The essence in all beings is a spark of the Divine and so, it is the same in all. It is not identified with any nation, race or religion. Thus, it is anonymous, like a tree in a forest. The awareness of this fact brings in universal love in human beings.

The Ego-self and The True Self
We are all familiar with the ego-self, but with deeper awareness we move towards our True Self as different from the thought created ego-self. That transformation brings about a radical change in our outlook towards our fellow beings and the animal world. There is then the possibility of creating a peaceful humanity who would live without hurting each other and hurting nature’s offspring.

Currently humanity is in difficulties due to two causes: Natural calamities and humanity’s own ego-based approach to living. The second factor is a more common driving force than the first. It is correctable and so it is the responsibility of every citizen to contribute to that transformation. The collective is made up of the individual and hence the change has to take place in the individual first.

The habitual neurology drives people to identify themselves with a nation, race, religion etc, and that is where the human unrest has its origin. ‘Mine is the only way’ kind of exclusivist attitude divides people and brings about antagonism, pushing them into rivalry and hatred. The conventional mindset is based on the ego-self functioning through emotional attachment to people, property, belief systems etc. It is rooted in the image one has about oneself – the ‘I am the body’ idea coupled with the psychological factors of success and failure. The thought based reality makes the ego-self look real while such a self has no existence outside of thought; in other words, the ego-self has no intrinsic substantiality. In contrast, the True Self is the very essence of our being and it has no beginning and no end. It does not have to look for any identification for it to sustain itself. That is also why the True Self is anonymous. It is the basis for self-awareness and the primal living force, and it is the same in all beings.

The Near Death Experience
The nature of the True Self is experienced by almost all people who go through a near death experience (NDE). For example, the following lines taken from the article “I Died At 10.52 AM” by Victor Solow (Reader’s Digest, October 1974) reflect the matter of experiencing the True Self - firsthand - under NDE.

“Now I was not in a place, nor even in a dimension, but rather in a condition of being. This new “I” was not the I that I knew but rather a distilled essence of it, yet something vaguely familiar, something I had always known buried under a superstructure of personal fears, hopes, wants and needs. This “I” had no connection to the ego. It was final, unchangeable, indivisible, indestructible pure spirit. While completely unique and individual as a finger print, “I” was, at the same time, part of some infinite, harmonious and ordered whole. I had been there before.”

A second NDE that echoes the same perception is that of Anita Moorjani in 2006. She has come up with a nice book entitled “Dying To Be Me”. The following lines occur in that presentation:

“I became aware of a boundary before me, although the demarcation wasn’t physical. It was more like an invisible threshold marked by variation in energy levels. I knew that if I crossed it, there was no turning back. The unconditional love and acceptance was incredible, and I wanted to cross the threshold in order to continue to experience it for eternity. It was as though I was enveloped in the oneness, the pure essence of every living being and creature, without their aches, pains, dramas, and egos.”

In the Bhagawad Gita, Chapter 2, Krishna talks about the soul in living beings. He mentions that the soul is ancient and immortal and represents a spark of the Divine. The bodily death does not end it. Many things mentioned in the above two NDEs click with Krishna’s exposition in the Gita.

The Salutary Effect of the Perception
When we pay attention to the True Self as different from the ego-self, we move into a different dimension of living. The self-importance, driven by the ego-self, begins to dissolve and pure compassion flows towards all beings. We wouldn’t fall prey to the usual thought vortex of fear, anger, regret etc. Even though this transformation takes place in slow stages, it is irreversible and soon takes the human being into vibrant living. There is self-care as well as care of others, all rolled into one abundant feeling for healthy life, psychologically and physically. As more and more human beings come into this awareness, the exclusivist attitude, national prejudices and sectarian practices would disappear. The associated tension which people go through as a result of those harmful mental stances would evaporate, leading to mutual respect and camaraderie among them. Harmonious and peaceful living on this beautiful planet would become a practical reality. Can we make at least our great-grandchildren see it?!

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Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.

Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.

Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in the southern part of India, with his wife Banumathy. Blog: