My philosophy is to be relaxed always, under all circumstances. You don’t need to prepare yourself to achieve something. Just be as you are and then if anything inspires you, go ahead and take action. The purpose behind all the different spiritual teachings is simply to be as you are. You are not asked to become something different. And besides, you cannot become something different than what you already are. I’m talking about the real you, the true you.

In reality, we are all one in spirit and we can never do anything to disturb that spirit. We don’t even need to think about becoming united. We already are. We are all one because we are ever united in spirit, which we call God. In God we are one because we are all made in the same image. Every scripture accepts that idea. All the great sages and saints have said that we are one in God. The Bible states, “God made man in His own Image.” Of course it must be understood that the word “man” also means “woman.”

In fact, all that we see as so many different forms and names is nothing but the expression of the same Cosmic Spirit. We also call that spirit as Cosmic Consciousness or the Infinite One, which you also call, God. God, cannot be limited. Many of us think of God as the Father or the Mother. Some will think of God as friend or the Beloved. It just depends of the attitude, the kind of relationship you have and the way you want to communicate with God. God is beyond all these names and kinds of relationships. If you really accept that God is infinite, you understand that God cannot be put into any one particular form. That’s why God is not a He, She, or even an It! To quote the Bible again, “In the beginning there was God and God alone. There was nothing but God.” If there was nothing but God and all of a sudden God decided to create, what would the creation have come from? Certainly all these so-called various forms and names were created out of Himself or Herself or even Itself. So in that sense, we are all expressions of God.

We are all expressions of the same Cosmic Essence, which in its original state is expressionless or unmanifested. When I say “all expressions,” I mean not only human beings, but everything. That includes all inanimate things, all that you see, and all that you do not see. When the scriptures say this, you may find it hard to understand. But when the scientists say the same thing, you understand. We seem to have a soft corner for the scientists because they prove these truths, as if the scriptures do not prove them. You believe the scientists when they say that all that you see and do not see, including the you who sees, is nothing but the product of different groupings of atoms.

All these forms are the outcome of groups of atoms. The atoms differ in numbers and velocities and create different elements. The elements are combined and create different forms and so that is how we are all here now. If we could all be put into a huge machine and crushed, the result would be a huge bundle of atoms and nothing but that. So the scientists say that the original stuff of which we are all made is the atom. And the Bible says the original cell stuff is Adam. The spiritual people use the “d” and the scientists use the “t,” as it is a stronger sound. In English, the original stuff is called an atom, and in Sanskrit it is called, Atma. So we see lot of agreement on the basic principles.

If we are all made of the same stuff, and only appear differently, why do we forget our true nature? Some would say that forgetting one’s own nature is the original sin. Others would say that the first sin is ignorance. Ignorance is also a sort of forgetfulness. You have forgotten the truth or you have ignored the truth. Therefore, all the different faiths tell us to raise above the differences and to know thyself. The expected goal behind all the spiritual practices is to know your true nature. Otherwise, you shouldn’t even call what you are doing spiritual practice or spirituality. Religion means spirituality. And that means thinking and doing something in terms of spirit not in terms of the body or mind. We have to recognize the spirit. In that, we come to know one another and that is the real spirituality.

Spiritual practice should help you recognize your spirit and the spirit of others and to feel the oneness. Then you have communion, or you have Yoga. Yoga, literally means, union or communion. It means to yoke, to put together, or to recognize the oneness. But in the name of spirituality, when people simply see divisions, they have forgotten the spiritual level and are only acting or seeing on the mental or physical level. We also divide people on by their country, or the language they speak, or the color of the skin. Wherever you see division, you miss the spirit. The real coming together is possible only by realizing the spirit. We all want to come together. We all want to recognize the oneness and that alone is going to bring peace. Remember, there are no two similar minds in the whole world. Each mind is in some way or other different from the other minds. The nature, or God, wanted it that way. Why? Because variety is the spice of life.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda