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Contemplating the One Life-Force

by Michael Ketterhagen


“Although we may be able to live separately at the physical level,

one life-force runs through us all.

It sustains every aspect of existence—

the world of minerals as well as the kingdom of plants, animals, and humans….

Hurting others is hurting ourselves; loving others is loving ourselves.“

--Pandit Rajmani Tigunait


That “One Life-Force” not only connects us, making us interdependent, like we contemplated in last week’s blog, but it also makes all of life one. Anything we do to ourselves we are doing to every other dimension of existence.


According to the Yoga sages, “whatever we do to others will ultimately be done to us.” “All is energy," says the quantum physicist. “For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction” is the second law of motion. Jesus of Nazareth said, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” (Matt 7:1-2 NRSV)


In actuality, then, both according to the physical and the spiritual worlds, there is no difference between us. The same life flows through us and animates us all.


This same life-force, which is often called God or Spirit, sustains our brother or our sister. That same vital reality nurtures and moves through the garden and the gardener. That same enlivening spirit moves through political enemies or even military enemies. When we kill in war, we are killing ourselves.


We all know this and yet we often forget to or fail to see ourselves as an integral part of all creation. We are intimately one with the birds, insects, mountains, trees and when we don’t realize that we end up harming those parts of nature because we believe we have some power or control over them.


Yet, under the physical surface there is no difference between me and all other beings. We just have to go beyond thinking of just our individual selves. This is what the self-help teachers and the spiritual gurus call being blinded by our own egos. Yoga says this occurs because out of ignorance we have a trivial sense of “I-am-ness,” identifying with our likes and dislikes. We fear losing our self-identity as individuals instead of knowing that all of life is one with us.


We are the universe; we are the earth; we are our community/family; we are our enemies. Life is One and we are One with Force of Life!

I pray to the divinity in you!


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