“We can never have any vigorous world culture by merely piling together certain isolated elements, selected from the present diversity of culture; that way, we shall only succeed in getting a patchwork of little vitality. A hodge-podge of collected ideas can never be a substitute for a direct and fresh perception of the Goal. The new world-culture will have to emerge from an integral vision of the Truth independent of existing traditions and not from the laborious process of selection and compilation of conserved values.”
“What is the meaning of God-Realization? It means to become one with God. By thinking and imagining, one can never become one with God. Union is possible only after the death of thoughts and imagination — the mind must die.
“How does a person know that he has realized God? It is automatic. You are a human being. Do you ever think to yourself, `Am I a human being?´ You do not ask yourself this because you are a human being. In the same way, once a man realizes God, he spontaneously knows that he is God. He has the full experience of it by personal experience.” Meher Baba
When we engage in life, especially with others, ‘what’ is it that connects us, even on the more obvious levels of existence? And contrarily, what is it, that dis-connects us from ourselves and everyone else at any moment? The answer is of course the same to both questions.
The outcomes of connection/disconnection to our humanity is generally regarded as based on trust/fear, love/hate, respect/defilement, oneness/alienation, richness/exploitation, action/reaction, and other polarities that all of us can list. Polarities, because it is difficult to do both at the same time as well as the exclusionary nature of the characteristic. Having trust is a lack of fear or having fear is a lack of trust.
Having a connection to our humanity is a natural occurrence that is indigenous to who we are, and in the negative, not so much whom we have become. Even in our darkest moments we have the ability to renew the ‘human’ element. This humanity, is the source of dharma and universal human values that emanate from the perennial field of Truth and Love. Humanity is the expression of this energy in the world in our life.
When and how we transact our life, moment-by-moment, is a diagnostic on our abilities to flow this energy constructively or destructively. At the subtler level of ’seeing’ (or not ‘seeing’) our thoughts constantly, we
can prevent an escalation of manifesting dishonor or skillfulness in our transactions, before their actualization. Having a glimpse of what can ‘be’ is a nice-to-have heads-up. When we quickly react without ’seeing’ we can trigger conditioning and old circuits that would cheapen our moments. However, there are clearly times when a quick reaction is the ‘right’ reaction and where waiting would exacerbate the situation. It is in these times that our true nature of humanity can be compelling.
The two scenarios that follow actually occurred under the rubric of “immediate attention”. There was no time to ponder, only time to act. To have ‘missed’ the timing would have meant a breach in the restoration of our human condition, that is mine, and the all the parties affected.
It was mid-1974 in the US Army in Nelligan, Germany. On post, Saturday lunch was being served in the mess hall with only a handful of soldiers sitting down to eat. At the round table next to mine was another soldier dressed in his civilian clothes, eating alone. One of the cooks on duty approached the adjoining table. He had taken off his metal buckled belt, grasping the leather end, and swinging it with the metal buckle flying to the other soldier’s head.
I knew who the cook was and he generally knew who I was as far as battalion and company. He was active in Army boxing and had the requisite upper body development. I did not have any real rank above this errant soldier. There was an E-6 in charge who was just watching quietly in the background. I got up, but not before a 2nd hit with the buckle brought blood from the sitting/eating enlisted man. I stepped in between the violence at which the cook began to threaten me. I stood there until the beaten man was able to leave the arena of the cafeteria. I was not hit or swung at despite the threats. Subsequently, I reported the incident to the chain-of-command.
The circumstances underscoring the beating may have had something to do with a bad drug deal. Even if true or if the circumstances were more egregious than this, it would not justify the inhumanity of personal violence and/or the inhumanity of doing nothing. It was something one can walk away from and have no regrets about where one’s humanity was in this uncertain chain of events.
The second scenario is more recent in that it happened in the administrative building of the county courthouse in the past 2 1/2 years. The two individuals involved worked for me in that bureaucracy.
I had just finished a conversation with the 1st employee, I heading away from her office and she heading down the hall to her office. The 1st employee was passing the 2nd employee’s office, whereupon she tripped on a projecting obstacle from that office. The 1st employee fell backwards and struck her head on the linoleum-tiled concrete floor, with an audible thud. The 2nd employee heard the noise and turned around to see what happened. She saw the 1st employee on the floor in pain, unable to get up. The 2nd employee proceeded to return to work on her desk as if nothing had happened or been witnessed. I heard it as well and immediately ran back giving assistance and subsequently going to the emergency room.
It should be noted that the two employees in question did not get along for years prior to this incident. A report was filed and given to the administration. The employee who was injured got appropriate treatment. Given the inhumanity of this incident, the relationship between the two employees did not improve. If one’s intrinsic humanity were present in the 2nd employee, the ‘right’ action would have occurred and the chronic problems between the two employees may have had an excellent chance of abating.
The choice and action of doing ’nothing’ is a deliberate choice. Just walking away or witnessing something in a situation we are clearly in, when our humanity demands us to do more, is a movement away from Self and a choice for separation and fear. Often if we have to think about it when there is no time to think about it, we limit our choice to what is “safe for me”, “convenient for me”, “don’t want to get involved”, “it doesn’t concern me”, propositions. These are all about “me”. That separateness is not the humanity we are all seeking in our lives. It is the mutuality of blindness that is a moving away from the awareness of no boundaries in Self.
Awareness has no boundaries. When we meditate or just ’See’, we see the foreground of the object of meditation and we see it in the backdrop of limitless Awareness. When we have “wandering mind”, we are told by our Awareness, that the mind is wandering. Our focus is usually not on the Awareness but on the foreground. The connection is in the permanence of Awareness. The foreground, our so-called life, is transitory. Our life is potential ground for effecting the informed qualitative energy of the deep Self. We imprint our humanity and the contemporaneous connection from the eternal backdrop, to the life we live now.
Our humanity is the expression of the infinite and the Oneness that Is, despite our over-investment in the foreground of our life. The ego/mind does not have the facility to properly process the uniqueness and diversity of the phenomena we encounter. This is why there cannot be rules for everything. Everything cannot be quantified. But we sure try to overthink things versus trying to see the difference between ‘Seeing’ and ‘thinking’.
Focusing more on the backdrop than on the obvious foreground is stating a clear preference for Being. This Is the connecting that supplies the light for lighting our lives with humanity and oneness. Spending more time in this venue is the ticket for fulfillment and integration of Self. We are only actors on this stage with our real self always abiding in the spaciousness and emptiness of everything. We are dharmic when we acknowledge/See “The Energy”. We are adharmic when we walk away from the knowledge of Self with the ego/mind resisting the Moment and fearing the future.
Be the backdrop of infinite potential first. Humanity follows.
1 thought on “THE HUMANITY OF US”
I really liked your using the two experiences you had as an example of being in the moment. Harrowing story about the Army – sad about the latter one at your former workplace. Thanks for writing this!