There are people in the world that would say that there is no solution to the human problem. The human problem is the problem of self-disapproval. There is always an attempt to prove myself to be someone different. And I therefore seek approval from my own people in the family, community and humanity, even perhaps from gods. I seek approval from them all. That is because there is no self-approval.
In this, pursuit of seeking solution, one can say there is no solution. In this world, I am a very small and insignificant person. Even the wayside rock has millions of years of stories to tell me. The hundred years I live are just a flicker in the perennial flow of time. In terms of pervasiveness also, I am insignificant on this earth. On the scale of the whole universe, I am not even a dot.
With reference to knowledge, the extent of my knowledge on any subject is minuscule. In strength, I am ordinary even among human beings. I started my life as a small helpless person—I needed help even just to turn. Even though I did not know what parents meant, I delivered myself to these people to compensate for my helplessness. There was trust in them as mighty giants. They appeared almighty and infallible. I did not know at the time that I was going to grow up to be like them. Therefore, self-judgement was inevitable, that I was small and insignificant. When I grew older, I discovered that the parents were fallible, and I was still helpless. Being helpless and without an infallible support is a core problem.
The Existentialist tells me that there is no solution to the human problem. I am helpless and no one can help me. I am subject to sorrow and I have to just try and make the best of it. The most selfish is the happiest. Another one comes along and says he has a solution to the problem even though I am a sinner. He promises me heaven where I can relax. I cannot verify this promise here. Perhaps because it is non-verifiable, I can believe it. I can trust what is at least not subject to negation. That is why people believe in heaven. They commit themselves to the belief that there is no solution here for the human problem but there is one in heaven. Going to heaven is not a solution, says another. Like you there will be many others in heaven, and you will have to deal with them. The standard of living may be better there, but still you will be you, and you will have a lot of issues to tackle there.
“You surrender your body, mind, wealth, and everything else to me and I will save you.” “Don’t give up your self. Keep walking and reach the goal.” Slogans like this ring loud and strong for those who want to pay any attention.
Now you can understand uniqueness. The one who says you are unique does not promise anything. He does not require to promise or instruct, nor control or manipulate. All that he says is why don't you see this truth about yourself. The truth about yourself is that you are free. That is all the truth about everything and you are the truth about everything. You are the center and everything else is unlike you.
This is revealed even by simple inquiry into the language. In language, there are pronouns: first, second and third persons, singular and plural. As you can see, the third person pronoun can refer to any person or thing. The second person pronoun ‘you’ also refers to different persons at different times. But by the word ‘I’ you refer always to only one person—you. ‘I’ is singular in number and nature.
The relationship between the ‘I’ and ‘not-I’ is the relationship you talk about. It is the relationship that bothers. It means that the one and only ‘I’ is bothered by the countless ‘not-I.’ You cannot begin solving the problems of life without understanding the very source of the problems, which is you. These are the problems of an approval-seeking, disgruntled, dissatisfied ‘you.’ To solve the problem of life, you need to question whether you are the person that you think you are. If you are, there is really no solution to the problem. If you are not, you have no problem. Vedanta says you have no problem.
It is not a promise that you will be free. To say or promise that you will be free is to assume that you are bound now. Vedanta says you are free. That is a challenge.
Talks and Essays of Swami Dayananda Volume 1