The illusion of separateness

The illusion of separateness

 

The illusion of separateness

As I have matured in life, I have learned that what I used to think of the world was not true. The older I get the more in doubt I have of my thoughts and beliefs. It seems clear to me that one of the biggest ones that I had was the illusion of separateness.

Illusion (UK band)I grew up like many people thinking of things in black and white terms. Things are wrong or right, you are a good person or an evil person. That is very easy and comforting to people. However it is also unhelpful and untrue. The fact is that everything and everyone is a mixture of helpful and unhelpful things. We all have things that are socially useful and things that are not socially or otherwise useful. No one is an angel, and no one is a devil.

As people it is easy to quickly judge others or things and assign them a value based on the emotions or thoughts we are thinking. However in my experience 99% of them have been proven false in time. We see things as discrete. A car is separate from the road right?  Yet what is the value of the car without the road? What is the meaning of the road without the motion? We see things in the most shallow sense of knowing and understanding.

Lets take something simple for an example. We might feel that someone is mad at us based on our observation of them. Yet if we ask them, we find out that their anger is about someone or something else. We think or feel we know something because of our limited experience. Yet, the more experience we have the less sure I am of anything.

What has been helpful to me is to be open to what life provides and as much as possible not judge things. When you don’t seek to force things into your opinions of how things should work, you become a much happier person. At least this has been my experience. When you don’t expect things because its “fair/right/expected”, you are more gracious and gratitude towards those you do get. When winning at something is the same as losing at something, you are gaining wisdom and insight.

For example, I used to be very competitive in games. I would play Monopoly like it was a life or death situation. The last time I played, I played to the best of my ability but I didn’t care if I won or not. Winning isn’t the point of life. What is the point? I would offer that anything that you want won’t make you happy, but only the things that you need.

I read a scientific survey that said that almost 75% of the US population was mentally unhealthy. I think this is because in our culture we mistake what we want that will make us happy with what makes us happy. But this isn’t about happiness. It is about the idea that we are lacking something, and that we are separate from everything that makes us happy.

I have learned that being balanced in my thoughts, feelings and activities have led to the greatest amount of life. What makes us feel separate and small is also an illusion. People have more in common than they what divides us. It is only our ego and arrogance that make us think that we are better or worse than each other. As I have grown I have seen that the more in touch with myself and my feelings and beliefs I become, the more I can relate to others in a compassionate and kind way.

The point and theme of sharing this with you is just to plant a seed that perhaps instead of looking for differences we should focus on interests and strengths. That instead of being intellectually cute, we be spiritually wise and open ourselves to the possibility that things are not what they seem.

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