Connectome of Compassion


are conscious by virtue of an intricate interplay of hundreds of billions of
neurons connected in trillions of ways and by their continuous complex
interconnection with the multitudinous processes within our bodies and the phenomenal

There is nothing untouched by these bonds of
connectedness. We are and have always been connected. We are everywhere connected:
to each other by the deep neural experience of empathy, with other forms of
life by the evolutionary interactions of survival, competition, cooperation, and
anchored by the supportive and suffocating pressures of culture, by the inexorable restructuring of our technology. Within this live web, we are continually exchanging
information, our heartbeats expressing the biosignatures of our being, manifesting
the wavelengths of our emotional lives throughout the mindcloud…knowing, being,
and becoming…always more…connected.

of us is tethered to everything else by the countless molecules of air we breathe,
interpenetrating gyres of cosmic radiation, and the gravitational equilibrium
of whole solar systems: incandescent plasma, mountainous boulders, frozen interplanetary
icebergs, and molten magma spinning silently within ponderously accelerating
galactic superclusters. Quantum entanglements unify the infinitesimal aspects
of our material and energetic selves, and precise cosmological constants
undergird the multiple dimensions of spacetime.

are manifold. We are networked. We are
the human nervous system of a filamentary intelligence emergent throughout the
multiverse, more aware of itself each nanosecond, expanding into the inexpressible
nothingness which informs a fractal holographic cosmos, whose internal
reflections mirror our mental processes, moving at the speed of thought.


For too
long estimations of our worth have resided in a sense of ourselves as
possessing the power of thought in a measure which we simply assumed must distinguish
us from the other creatures of the biosphere. And yet it is not prodigious
intelligence that bestows significance upon our position in Earth’s
evolutionary tree.

As a
result of a dawning ecological awareness of the crucial universality of our
interconnections with all of life, we are discovering that our greatest gift is compassion
and that it can emerge only to the degree we diminish our equally great capacity
for cruelty. This is the revelatory narrative of our destiny and the true
content of our evolutionary struggle. Resolving this inner turmoil – a surging
maelstrom to be managed during each moment we are alive – is our individual responsibility
and the ultimate collaborative project engaging our best collective effort.

Our humanity
is something to be achieved. Without experiencing empathy for all life and cultivating
an active and engaged sense of compassionate caring among our population, we are and do remain
quite inhuman. To live and reflect this awareness is the great and good work. Our
daily bread, after all, is love.*

Image: “Connectome of Compassion” by Tullio DeSantis, altered
painting and digital image, 2012



Filed under ARTology Now

2 responses to “Connectome of Compassion

  1. siani frazier

    It makes me feel mellow and clam like I’m floating and nothing can touch me. The colors give this picture depth.

  2. Keith Chalmers

    This picture is so my speed. The vision of beauty that no man can say they produced. The soft colors that live vibrantly in this picture are so very calming. I also see a brain in this picture inside the swirl of the galaxy. its slight but I see it very clearly. With the use of so many different colors as stars and small planets, it give off a almost majestic look and feel

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