- Education and Science
The writer just shy of his 76th birthday
One of Humanity's greatest aspirations
To bring heartfelt feelings of human belongingness to others has to be one of Humanity’s grandest aspirations. Really good people, spiritually-inclined but not necessarily religious people, want to contribute to this belongingness. They desire to unite the world. Make for a happier, more peaceful place. Such know that this is love in action. For it is in the bringing, in the action – and even the memory of these – that great satisfaction is found. Moreover this satisfaction, this joy, comes even more the giver than to those who receive. But few of us are motivated to promoting belongingness.
This beautiful little river is only ten minutes walk from my home
We see ourselves as being at the centre of a circle
Most of us see ourselves primarily as discrete and completely separate entities, individuals surrounded by other discrete entities. Some of these we favor for various reasons: others we do not. The favoring comes from our conditioning. What is instilled into us. In a way, you could say we’re at the centre of a circle. We have people close, almost touching, others a bit further away, and others further away again. And right outside of the furthest circle we have ‘Them.’ ‘Them’ are those nebulous people (or even nations of people) who cause us so much angst – or we believe they do. These are generally people we’ve never met, never been able to identify with, and who in some cases it is almost anathema to even think about let alone associate with. They are the bogeymen in our universe. They’re the baddies.
A pleasant place to stroll
The idea that we are All One never enters our consciousness
The idea that we are All One never enters our consciousness. It is a concept that is incomprehensible to most of us. Yet today Science is pointing more and more towards this Oneness, and if this is true, then human belongingness is innate.
On the downside, the words, “These are my people,” takes on a much more invidious role than simply one of family, friendship and compatibility. It means “Us against Them.”
These ‘Them’ are dehumanized by those within our own inner circle, those with whom we cohabitate, be that in our home, or our place of work. ‘They’ are in a sense, ‘the enemy.’ They compete with us. They take up our space. They help themselves to what we want. They encroach upon our time. They are more than a bloody, nuisance. We wish they did not exist.
How beautiful this world of ours if we only stop to see
Why do we assume only some people are acceptable as equals?
In the old BBC comedy, Until Death Do Us Part,” the anti-hero, Alf Garnett, stated, “Wogs begin at Calais.” In effect, he was deliberately portraying an aspect of many British citizens of the day that English-born people were acceptable as equals to him, and that anyone who wasn’t born in the United Kingdom – and even here one suspects only certain parts of the United Kingdom were acceptable to Alf, Scots, Irish and Welsh all being a little bit suspect or below par – were in a phrase ‘all right.’ They are ‘Us.’
Them and us. They are the enemy...or are they?
When it came to persons outside of Western Europe Alf’s disparagement grew even greater. People of other cultures, other races, other religions were regarded in the ‘Them’ category. Little wonder then, with this sort of bigotry still largely rife in the world we have a long way to go before Planet Earth is united in loving peace.
Mangroves along the riverbank, a home to many river dwellers
You and me against the world - a sad, sad song
There was a popular song out a few decades back. It was called ‘You and Me Against the World.’ And when I heard its lyrics I felt a certain melancholy, a sadness, that it could come to this: that a person could think that only one other human being in the whole world was included in his ‘Us,’ and that everyone else was ‘Them.’ What happens if his one other leaves, him or dies? Then all others are Them!
Gangs of teenagers often fall into this same sort of thinking and acting. And woe betides anyone in the gang who does not conform. Do such people need enemies or people not acceptable to themselves to find an identity? I think this could well be the case.
So what can we – personally - do to bring about a world more united in loving peace?
How can we personally make the world more pleasant to live in?
Two things, as I see it. Firstly, we can examine our own beliefs and discover which of them are based in real truth and which are just ‘hand me downs’ from other people’s ideas which we have blindly accepted. Then we can endeavour to dissolve those erroneous ideas from our habitual thinking.
The second: once we have found some profound truth which we know is true, as distinct from what we believe is true, we seek to pass this on to whoever is open-minded enough to want to listen to it. The focus here: to those who are willing to learn about it. Foisting our truth on others when they don’t want to know about it will not help.
Serious, long term meditational practices are an example of the former. You’ll be surprised at the insights you will garner from stillness.
And the second? This Hub is an example of the latter. Hope you got something out of it.