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A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”,
a part limited in time and space.
One experiences oneself, thoughts and feelings as something separated
from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our personal desires
and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison
by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures
and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Eknath Easwaran from “Meditation: Commonsense Directions for an Uncommon Life”. Nilgiri Press, Box 477, Petaluma, California 94952