In many mystical traditions it is accepted that as one individual cleanses her mind of resentment, hostilities and attachments, all other minds benefit and show a similar ripening. That's how it seems to me right now, and while I was just meditating and in this period of doing the work of developing a heart dedicated to compassion.
MR, speaking about Buddha Shakyamuni the other day, mentioned that some believe when a Buddha gains enlightenment, all beings simultaneoius follow suit. So why aren't we all enlightned then, he asked. He didn't answer this question. Well, perhaps we're more enlightened than we would have been otherwise. As for me, I found it curious when, walking down Prospect Park West, I was suddenly delighted that there are 6.77 billion people on earth. 6.77 billion flames to light my heart up. This is rather a large shift from my former (hopefully) mindset in which the enormous human population makes me want to scream about resource depletion and the ravaging of the earth.
The train of thought brings to mind Rumi's extraordinary poem called "An Invisible Bee." Here's a skepful:
Look how desire has changed in you,
how light and colorless it is.
with the world growing new marvels
because of your changing. Your soul
has become an invisible bee. We
don't see it working, but there's
the full honeycomb! Your body's height,
six feet or so, but your soul rises
through nine levels of sky. A barrel
corked with earth and a raw wooden
spile keeps the oldest vieyard's wine
inside. When I see you, it is not so
much you physical form, but the company
of two riders, you pure-fire devotion
and your love for the one who teaches you;
then the sun and moon on foot behind those.