People love to divide and categorize. They place labels on everything and, if anything doesn’t have a name or a definition, someone will think of one. One of the most basic and simplest examples of this tendency is the division of experience into an “inner” and an “outer” world.
The “inner” world includes a person’s thoughts and feelings. It’s the part of one’s experience that is uniquely one’s own, which one may or may not choose to reveal to others. The “outer” world is the world of things, beings, and circumstances, which are seen and shared between us.
Other people are, from this perspective, part of the “outer” world.
Where a person chooses to place the dividing line between the world of I (inner) and the world of Thou (outer) is to some degree up to the individual. One might see his or her body as part of I, while another considers the body to be part of Thou.
In reality, though, there is no boundary or separation between I and Thou.
It’s true that, from my own perspective, there can seem to be an inner world that is uniquely mine and an outer world that is not. However, this apparently clean division of the Universe into two parts is an illusion, and clearly so when you consider that there is more than one perspective.
This means that, if there really are two worlds which are separate from one another, then everybody else’s inner world is actually in the outer world. But, if the inner and outer worlds are indeed separate, then one cannot be a part of the other!
In this case, whether the outer is a subset of the inner or the inner is a subset of the outer, there is only one “real” world—and it therefore makes no sense to speak of “inner” and “outer”! A seed or peel is not separate from the apple it constitutes.
The alternative is to consider that the “inner” and “outer” worlds are, in reality, only one world—which only appears to be divided when examined from one’s own perspective.
Whichever way you choose to describe the “division,” it becomes clear that there is no division: only oneness, only unity. Your inner and outer lives are one Life, and so are everyone else’s!
Life is One…but with many perspectives.
(Written in 2004 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)