[Going Through Changes - continued]
The principle of equality is a safe guide, both in saving us from foolish condescension to disturbed people, and from self-limiting awe towards superior people.
The solution to all our push-pull tensions is to treat everyone, every being you recognize to be alive, as equal to yourself. Always look deeper than any evidence that you are unequal. If another person displays great wisdom or genius, produces great paintings, or even inflates himself to writing books of advice like this one, just DON'T BELIEVE it is any evidence that his potential is higher than yours. Know that anything he has done, you can do—not in the sense of debasing him but of elevating yourself. Don't "admire" him excessively—that separates you. Let him be what he is, love him as your brother, enjoy what he produces, treat him as an equal. And whatever you see on a psychedelic trip, just say, "I'm equal to that; we are all equal to that."
On the other side, if a person displays sickness and insanity, degradation and emotional distress, helplessness and despair, just don't believe it is any evidence that his potential is lower than yours. Know that anything you are doing, he can do. Don't blindly agree with his game; don't react as though what he is doing is real. Let him be what he is, love him as your brother, have compassion for him, treat him as your equal. Begin with the knowledge that he can bring himself out of it. Don't ignore him necessarily, unless you know that he has been running the same movie over and over and are bored with it. Your attention is always life-giving; it will make him feel stable and loved, and he can go up from there if he wants to. You can even tell him in words that you don't believe his game: do it while you are bandaging his wounds or feeding him or giving him money. Don't act superior to him: you aren't, you're his equal. Ignore the sin and love the sinner.
It is not a personal affront to you when someone is being discordant, it is a measure of his pain. He's showing you how much he hurts, and how much compassion he needs. But keep in mind, too, that not all victims are innocent. In a certain karmic sense, no victims are innocent, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't help them, for it is our fate to exist in a relation to them, and how we behave determines our own karma. But we should give help in a way that does not extend our attachment to low vibrations. That means we should give what we would expect to get, good or bad, in the same circumstance, and begin with the knowledge that all beings are equals.
While we still believe there are people greater or lesser than ourselves, we will tend to hang on all the more tightly to our current vibration level, we will be fastened to the people who make us feel at home. We will be stuck with our ideas, our emotional habits, our jobs, our bodies. We will be afraid to change because we will fear the unstable experiences we have when we try to reach a "higher" level. We will be afraid of falling to a "lower" level if we let go of our current stability.
Once you begin to behave in the knowledge that no being is greater or lesser than you, then you are free to change, because you will feel stable no matter what level you are on. You will feel calm and sure of yourself with or without a body, with or without a job, a brain, a book to read, or a book to write.
Withdrawing awareness from the expansions of others, and keeping attention on the contractions of others, fastens us to the world of matter. It is reassuring to know that this process, which got us incarnated in bodies in the first place, is also happening in our daily lives, and can be reversed very easily, starting now.
It is a nice truth that the way that will relieve your woes on the physical plane will also take you to the highest spiritual realizations. And the way is simple: No resistance.
Next: What is real?
Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment Contents