There’s a paradox: from one point of view, I am that. From another, you are not me. I believe it’s important to remember both of these viewpoints.
Remembering “I am that” reminds me of the unity of all things. It reminds me that the entire universe is my body—so of course, I aspire to love it as I would love myself.
At the same time, “you are not me”—if I forget this, I’m likely to apply my standards to your actions. When I see you doing something I wouldn’t do, I’m likely to get upset and try to get you to do what I would do.
Remembering “you are not me” gets me out of this trap. Then I can be in a place of empathy—where I can start to get curious about what your perspective actually is. I want to allow you to have a different perspective than me, a different personality than me, and a different life path than me.
(I Am That is also the title of a book by Nisargadatta Maharaj. I’m not trying to comment on his views in this post; I just like that phrase.)