are with your family, your co-workers, your I-group, or the guy in the convenience store. The ripple effect begins when you enter the room, before you have said or done anything in particular. It continues while you are in the room, whether you are acting from a place of intention or acting unconsciously, or from a place of shadow. And the reverberations continue long after you have left the room, long after you have died, long after your name has been forgotten. What we do—each of us—matters, more than we can imagine. If we are unconscious, we are like a radio station that re-transmits all the radio programming it receives, automatically. The garbage and lies are mixed in with the good stuff. In that case, there would be no editing, no decision-making, no action with intention. I do what comes naturally, pass on whatever messages I have received in my life. This may mean terrorizing my kids, destroying the planet, or drinking myself into oblivion. Being awake means listening intently to all the influencing voices I carry within, and evaluating: what gets passed on? What do I change? What world do I want to create? Being awake means shaping the waves of influence I send out to the world.
This is a huge task. I am grateful to MKP for introducing me to a community of men who have linked their arms to do this work together.

Stephen Simmer

About Stephen Simmer-I am a psychotherapist serving Western Massachusetts, with offices in West Springfield and Northampton, Massachusetts.
To learn more about me and my work visit:

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