To spend much time considering the soul and the inner workings of the self is to recognize that we each carry around an entire interior universe.
It is so hard to understand the limitlessness that is inside of us, the expansive intricacies of the psyche and, even more importantly, the infinitude that is the Divine within us all. What can be even more difficult to grasp is that a similarly limitless universe exists within all people, even those we believe to be ignorant or cruel or uninspired.
I know myself to be someone who strives to be aware of every seismic shift in consciousness, of every tremor of new perspective that passes through my life. All too often I find myself baffled by the behavior of people who seem to live unexamined lives, marked by monotony and routine and something I perceive to be a lamentable narrowness.
Of course, the first problem there is that I am allowing myself to be swayed by my own perception of their stories. There are times when I decide that people who are not digging around in their own heads like they’re on some sort of archaeological are somehow getting less out of life than I am. If they do not show me immediate glimmers of their own interior universes, I start to believe that there are people out there whose stories are somehow less complex and vivid than my own.
Working on the development of one’s soul can make a seeker a terrible snob. I know I fall into this trap when I forget that all people are fellow journeyers through the mystery of life. When I allow myself to forget this truth I allow myself the luxury of disrespecting the people around me. My often tarnished version of who they are burns more brightly than the truth that they are fellow humans walking across this earth, doing the best with the tools that have been given to them.
One gets weary of trying to be a saint though, trying to be kind and understanding in the face of people who are set on acting out the darkest parts of their nature. I have tried the sainthood approach, and I find it just makes me nervous and repressed and worried about my own inadequate, non-canonized future prospects.
I am finding, however, that I can deal with those difficult creatures who cross my path if I remember that, just like me, they have an entire universe inside of them and all sorts of possibilities I might not be able to see. A universe goes on, well, forever. And in something the size of forever you can store a whole lot of beauty, as well as a whole lot of ugly. You can keep great vats of potential, as well as vast sink holes of worthlessness. There is light and there is shadow and there is that wide space in between that informs the way that most of us live.
And, like I said, the most important resident of these inner infinities of ours is God. I may find ways to despise the behavior of a lot of people in this world, but I am pretty sure I could never figure out a way to disregard the divinity that they all carry about.
This is a really great post! I just found your blog the other day and I think it’s fabulous so far!
Thanks and welcome, Vixel!
But yes, we are human, and often other humans around us, through their behavior, demonstrate quite clearly that they are on a…hmmmm…different part of the larger path.
We are our actions.
The only way I have been able to come to terms with all of this is through Hinduism’s reincarnation (and the idea exists in Christianity as well — I mean, why else did no one recognize Christ when he rose? duh…). Reincarnation not only makes the ugly make sense to me, but it also makes the sublimely beautiful make sense. How does a Mozart happen, for example?
And how does an ignorant, hateful person happen? The same way. Reincarnation reminds me that the picture is too big for my mind to grasp and that people are truly on a journey that is infinite.
This does not mean they don’t anger me! 🙂 But when I come down from my anger, this is the thought in which I rest.
What you say resonates with me as well. I think I’m still much more connected to the ‘human’ (incarnate!) aspect of my existence, however. It’s a journey, ain’t it? 🙂