Have you noticed how much we compare ourselves to other animals and see to what extent they are like us? That’s all quite normal, of course. All animals judge other animals to some extent, although I should say size up, gauge, or perceive, rather than judge.
Judging is intimately tied to thinking and we’re the only animals that think, at least as voraciously. This has unpleasant repercussions. “Judge not least thee be judged”, as Jesus put it. Fortunately, there is another, more objective and tolerant way to perceive others…
Just like them!
Seeing how similar you are to others is a more useful way to judge, especially if you want to discover the similarities we share. Approaching perception this way dims the illusion of self and lowers the ego’s exposure. This helps you blend in more with the rest of creation.
Fortunately, science continues to erase the line of distinction between ‘them’ and ‘us’ in its search for the truth. Indeed, the bottom-line truth is much closer to similarity than difference. As chapter 56 notes, This is called profound sameness. All one needs to do is observe and be open enough to see and acknowledge it. Google: Ant fishing among the Kasekela chimpanzees and Majority-biased transmission in chimpanzees for documented transfers of a cultural tradition between primates. These helps put yet another nail in the coffin of human uniqueness—and the “man created in god’s image” myth.
Why Fight It?
If seeking out similarity promotes a greater sense of universal inclusiveness, i.e., spiritual Oneness, why do we so often fight tooth and nail to maintain illusions of difference? I suppose it all comes down to ego survival. Seeing ourselves as unique, ‘created in God’s image’ beings promises ego security. The irony is that it does just the opposite. The ego’s illusion of self results in an emotionally precarious and disconnected sense of self. As chapter 61 notes,
The following rule of thumb is helpful: “Difference points to illusion; similarity points to reality”. While this certainly doesn’t stop me from noticing differences, it does help remind me that I’m not seeing reality, but rather a projection of my own needs and fears… the bio-hoodwink as I call it.