THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010
Everybody has the same aspirations! Even though every human being is placed in differing circumstances the aspirations are all, more or less, the same. What do we all really want? Each of us wants to be happy, healthy, prosperous. We care about being well fed and well-heeled so that we can provide for our loved ones. We'll will do everything to build a roof over our heads. We want to stay healthy so that our income and way of life is protected. After our material needs for food, clothing and shelter are satisfied we look to the higher order psychological needs to be met. We want self esteem and the esteem of society. We want to be recognized; we have a need to belong to families, groups, clubs, associations, organizations. Very few of us can eschew societal moorings.
We want to look good in front of others; we want to feel good and feel fulfilled. Ultimately, we want to become our own ideal selves, the best we can be. Somehow, we strive to arrive at the pinnacle of personal and professional growth. At that point we'd really love to be above the fray. This is what Abraham Maslow pointed out many decades ago.
The commonality of our aspirations is a great unifier. Our differences really are only on the surface level. Deeper down, we're all the same because every human being aspires to the same things physically and psychologically. Aren't we all really searching for love? As Mother Theresa once said, the poverty of love is really the worst penury of all. Validation, acceptance, respect, and love...these, and not just cells and genes and chromosomes, indeed are the building blocks of life. The Bible ( Corinthians) affirms emphatically that of these three things, faith, hope and love, love is the greatest. All of us can only live if love exists in our lives.
This is exactly what Indian spirituality is all about too. While our bodies come in myriad sizes, shapes and configurations, they are all mere vehicles driven by the atman. And the atman is just a reflection of the Supreme Reality. The body is the temple in which the Supreme resides. The physical entity is actually a city with 9 doors; the resident of this city, the in-dweller, so to speak is the atman. The atman is the same, unchanged, unborn, omnipresent facet of the Supreme. Our bodies are just the clothing worn and discarded, as the Gita teaches us, by the atman. So we are all fundamentally the same...the atman. We simply drive different brands and models of flesh and blood vehicles!
If we can grasp this supreme truth we'll be changed forever for the better! No more will we try to create separations that identify only with the bodies. We'll realize the he is just like us and she too is just the same. Why then should we fight and argue and spread distress and sadness? Can't we help others become the best they can be? We'll then understand that this ts the way to become the best we can be. The surest way to achieve our aspirations is to focus on helping others achieve their aspirations! Once this realization seeps into our consciousness we'll see the unity in all human beings, indeed in all beings, in life itself. That's when we can lead the way outwards from deep within. That's when we can lead others because leadership, like charity, begins from within!