Understanding that the continuity of consciousness is without a beginning point has changes my perspective in many ways. One of its most life-enhancing implications is the unavoidable truth that in the past, we’ve been intimately connected to all other living beings. All sentient beings have been my mother. As my mothers, they’ve been unimaginably kind. Therefore, there is nothing more important for me to do in this life than to repay their kindness.
Sometimes while thinking along these lines, a dissenting thought chimes in, arguing that in the same way, all sentient beings have been my mean third grade teacher, my captor, my predator, my slanderer.
While this is true, it doesn’t actually diminish the kindness of my mothers nor in any way make it acceptable to not have loving-concern for them. For one, anger sucks. It serves no good purpose, and to be resentful would only make me miserable to no end. If I really ask myself if there’s truly a sound reason to not develop love for all beings, no matter who they are or what they’ve done, will I find one?
Further, the kindness received far outweighs any harm endured. If I look at our world, this is evident. Mammals would not have evolved if kind mother beings did not invest themselves so selflessly in the care of their children. Absent the kindness of mother sentient beings, our human societies would collapse over night.
How often am I murdered, beaten, eaten, enslaved, or otherwise harmed? Perhaps once a lifetime, maybe with a handful of other mild harms – but mother sentient beings have poured kindness upon me for years on end. I’m still on my mother’s health insurance!
Today, I will reflect on the kindness of mothers – mothers I see in the supermarket, mothers I see in nature videos, mothers I see flitting around out the window, and as much as I can remember being reared by my own mother. It’s remarkable. It’s incessant. It’s why I’m certain that love is an central aspect of human nature.
I will bring to mind the warm-hearted affection of regarding my mother lovingly when I look at each person I meet. I’ll see their inner beauty, recalling that I’m only here today because of the kindness they’ve been giving me for eons past. With gratitude and a mind brimming with fantastic joy at the sheer luminosity created as loving-kindness manifests, I’ll extend myself out to others. I’ll care for all others equally, wishing that they have everything good and all the causes for true happiness.