Modern physics recognizes the whole universe as a web of dynamic relationships. The art of making connections is crucial in the primal religions of indigenous peoples, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Hinduism, Sufism, and Christian mysticism. This process is part and parcel of the growing movement toward healing the fundamental disease of our time — the fragmentation of the world into isolated parts.

Edward M. Hallowell, a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School and a psychiatrist for 20 years, believes that connectedness is the key to living a full and rounded life. He explores the twelve vital ties that give our days meaning: family of origin, immediate family, friends and community, work and activities, beauty, the past, nature and special places, pets and other animals, ideas and information, institutions and organizations, greater truth or spiritual faith, and yourself.

At one point Hallowell writes: "Like a vitamin deficiency, a human contact deficiency weakens the body, the mind, and the spirit." The challenge of our times is to rebuild connection in our lives by reaching out to others and by being part of something larger than ourselves.