Though we are obviously socialized in order to function as human beings, our particular circumstances can override our logic, intuition and intelligence if we do not question and examine everything around us. What we consider good and moral must be built from our deepest convictions and not simply mimic our social settings, institutions, or education. Nationalism always overrides this personal and intuitive process. Nationalism appeals to the setting and not the thinking, to the baser group instincts and not the moral explorations of mindful individuals. Our best instinct should universalize the human experience, not tribalize it, not base it on the worst instincts of groups, crowds, or forceful personalities.

The hermit’s instinct has the potential to detect this play of power over our minds and hearts. The hermit’s insight is to perceive the universality of human needs and appeal directly to its moral call, refusing to accept that material or spiritual blessings should go exclusively to any one nation, culture, group, or tribe — nor to the epiphenomena of culture: religion, technology, science, political organization, etc.

Hence the simple but universal sentiment of the hermit Shabkar’s prayer:

May auspiciousness prevail in all countries!
May all diseases of humans and animals disappear!
May all enjoy long and healthy lives!
May crops be abundant and everyone be happy!