Girl: “What are people like on the inside?”
Powder: “Inside most people there is a feeling of being separate. Separated from everything. And they’re not. They’re a part of absolutely everyone…and everything.”
Girl: “Everything? I’m a part of this tree? You’re telling me that I’m a part of some fisherman in Italy…on some ocean I’ve never heard of? There’s some guy sitting on death row. You’re telling me I’m a part of him, too?”
Powder: “You don’t believe me?”
Girl: “It’s hard to believe that…all of that.”
Powder: “That’s because you have this spot that you can’t see past. (He puts his finger on her forehead.) My grams and gramps had it. A spot where they were taught that they were disconnected from everything.”
Girl: “So that’s what they’d see if they could…that they’re connected?”
Powder: “And how beautiful they really are. And that there’s no need to hide, or lie. And that it’s possible to talk to someone without any lies, without no sarcasms, no deceptions, no exaggerations, or any of the things people use to confuse the truth.”
The above is a scene from one of my favorite movies called “Powder” and was one of the first message movies that had a real impact on me. Powder was a young man who was an albino, extremely intelligent, and who could sense the thoughts and feelings of those around him. The film explores the limits of the mind and body, and shows society’s capacity for cruelty, as well as its hope that humanity will be enlightened to a state of better understanding. It a heart-wrenching, yet heart-warming movie which gives us hope that maybe we human beings can learn to accept each other with love, kindness, and compassion, and to really come to know that we are, in truth, connected to one another, as well as to animals, nature, and our great Mother Earth.
Albert Einstein said, “A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ - a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
It is only when we separate ourselves from everyone and everything that we treat others differently. Slap a label on them and we have our justification. One of the biggest areas that causes separation is through our religions. When we think that ours is the one and only religion that should be believed in, we feel justified to vilify and condemn others based upon our beliefs. Whose beliefs? Whose religion? And whose denomination within those religions?
I feel connections to people through all religions and belief systems regardless of what I believe personally. I’ve learned a lot from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sufism, Taoism, Confucianism, Gnosticism, Hinduism, those from American Indians, Africans, Hawaiians, and so many more. I’ve also learned from so many teachers and masters throughout history, as well as modern day writers and speakers. There is so much truth and beauty in most all religions and by opening our minds to the wisdom to be gained from each, we make our lives and our belief systems so much more enriched. That doesn’t mean we can’t believe in only one religion or belief system. Most do and that’s perfectly okay. I will never tell anyone what they have to believe or that they’re wrong if they don’t believe the way I do.
There is also so much to be learned from all the various cultures all over the world. I hope that someday I can visit different parts of the world to see and learn from so many. Personally, I feel very connected to all people, to animals, and to Mother Nature, and I feel so blessed because of it. Enlightenment comes from opening our heart, mind, and soul to everything God/Spirit/Universe would have for us to experience.
Just think…. If we could all come together as Powder said above…without any lies, without sarcasms, deceptions, exaggerations, or any of the things people use to confuse the truth, maybe, just maybe, we could experience real love for our fellow beings and all of life, and maybe, just maybe, even manifest world peace. As John Lennon said, “You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.”
Published in the January 31, 2014 Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper.