The Power of One

Bahram R. Shahmardaan, PhD

Progress brings change but change does not necessarily result in progress. Since without change, there can be no progress, individuals and societies who are unwilling to change are essentially shutting the door on progress and their personal and communal growth.

Most of us are not controlling the direction of change. Why? Because:

We are not in control of our mind and senses. So instead of acting, we are reacting. Thus although we are all changing, most of us are at the mercy of the thoughts within our mind, which is out of control, and the external stimuli aimed at us by advertising agencies and other groups trying to manipulate us.

The Law of inertia makes us continue to do what we have done in the past. We remain stuck to the trend of society and peer pressure.

We can effectively deal with these external forces and minimize their impact on us and our surroundings, if as individuals and as a people we can learn to control our mind and senses. But alas, if you look at the trends in society, we witness that we are constantly bombarded by advertisements for products and things that are intended to satisfy our every whim and fancy. With the result that in the wealthiest countries of the world, the technologically advanced nations we experience the paradox of having more things than our ancestors but less peace of mind. In our Universities we have more courses but students remain confused about the meaning and purpose of life. Our possessions have multiplied but our values have diminished. During the Christmas holiday season when things are on sale, one can see the lack of civility when people who are going to purchase things to better celebrate a common holiday forget the spirit of Christmas which is to spread love and joy by sharing what they have. Rather than teach higher values of life, our Universities train our students to earn more money, which is generally equated with wealth.

All spiritual masters through the ages have railed against the pursuit of money. Love, compassion and living in harmony with nature have been emphasized by all the wise men through the ages. Yet in the pursuit of money we are destroying the very essentials of life. We are polluting the air, water and soil. The hole in the Ozone layer over the Antarctic has become alarmingly large. Global warming can no longer be ignored. We need to remind ourselves of the wisdom of Chief Joseph Seattle, "Man has not created the web of life but is merely strand in it. Destroy the web and you will destroy yourself."

But this is precisely what we seem to be doing. Our insatiable appetite for economic growth makes us work to destroy each other and the very environment that supports life on earth as we know it. No matter how they are sold to the public, most if not all wars are fought for economic reasons.

So what to do?

Many of us do not realize this but we really are only channels through which the Universe flows and distributes itself. Even among those who are aware that we are only channels of the Universe; few consciously live their lives as channels. Our body, with which most of us identify, is nothing but a bunch of hollow tubes. Air flows in and out of it. So does water, food, heat, light, sound etc. In fact when the body can no longer be a channel through which the physical universe distributes itself, it will die. If air, water, food etc. can no longer flow in and out of your body then the body will die. So long as your body continues to remain a channel of this physical universe, your body will continue to live and grow. Similarly thoughts flow in and out of our mind. The moment our mind is no longer conscious i.e. we are unconscious as in deep sleep or under total anesthesia, then in our unconscious state nothing exists for us.

As channels we can determine what we will allow to flow through us. We can either allow love or hate to flow through us.
We cannot give what we do not have. You cannot teach what you do not know. Before you can teach someone any subject, you have to first learn it yourself and only then will you be able to share the knowledge with another. Usually, you can not teach everything you have learned and when you teach, you learn more of the subject than the students. Also, when you share your knowledge with someone else, your knowledge does not diminish but the quantum of knowledge increases.

Similarly, before you can give someone hate you have to allow it to flow into and through you. Now why would you want to do that? Why would you want to allow hate to enter into your being only so that you can pass it on to someone who has hurt you? And you can never give to another all of the hate that enters into your being. And even if you could, all the hate would first have to flow through you before reaching the object of your hate. So why would you want to do that? It does not make any logical sense.
Hate hurts the hater more than the hated. Conversely before you can love someone, you have to allow love to flow into and through you. So love benefits the lover more than the beloved.

Because we are channels through which the Universe distributes itself, each one of us has the capacity to positively influence the world and help create a civilized world.

Each one of us has the Power of One; the Power of the One Universe with which and through which we are all connected and whose energy flows through us all. Therefore each one of us has to power to stop hate in its tracks. But how many of us are conscious of this Power that we all share and can tap into? If each one of us chooses to allow only love to flow through us and refuses to permit hate to enter our minds, then hate will no longer have a channel through which to manifest. Is this a realistic proposition?

Let us first examine some statistics.

It is estimated that there are about six billion three hundred million people on earth. Yet if each of us will examine our own life, we will find that in our entire life, we do not interact on a day-to-day basis with more than about 100 people. Think about it for a moment. Even if you are part of a large family, you are close to only a few of your siblings and relatives. And you do not interact all the time with even the relatives you are close to.

Similarly if you are among the fortunate few who have gone to school and college, you interact with a few teachers and friends. At work you interact with a few colleagues. So when you add all the people that you interact with on a one on one basis, for most of us the number will be less than 100 in our entire life.

One way of looking at this statistic is to accept that out of a total population of six billion three hundred million, the Universe, Fate, Destiny, call it what you will, has selected these 100 people for you to share your life and experiences with i.e. to learn from them and to teach them. So if you divide the total population of the earth i.e. 6,300 million people, by 100, then this group of 100 people represents one person out of 63 million people that the Universe has selected for you grow through life with their help and for you to help them do the same. Should you not be nice to them? Should you not be willing to sacrifice for them and support them by sharing your good thoughts, time, resources and such?

And we do not deal with all 100 people at once. Mercifully, to make it easier for us, the Universe has distributed them over our lifetime. At any given stage in our lives we may deal with no more than 10 to 15 people on a day-to-day basis. If each one of us will commit to loving the 100 or so persons that we interact with on a day-to-day basis in our entire life, the world will be much more harmonious and civilized. Then, like the Himalayan nation of Bhutan, each country will be able to measure success in terms of their Gross National Happiness instead of their Gross National Product, and together we will celebrate and learn from our differences and enjoy Global Peace.

The human mind is limited and incapable of experiencing the Limitless. To negotiate its way around and understand the immense universe, the human mind breaks up the Unity into small parts that it can deal with. We can use these very limitations and capacity of the human mind to create a civilized world. To ask the human mind to love all of creation is to make a request that is beyond its capacity. But it is capable of showering 100 people with love especially if the 100 people are broken up into smaller groups that it has to interact with over a lifetime.

Let us jointly examine a scenario. Let us say that for whatever reason a man wakes up upset. Instead of dealing with his condition and being nice to the rest of his family, he unloads his upset onto his wife and kids. Now if the wife is a stable person, she will be able to absorb the abuse. But if she is unable to do so, she may also release her upset on the kids or others she interacts with during the day. If she shifts her upset onto the kids, they may irate and misbehave in school. If the people the wife interacts with cannot absorb her upsets and in turn get upset and unload on others, a chain reaction starts which will continue till someone can break the cycle by absorbing the shock.

Notice, this is very similar to an atomic explosion.

In order to have an atomic explosion, you need to have unstable atoms that will release an electron. Stable atoms do not do so. So also stable people will absorb their pain and not dump it on others. Alas because the human mind is built around a nucleus of fear, most of us are so insecure that we tend to be unstable and react negatively to what others say and do with the result the chain of upsets continues. This repeated over a period of time erupts in violence.

To absorb the upset of another, usually all we have to do is to give up the attachment to our point of view or not be self conscious of and attached to the perceived wrongs done to us. This world would be very dull if all of us were exactly alike. Indeed if all of us were exactly alike, we would not be able to learn from each other. We can only learn and grow from others who are different from us. So instead of being afraid of our differences and hating each other because of them, we should embrace our differences with love and learn from them.

Each and every one of us has the power to do this. If we do this, we will be able to stop hate in its tracks. Just like darkness is dispelled in the presence of light, similarly to transform hate into love, all it takes is resolve and an open mind that is motivated by love and not fear. If we do this then, only love will radiate through and from our beings and permeate the Universe around us. 
Love is the most powerful force in the Universe? Why? Because the more Love gives of itself, the more it grows. When you share knowledge, your knowledge does not diminish. Yet the quantum of knowledge increases. Similarly when you share Love, your Love does not diminish but the quantum of Love increases. So the more Love gives of itself, the more it grows. Therefore Love is for giving. Therefore Love forgives. Love is the only Creative and Cohesive force in the Universe.

People may resist hate because it agitates, engenders fear and a sense of insecurity. But everyone will accept Love which soothes and provides a sense of security. No one needs Love more than those who are full of hate. 

Let each one of us become a channel of love. Love will transform our human personality. As channels of Love, we can reduce and possibly eliminate hate from our individual & collective lives and together reduce the quantum of hate in the Universe.

Together we can then become a river of love that will help mankind flow towards and merge with the ocean of Love that is God.

Bahram R. Shahmardaan, PhD