The deeper our compassionate, empathetic connection with things of nature, the earth and the cosmos, the deeper our connection with our own selves and with the divine aspect of life itself. According to ancient Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma, the human being must move towards empathetic and compassion (karuna) filled connections with nature, with people, and so on, if at all he is to live dynamically and spiritually.
The problem with modern man is that he has become a creature of psychology: everything happens through thought processes. And through thought, we sometimes lose touch with that aspect of being which is naturally meditative, connected to nature and to larger universal truth. This is a great loss for the human being, it is a fall from his original innocent wisdom of empathy. It is a fall from the entirety of energy that could be available to him, which is what mysticism is all about.
The whole idea of empathetic connections is about becoming interlinked with the energy of the greater cosmos itself. All of nature is a great network of energy, say the ancient sages of Vedanta. Hence what is called the ‘God’ of Hinduism is very different from what we know of as God in institutionalized religion. God is that aspect of life with which we can enjoy a real connection of energy, through the quality of our inner sense of empathy and compassion. Through feeling deeply connected to the world itself, comes about a deeper linkage to the entity called god. Hence, our connection to cosmic energy is our link to God.
So Hinduism is very bold in its assertion: it says that through material connections also can we become connected to the non-material. It is simply a question of how much our connections within the world are imbued with empathy. Great relationships can be a route to all round excellence, and to the divine too. Great relationships are these which have all the attributes of empathy and compassion: feelings of deep mutual respect, affection, friendliness and empathic vibes. Where energies such as these come together, magic happens. For example, within task oriented teams at work, where there is mutual respect and empathy between the team members, you can be sure that there is great leadership, and that the team will achieve things thought almost impossible by others.
So it’s eventually all about those aspects which nourish us. Our inter-connections of empathy and compassion nourish us. They are like the root system of the soil: all the different trees are rooted in the same soil and are connected through that soil. So this idea of inter-connection is really at the heart of dynamic living. And it is also at the heart of what we might call harmonious living within the world.
Why are so many negative actions being carried out at a global level? Be its conflicts, be it divisiveness about religion, and so on? It’s all about the negative aspect of thinking: feeling yourself separate from others...As if the soil of one religion is separate from the soil of another religion’s. Or one nation’s from another's. This whole aspect of disconnectedness has made man antithetical to nature and to other human beings. And through this, man has lost his touch not only with the divine aspect of existence but with the greater and deeper energies within himself also. His heart and soul have lost touch with his mind. And when the heart and soul are not in deep sync with the mind, you can be sure that even good intentions do not have good outcomes. For good outcomes to happen requires a great rootedness in the soil of our beings.
The whole question of adventure in life, the whole question of courage in life, is also connected to the sense of fearlessness we can feel in connecting to others and to ourselves. You see, the problem of why people act negatively to each other is that they feel that they are separate from others: they feel that there is no common link. They feel alienated and threatened. The moment this aspect of oneness comes about, the moment this feeling of being inter-connected in some deeper way comes about, there arises a wisdom of being able to get along with each other with a feeling of friendship. And where this feeling exists, you can be sure that there's going to be an intensity of good and positive vibrations. This is the secret not only of living dynamically as an individual, but of living dynamically as a society. This is the secret of a healthy society.
Hence we can see that Hinduism is very vast in its connotations. It addresses both the individual condition, as well as the condition of the whole of society itself. Of nations, of religions, of differing ideologies, and so on. It addresses what civilization needs to do in order to exist dynamically, through a spiritual and mystical attitude.