Our first experience after we arrive on this planet, our first breath of life, is leaving the womb and landing into our mother’s loving embrace. A newborn child brings the energy and spark of love with them, and radiates this to the world. The power of their love can easily be vouched by simply spending just a few minutes observing any baby, our own or someone else’s.
What I am saying is that we start our journey on this planet with a full tank of love. Then, along the way, this being of pure love is slowly but surely taught by society how to survive and how to be, and what they need to do to experience more love. So as we journey towards adulthood we are taught and made to believe that we need to fulfil a list of conditions in order to be valued, respected and accepted.
Not one person on the planet escapes this structure while growing up. We are all conditioned to believe in the survival of the fittest, but little is said about the glory of the most loving. So our lives become an expression of us versus them, and the goal is to get ahead of others. This structure and perspective is passed down from generation to generation, resulting in a society sponsored by the principle of separateness.
The problem with this way of living is that our true nature, or our natural self, is of oneness, interconnectedness and love. Great saints and wise teachers have shared this truth throughout the ages.
When we live by the principle of separateness, we are in fact living against our true nature of oneness and love. So as night follows day, living this way leads to feelings of lack of love, loneliness, sadness and often an outcome of symptoms of mental illness. This way of living has become so extreme on our planet that one does not even need to do scientific research to prove this to be true—all we have to do is take a look at our own family and friends, we will see that someone close to us has some sort of mental illness.
The cause is nothing but living a life of separation from each other and from life itself, as if we are all separate islands. But as my Spiritual Master, Amma, often says, “We are not separate islands, we are more like different beads on the one string”.
I feel we have reached a junction in humanity where we have realized that living a life of separation has not brought desirable outcomes. One can feel in every human heart a calling out for a new way of living, to each begin to live as if we are not separate from each other. As that great teacher once said, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”.
To break free from gravity, a rocket booster is needed. To break free from emotional pain and suffering, love is needed. The time of love in words and essays has passed. Now the time has come when love must be lived and expressed in our actions. Let us each dive deep into our soul and shed our old skin of separation, and allow a new skin of kindness, love and understanding to grow.
The great news is that to love another is as natural as a mother embracing her newborn. Great courage and effort may be needed to shed our old skin of separateness, but once the old skin falls, the only thing that remains is love, joy and laughter.
I say begin the journey with the great intention of living as if you are not separate from others, and then do whatever it is that serves to remind you of that great truth—help a stranger, make a heartfelt prayer, be inspired by the most loving, walk in the bush, kiss a baby, giggle with a friend. Do whatever it takes to lead you back home to love, back to that feeling of warmth and motherly embrace—that’s how we came.