Life is sacred. But often we abuse it.

From a higher perspective, all life is sacred. As a yogi told us, “See God in each other”. The Bible instructs, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. Depending on your perspective, this energy extends to all entities and beings, sentient and insentient, in physical form and not. Thus life is honoured and people are treated accordingly. A key glue in human interaction is mutual respect.

Life is sacred. Seeing the sacred in each other
Relationships – seeing the sacred in each other

However, that is not how many humans live their lives.

Honesty

A simple litmus test is the extent to which we encounter lies and deceit in our daily lives. How truthful are we? It’s a common complaint in today’s world that there is so much lying. Some can be small, simple untruths that are fairly harmless, what some call a “white lie”. At the other end of the spectrum are lies that result in crime or untruths told to whole populations. Trust is crucial to human interaction and it needs truth to work.

The word “truth” is problematic. One person’s truth is not another’s, since they may hold different beliefs and may perceive matters differently. When one group’s understanding of “the truth” conflicts with another’s, things may break down. It can be indicative of where we all need to rise above the sweaty little ego.

Ego is often invested in truth or falsehood, and surrendering this investment, and the exercise of humility, can open doors to better understanding. There may be whole sets of beliefs that we hold that don’t serve us and that we need to let go of.

Judgement

Another area of perception is how we hold on to judgement, especially where we judge others unfavourably. Examples can include where we hold negative opinions of others, or consider them to be “wrong” (we of course being “right”). People may, in a sense, be tried by us, found wanting, have judgement passed on them, and be punished accordingly. We may feel anger in the process, and it might be that the recipient in turn would feel guilt. At an extreme humans kill people who have failed the test.

As a historian, I often speak of the witch trials between the 16th and 18th centuries. Old women, often living on their own, perhaps eccentric, could become the targets of an extreme form of misogynistic prejudice, and subject to trials, ducking in ponds, and being burnt alive. There’s been much research recently into witch hunts in Scotland, as result of which the Scottish government issued a formal apology in 2022. Another notorious example is the Salem Witch Trials in New England. Yet, this sort of extreme prejudice continues to be acted out in other ways.

History, and present-day events, are full of such forms of ill-treatment towards our fellow human beings across the globe. How sacred is such life?

Thus it can be very useful, in personal development, to become aware of the judgements we make of others, and therefore to notice the beliefs and values by which we make these judgements. There will probably also be feelings beneath these views. Do they serve us?

Relationship in the love-based paradigm

In the love-based paradigm, however, we love others unconditionally. Such a perspective is non-judgemental. We speak the truth. We let go of our negative perceptions. We no longer need them. They don’t serve us, and they certainly don’t speak well of us. There is so much more to gain.

A supreme way we can experience the love-based paradigm is through the love of another. One can also develop one’s experience of love through meditation. One can know it through the embrace of others, with nature, with animals, in regarding an inspiring scenery, or in listening to music. One can learn to hold it in one’s heart, purely and simply, without necessarily needing something or someone external to us, but knowing that we are all part of it all anyway.

From this place we willingly share what we have, and help others who need it, without attachment or a sense of obligation or requirement, unconditionally.

This shift in perspective is a fundamental one, arguably core to human evolution as well as to our personal relationships.