Have you noticed how much we compare ourselves to other animals to see 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.
Passing judgment is closely tied to thinking and we’re the only animals that think, at least as neurotically. This has unpleasant repercussions. As Jesus put it, “Judge not least thee be judged”. 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 pleasant way to judge, especially if you want to discover the similarities we share. Seeking out the similarities dims the “illusion of self” which lowers the ego’s exposure. This helps you blend in more, and connect with the rest of creation.
Fortunately, science continues to erase the line of distinction between ‘them’ and ‘us’ in its search for natural 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 life closely and be open enough to 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 put yet another nail in the coffin of human uniqueness, such as the “Man was 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 struggle so hard to maintain illusions of difference? I assume it all comes down to ego survival. Seeing ourselves as unique beings promises us 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 female normally uses stillness to overcome the male.
Using stillness she supports the lower position. (Note, “male” correlates (p.565) to ego.)
This 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 (p.11) as I call it.