As we look at this statement we understand that it’s about holding all life as sacred. We love the earth, the creatures, and being outside in nature. We see the value in preserving life on earth and we try to honor others who are think differently than we do. Perhaps the challenge of this statement is accepting and honoring ourselves as who we are.
“The primary task of spirit is in discovering and knowing the value in yourselves.”
Maha Amma Ilowan
Within earth energy, all things serve a purpose. Think about mosquitoes, while they may not be valuable to you, they are valuable to birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, and other insects. All life is intertwined. Everything has a place and a purpose. Everyone matters. We can observe the pain and suffering when certain people or entities are singled out as unimportant. It’s easy to want to get rid of something or someone who seems threatening to us. But that is not the way of Compassion.
When we look at a tapestry or even a piece of cloth we can see that every thread has a purpose. When some threads are missing it creates a hole in the fabric. We all have a purpose for being here and we don’t necessarily have to know our purpose for our contribution to be relevant to others. Bees, birds, cats, dogs, and multiple other animals don’t know their purpose but their contribution is relevant.
Beings always matter. When someone dies, they leave a space – a hole in the tapestry of the lives of friends and family, but they may also leave a hole in the lives of people they didn’t even know. Your life, as you are, who you are, where you are, has value no matter what your life looks like. There is a perception in our culture that one person’s worth and contribution matters more than another’s. This is capitalism – where one’s value is measured by productivity, possessions, power, and prestige. In capitalistic machine-mind consciousness, a machine can be created to do a human task. The machine replaces the human or animal who is then cast out and left to starve.
“Life is a privilege that has been gifted to you as a human being in order to create love, compassion, generosity, and kindness.
Maha Amma Ilowan
We are taught to be good consumers and the more we consume, the more value we have. We are taught that if we have more things, we will be happier. If we believe those lies a problem arises which creates a tendency to compare and contrast what we have – and don’t have – with what other people have and don’t have. We might think that what others have is better than what we have. Sometimes we even want to change places with another because that person seems to be and have everything we want. There is a line in a song that says “Desire is the fire of creation.” But desire can also be the suffering of grasping the fiery wheel of samsara.
Consider: “Is a squirrel greater than a tree? In size, yes. Yet, each holds a fullness of being and purpose that is neither greater than, nor less than. A tree and a squirrel understand what they are and each finds a way to share their gifts.”
Reflect: “You have a responsibility to the earth, family, community, and life itself. Be the greatest YOU that you are capable of being. Share your skills and talents. You are here to use yourself up in service to Life.”
Contemplate: Some people think that having a role is binding, a limitation, but to have a role means we are of value to ourselves. If we know our role we can be a gift to those around us and contribute to the whole. Example: Being a mother or father to small children is a role. If we refuse to offer that role and make it a special gift, we create pain and suffering that can last for generations. To give to others is not only important to life, but to our soul.”
In this culture, we think that being busy, over-obligated and stressed brings value to our lives. But if we serve only our task list, constantly run errands, keep so busy that we don’t have any time, or live life according to the dictates of electronic devices, how is this creating value?”
Truly we are ONE essence with all other life. Science tells us that we share 95% of the same DNA with all other life forms. This means we belong together. Our spirit’s purpose is to create a life to share with Life. We must learn to celebrate interdependence instead of independence.
“We were brought here to give, love, and share. This is all that really matters.”