Vedanta claims that the human soul is divine, and that all this that we see around us is the outcome of that consciousness of the divine. Everything that is strong and good and powerful in human nature is the outpouring of that divinity, and though only potential in many, there is no difference between one human being and another essentially, all being alike divine. There is, as it were, an infinite ocean behind, and you and I are like so many waves coming out of that infinite ocean; and each one of us is trying our best to manifest that infinite outside. Each one of us has that infinite ocean of Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss as our birthright, our real nature; and the difference between us is caused be the greater or lesser power to manifest that divinity. Therefore the Vedanta teaches that each of us should be treated not as what we manifest, but as what we stand for. Each human being stands for the divine, and therefore, each one of us should be helpful, not by condemning others, but by helping others to call forth the divinity that is within them.
Swami Vivekananda, Pathways to Joy,
edited by Dave DeLuca
Identified as this human ego, we feel alone. We look at our fellows and we see only our differences. We look out into the world and we see only separation. From this perspective, I must judge, always, whether someone is going to help me or harm me, whether they are for me or against me, and then I must treat them accordingly. I am living in a continual state of judgment–of myself and others. It is painful and frustrating and lonely, interspersed with moments of peace and freedom.
But always, there behind the judgment and the thoughts of separateness, is the truth of our being, the oceanic Self of Existence, Knowledge and Bliss that is ‘our birthright.’
How do we find it?
By looking for it. By refusing to identify with the thoughts of separation that get triggered by my passage through the world, and insisting to myself that I am something else. I am something deeper. By looking at my fellows and knowing that they, too, are something deeper. By reminding myself, continually, that I am divine, that you are divine, that all this is divine. And then acting accordingly.
Today I will ask of myself how I might help to call forth the divinity that is in my fellows, and I will call upon myself to see the world through the eyes of the divinity that is in me.
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