High Museum Walls
Creative Commons License photo credit: nate steiner

A body bound consciousness senses the world with just 5 highly limited apparatus, which send signals to the brain. The brain then interprets those signals and presents you with your world. You have a body and across some “space” (which happens in reality to be teeming) other people have bodies. There you are, an individual, and there they are. Distinct separations. However you’ve been fooled. There is no separation and the only reason you think you are you is because you have experienced a persistent feeling of I-ness. You also experience this “I” as distinct. As separate. As continuous. But you only began to experience your “I” once you had a body. So your “I” is dependent upon you having a body. It’s connected and in reality dependent.

And what of the body? If I cut off your arm and asked you – is this your body? You would say no, that is not my body that is my arm. If I showed you each of your 100 trillion cells and asked you if that was your body you would say no, that is my cell. So what body is there? Your body just like your “I” is a concept. Concepts are approximations of reality not reality itself. Your body does not exist as you perceive it to exist. Nor do you.

Even though perhaps intellectually you may at this point understand what I have just said, by tomorrow or even in the next moment you will behave as if you are separate. As an example you’ll get annoyed at “someone else” who behaves carelessly towards you. Years of putting up imaginary boundaries means that it takes time to pull them back down. Even if they don’t really exist.

And why would you want to pull those imaginary walls down? After all they protect you right? They protect you just as they cause you to feel isolated, alone and depressed. They stop you from really loving anyone. Conditional love is not real love. It’s selfishness. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. I am not talking about romantic love. The vast majority of love as expressed by us humans is conditional. We are all deeply selfish. This is a direct result of seeing ourselves as separate. We are thus ignorant of the manner of our real existence. With such a state of affairs it is difficult to see how our love could be anything but conditional.

Let me show you how I come to the statement that real love is unconditional. Consider someone you love or even a very good friend. If you have a good relationship with your mother consider your mother. For me the love from my mother is a very good example of relatively condition free love. The one condition being I am her son of course. Beyond that I could probably kill ten people, get caught with a pile of evidence and if I told her I didn’t do it she would believe me and still love me regardless. I am after all flesh of her flesh. There is a very deep connection there.

Now consider what would happen to your love for whoever you chose for this exercise if that person started being abusive to you – verbal, physical or mental, it does not matter. If they started stealing from you. Started telling other people lies about you. How long would it take before your “love” dried up? What I’m saying is you do not actually love that person to begin with. You loved what you got from them. You loved what it was they did for you. You loved the conditions of the relationship. Soon as you do not like the conditions of the relationship or do not like what you are getting from the person you magically don’t love that person any more. It’s not magic because I propose you did not actually in reality love that person to begin with. Well, that may be a bit extreme. I think there are always flashes of real love and that is when we are at our best and usually when we feel our best. However they are few and far between.

Now consider a stranger you pass in the street. You probably feel very little to nothing in regards to any particular one of them. But say you are in a hurry to get somewhere for something that is important to you. You’re moving through the crowd of people when suddenly you’re blocked from going any faster by a group of people all walking really slow. Chances are you’ll feel a little irritated at these strangers. They have done something that you perceive as injurious to your self. Remember this is the very self that doesn’t exist the way you think it does. Now a different scenario: You are walking on the street and someone passing you by the other way looks you in the eyes and gives you a nice smile. You naturally smile back and feel good. You are now also imbued with positive feelings towards that person. Not because in reality there isn’t any real separation between the two of you. No, you feel good towards them because they have benefited your imaginary separate self in some way.

Finally consider your enemy. You hate them because of what they have done to your imaginary walled in and separate self. That’s pretty simple. So again it is dependent on conditions. If that person had not done certain things or been a certain disagreeable (from the point of view of your self) way you would not hate them. So you don’t really even hate them. You just hate the conditions, which you then attach to them. You may like to read my article regarding Interdependence, or Why We Are All One to see that another person such as your enemy is not the way they are in and of themselves. They and their actions in the world is the product of many interdependent factors. They do not exist in and of themselves. When you have strong feelings towards someone such as hate notice how distinctly separate that person appears to you in your mind. It is as if all that they are and all that they have done is a direct product of them. But it is not so. When you read my article: Interdependence, or Why We Are All One, consider the nature of a simple book, which is the example used in my article. Then consider how very more complex the dependent chain of causality that produces the nature and actions of a person is.

Now consider that every single person in each of the three classes of people I’ve set up here wants just one thing – to be happy. Which is exactly what you want. So they, like you, want to be happy. On that level this means there is no difference between them and you.

Your enemy should be thanked the most out of all these classes of people because without them having done you injury and thus become your enemy it would be impossible for you to fully develop this realization.

We all want to be loved, so consider the message of the single most loved person in history – Jesus. He said love your neighbor as yourself. He even said love your enemy. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you, and so on. Now it’s not hard to see that the most powerful way to receive love is to give it. The more of it you give the more of it you have. When you give it to “others” you give it to your “self”. I suspect because there is no difference. In reality no boundaries.

It is analogous to one of your body’s cells thinking it is separate from another one of your cells. In one way, it is. But in a more fundamental way it most definitely is not. There is an irrefutably tightly bound interdependence. Thus we are all One. So the potential is there for unconditional love and compassion brought about through realizing the real nature of things. To my mind it is naïve to think that how people function when they cannot see beyond the illusion, which is what most everyone is doing including myself, is the only way things can be. In fact it strikes me as delusional madness.

Your imaginary boundaries are the reasons why you feel hate, greed and jealousy. Why you think everyone is stupid as if you were perfectly incapable of your own special brand of stupidity. Why all you see is bits of straw in everyone else’s eyes while you are blinded by the rafter in your own eye. And all those things are just so good, right?

Of course not, you are a burden to yourself and everyone around you. But it doesn’t have to continue to be that way, either way though; it is up to you. Continue on the way you always have. Keep on doing the same thing expecting a different result and yet amazingly getting the same old results. The alternative is to transform yourself. Not simply change. Transform.

Now that you have the knowledge it is you who is ultimately responsible for yourself. However you are, you are choosing to be that way. Just as you can never not communicate you can never not choose. Even not choosing and just reacting to the play out of your life is a choice you have made. Now you have to live with it.

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