There is no separation!
Our society breeds the idea of unity, togetherness, and peace. While all of it appears wonderful on the surface, there’re many contradictions in reality. The utopian ideas tickle the fantasy of a dull mind – a mind that conforms to every idea without questioning. The result is conflict, chaos, and wars. We have not learned from history.
We live under the safety nets of our own psychological projections, not recognizing their volatility. The thing is that our minds create a projection of the world. We never really see anything for what it is. We see only our own projections. We isolate problems and try to find solutions. However, no problem lives in isolation.
The wars, climate change, environmental apathy, violence, and so on and so forth do not exist in isolation. When we say that we want the world to be a better place, we assume what better means. Who defines what is better? Isn’t betterment a psychological projection? Things are better when the world moves the way I want it to. It is my ego that thinks it knows the basis of cosmic law – the total functioning or phenomenality.
In other words, the false assumption is that I know what’s best. Therefore, I entask myself to save this dying world. I self-designate myself as the change bearer. We navigate this world through the limited conceptual map that comes about through past conditioning. No matter how effective you think your map is, it is incomplete.
We may be experts in our fields, but we fail to recognize that nothing happens on its own. Life is intricately interwoven, and nothing exists independently. Therefore, every solution to an issue brings about more problems when we operate from a limited consciousness.
No one designated you to save the world or change humanity. You assumed it yourself. So am I saying that we should become passive and not raise our voices against injustice, wars, violence, climate change, and so on? Not at all. That’s not the point. You have the right to speak your mind on issues that hold relevance in your life. Life is all about relationships and action; therefore, action has to happen.
Take action with full conviction knowing that the outcome is not in your control. You are not the change bearer. The change happens as per the cosmic law and not through your doing. You do not have any control over the cosmic law. The link of interconnected opposites is the very nature of duality; there’s nothing you can do to change that.
I’m not even saying be the change you want to see in the world. Do you really know what you want to be? I’m saying just “be” and let the change happen through cosmic law. Why do you take the burden of being the agency of change? That is interfering with cosmic functioning. Speak your mind and give people the opportunity to reflect and come to a conclusion. Know that not everyone will come to the same conclusion as yours. You cannot break this duality through personal effort.
You “do” whatever you think you should do. Remember that all your ideas and beliefs come from limited thinking, and the dysfunction you see in the world reflects your own dysfunction. There is contraction, violence, unrest, and confusion within you. The world is only your projection. When I want to debunk and expose the hypocrisy of people, I forget that I’m diverting attention from my own issues. The hypocrisy caused by the division is within me and not out there. While I dismiss my personal conflicts to tackle world problems, I forget that their origin is within “me.”
The problem with the “me”-mind is that it is blind to its own unconsciousness. A majority of our conflicts stem from seeing things through a personalized lens. When the lens is dirty, we see a murky image and conclude that the world is horrible. When the perception is filtered and distorted through the lens of personal biases and prejudices, it becomes difficult to see things as they are.
Is violence separate from “me?” I live in the division, and my conceptual map of the world is born out of that division. I repeatedly expose myself to ideas that conform to the conclusion I have drawn about the world. The fragmented mind is weak and fickle. It gets easily swayed in any direction. It lacks the capacity to investigate and go deep into the nature of problems. In the process, it becomes more fragmented and fragile.
With the advent of social media and information technology, we have become obsessed with acquiring information. Very few have the capacity to pause and reflect. We are continuously immersed in our gadgets and devices. We overload our brain, which is not designed to handle so much information.
Earlier, we used to listen to experts with known credentials; now, we listen to random people on the internet without any known expertise. In that, we are not much different from the previous generations who blindly followed everything without questioning.
We have had great leaders and propaganda in the past, but the fundamental human nature has not changed. We wish to overthrow one socio-political and economic system in favor of the other, hoping things will change for the better. We wish to replace one set of beliefs with another, thinking it will benefit the world.
Eventually, every system becomes the monster it fights. Corruption seeps into everything, as that is how nature has been designed. We can have a stable system, but not a perfect one where stability itself will never be a constant feature.
Our political (and spiritual) leaders give a future vision and convince us that great things are about to happen. We blindly believe them because their promises conform to our idealistic projection of the world. If you observe carefully, you’ll notice that only the nature of suffering changes, but the suffering remains in some form or the other. No matter how well conceived, every system behaves in an authoritarian manner from time to time.
Scientific and technological advancements have brought great conveniences, which have reduced physical effort, but now we see a great rise in psychological ailments. The social-media allows the convenience of effortlessly connecting with others, but is it the same as meeting people in person?
Take a look at your Twitter feeds, and you’ll see what is happening. It takes effort and courage to approach someone in person and say “hi,” which is usually reciprocated with similar warmth because they appreciate your making the effort. Compare that with an anonymous DM that you receive on social media. There’s no energy there. It’s dead.
People hide behind pseudonyms and start wars on social media on the most irrelevant topics. The premise behind such arguments is, “How dare you disagree with my viewpoint?” We talk about growth and maturity but remain confined to our thought bubbles. Maturity is the recognition that in this world of plurality and diversity, people have a right to be the way they are. Our labeling of how people should or should not be is our concern and not theirs. It’s got nothing to do with how the world is.
When things are seen for the way they are, there cannot be a conclusion (fixed opinion) about anything. Then the world is not conceptualized as good or evil, moral and immoral, and so on. It is precisely seen the way it is without a filtered perception. The moment we arrive at a conclusion, we have created the dualistic subject-object split.
The subject is the sense of personal identification as a separate entity with a name and form or the conceptual thought “me” that colors every experience according to preconceived beliefs and ideas. There is no newness to the experience as the mind conforms to the old pattern of beliefs. Without newness, no intelligent action takes place. We react to problems in the same old-fashioned and conditioned manner.
Therefore, I desperately look for a solution, but only willing to accept the solution that conforms to my pre-existing belief structure and thinking patterns. Isn’t this our greatest paradox? I desire to be free, but I keep acting in a manner that strengthens my beliefs.
For example, humans segregate and draw geographical boundaries based on thinking and create nations claiming ownership over land and resources, which leads to external and internal disputes, war, violence, poverty, inequality, discrimination, environmental degradation, climate change, and so on.
People seek solutions for the above problems, but no solution can come from the same thinking that created the problems in the first place. Do you see the paradox? We desire novelty but are unwilling to let go of old thinking patterns. We remain absorbed in self-centered thinking, which gives rise to self-centered and conditioned reactions.
We talk about love, compassion, unity, and universal brotherhood, but deep down, we are conflicted and confused. This conflict breeds violence, chaos, and anarchy. We become so obsessed with finding solutions that we ignore the nature of problems. The greatest deception of human beings is that we think we are separate from our environment.
The belief in separation gives rise to fear which perpetuates conflict and violence. To counter the pain of separation, the entity “me” seeks refuge in history, culture, religion, ideologies, nationalism, racism, and philosophy. These are all based on divisions. Therefore, “me” is a fragmentation that keeps changing. It seeks comfort or a sense of inward security by being part of the collective. It seeks refuge in conformation because that seems safe.
I am not separate from the movement. I am the movement. I am my beliefs, ideas, feelings, emotions, sensations, and so on. Our greatest handicap lies in abandoning critical thinking. Critical thinking is the seed that leads to flowering. While we are not in control of when the flowering will happen, the possibility of flowering cannot happen without sowing the seeds. Therefore, use your intellect to question everything; every idea; every belief; why we do what we do.
Diversity in opinions is not a bad thing. In fact, it is wonderful because it gives us a chance to investigate our worldview. We don’t have to agree with everything. Allow yourself to investigate and reflect on the nature of things. Once I recognize the common essence behind appearances, there cannot be a conflict. The conflict comes out of separation, which further leads to suffering.
You are the world. It is not out there somewhere. Ramana Maharshi said don’t worry about the world, be concerned with what’s going on within you. While this pointer seems selfish on the surface, when each of us lights our own lamp, the whole world gets illuminated.