The Illusion of Separation

Maples, Ashland, Oregon

Maples, Ashland, Oregon

Our Deadliest Mistake

We are conditioned by a myriad of forces in the world to believe a lie about ourselves. The lie is simply that we are alone. Because all we know is bounded by the five senses, and by the recall and re-experience of our memories, we believe that this is all that comprises us. We see beings around us, and because we don't live in their skins, we see them as other. Others are to be hated, feared, mistrusted, competed against, conquered, vanquished. We look for the differences, not the similarities.

Our world is an unhappy place of fear, of danger, of lack. The best we can seem to do is provide for our own safety and the safety of those most similar to us, and hang the rest. We work hard to distinguish ourselves, to stand out, to prevail against others, to survive at their expense.

By seeing our surroundings in this light, we ensure our own unhappiness. We may gain brief respite from our problems, but never a lasting peace, never a sense of oneness with nature or a loving Creator.

Identifying with this negative world view becomes a virtue, a "realistic" survival strategy that rewards us with a short, empty life, stress-filled days, and sleepless nights. We might, however, become lucky enough to be introduced to a meditative technique.

We sit quietly, as we are instructed, about twenty minutes twice a day, and a miraculous thing starts happening. We begin to have a direct and subtle experience of the Vedic worldview, which is that there is only one thing. If this is true, it becomes impossible to have enemies.

We discover that there are no others. There is just us.

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

James Madison

Shiva temple detail, Vrindavan, India

Shiva temple detail, Vrindavan, India