The spirit of community living


The spirit of community living and the aspiration for cooperative activity visible in human life may be regarded as an open book, by reading between the lines of which we would be able to discover a great secret operating behind human adventures. The visible is perhaps an indicator of an invisible operation which lies at the back of every form of adventure or activity in the human world.

Human life is a great question posed before everyone. It asks everyone living on Earth a question: What am I? The answer to this question which the world raises before mankind is the reaction of man to the atmosphere around him in the form of this vast and spread-out life on Earth in myriad forms of manifestation.

Whatever we do, whatever we think in our minds and whatever we aspire for or hope to achieve may be considered as a sort of response to this question mark which the world raises: What do you see in me? What do we see in this world? This is the question the world seems to be raising, and mankind throughout its history has been responding to this query in many a way through the ups and downs of the fates of people and the strengths and weaknesses of humanity in general.

Notwithstanding an ostensible difficulty that anyone may feel in answering this query what life is, there is an obvious and perceptible feature recognisable in human life, namely, a sense for community and cooperative life, tending towards a novel revelation that man loves man. Mankind feels an irresistible impulse from within itself to consider its wide range on this Earth as perhaps a single power which is manifesting from within its heart and its feelings, an aspiration which may be called human longing. There is a speciality common to human nature in general which seeks to connect mankind into an integrated and compact force which wishes to gird up its loins for the realisation of a common purpose, though the specific character of this purpose or commonness of aim does not seem to be clear.

But there is a symbol, an insignia, a pointer that seems to be manifest in our overt activities. We are overwhelmingly immersed in these activities, or rather, I may say, in reading the lines only, and not reading between the lines – immersed in deciphering the meaning of the letter of life rather than the spirit of it. Though this may seem to be the predicament of man today in his involvement in public activity and private life, there is undoubtedly something hidden as an indicator for the betterment of his future in the phenomenon of this very activity and adventure in which he is engaged.

Swami Krishnananda

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