No one likes to feel inadequate and not one should feel inadequate. There is no right or wrong way of living. What is good for some is bad for others and vice versa. Judgments are only real when they are accepted, every other time they are simply points of view, perspectives that change when we move around, and when we consider points we did not see before.
There really isn’t a right or wrong way of being, everything is relative, even life and death are relative, killing may be good for some and bad for others, or perhaps acceptable in some situations and not in others. The collective ideal is something that no one can agree with. Some people are democrats, others are republicans, some go with Bernie, others with Trump, some people approve war, others abolish it, some people enjoy drugs, and other people hate them.
Throughout time, norms have changed, what is accepted today was not accepted yesterday, women’s rights, gay marriage, prostitution, slavery… our views of these ideas have changed over time. What is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false, what is beautiful and what is ugly, all these are …relative.
Coexistence refers to being together. In the large scheme of things, this is always happening, we are all connected, weather we see it or not, we are all part of the one vast universe that embraces all. On the other hand, and simultaneously, we all live in our individual universes, each one of us, each living and non-living thing lives in a world of its own. My world is not the same as yours, your world is not the same as my dog’s, and my dog’s world is vastly different from that of a tree, or a rock, or a grain of sand.
The only way to coexist, moment to moment, is to ACCEPT each other, we must accept the sand and how the sand is to be with it, if we reject is for how it feels, tastes or smells, then sooner or later we will walk away from it, and in our world, sand will cease to exist. If we reject some people, or places, or music, or food we will walk away from them and they will all cease to exist. Sometimes we will hope and try to change things, we will argue with people so that they can see things the way we see them, we will make a place look different, we will turn sand into glass. Coexistence through this medium is an illusion. If we turn sand into glass, we are not living with the sand, we are living with the glass. If we convince someone to be something they are not, we are no longer with them.
Acceptance is the first step towards unconditional love, the second step is gratitude. We must accept something first, once we do this we can spend time with it, and find out why we are grateful for it. When we are grateful we feel joy, when we feel joy, we feel love. Rejecting is the opposite of accepting and complaining is the opposite of being grateful. Hate is the opposite of love.
Ancient traditions touch on these topics. Buddhist, Hindis, Christians, Muslims, Jews,,, they all know about love and hate and yet, they still find themselves divided, with some of them praying at temples, and others praying in the ashrams. They vow to embody unconditional love, they speak of acceptance and compassion, but fail to share a meal with a stranger. All religions, and all philosophical perspective reject other perspectives, it is essential to their existence. If Jews saw the world like Muslims do, Jews would not be Jews, and Muslims would not be Muslims. Enter, Spirituality.
The definition of spirituality, like every other word ever spoken, has multiple definitions. To me, at its core, spirituality resides in the idea that everything has a spirit, and that the spirit in all things is the same spirit in all things. It is this spirit that binds us together, it is the experience of experience itself, the gift and curse of consciousness. At this level, everything is one and everything is connected. At this level, there is not Jews, Muslims, blacks or withes, males or females, there is only space and that which is contained within it, beyond that, is the infinite God of All Things.
ONLY when we see EVERYTHING as ourselves we are truly enlightened and awakened to our true nature. Only when we see ourselves as everything we can have an opportunity to find that unconditional acceptance and eventually, that unconditional love that is said to permeate the entire universe. Only when we see life and death as dreams within dreams we can be detached and still engage in this process. The only way to understand everything is to see everything from every perspective, some say that only God can do this, I say that this God is within ourselves, that IT IS ourselves and that by getting in touch with that we can take that point of view and find all the understanding, love and compassion we need to coexist with each other and ourselves.
- Bruno Treves