“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.” Albert Einstein
Is the universe all separate and disconnected, working at different purposes? Or are there essential principles that explain the variations and diversity? Calendars, the measurement of time, and solar/lunar predictability, all are derivative of the laws of the physical universe. Tides, seasons, and the flunking of planets have their source in these astral studies. There is an underlying coherence and value that is not discernible to the naked eye, when we view the diverse peculiarities of galaxies, novas, black holes, and quasars.
If we are stardust, why does it sometimes feel so separate? If we are the universe where does our agenda come in?
The end of compassion is the complete lack of separation between self and others. It is the point of selflessness in action/being. It cannot be that the ‘physical’ universe has all the answers. The ‘outer’ phenomena is the outcome, the reaction, the result. It is not the progenitor or the Cause.
If we are the Cause, then we are the Universe. The physical part is not the substantive part. The seeming separation is also the phenomena, which makes it the physical universe. This is not the full reality. Reality is Oneness, the unity in the diversity, the subtleness, not the parade.
But looking at all the above, what are we constantly soaking in, most of our life time? The clear majority of our time is probably being spent in striving, jiving, and conniving self-aggrandizement. This of course is the parade. The parade is just a show. It is not where the real ‘action’ takes place. It is more like reaction. How we handle the phenomena, is imperative and has long-term implications. There are physical and cosmic consequences to our actions, inactions, and reactions.
The results of this external cosmic play are the ‘residuals’ that keep the game going on, the futility compounded, and the cost of suffering squared, that is, the cycle of birth and death regenerating. Not too cool.
“I strive to do good.” That can be analogous to striving to breathe when we already are doing the breath thing effortlessly. The ’striving’ is a loading on the “Being”. We know that striving ‘appears’ pedestrian and totally utilitarian. But it is not useful in the least when it interferes with a process like breathing, that needs no additional complication/direction. In other words, forcing or “pushing” even in so-called traditional ways, is not the ticket. The “I” does not feel any less uncomfortable than it usually feels when we unnecessarily ‘push’. Striving in spirituality finds the “I” aggrandized.
“Being” is enough. “Being” is just happening effortlessly. It is us ‘unplugged’ and un-programmed by our conditioning. Part of Being is Seeing. Without “Seeing” there is no “Being”. Neither characteristic can be separated. In this type of “Seeing” there is no loading of “Seeing”. Loading would be superfluous in that “Being” is always complete. There is one word for this in Sanskrit, Satchitananda (Being, Awareness, Bliss). The separateness is in the mind.
Connecting to the here and now is the access needed to pursue the connection to the industrial strength qualities present when aligning with the “Universe”, sometimes known as ‘Self’. Awareness changes the way we process internal reactions. Interestingly, the content of an old reactive pattern that seemingly won’t go away, can be neutralized with the vigor of the reaction. As the destructive conditioning goes deeper, the reactiveness is stronger. When seen “fully”, the strength of the reaction can pull out the slipperiness that has contributed to its elusiveness and chronicity. The fullness of unbridled Awareness coupled with a predictable over-the-top reactivity, can unload the stuck energy pattern, making it appear as unnecessary, ridiculous and superfluous. The subsequent ‘aha’ moment is the realization of the futility in our life as it really is, anyway. The key being the utilization of all the tools the Universe has given us in ‘any’ Moment.
We stop doing the opposite of skillful when we realize the choices we have been making did not have all the clarity needed, juxtaposed against the routinized society-driven and sanctioned prototypical responses. The allowance of giving ourselves greater consciousness allows the alignment of ‘everything’ to be available to be used just like the Universe uses, except through us. If we were the ones stopping this allowance, then we are the ones now allowing it to happen. And, it just happens, without ‘pushing’ or owning.
We all came in, as neonates, with the Universe and a Self that had no boundaries. Margaret Mahler’s separation-individuation theory of early childhood development contends that individuation occurs epigenetically forming a stability for adulthood. Jean Piaget’s object permanence and internal representation of ‘mother’ at about age 3 allows us further movement and independence. Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development stages state clear developmental tasks that need successful completion to become ‘normal’ adults without significant issues. All the above are necessary for individuation. However, the movement is going from the undifferentiated to the differentiated and never a thought again about the necessity of the undifferentiated potentiality. Theorists have not given any utility to the platform where everything has taken off from. That potentiality is everything. Is there no utility there, other than a starting point?!
Having the spaciousness to Be versus lacking the inner space to become, is the question. In order to Be the Universe we cannot conversely ‘be’ the ego/mind. The Source, the potential, the emptiness, is still present within us now. When we limit our Space we limit our potentiality to Be. We limit by controlling and owning from the fiction called the ego, which we have developmentally aggrandized to an enormous size. It’s falseness is made apparent with the unnecessary suffering which highlights it’s instability. There is no stopping it’s voracious appetite. It is uncentered and not content.
To pursue the spaciousness we need to Be, we create space. We create space by letting go of limitations and conditioning we have imposed on ourselves. Not unlike clearing our Mac of unnecessary files so we can have more hard drive available to do stuff we really like, we clear out the clutter by an increased level of Awareness. Our “Being” depends on it.
When we came into this world, we were the Universe undifferentiated. Upon leaving this world, we can be aligned with the undifferentiated and be one with everyone, no exclusions. The ‘separateness’ we think we now see becomes an identified illusion. The developmental task we all are challenged by, is going back to this undifferentiated state with consciousness. This is our greatest opportunity to do the greatest good for ourselves and others.
When we lose the artificial separateness that prompts the disease called hate and war, we allow the natural organic Love of compassion to fill the space we create, effortlessly. It does not descend from above or anywhere outside of ourselves. It emerges from within, the depth of Silence. This is the starting point of our life when we were born and it is the starting point of this very Moment where we are born and renewed constantly. It is a freshness that is authentic and holistically full.