It’s the fundamental confusion. I, other. Without duality, we couldn’t go to war. We couldn’t act selfishly. We couldn’t harm our environment. As Deepak Chopra reminded me some years ago, it’s not the environment, out there, and us, here.
It’s our environment. We are it and it is us.
Deepak Chopra: We shouldn’t be calling something the environment.That’s a total misperception because that says there’s a biological organism, and then there’s an environment. But the biological organism and the environment are two reflections of the same thing: consciousness. Those trees aren’t trees; they are your lungs. If they don’t breathe, you won’t breathe and ifyou don’t breathe, they won’t breathe. The rivers and waters aren’t just rivers and waters; that’s your circulation. If they are polluted, so are you. And if you are polluted, so are they [laughs]. The air is not just the atmosphere; it’s your breath. The earth is not just the ground over there; it’s your physical body. Because you and the earth recycle [one another] all the time. So unless you have an emotional and spiritual relationship with your extended body, which you call the environment—the totally wrong word—there’s not going to be any healing. And for that shift in perception, you have to have a shift in consciousness.
Waylon Lewis, for ele: You are referring to something that Buddhists refer to as duality. You say, I’m here—
Deepak Chopra:That’s right.
Waylon Lewis, for elephant: And the environment is over there. And then you don’t care about the environment, or you are passionate about it and will blow up SUVs because you care about it so much.
Chopra:That’s it: dualistic thinking. Thinking mind and body is dualistic. There’s no such thing as a mind-body connection—they are the same thing. There’s no such thing as a biological organism and the environment—they are the same thing. In fact, there’s no such thing as me and you. The whole idea that you exist as a person is a total misperception of reality.
ele: Right. That’s ego.
Chopra:Yeah. There’s no such thing as a person, you know. Personal identity is provisional, impermanent and constantly transforming. It is totally transient. Just to even have the idea that I exist as a person allows me to then see other people as persons. And that, of course, is the beginning of all the problems…for the rest, click here.