The Other Person Is You

"We are all connected" a concept that rolls off the tongue with ease, almost as an afterthought. But if you pause to deeply meditate on this truth, you may find that the degrees of separation inevitably circle back to you. 

Every habit fostered in our lives creates an effect on the energetic frequencies we emanate and on the inner space from which we move on a daily basis. Have you ever felt another person's "vibes" to be dissonant? That feelings is an opportunity for us to turn within, and recognize the edges within ourselves which are activated or perhaps still unpolished. 

When we turn to the sacred literature of the Vedas, we can understand this point from a place of compassion and kindness. Recognizing the other person is you awakens consciousness of a unifying force, of a spark that is alive and seeking the same thing, no matter the body. 

The fifth chapter of Bhagavad Gita states:

5.18 - The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].

The purport of this verse as written by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami: "A Krishna {God} conscious person does not make any distinction between species or castes. The brāhmaṇa {priestly class} and the outcaste may be different from the social point of view, or a dog, a cow, or an elephant may be different from the point of view of species, but these differences of body are meaningless from the viewpoint of a learned transcendentalist. This is due to their relationship to the Supreme, for the Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion as Paramātmā {the Supersoul or universal consciousness}, is present in everyone's heart. Such an understanding of the Supreme is real knowledge. As far as the bodies are concerned in different castes or different species of life, the Lord is equally kind to everyone because He treats every living being as a friend yet maintains Himself as Paramātmā regardless of the circumstances of the living entities. The Lord as Paramātmā is present both in the outcaste and in the brāhmaṇa, although the body of a brāhmaṇa and that of an outcaste are not the same. The bodies are material productions of different modes of material nature, but the soul and the Supersoul within the body are of the same spiritual quality. The similarity in the quality of the soul and the Supersoul, however, does not make them equal in quantity, for the individual soul is present only in that particular body, whereas the Paramātmā is present in each and every body. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person has full knowledge of this, and therefore he is truly learned and has equal vision. The similar characteristics of the soul and Supersoul are that they are both conscious, eternal and blissful. But the difference is that the individual soul is conscious within the limited jurisdiction of the body, whereas the Supersoul is conscious of all bodies. The Supersoul is present in all bodies without distinction."

In essence, if we haven't created a space to recognize, appreciate, honor and accept our own shortcomings, our own 'darkness', then it is nearly guaranteed that upon seeing it 'out there' in another person, we will be short on the understanding needed to overcome the inherent difficulties of relationships. 

But when we strengthen our resolve to approach ourselves with understanding and patience, and with an ear for spirit, we create the space to accept others in that same mood, tolerating difficulties with the equal vision of compassion, viewing all beings as parts of the spiritual source from which we emanate. This month, notice what upsets, annoys, or causes the mind to create a 'me vs them' assessment. And then approach that attitude within yourself with a humble request that you may find compassion and unity - spiritual strength - where once dissonance rang. 

by Alexandra Moga