When we have the consciousness of being separated from everything else as “individuals” only, then many things appear in a certain way to our understanding and consciousness.
For instance, the belief in “free will” is the support of that individuality. “I do things because I want.”
“God has given me free will.” “I get punished if I do not follow God’s rules,” etc.
Those beliefs are deep in our “normal” psyche.
Here is “I,” here is “God,” and there is “you” and everyone else. Separation.
Predestination is viewed as the denial of that individuality. In other words, “I am a puppet of destiny” rather than the “master of my own destiny.”
See the difference in both beliefs?
Why is that consciousness of individuality ingrained in us, if we could see that there is truly interdependence on everything that exists?
There cannot be a tree just by itself. A tree is interdependent with soil, water, sunshine, wind, birds, humans…
Do we see that life or destiny is “pushing” everything in a “togetherness,” which we fail to realize?
Why are our minds so caught up in defending that individuality at all costs?
That is called consciousness.
When any religion or philosophy manifests its ideas or dogmas through the consciousness of individuality, then; it does not matter how wonderful that ideology is… it cannot be complete… 🙂 Do we see why?
Because the reality of interdependence or Totality is not there.
Under that consciousness of Totality, the words “free will” and “predestination” are useless and meaningless.
Do we see that?
It is not “ME” deciding my mission in life. It is the whole, the Totality and that Totality is not separated from “Me” for “I am” that… 🙂
Even though every human being has a “different mission” externally as individuals, in “reality” all of those differences are interrelated just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to make up a greater “reality.”
Therefore, the change in consciousness comes when we are able to integrate into that Totality, that is to be “merged” into that Totality.
Why do we need to merge?
Because we have this consciousness of predominant individuality.
So you are saying that individuality is false, an illusion?
Individuality is just a way to manifest our consciousness. It is not the only way, but for those who can only be conscious of individuality, that is their dogmatic “truth.”
To go beyond the mental grip of “free will” and “predestination” we may need to experience a different consciousness. At that point, we could be “I” but knowing that this “I” is related with “you,” is inclusive of that “you” rather than completely isolated.
Being conscious of our eternal nature, extends our awareness into the Totality, the Drama of life, the Tao, life, Universe etc. It is in that awareness how we can walk the path without being separated from it, that is being “one” with it, being “merged” with it… with God.
That consciousness of being just an individual is limiting an “unlimited” being.
Have you heard those words before?
How is it possible?
Please ask the above question to whoever says those words… you will be surprised at their answer.
“When you change, the world changes,” sounds whimsical, a nice thing to say in religious gatherings to look “good” and to talk the “talk,” nevertheless, in the understanding of those words lies the perception of a greater “reality,” greater understanding which if truly understood, could change our own life.
Would you like an explanation? 🙂
Here it goes. In a basic understanding of the “law of karma,” (action) we can understand that if “I” do something, there will be a repercussion which will be experienced by “me.” That is why in this basic understanding all we care about is… about “me.”
If I do this, will I get any bad karma back? If I open karmic accounts now, would that be bad for “me”? Would “I” go to heaven if my actions are “good”? 🙂
The above only strengthens the personality of “I” which is separated from everything else.
Do you ever feel alone?
Yes? Then, see that separation.
If we observe carefully (as explained in many writings before,) we are interdependent of one another.
How is that?
You exist because your parents existed. You exist because there is oxygen, water, sunshine, food, everything else which in our individualistic mind we see as “separate.” Even though there is a fact of interdependence, our consciousness only perceives separation.
That is why basic understanding of the law of karma only strengthens the “i-ness” and “my-ness” ideas. When that concept of separation is gone, there is oneness. No duality of “you” and “me,” but oneness in that interdependence. “You” exist because “I” exist.
Therefore, there is no “other.” What “I” do, is done to myself.
If we take the reality of interdependence into the law of karma; what “I” do is done to everything else, for “I” am one with everything, as a fact, not as a nice phrase to repeat. “I” am interdependent with everything else. We are oneness.
That is how the world changes when “I” change, for “I” is truly the world. As a matter of fact, once that “I” is over, then there is only the world, without further labeling to separate things.
Let us say that Peter throws garbage in the river. Peter forgot to dispose of the garbage and he thought that by getting rid of it, “now,” his house will smell alright and he could be alright as well. Peter didn’t want to bother his neighbor by dumping his trash into their waste basket. Peter was afraid of being caught or to ask… but the river was nearby. Peter planned to dump his garbage when there was no one around. The river cannot hit back nor lawsuit him for dumping trash. “Nothing to fear,” Peter thought.
That river was a source of sustenance for many species. Fish, plants, even people who used that river in different ways.
That garbage became food for many species in a very unnatural way, bringing disease to some of them which in turn were nourishment for bigger fish. A fisherman caught several fish to be sold in the nearby market. Peter bought a couple of those fish. 🙂
Peter ate his own garbage but at the same time, others ate it. That has additional repercussions. Other species were influenced by Peter’s actions and there were consequences which Peter was completely unaware of.
If Peter changes his consciousness, that change will have some effect in Peter’s environment and closer individuals around him. Peter is not changing “others” but Peter is merely changing his own “self-extension,” that is, those who are part of his life.
That is how we can see that a truly spiritual individual cannot live in isolation. Whatever he does, he says, he thinks… all of that affects everything else, which will be experienced by everyone else… the world.
Then, we can see that any religious separation or any sort of “man made” boundaries such as casts, ethnic origin, gender, language, creed, beliefs, traditions, all of that only strengthen the sense of “I” belonging to a group which is only a part of the whole thing.
A sinner exists because “I” exist. It is “I” the one who labels, the one who judges, the one who separates. If “I” wasn’t there; then a “sinner” wouldn’t exist.
We could put this in another way: A saint exists only because a sinner exists.
The world exists only because “I” exist.
What the world does is because “I” do.