–by Vimala Thakar (Oct 22, 2015)
Viewed from a holistic perspective, each human being is a marvelous creation with unlimited potential for evolution not simply an isolated physical, biological, psychological event, destined to exist in ignorance. Just as there is exquisite beauty in all creation –the tender freshness of dawn, the majestic presence of the Himalayas, the intricate patterns of a leaf– there’s also grandeur in a human being. To be human is not an ugly thing. Humans make their lives ugly, but the essence of humanity is something splendid.
As a manifestation of the wholeness, each of us begin with a rich heritage. Born of wholeness, we are each whole, not a fragment of the totality, a chip of the cosmos, but a full and miniature cosmos. With all the energies, the intelligence, the creative forces of the cosmos available to us, our potential is vast, unlimited.
Unfortunately we are not educated to wholeness, but are trained to separation, competition and isolation. Uprooted early from wholeness, we develop a range of psychological instabilities, just as any element uprooted from wholeness will lose the stability, energy, nourishment of the whole. Essentially, we cannot be torn from the wholeness but we can perceive we are and so failed to realize the vast strength, the intelligence, the creative force available to us.
When we perceive ourselves as limited, we do not realize the grandeur, the ecstasy, the richness of living as whole beings. We may make admirable achievements in the fragmented fields of our choice, but we have not yet met our essential challenge of realizing the absolute reality of our wholeness. We are experts in lopsided growth, but novices in evolving as whole human beings.
We have seen throughout history magnificent contributions to humanity, we have received the bountiful product of technological advances, yet as human beings we are unfulfilled, uncertain who we are, insecure about whether we will survive. We continue with pathetic attempts to fill our lives with more pleasures and comfort, more activity which permits us to race through life toward a feared death without ever feeling anything very deeply along the way, without ever pausing to reflect on what we are doing with our lives.
A life filed with an endless array of fragments is like a room with too many objects; it feels chaotic and oppressive. There is no beauty; there is no charm.
Wholeness has its own glory. When it moves in our lives, there is a wondrous vibrancy of harmony and rhythm, the sharp clarity of precise intelligence, the magnetism of love and compassion, the spontaneous flow of creativity. Our lives are no longer shoddy and shabby, but become noble, elegant with the natural radiance of the cosmos. […]
As we journey from fragmentation to oneness, please do not be concerned that because each human being is a miniature wholeness there is no variety, no uniqueness, that each person is a bland, homogenized copy of every other person. In the garden of life, there is an infinite variety of temperaments, talents, tastes –it would be a dull world if it were not so–yet all are intimately related at a deep level. All the different talents, capabilities, viewpoints are needed to deal with this complex world. All the special qualities are essential for a rich, meaningful life, yet the difference need not to isolate. […]
Awareness of the whole while dealing with the particular is not an art to be cultivated through academic study. On a theoretical level, awareness of wholeness does not nourish, does not expand our capabilities. Awareness must become an actuality; it must be lived. We may begin to explore awareness with verbal investigation and academic study, but after we have understood intellectually, then further exploration of the truth of life must only take place through the act of living. Every relationship then is an opportunity for self-discovery, for personal discovery of the truth of life.
The sense of oneness or unity of life, the indivisibility and homogeneity of life is not a theory to be cherished in memory. It’s not a philosophy to which we pay our intellectual loyalties. It is a fact of life which we express in every action.
An inquiry, commits us to the act of living, to life, to nothing less than life. It’s an involvement of the whole being, not just the brain. When the inquiry begins to mature, when we begin to live our understanding at every step, then the act of living, the sense of oneness results in compassion, which is essential to meaningful social action.
Compassion is a spontaneous movement of wholeness. It is not a studied decision to help the poor, to be kind to the unfortunate. Compassion has a tremendous momentum that naturally, choicelessly moves us to worthy action. It has the force of intelligence, creativity, and the strength of love.
Compassion cannot be cultivated; it derives neither from intellectual conviction nor from emotional reaction. It is simply there when the wholeness of life becomes a fact that is truly lived.
Compassion does not manifest itself when we live on the surface of existence, when we try to piece together a comfortable life out of easy available fragments. Compassion requires a plunge to the depths of life, where oneness is reality and division merely an illusion.
–Vimala Thakar. Excerpt picked from Spirituality and Social Action: A Holistic Approach