Our soul’s reality is infinite. Therefore we must learn to love everybody, and everything.

How can we do so? Many people are so distinctly unlovable! I was in an airport only the other day, watching hordes of airplane passengers as they walked by, filled with ego, hostile toward their own families, thinking only of themselves and their own desires and ambitions, clogged with the fat of an excess of desires and attachments.

And I said to a friend, “How easy it is to accept what Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: ‘Out of a thousand, one seeks Me’!” If I had spoken about God to almost any one of them, he might have called for the police!

And yet, the germ of God-consciousness is in all of us, for God manifested us all from His Bliss. How can this be?

I had a revealing dream several years ago in Florence, Italy. In the dream I was standing on a busy street corner. Passing by was the usual motley crowd of humanity: businessmen bustling with ambition; Mafiosi types determined to “get theirs” at any cost whatever to others; housewives, engrossed completely in home and babies; and good people also, concerned for the well-being of others.  And I realized that there was one thing that united every one of us: the desire for happiness.

Some hoped to find happiness by seizing it from others. Some hoped to find it by wresting it from life through hard work and the accumulation of a useless pile of possessions. Others thought to find it by gathering happiness comfortably around them. Others thought to find it, and indeed had found it to some degree, by sharing it with others. But all of them had, basically, the same goal in life: to be happy.

Indeed, how could things be otherwise? All of us are products of God’s bliss. How could anyone not want—each according to his own understanding—to reclaim that bliss?

And this fact, I realized, gave me a reason to love everyone on earth. Often, when I have been feeling particularly blissful, I look around me at people, whether friends or strangers, and feel deep love for each and every one of them. I often smile at complete strangers. Better still, I often find that complete strangers smile at me, sometimes even before I smile at them!

We are united by the simple fact that all of us want the same thing. The sad thing only is that most people don’t yet know that is what they want.

We should try to expand our egos, and not merely to obliterate them. This we can accomplish by trying to feel ourselves in others. We should identify with their griefs—not to the extent of grieving with them, however. We can help them best if we sympathetically share with them our happiness.

From: Swami Kriyananda – A Life in God. Available Fall 2013 from Crystal Clarity Publishers.

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