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Contemplating how hurting anyone means hurting God

by Michael Ketterhagen

“According to each of the world’s great spiritual traditions,

all individuals are children of God….

Just as parents are saddened

when their children fight and injure each other,

so must God be saddened when we hurt one another.“

--Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

Because all life is One, as I mentioned last week, every single one of us is not just connected to each other but our actions toward others impacts us. Because all of us are created by the same Life-Force, the same Divine presence that is in the Universe, we are affected by our actions towards others. When we understand, as Yoga does, that this Life-Force as a personal, compassionate, loving God, we know then that our hurtful actions towards any of God’s creation hurts God, our Source of Life.

It seems strange that such a powerful Being could be offended or saddened when we harm a part of creation, but if God is a truly loving being, and if God truly loves each of us very deeply, then God also loves everyone, every part of God’s creation.

Also, if we truly love God, then for us to harm or hurt any of God’s children, we are hurting God. We can’t ever say that we love God and then not show that same love to all of God’s creation—humans, animals, and even the other parts of God’s creation.

The Jewish rabbis, using their kosher traditions, say prayers for the animals that are killed in the slaughter houses for our human consumption. They thank God and the animals for giving their lives up so that the humans eating them can live. The Native Americans also pray and meditate before they go to hunt for their food. They recognize in their meditation the animal that is giving itself for the hunter.

Even in Christianity when “Jesus wept, (John 11:35),” biblical scholars spiritually interpreted that passage as telling us something about the nature of God; namely, that God suffers when we suffer, that God cries when we cry.

Our mind is often the problem. “Because of its selfishness” our mind just doesn’t remember or consider our unity with all life. It therefore forgets that we dishonor the Source of Life, our God whom we love, whenever we dishonor another person, or even any other part of God’s creation.

Because we are totally connected with each other, when we love others, we are not only loving ourselves; we are loving God! We must remember that if we want to truly love and respect God, the Source of our Life.

I pray to the divinity in you!

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