In times of chaos, we often forget our true nature. We are human and subject to forgetting our true nature – and sometimes we only remember our true nature after chaos ensues. In today’s society, we are constantly bombarded and tempted by external stimuli. Everything we are capable of interacting with is an external stimuli – anything you can touch, smell, see, hear, or taste. Our bodies interact with external stimuli in this world. These stimuli blind our inner connection with each other and the Earth, like a tall, standing wooden post in a deserted field in the midst of a blinding snowstorm with low visibility. With so much stimuli, we often lack time to contemplate or slow down to embrace our inner-connectedness. We no longer see the standing wooden post and forget about its existence.
We ought to remember that our bodies are mere, temporary vehicles for navigating this physical reality which is filled with constant stimuli and red herrings. We are not defined by the borders drawn on maps, our IQ, the occupation we currently hold, our gender, our nationality, our religion, nor the political ideology we believe in. These are superficial realities; they exist, but are not things that should define us. You might have heard the saying that we are spiritual beings trapped in human bodies. It’s true if you think about it. Our bodies are impermanent – the human body exists, but it is temporary in nature and just a mere vehicle to navigate this reality. It is like the sand castle that you see at the beach; eventually it collapses and returns to the earth. We lose hair and our bodies shrink as we age. Our bodies change continuously – hormone levels change, blood sugar levels change, and a blood cell will move from one part of your body to another part. Our thoughts and memories of this reality are also impermanent. The memories and thoughts we have today are due to our interactions with the external stimuli. Eventually we all die. It’s a bit morbid, but eventually our corpse will become food for future generations after we disintegrate into the earth like the sand castles.
In fact, everything is interlinked on this place we live in. An action always leads to a reaction – and this cycle continues. For example, if a farmer did not plant seeds for a vegetable X, there would be slightly less supply of vegetable X to feed society. Yes, the impact would be fairly minuscule but imagine all farmers decided not to plant seeds for vegetable X – that vegetable wouldn’t be able to be purchased. Similarly, a genuine compliment to a stranger can brighten their day. Because their day is brightened, they may do something they brighten another person or engage in self-care. The cycle goes on – it’s like a domino. As a collective, the actions of each of us Beings contribute to the larger whole. We are children of this Earth – and of this Universe. We breathe the same air, flush our toilets with the matter going to the same water treatment facilities, and eat the same food that a farmer grew to feed someone else as well.
After spending time in rural Thailand, it just doesn’t make sense for me to judge another Being based on their appearance or ability. Heck, what my body was yesterday isn’t the same as today as it won’t be the same tomorrow. This goes to the same saying as one should never judge a book by its cover, but rather by its contents. One day in my travels in Thailand, I was taking a songthaew – a community taxi/bus from a town to the main city. Songthaews in Thailand are made from a pick-up truck with two rows of seats parallel to each other, running alongside the left and right side of the vehicle. A roof covers the back of the pick-up truck where the seating area are. There are two ladders at the back of the songthaew, outside of the roof-covered area. When the seats are full, you may need to stand at the back of the songthaew, on metal griddles, while holding onto the ladder. The use of songthaews are popular in Thailand and allow for individuals to travel to and from the rural areas and the main cities. Plus the fare to travel on one of them is very cheap too!
Don’t worry, I haven’t gotten off-track this article with the songthaew. 🙂 On this specific day where I was boarding a songthaew from a town to the main city, there was a Thai woman with a small child. The small child didn’t board first. Instead, it was a large heavy rice bag filled with something but not rice – let’s say it was really heavy and it took two people to load it on the vehicle. I only know it was heavy since I helped her lift it into the songthaew. It was then wedged in the middle of the songthaew, just slightly in front of our feet. Her foam mattress rolled up also boarded the songthaew but was tied to the outside of the roof. Over the course of the ride while wearing a particulate respirator because of the air pollution, I was able to make a connection into the true nature of humanity. Whilst wearing the mask, I was able to communicate with the mother and the child through smiles – yes smiles through a mask. She was able to decipher from the gestures from my upper face when I had smiled as a reaction to some of the silly stuff her child did. It was a memorable ride. Being able to smile to her as communication was heartening – it felt like we were one family even though we did not speak the same language. Love – or unconditional compassion as you might say – was common amongst both of us. Later in my travels, I realized how all humans have the same goal of survival and also hope for world peace amidst the constant war which is occurring. It is the ego that really makes us think that we are different. Another human being with different abilities or a different appearance does not me or them different from each other. We are one and not the labels that society wants to separate us into so that we can be divided.
As children of this Earth, we all have the same goal of survival and peace. What is not published widely today is that Albert Einstein and Nikolas Tesla once said that everything in the Universe is made up of energy and vibrations. The physical reality we see obscures us from being able to see and feel these things. Our body and other matter appear solid to our eyes but it is indeed a misconception; it is all energy vibrating at different frequencies. We cannot see or hear radio frequencies that are in the air – we require radio transmitters and receivers to broadcast or listen to messages sent by radio frequencies. Plants communicate with each other – yet we are unable to hear them. As children of this Earth, it only makes sense to treat all other Beings – human and animal – with respect and love. If the food we eat which other human beings may also have eaten are transformed to flesh, fat, vitamins, minerals, and energy in our human bodies – then really when one hurts another Being, they are really hurting themselves if the words “you”, “I”, “me”, “us”, etc. did not exist. Similarly, just because the Thai woman and I could not speak verbally, we were still able to spread our unconditional compassion to each other. Love is unconditional; hate is conditional.
That said, in light of the recent events that we’ve seen happen in this era of life, it is really mind boggling to me. We should be engaging the use of our soul to humanely and morally create this reality – the World as you may want to call it. The ego should not be used to create this reality. When the ego gets involved, it gets chaotic, inhumane, and immoral; greed, status, fame, selfishness, and power get involved. A situation of going to the toilet paper section at a grocery store where another customer also shows up then becomes a fight instead of splitting the package in half. We are privileged to be living in this world today where we have so luxuries – smooth paved roads and thick toilet paper. Being detached or having lack of the luxuries or modern developments we have access to today make us anxious; we think that there is no other solution. There’s always an alternative to everything. It might not be the best alternative, but an alternative is an alternative. In light of the toilet paper madness which existed when I came back home to Canada, I made myself a makeshift bidet from a water bottle with a lid that was able to squirt liquid out. One might say “ew!”, but trust me, I’ve had worse toilet conditions when travelling on train in Thailand where the “toilet” was smelly. You basically had to do your business in a bottomless toilet. Yes, “bottom” of that toilet was a hole which led the ground. You would want to run out of the toilet stall right after you were done your business! I won’t post a picture of the train toilet here but I’m sure you’ll be able to find one on the Internet. 😉
Spiritual teachers have stated again and again that when storms and nuisances occur, they are our greatest teachers. We can learn a great deal about ourselves from understanding how we react to these storms. We ought to love ourselves the same as we would love others and to continue to spread this love – and more of it. Love will always overpower hatred and the choice is ours. Let’s understand our true nature – that we are one – and carry out our daily lives with love and kindness, not hatred. Let’s not let the ego be the snowstorm that rules out love.
With lots of love,