We are witnessing how a virus-induced pandemic is repeatedly reducing humankind to an unprecedentedly disconnected and scattered state. The pandemic has alienated us from the warmth of the community and thrown us into socially distanced, disconnected corners of isolation. While physical isolation is more objective in nature and defined by the level and frequency of one’s social interactions, social disconnection is, on the other hand, very subjective and emotionally defined by the acute feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness.
Throughout the quarantine days, I was confined between the pale walls of my home, disconnected from my family, friends and colleagues. Although technology helped me to hyper-connect and hyper-communicate, it couldn’t help me to recuperate from the feeling of being disconnected and alienated. Nevertheless, the situation had given me an opportunity to contemplate various forms of disconnections, impacts and their semantic differences.
A ‘polysemous word’ is a word that has different meanings. Paradoxically, there are few extreme polysemous expansions where a word can even take on an opposite meaning. The word ‘disconnection’ is one of such beautiful polysemous words. There is a prevalent notion that the word ‘disconnection’ denotes something negative, painful, and destructive. This is true in many expenses like human relationships, communication, and networking. The root of this notion is that connection gives anything a form, helps to integrate, and functions in tandem. As the connection is lost, the subject loses its integrity and the purpose – disconnected strings of a guitar never play music!
On the other hand, there are situations where disconnections are truly unbinding, liberating, and positive. Deep meditation is a situation where a person ‘disconnects’ him/herself from the physical world and connects elsewhere. Being immersed in deep focus or in an intoxicated mood can also make a person feel disconnected from the present. Wouldn’t it be comical to imagine God getting disconnected from the devotee even as the sanctum door is closed tight?
Likewise, situations do exist where you must be ‘connected’ first to be ‘disconnected’. Reminisce, you were once connected through an umbilical cord and then a pair of hands physically ‘disconnected’ you. Once you have been recognized as a ‘disconnected being’, then you naturally tend to connect back to your mother through an ‘invisible’ cord. Ironically, whenever we discuss disconnections, we discuss connections too!