Beyond “Us” and “Them”
In its essence, the Neohumanist philosophy is about continually expanding the radius of our circle of love to include the entire universe. Human love is nurtured from birth by forming attachments to those closest to us, but often, beginning in early childhood, those outside of our circle of love, are part of an unknown “Other”. We then begin to experience the duality of “us” and “them” – those that are part of our world and thus familiar, safe and approachable, while those that are not, and are unfamiliar, alien and often thus perceived as threatening on some level due to our basic fear of the unknown.
I just made a playlist on SoundCloud of some of my favorite recordings of live kiirtans, that I made during gatherings with hundreds of Ananda Marga meditators. Kiirtan is the chanting of sanskrit mantras that create a deep resonance with Divine Love. There are many mantras in the tradition of kiirtan – but the one that I love best is “Baba Nam Kevalam” which means “I am only calling out to my Beloved”. It focuses and aligns the whole heart and mind to that core of unconditional, Divine Love that vibrates the essence of the entire universe.
Singing kiirtan is such an amazing simple way to experience pure spiritual bliss. These recordings give a taste of how that bliss intensifies when many people gather together to sing, creating a powerful flow of minds all moving towards that same Divine Nucleus.
A prose poem and a watercolor I painted as I process the loss of my laokik father, visiting the beach where he spent so many happy days:
Bright red rose petals surprise me, peeking out from the dark matted seaweed, drying on the beach.
Only a few days ago, we stood at the edge of the water, looking out on the still bay at sunset. Flinging magnificent roses, many red and one white, from the funeral arrangements, one by one into the gently lapping waves, chanting a sanskrit hymn of offering and release.
Tonight, I slide the kayak into the water, shallow at low tide. The sun has turned fiery pink as it settles towards the tree lined horizon. I head out into the waves, salt air blowing softly on my face.