“Observe your own body. It breathes. You breathe when you are asleep, when you are no longer conscious of your own ideas of self-identity. Who, then, is breathing? The collection of information that you mistakenly think is you is not the protagonist in this drama called the breath. In fact, you are not breathing; breath is naturally happening to you. You can purposely end your own life, but you cannot purposely keep your own life going. The expression, ‘my life’ is actually an oxymoron, a result of ignorance and mistaken assumption. You don’t possess life; life expresses itself through you. Your body is a flower that life let bloom, a phenomenon created by life.”
Jesus wasn’t a Christian, Siddhartha wasn’t a Buddhist, and Lao Tzu wasn’t a Taoist. They were individuals who stripped away everything but the essential truths about life that are in all of us if we have the courage to look.
We are capable of following the same process; peeling back the layers of convention and societal indoctrination that tell us how we “should” live our lives, seeing through our ego’s desperate attempts to convince us to be afraid and isolated, realising that life is living through us, all of us, and that forgiveness and love are the universal truths that lead to the peace that we all seek.
We don’t need to follow someone else’s path, and we certainly don’t need to be subject to the dogma, rules, rituals and power structures that all religions have used to bury the universal truths even deeper than they already are.