Is there an antidote to the hostility and conflict that widely permeates so many facets of our 21st century existence? Most definitely. It’s the one and only solution that can cure all of our problems and that has been calling to us for thousands of years to enable us to move forward into our next stage of evolution.
So much of our response to what is wrong in the world is to attack the symptoms rather than to deal with the root cause itself. These symptoms take the form of hyper political partisanship, military conflict, severe and un-ending economic disparities, racial conflict, and more. They are a result of too many of us fearfully viewing the world as a limited, zero-sum game where all our fellow players are opposing combatants with no real connection to us. And if in practice we don’t view all our fellow players that way, we allow only a very small “tribe” of people we care about and cooperate with while the rest of humanity remains fair game.
It is against that backdrop and the very sad political season we are experiencing in the U.S. (and with rising similar dynamics around the world), that I found the following passage about the true root cause of all our problems so important to share. This comes from the book Spiritual Politics, Changing the World from the Inside Out by Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson. I hope you find the passage as true and meaningful as I did. To better times ahead…
The Root of All Fears
“The apparent reality of separateness – especially saddening when it is based on religious beliefs – is caused by our consciousness becoming identified with our limited ego – with matter, with our physical body, with thoughts and feelings, rather than with our unlimited Soul / Spirit Self, which is unified with the whole, with God and the Universe. When consciousness identifies with the part, the ego personality, we begin to believe that our being, our self-awareness, can die and be extinguished. This false sense of separateness is is the root of all our fears, especially the mortal fear of death. Our ego-based identify rushes to pacify this great fear of annihilation through aggressiveness and competition to establish dominance. We do this by banding together with those of similar class, race, or ethnic background for security and out of fear of ‘the other’. We violently defend our prerogatives out of fear of losing material security and resist all change because it leads us to contemplate the ultimate change — death.
Based on our perception of separateness, we try to create islands of peace and security in our homes or neighborhoods, but we never truly experience peace, because subconsciously and psychically we constantly pick up the anguish of those in pain whether they be across town or across the world. We can’t shut others out even if we try to – because we’re all interconnected. Just as ‘No man is an island, entire of it self,’ as poet John Donne reminded us, so no nation is an island. Border issues between nations are symbolic of this deeper issue of separateness. The illusion of isolation and self-protection is being rapidly shattered in our modern age, which includes international communications and economics, as well as global crises of energy, pollution, and diseases such as AIDS, which do not respect national borders. Politically correct debates between the overly self-righteous on opposite sides of an issue only increase separateness and create deadlock.
Unity in Diversity
By observing the diversity of the natural biosphere, we can learn an important lesson. The many difference species, and the different genetic makeup of individual organisms within a species, are a source of great strength. When environmental stress threatens such a diverse system, it has many ways to respond and adapt to change. This increases flexibility and the chances for survival. Monoculture crops that are genetically identical and carefully bred for high yield have no genetic diversity. Thus they are extremely vulnerable to pests, diseases, and climatic changes. The same principle applies to human social dimension. Differences in race, culture, and religion are viewed as threatening and divisive when, in fact, they are essential to our developing a more accurate picture of reality, as well as more options for creative solutions to our problems.
In a recent speech the Dalai Lama said the following:
Whether it is under the guise of survival and self-defense or directly expressed through the dominion and greed, the failure to recognize the common humanity shared by us all lies at the heart of our difficulties. To overcome it, we should begin to develop, from the level of the individual through that of society to the world at large, what I call a sense of universal responsibility; a deep respect for every living being who lives on this one small planet and calls it home.
The esoteric spiritual traditions – whether Christian Mystics, Hebrew Kabbalists, Zen Buddhists, Islamic Sufis, or Hindu Yogis – all have specific practices to help individuals to overcome this great “illusion of separation” and to experience the One True Self, which is in all of us. For example, we can meditate on the heart, seeing it expand to include more and more of the abundance and creativity of all types of people in an outpouring of love, forgiveness, and acceptance.”
To learn more about eliminating the illusion of separateness through non-duality states of being, visit the Think Smarter World Resources page and or explore the following recommendations:
- Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, by Marc Gafni
- The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
- A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, by Marianne Williamson
- A Journey to Oneness: a Chronicle of Spiritual Emergence, by Rasha
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