It is this simple truth: we are all in this together.
We are all part and parcel of the same phenomenon. We are not separate. I am you am I, and together we are we.
Although this truth may be acknowledged, expressed and referred to, the full implications of its meaning and significance are still to be made manifest. We (especially those of us living in western styled societies) remain locked into the myth of separation. This myth proclaims that: I am separate from everyone else, and I am also separate from nature. This idea of separation is a cultural myth – perhaps our deepest cultural myth. Being such a deep cultural myth it informs everything we do, say or think. And… we often don’t realise it.
If we were to fully accept our connectedness then we would realise that however we treat another person, or nature, then we treat ourselves the same way. Thus, if we ridicule another, mock another, mistreat another, or do violence to another; then we ridicule, mock, mistreat, or do violence to ourselves.
We may not think we do so, but at a deep level, often unconscious, within ourselves we are doing so. We become our thoughts. There is a saying, often attributed to the Buddha, but in truth, lost in anonymity. However, it contains immense wisdom:
“The thought manifests as the word;When we fully accept the truth of these words and the notion of non-separation then we change who we are, we change our way of being, and in doing that, we change our way of acting. Significantly too, we change the way we see others and the world. We begin to see the world through an entirely different lens.
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And the habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its way with care;
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
As the shadow follows the body,
As we think, so we become.”
Instead of problems, we begin to see opportunities. Instead of enemies, we begin to see people with the same needs, desires, hopes and dreams as us. When we view the world in this way we find that the world begins to change.
And, when we do that, we look at social change through entirely different eyes. We realise that the only real change is in ourselves and in our everyday interactions with those around us, including those with whom we may have disagreements, even those we may have even thought of as enemies.
Yes, we are all in this together.