Often, we are asked to know ourselves and we feel proud in responding that I know myself as a soul and not this body, because this body is temporary and perishable. The soul is immortal and it keeps changing body one after the other. I feel proud of this spiritual entity and awakening which seems to make me head and shoulders above others around me in my social circle.
But another question that troubles me is whether others, of course people around me, are not souls like me or whether they are all mortals or whether their living is qualitatively just different or superior or inferior and so on. I am a bit perturbed but that lets me search for the answer from the experience of meditation and spiritual learning that I have been imparted over the last few years. We all accept that no two persons or souls, for that matter, are identical and alike.
But in the present living and in this society what makes spiritually inclined people different from those with faith in the material bliss and happiness? To begin with, it is their interpretation of the purpose of life and its ultimate goal. Some people believe, including some well-known intellectuals and writers like the late Khushwant Singh, that life is what appears to us on the surface and what can be visualised and experienced through sense organs. May be they also believe that future is uncertain and does not hold any good. So, for such people, life is the accumulation of more wealth and sources of joys and luxuries and enjoying them in the present.
However, people who seem to be spiritually awakened believe that life is much more than what meets the eye. The few years of material living are no more than a tip of the proverbial iceberg.