The news shows us so many terrible things happening in our world. There is enormous confusion, war, terrorism and endless division caused by nations and organized religions driven by their own agendas. There are divisions within nations due to power struggles between political parties. There are divisions within the same religious groups due to differences in beliefs, ideas, and values.
We may get upset by what is happening in the world but the vast majority of people delegate responsibility to leaders or to care of ‘higher powers’. There are those who are very much disturbed by the events but do not find an adequate response to the sordid human situation.
With history constantly repeating, we have seen that human beings have not changed during the past thousands of years in spite of so much misery and sorrow arising out of conflicts between religions and nations.
The way things are at present it appears almost impossible that a drastic revolution can take place.
But resignation prevents us from looking at the problem with a fresh and open mind.
We need to look directly at the thought process that creates the problems in the first place. We need to ask why human beings constantly divide themselves into so many different cultural, religious and national identities and what are the implications of this whole divisive process?
There is no doubt that we inherit our culture and the various rules and rituals that go along with that culture. Our specific culture is intricately woven into our identity. I’m an American, I am Russian, I am a Christian, I am Islamic, I believe this, I don’t believe that.
But the real question is why do we stick to these cultural identities? Without thinking for ourselves we just follow beliefs and ideas passed down from past generations to direct our present day lives.
We get caught up in rituals, look to cultural leaders for belief systems, answers, and solutions to national as well as personal problems.
Identification with all these ideas and beliefs gives us a false sense of security. But as you may be able to see, through political and religious battles, our sense of security needs constant guarding, constant affirmation, constant protection. What kind of security is that?
Human Beings are the Same…
Amidst the various nations, cultures, religions, and belief systems there is a veil of irreconcilable differences that run our lives and the world in which we live.
But if we can see beyond the veil, there’s a clear revelation that deeply, inwardly human beings are the same.
We all feel grief, anxiety and uncertainty. We all suffer loneliness, conflict and confusion. We all feel the core pain of separation.
People may have different ideas and opinions, but the reason they get attached to ideas, beliefs, groups, nations, or religions is the same. The search for answers, security, and certainty are the same.
When we realize the fact that we are all fundamentally the same, our approach to the whole problem drastically changes. We are no longer caught up in superficial differences and belief systems, but address the root cause of dysfunction.
When we look at human history and what is happening now, the problem appears quite formidable. There is a feeling of helplessness because one thinks an individual cannot do anything to change in the status quo. This, however, is not true.
At the core, human beings share the same consciousness. This consciousness is the result of our relationship with each other. The individual and society are inextricably linked with each other and are constantly feeding each other. Any change in the mind of an individual is bound to affect the society and human consciousness.
The idea that “I will change only when others change” is negligent postponement of urgently needed action.
The real change does not lie somewhere outside; it lies in accepting responsibility for the mess that our own automated way of thinking creates.
Realizing the fact that all human beings are in the same predicament and that we share the same consciousness we must set aside our own particular ideas, beliefs, opinions and prejudices, likes and dislikes.
Without judgement, we can see the nature and structure of thought which creates problems for all human beings in the same way. Seeing this mechanism at work brings about a freedom from the mechanism, a profound inward revolution.
When we as individuals realize the significance of this freedom, we naturally share with others, enlarging the circle of individuals who are keen to respond in full measure to the whole human situation.
An individual who has insight becomes part of the blazing movement of understanding.
– Sardar Singh –
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