There is a funny scene in Meet the Parents when Robert De Niro asks his putative son-in-law whether you can ever fully trust another human being. Ben Stiller thinks it over and says, sure.
No, says De Niro. You can’t.
We want people to please us – to be consistent, to be loving, to be there when we need them, on the terms that we set. And it never works. Even the kindest and most attentive of human beings can’t be there for us that way all the time. That’s what it means to be human.
I’m not saying we can’t be kind – we can and we should be. I’m also not saying that we should let people walk on us – we shouldn’t. But in all cases, we need to divest ourselves of the idea that another human being is ever going to be the substitute for God that we’re secretly – and sometimes not so secretly – asking them to be.
To “single out” is to “make alone,” and thus make lonely. God did not do this to you. Could He set you apart, knowing that your peace lies in His Oneness? (T-13.III.12:1-3)
If God wouldn’t do it to us, why should we do it any of our brothers and sisters?
Specialness can never share, for it depends on goals that you alone can reach . . . Can love have meaning where the goal is triumph? And what decision can be made for this that will not hurt you? (T-24.I.6:5, 7-8)
As soon as we set someone apart as special – because of how beautiful they are, or how eloquent they are, or how hard-working they are, or whatever – we have made that person an enemy. We’ve chosen those qualities in their body that work for our body. There is no way around that. We are using specialness to set them apart: and separation always hurts us, too.
In The Voice That Precedes Thought Tara Singh offered a vision of the wholeness of Love.
God loves His children
and He only has one child.
Love is His child.
His child is a State of Being,
not a physical vessel.
You are His child when you are not separated
Then you have no one to blame,
no one to cheat, no one to react to.
You meet at the level where you are both One.
Then you will know what wholeness is.
You are not in conflict with anything.
Your life becomes creative and effortless.
Are we there? We are not there when we are meeting on the ground of specialness. And when we know that we are rendering a brother or sister special – which we will likely know most clearly when they disappoint us, which they must – can we not ask Jesus to help us release them?
Nobody wants to be a prisoner here: and it is within our power to liberate all our brothers and sisters. Oneness means that we are equal because we are the same. It means that we cannot hurt one another. If we are hurt, we can rest assured we are seeing both our self and our brother or sister as a body.
Now is the time to push beyond the limitations of the world and the body. Now is the time to reach for the Love that ends conflict, that shines beyond our appetites and goals and needs.
I am not suggesting we don’t have a responsibility to be kind and helpful and all that. We do. In the world as we perceive it, that is often the best we can do. But there is more: there is something lovelier yet.
Love will enter immediately into any mind that truly wants it, but it must want it truly. This means that it wants it without ambivalence, and this kind of wanting is wholly without the ego’s “drive to get” (T-4.III.7-8).
Tara Singh put it this way:
Where there is love
you stand alone,
but you are related.
Can we see the truth of that? Are we ready to go there? We will have to let a great deal go but something finer will remain because it is all we really had in the first place: our natural inheritance: Love.