How can we live without creating more suffering?

Seeing through the veil that our senses and our thinking minds make real, seeing behind the mask to true self, feels like the highest aspiration of humanity. Because, as we are able to do that, it’s as if we are able to find our rightful place in the order of things. We recognize a harmony that’s been waiting for us to feel.

Taking our place in the order of things is not only for the life hereafter or for some abstract reason. It majorly impacts the way we live our daily lives.

This awakening to our deepest self is not for later, it’s for now.

To bring to our daily life a quality of awareness, open heartedness, a consciousness that understands the interrelationship of all things, means that you can begin to hear the way in which you can live in harmony with all things. When you look around at the earth and at the way human beings live on the earth, and the way they exploit the earth and its resources, and the way they keep destroying their own future, you can feel the pain of unconsciousness.

The work of quieting our minds and opening our hearts prepares us to be able to act in the world in a way that doesn’t create more suffering. When we develop that stance, a perspective arises towards life that allows us to be effective actors on the stage of life. So that you and I become instruments of healing, instruments of peace, of love and wisdom.

Most of the people in the world are living among such urgency; for enough food, for shelter, they’re living amongst violence, political repression, they do not have the opportunity to practice as we do.

That gives us a responsibility, because we are standing on the shoulders of many beings in the world to be allowed the opportunity to do this.

So it is important to understand the way in which, by doing this, we as parts of the whole, are contributing back to the whole. When this is misunderstood, it looks like a lot of narcissism. Groups of nice middle class folks coming together to play with their minds in a pretty chateau or something. It’s lovely. But, the deeper we go, the quieter we get, the more our hearts open, the more we hear our part in the dance and the more we feel a kinship with all beings.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “When you have surrendered completely into God, you find yourself in the service of all that exists. It becomes your joy and recreation.” That’s very different from, “Oh I ought to help, I should help,” It becomes more in the quality of, “Of course!”


-Ram Dass

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