Several months ago I noticed the trees. Sure, I have seen many trees every day for as long as I can remember. But I don’t think I ever really noticed them before. I saw the leaves and imagined one half of the tree’s leaves attacking the other half of the tree. I thought, “Wow, how weird that would be. A tree fighting with itself.” If each leaf were conscious enough to know it is a leaf, would it also see the other leaves as separate entities? Or would it recognize that it is part of a whole, receiving the same life as every other leaf from the roots of the same tree?
Isn’t humanity much like the tree? There is a single Source of Life, from which we all originate. It seems pretty insane to see each extension of the same Life waging war with one another over personal interests, opinions and dogmatic religious belief-systems.
Why is it that as humanity, we are so prone to compete and separate ourselves from one another? In our minds we have erected a fortress with the bricks of our beliefs and convictions, waging war at the first hint of a differing opinion.
What is it that we are so afraid of?
Can a different opinion or belief really threaten the essence of who I am? Why has humanity become so hell-bent in clinging to dogmatic belief-systems, fighting tooth and nail to defend our opinions?
“Hypocrite!” yells the man who believes God is a myth, seething with anger at the man behind the pulpit. “God is good!” yells the man behind the pulpit, just before condemning the man in the name of “God,” who would rather have a husband than a wife. Sure, God is good. In fact, the word “God” literally means “Good1.” The bible also states that “God is Love2“.
What is Love?
Love is patient and kind. Love isn’t arrogant and never speaks with excessive pride. Love doesn’t shame or dishonor others, is not self-seeking and is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Holds no grudges. Love does not delight in evil, but takes great delight in the truth (the opposite of deception). Love always protects, always trusts, and always stays the course even when it becomes difficult.3.
With this definition in mind, would a Being who is the very essence of Love condemn any person for believing a certain way? Love keeps no record of wrongs. If there is no record kept of anything that could be perceived as “wrong” then where is the list of accusations that would sentence this person to any sort of punishment? Have we created a deity of our own, that believes all the same things we do and who will hate those we hate and love those we love?
I think it might be safe to say that one of our greatest mistakes has been that we identify ourselves and others with the labels of our own judgment. The man who believes God is a myth is not an Atheist. Sure, he might subscribe to a belief-system that we would called Atheism, but this does not define the essence of who he is. The man behind the pulpit is not a preacher. Sure he might preach, but this does not define the essence of who he is. The man who loves another man is not a homosexual. Sure, he might take part in homosexual thoughts and activities, but this does not define the essence of who he is. At the same time, a heterosexual man is not defined by his heterosexuality. The definition of a person transcends the labels we tend to see the world through.
I recently heard a statement that resonated in the deepest depths of my heart which I have not been able to shake from my mind.
“We are all ripples on the surface of the same ocean. The problem is that we have become so identified with the ripple that we have lost our awareness of the ocean.”
Thankfully, I am seeing more and more people wake up to the reality that we are not separate, but one and the same. We all have the same Father and any time we see the chasm of separation between ourselves and others, we are only seeing through a lens of darkness, clouded by beliefs and opinions.
Each one of us is like the leaf of a Tree, deeply connected to all the other 6,999,999,999 leaves with the same source of Life coursing through our veins.
- 1 John 4:8
- 1 Corinthians 13