Loving the Distance
But separation isn’t just useful as something to overcome. It’s also valuable in and of itself. As discussed before, we need our distance in its various forms, for it creates the individual and communal identities which let us feel safe when we engage across the gaps.
At the most basic level, we are literally separate physiological beings from other people. And in this sense, separateness is not our enemy at all, but our ally. We don’t share the same bodies, we don’t share the exact same space. We may be in close proximity, and we may even be in intimate physical contact, but as we discussed earlier, that “direct” connection is a comforting illusion. We’re separated by trillions of gaps within, including the gap(s) without. But in order to have that experience of connection with another – even an illusory one – we need to be separate autonomous individuals. You can’t be physically intimate with another person, if you don’t have a body of your own. And you can’t participate fully in the world, unless you have a distinct and separate body and mind, with which you connect to others.
Separation isn’t just a precursor to connection. It’s often a prerequisite.