- Religion and Philosophy
Non Separation - Karmic Best Bet
Neither Better Nor Worse
One main step to editing some of our karma in this lifetime is to not separate ourselves from anyone. Though we might see ourselves as individuals, the difference between us is only skin-deep and truly minimal.
When we think of it, there are only so many ways anyone can react to any stimulus and I suspect that at various moments in our many lives – past and present - our reactions have been tainted by most of the colors on the palette: from petty and nasty to generous and heroic.
The bottom line, as I see it, is that we are neither better nor worse nor any more *unique* than any one pixel is from all other pixels that make up one huge panoramic billboard.
We are neither more nor less unique than all the other drops that make up the oceans.
It is therefore most unfortunate that so many children are brought up in the notion that they are ‘individual’ and ‘unique’ and ‘special’.
It is wonderful that each child is indeed so dear to each of their parents, however, as tiny little pixels amongst 6.6 billon others, they are not unique and neither are we.
As an aside, it would be a very useful thing for parents who teach moral values to their children to also teach them the link between good thoughts and the genuinely good intentions behind ‘good’ actions. The sooner a child learns his or her direct input to their own karma, the better because simply being ‘nice’ and well-behaved and a good student and doing the parents proud is really not what this is about.
Knowing - Understanding = Actively Accepting
When it comes to non-separation, what seems to happen is that we forget that we are *only* souls in disguise. By that I mean that we are only the vehicle, the host, for our souls, right?
Truth is, this is another concept that I have not yet totally integrated. I understand it with my mind, but it is not one I can readily apply to my perception of people around me. The idiot in the car in front is still an idiot in the car in front. The best I can do for him, but mostly for myself, is breathe in deeply and practice an active acceptance of What-Is.
Remember that we interpret things differently, you, me and everyone else in between. And we, mere actors, are taking our roles way too seriously. We forget that we are only play acting on a world stage defined, therefore limited, by our 'perception' of it.
So … our brain is full of ideas, most of them trivial and well beyond their use-by-date: some by a moment or two; some by a week or two; some by a decade or two; some by a hell of a lot longer.
If food, they would be too toxic to keep on our pantry shelves, yet we do not regard them as too toxic to guide the face behind the mask as we surf, sink, swim - and dunk or drown the other - through the peaks and troughs of our daily life.
Understanding all of this is easy enough for me, but I still have massive problems implementing the concept of universal love and of non-separation, as discussed so far.
The hard edge that is tattooed in my energy field, the one that slides in the minute I lose my focus on the moment, the one that blinds me to the awareness that the 'other' is not separate from me, is linked to the obscure insecurity that keeps me from basking contentedly in the pleasant life that I do have. It keeps me from just being.
It keeps me from being at peace with myself and it keeps me from hearing my soul's whispers. Hence the need to practice, practice, practice.
A graphic way to remember that separation is not a logical par-for-the-course is to remember that our human body is made of a myriad of things like high glam ones such as atoms and synapses, arteries and blood, organs and muscles. It is also made up of less glam components such as bone, cartilage, water, bowels, fat and skin.
Though clearly our society certainly favors muscles over fatty tissues, we cannot separate, we cannot pick and choose, the bits of karma we like and the bits we'd like to spit out.
Understanding non-separation is to understand that, just as we cannot be whole and healthy while missing even a fraction of our components, let alone separating muscle from fat, neither can we separate ourselves from anyone else, not even people we would normally not choose to be near. There is no healthy way to separate fat from sinew or atoms from bowels. Not while we are alive.
UNconditional Acceptance of What-Is
The good news is that when it comes to universal love, we don't actually have to go out of our way to act good or physically touch anyone.
The concept of equality is well entrenched in the constitution of most countries, but at best that equality only takes into account our physical and intellectual potentials.
Non-separation understands that rich or poor, dumb or bright, honest or criminal, karmically, we have all been there and done that, not only in greater or smaller ways in this life time but in spectacular ways, time and time again, in our previous lives.
To understand the concept of non-separation, it helps to see this lifetime as just another patch on the huge tapestry that each of our previous incarnations has woven for itself, with our soul onboard.
It is essential to admit that over the millennia our soul has not always inhabited such a reasonably well-balanced, harmless body, as she does in this lifetime
We Are SO Interdependent!
When I am serious about my practice of non-separation, I try to imagine myself and my students as so many pixels all interlocked with each other. Indeed, we are all inter-dependent on each other in the classroom and in the playground.
We know how inter-dependent we truly are the minute a school tragedy flares up.
The same inter-dependence becomes very graphic the moment a bomb goes off somewhere or a train derails. As a victim, if only of a fainting spell, we are on the whole ever so grateful when a passer-by gives us a helping hand and sees us to safety.
Would you Refuse?
It would be an unusual person who, in a weakened state, would refuse the help of a stranger. Unusual, too, the one who would consider the color of the skin and the faith of that stranger before accepting any sort of assistance - including CPR.
A more mundane awareness of non-separation is helpful in the classroom, my learning ground, my testing ground.
I need to remind myself that my interaction with my students is symbiotic. Should all my students decide en masse to become self-disciplined and active learners – a wish in my less enlightened moments – how would I test my own developmental processes and hone my skills? Where would my challenge lie?
Our differences are only skin-deep, most of us already know that, but since we ALL have a soul at the helm and since we ALL have an energy field, we impact on each other in ways we cannot imagine.
I have come to believe that we are as unique and different as cookies on a slab once the cookie-cutter has done its thing.
What universal love requires mostly is for us to alter our personal 'energy', not necessarily our behavior.
Similarly, when we 'go out of our way' to do a good deed but resent the hell out of it – we do not score points – bad energy.
When it is an ulterior motive that prompts us to do whatever for someone else, again no point scored – bad energy.
Where does that leave the *selfless* person who cares for a dependant, perhaps an elderly parent or a disabled child, but does so perfunctorily because only out of duty?
Whether it is in regards to our 'crap boss' or the teenager who gave us the finger or 'the bitch' who did ... whatever,non-separation is about practicing feeling energetically neutral.
No spikes of adrenaline.
No repressed anger.
If we respond in kind, a finger for a finger … tsk, tsk - more points in the red.
Besides, we all know how arguments can escalate out of nowhere.
Will It Be a Push? A Tug? A Shove?
Depending whether it is a simple blow to the head intended to awaken us from our cultural and personal torpor or whether our time for self-amendment has been overshot, sooner or later a wavelet, a wave or a tsunami will eventually reach ‘our’ personal shore at a specific time and place to hit us with what is intended to lead us to personal growth - personal growth through setbacks, hardship or through joy.
As the old adage states, What doesn’t break us makes us stronger.