Today we ask you to release the need to label things.

Release the need to put labels on things.

What does this mean?

The human mind has a habit of naming things. Labeling things. And this habit is very useful in many regards, as it allows the human brain the ability to access and store a great deal of information.

In a library, there is a system of labeling all the books. Each book is assigned a specific number, and shelved in a specific place. If you know the book’s number, you can find the book — and all the knowledge contained within the book. And that is a very useful system of labeling things.

The problem with the human brain is that, very frequently, the brain confuses the label with the object itself.

For example, someone might be labeled “progressive,” or “conservative.”

There is a whole human being there. But with this label, the human is reduced to “progressive,” or “conservative.”

Someone is “religious,” or an “atheist.”

Someone is “overweight,” or “alcoholic.”

Someone is a “doctor,” or an “office worker.”

Someone is a “cancer patient,” or a “diabetic.”

Someone is a “feminist,” or a “racist.”

On and on it goes. And with these labels comes a reduction, a diminishment of the person to whom the label is applied.

It is really like confusing the catalog number of a book, with the contents of the book.

There sits a book in the library. It is assigned a number. It has a title.

You look at the book on the shelf. At the title and number. And you say, “Oh, that is all I need to know about it. I see the number and the title, there is nothing more to look at here. I don’t even need to take it off the shelf.”

That is what happens with labeling.

So just become conscious of this process.

The main reason why the human brain does all this labeling is because it is overloaded with information. It is constantly struggling to sort out all the information it is bombarded with.

The exhausted brain says, “Oh, I’ll put a label on that, so I don’t have to deal with it. I’ll file it away for later.”

Or, “I’ll put a label on that person so I can lump him in with all the other people I’ve put that label on, and then I don’t really have to think about him.”

The mind is completely innocent in all of this. It is just trying to be efficient.

But problems arise. Such as in Nazi Europe, when anyone labeled “Jew” was placed in a file that justified extermination.

Likewise when people were labeled “slaves,” or “Indians,” or any other label that permitted systematic abuse, dehumanization, and extermination.

The Nazis looked at the number and the title, and they said: “That is all we need to know. We do not need to open the book and read.”

So just bring some consciousness to this.

You cannot read every book in the human library, it is true. It is not possible.

But you can acknowledge a book as an unread book. You can acknowledge a book as more than a number and a title. Even if you know you may never get a chance to read that book.

Most importantly, acknowledge that you are far more than your labels.

You are more than a nurse, or a government employee. You are more than an engineer, or a gymnastics teacher.

You are more than brown-haired, or curly-haired. You are more than the shape of your body. You are more than your skin color.

You are more than old or young. More than woman or man.

You are more than your diseases, you are more than your psychology. You are more than your diagnosis.

You are a whole book. And you are more than a book. You are a story without end.

In truth, even in your moments of utmost fullness and connection, you have no idea how vast you are. You have no idea how far you go.

So question all the labels. Especially the ones you have put on yourself.

Venture out into the library. Read the books. And if you don’t have time to read them — honor them. Honor them all.