Eastern Mennonite University

From Me to We: Embracing Membership in a Larger Whole

Dr. Dan Siegel

We are born to connect with one another. This is reflected in the
lifelong neural drive to link what is happening inside of our mental sea
with the inner lives of others. The field of science that documents the
earliest of these brain-to-brain and mind-to-mind connections is
Attachment Research.

When we examine the possible neurobiological underpinnings of these
important attachment discoveries, we come to understand the deep
mechanisms that help define the self in relationship. Seeing the
connections between the mind, the embodied brain, and our relationships
lets us come to view the “self” as a plural verb rather than a singular
noun. Being open to one’s own inner life with kindness, connecting to
another person, being a part of a group, being a member of a larger
community, and having a sense of meaning that emerges from
interconnections with a larger whole each form the foundation for a sense
of “we” that is at the core of a spiritual life.