To see differences as fundamental and final is delusional
Across the world, we see a staggering variety among people in races, castes, classes, religions and nationalities. Such differences often trigger conflicts. But they don’t have to. Why not? Because such differences, though real, are neither fundamental nor final.
Those differing attributes do not emerge from their fundamental being. At their core, they are essentially like us – they too are souls. They are people like us who too seek pleasure and avoid pain, who too dream and worry and work and laugh and cry, who too long to love and be loved. The Bhagavad-gita (18.20) indicates that seeing this essential commonality and spirituality of all is perception in the mode of goodness. In contrast, the next verse (18.21) characterizes as perception in the mode of passion the notion that differences in bodily forms and features represent differences in essential natures.
Just as the differences between people are not fundamental, they are not final either. That is, the features in which they differ from us are not their unalterable attributes. Actually, to deem those attributes as irreversible, irredeemable definers of character is a foundational delusion, for to reduce people to their bodies is the foundation of delusion (02.11). So, when we label some group of people as dumb or some other group as terrorists just because some, even many, people in that group display those characteristics, we betray our own spiritual ignorance.
By internalizing Gita wisdom, we can defuse many triggers of conflicts. Further, if we share spiritual wisdom with others, we can empower them to connect with the whole – of whom they too are parts, as are we (15.07). The more we all avail of the illumination coming from that divine connection, the more we can manifest our pure spiritual potential, thereby living in a sublime harmony that transcends divisive sectarianism.
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