The Same Self Is in All of Us
The same spark of divinity–this same Self–is enshrined in every creature. My real Self is not different from yours nor anyone else’s. If we want to live in the joy that increases with time, if we want to live in true freedom independent of circumstances, then we must strive to realize that even if there are four people in our family or forty at our place of work, there is only one Self.
This realization enables us to learn to conduct ourselves with respect to everyone around us, even if they provoke us or dislike us or say unkind things about us. And that increasing respect will make us more and more secure. It will enable us gradually to win everybody’s respect, even those who disagree with us or seem disagreeable.
Most of us can treat others with respect under certain circumstances–at the right time, with the right people, in a certain place. When those circumstances are absent, we usually move away. Yet when we respond according to how the other person behaves, changing whenever she changes, and she is behaving in this same way, how can we expect anything but insecurity on both sides? There is nothing solid to build on.
Instead, we can learn to respond always to the Self within–focusing not on the other person’s ups and downs, likes and dislikes, but always on what is changeless in each of us. Then others grow to trust us. They know they can count on us–and that makes us more secure too.
We can try to remember this always: the same Self that makes us worthy of respect and love is present equally in everyone around us. It is one of the surest ways I know of to make our latent divinity a reality in daily life.
Sourced from Eknath Easwaran's Blue Mountain Journal, Winter 2015, Volume 26, No. 3.
Seed questions for reflection: What does responding 'always to the Self within' mean to you? Can you share a personal experience that illustrates going beyond someone's ups and downs, likes and dislikes, and focusing on what is changeless? What helps you see the same Self in others that you see within yourself?
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