Question: Guru, you ask us to feel oneness with others, but how can we feel oneness with others and at the same time not be affected by their negative qualities?

Sri Chinmoy: If someone is suffering from jealousy, I will not ask you to identify with his jealousy. If someone is suffering from doubt, fear, anxiety, worry or any other kind of shortcoming or emotional problem, I shall not ask you to identify yourself with the undivine, unhealthy qualities of that person. By identifying with a sick person's sickness, you yourself will become consciously or unconsciously sick. But I shall tell you to identify yourself with the real reality of that person. The real reality of that person is the inner cry of the soul.

You have to try to separate the person from his sickness, just as you have to separate a thief from the theft he has committed. He who commits a theft is a thief, but he is also an individual with a soul. This moment he is committing a theft; that is why you don't like him. But if the same person stops stealing and starts praying and meditating, then you will appreciate his spiritual qualities. So instead of identifying yourself with the sickness of that person, try to bring forward your own divinity and his divinity. Let your divinity enter into the worries, anxieties, insecurities and other undivine qualities of the person and illumine them. Everything that is negative will be turned into a positive power. Fear will be transformed into strength, doubt will be transformed into faith and worries and anxieties will be transformed into calmness.

A man has both ignorance and wisdom. We shall love him because he represents God, but we shall not love his ignorance. His divine qualities we shall try to share, embody and manifest. His undivine qualities we have to transform. If we become one with his undivine qualities, then they will destroy us. So let us always identify with the soul-reality of others. God identifies with the shortcomings of everyone. But if we identify ourselves with the shortcomings of someone, then we will have to pay the price. Let us start with the real in us, the aspiring soul, the Inner Pilot. Identification with anything that is destructive, anything that takes us away from Truth, anything that compels us to shirk from the path of Truth, must not be encouraged.