Dr. Dean Ornish answered:
On one level, of course, we are limited by time and space, we are separate from each other. You're you, and I'm me. And we can celebrate our differences. Though we are separate from each other, we are not only separate. On another level, there is a higher force working through each of us, whatever name we give to that, and that force connects us all. We feel isolated only because we believe we are separate and only separate.
By analogy, the light from a movie projector appears on the screen as different characters, situations, and dramas. But behind this diversity is the same light, which equally illuminates the hero and the villain, the powerful and the weak, the lover and the beloved.
We first need well-defined personal boundaries and a strong sense of autonomy before we can transcend them. When we can maintain a "double vision"- enjoying the diversity and richness of life while remaining grounded in a higher force - then we can begin to free ourselves of self-destructive patterns. Then we can go out into the world without being so caught up by it; without being so knocked around by it; without being destroyed by it. We can enjoy the drama without forgetting who we are.
In 1896, a spiritual teacher named Swami Vivekananda gave a series of lectures in London on these ideas:
In one word, this ideal is that you are divine. "Thou art That. ..." To many this is, no doubt, a terrible ideal, and most of us think that this ideal can never be reached; but it can be realized by everyone. One may be either man or woman or child; one may belong to any race-nothing will stand as a bar to the realization of this ideal, because it is realized already, it is already there. All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark. Know that there is no darkness around you. Take your hands away and there is the light which was from the beginning.
This experience of oneness, of an expanded Self, has implications on both a cellular level and on a global level. In this context, "Love your neighbor as yourself' is a description of truth, not simply a command. All religions, all forms of worship, all types of prayer or meditation are equally valid-there are many paths to the same ultimate truth. Our higher self is limited only by our capacity to experience it.Find out more about this book: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scie...On one level, of course, we are limited by time and space, we are separate from each other. You're you, and I'm me. And we can celebrate our differences. Though we are separate from each other, we are not only separate. On another level, there is a... More