Spirituality To-Do, Item 3

Putting the Bhagavad Gita into practice.

Practice perceiving the eternal essence residing within all, seeing the undivided within the divided.

There’s a big difference between saying something and actually doing it. And how does one actually go about putting something like perception into practice? If we put up notes and reminders for instance, we soon become blind to their constant presence. And being that everything appears divided and distinct, isn’t it kinda hard to perceive the underlying unity?

But if we look at a picture on a screen for instance, we see the picture not its pixels. The farther we zoom out, the more unified a picture becomes (up until we get too far to even see it). So to see the undivided amongst the divided, we must set ourself further out by way of a spiritual perspective. And relatedly, we have to stop staring at ourself.

In other words, I shouldn’t be positioning myself at the center of the universe and see everything else by way of peripheral vision. Although I have a personal story, being overly focused on just me is not the best way to perceive it. In books or movies for instance, oftentimes we explore the lives and backstories of other characters, we go on tangents, scenes are set, we learn details unrelated to the main character.

Imagine playing a video game and only staring at the character you’re playing as, never looking around or ahead or determining what’s coming at you. From that overly narrow viewpoint, you’re constantly bombarded by the unexpected. We have to widen our focus a bit and take in the entire scene.

In life, we can zoom out by developing a spiritual perspective. When I see another person for instance, I can see him as a competitor for survival, I can see a potential predator hell-bent on my destruction, I can see a potential friend, or I can even see a fellow fragment of the Creator — it’s my choice really. What spirituality provides is the mental framework that allows me to perceive every human as a worthwhile being that’s due all the love and respect I can muster.

If that guy over there is God incarnate, then I better treat him right. Jesus mentioned this point:

As was said: I was hungry and you gave me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you gave me no welcome. I was without even clothes and you gave me nothing. I was sick and you gave me no care. I was imprisoned and you gave me no solace. Then they will say, Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, as a stranger, unclothed, sick, or imprisoned? Then He will answer them, saying: Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you gave not to the least of my brethren, you gave not to me. And these hard-hearted will go into everlasting punishment while the givers go into eternal life.

It sucks to be scared of people — I know from decades of experience. But if everyone (including me) is a formation of God, then what’s to be afraid of? Well nothing really — and it’s spirituality that allows me to have this fearless perspective. I don’t like being scared, so putting this perspective into practice is an easy thing to do. Whenever I feel fear I can use it as a trigger to invoke my spiritual perspective — I can then challenge and defeat my anxious thoughts with the almighty power of God. BOOM!

I don’t want to be afraid anymore — of outcomes, of people, of accidents, of illness, of lack, of the future, of looking stupid, of weather, of the environment, of wild animals, of anything — I don’t want to be paranoid or anxious or untrusting. I want to enjoy life and all it has to offer — I therefore practice perceiving the eternal essence residing within all, seeing the undivided within the divided.

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