“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts, and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures, and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Interestingly, in double-checking the quote, I found this link to an “On Being” researcher’s report indicating there may be a different rendering of it. Check it out!