The Saint & The Sinner Inside

July 2, 2016

“I am a human being. Nothing human can be alien to me.”
– Maya Angelou
Everything is Separate
One way to look at the world is to see it as a separate thing from us.

It’s like everything outside of us is happening on a tv show and we are the watcher. When there’s a mugging, shooting, or killing, we shake our heads and wonder how they could do that. We would never do something like that.

I lived my life like this for a long time.
When we live this way, we tend to look at evil as a separate outside thing, some personify it as the devil. If someone commits a crime, he was always a criminal inside. If someone is a saint, he was always a saint inside.

They were born this way.

Everything is Connected
Another way to look at the world is to know that everything outside also exists inside.

The good and the bad.
The light and the dark side.
The saint and the sinner.

I’m capable of every bad (and good) act.
This is more of a Taoist view of the world.

There’s a garden inside and we get to choose how to manage it.
Water the flowers and starve the weeds = saint.
Water the weeds and starve the flowers = sinner.

Nowadays, when a crime happens, I think wow, that could’ve been me if things went slightly different in my life. One or two missteps in the past and there I am. One or two missteps in the future, there I’ll be.

And in a way, I did do that crime.

I’ve realized that every person has the same I inner feeling that I also experience. Something I noticed while doing psychedelics and occasionally during deep meditation.

Maya Angelou
So, it was a pleasant experience when I ran into this Maya Angelou video the other day. She talks about the same thing, in a very elegant manner.

And she should know, she experienced it all.
I won’t get into all the gory details but she had an abusive childhood, spent her youth as a pimp, prostitute, and a club dancer before becoming a civil rights activist, poet, and spiritual teacher.

Maya Angelou – Wikipedia