Summary of “Introduction toTranscending the Divide: A Spiritual Approach to Our Social Unrest” (See Oct 17, 2022 post).
The introduction presented the Seven Cosmic Principles, or Universal Laws: Connection, Law and Order, Change, Pattern, Cycles, Balance, and Creation.
These Cosmic Principles relate to the 4 Required Actions of I. Release Insecurity, II. Accept Responsibility, III. Find Balance, and IV. Create the Future, which ask us to change ourselves, not others, as we help heal the earth.
The first of the 4 Required Actions: Release Insecurity.
“It is critical that we acknowledge the importance of inner development in the process of our spiritual growth.” David Bennett in A Voice As Old As Time
The 1st Cosmic Principle: Connection shows us that we are a part of everything around us, and everything is a part of us. We are never separate, never alone. We are connected to the universe and a higher source. We do not have to earn that link. There is no judgment, except from us. There is no worth involved; we are simply an expression of the universe. While some religions teach sin, guilt and repentance, now is the time to lose that judgment. Yes, as humans, we have faults, but we are not inherently bad. We have free will, and sometimes make bad choices. Despite any poor decisions, however, we are good people, intertwined with everything around us.
Once we accept ourselves as connected to a higher or divine energy, we can believe in our own worth and be able to Release any Insecurity.
I had to revisit my own insecurity as I was writing this. How many of us, especially women, seem to fault ourselves when, in fact, we have been quite successful? How often do we desire more acclaim for any accomplishment when, in fact, we are the ones not honoring ourselves? Our self-doubt often hides our fear that we are not good enough, a deep-seated anxiety that may have affected us for much too long. To move forward, we need to accept and honor both our failures and our successes, releasing any fear of not being good enough.
Until we love ourselves, we simply cannot love or help heal. Our spiritual desire to assist must include this step.
Intolerance of Intolerance Is Still Intolerance
What bothers us about others is related to an aspect within. I struggled with being critical of intolerant people. I clearly remember an activity in graduate school, when I was in my 20s, in which we were asked to address a person with whom we had disagreements, not in reality but in the confines of anonymity within the class. My interaction showed my intolerance with a certain relative. I remember being surprised when it was pointed out by the instructor that we carried that trait within us. After looking at the situation, I realized that I was being intolerant of that person. Being intolerant of intolerance is still intolerance.
I had to reexamine this issue in relation to the social unrest around us today. Am I still guilty of being intolerant of intolerance? Are we all guilty when we criticize those who seem to condemn any view other than their own?
In looking at the annoyances of others, we begin to understand ourselves better. If we are all connected, the traits of others that most irritate us are the ones we need to address. Not everyone agrees, but I simply suggest that we acknowledge our own frailties, whether large or small, before we can begin to pretend to help others or the world. In looking at what bothers us, we can begin to understand and be more forgiving of ourselves. And we can be more forgiving of others.
Self doubt, while common for many of us, has no place if we wish to rise above and see the bigger picture to help improve the world.
Not all of the traits we dislike in others reflect our own, but those characteristics that we find most disturbing need our attention. You might take a few moments to try a version of the activity described above. Is there someone in your life you find particularly annoying or who has a habit you particularly dislike? What might you learn by looking at that person with different eyes? If everything is connected, what is your relationship to that trait, that frustration?
There is also a positive aspect to this connection. Whatever we admire in those around us is also a part of us. Those virtues we really like are aspects of ourselves. Think about those qualities, then see them within. We are often better than we believe. Dwelling on the positive is good, since too often we obsess on the negatives. The qualities, potentials and/or abilities we are attracted to in others are also part of us. Recognizing that allows us to find our alienated self, honor that self, and release our insecurities in order to become a more spiritual person.
Again, we are better than we believe. Yes, some negatives belong to us, but we can change those. The capabilities of those around us are inherently our potential, too. We don’t do, nor ever did, bad things because we are “bad.” We may do bad things, or more often make poor choices, because we do not think we are worthy. Now is the time to shift that belief.
If we treat all creatures, other people and the earth itself with more respect since we are all connected and each one represents a part of us, too, might we remember to be kinder to ourselves? That must be part of our goal.
“All human beings without exception seek God but without knowing it is God they are looking for. They believe they are only looking for happiness.” Aivanhov
A spiritual path is not easy. We are continually asked to peel away any old feelings that no longer serve us and to dig deeper to find the truly good people we are. This process is rarely fun or easy. Yet necessary. We are all connected. Helping ourselves is the first way to assist others and the only way to rise above differences.
Aivanhov cautions that spiritual people often mistakenly assume that once “they choose the path of goodness and light their lives will immediately be transformed…”
Many of us have learned this hard lesson and understand that choosing a spiritual path is only a beginning, not an ending.
“On the higher levels of consciousness, there is no difference between outer and inner. Spirit and matter are not separate.” Bennett
Any action we take to improve our physical bodies will also improve us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Everything is connected. Any work we do on ourselves can help heal the world. This idea cannot be overstated. It may be the most important message in “Transcending the Divide.” Any problem we solve in our lives, our community, our town, our state, and/or our country also helps solve larger ones.
Ken Wilbur, my favorite philosopher, reiterates this same idea in Integral Psychology and talks of the need to “transform consciousness,” not change our view of the world, which is an intellectual activity. While practical knowledge of how to save the world is important, he asks what we are doing to change and save ourselves.
Thinking is not enough for spiritual development. We need to change how we interact with ourselves, others and the world. This change is precipitated by interior stages of growth. Inner transformation is crucial to balance the outward actions.
Releasing any insecurities is the first step.
“…when you attain the regions of soul and spirit, it is no longer possible to feel abandoned, for the Universal soul and Universal spirit are always there, in and around you.” Aivanhov
“… we do not go back to the divine because we were never apart…. nor were we in any way different from it.” Ivan Antic in The Physics of Consciousness
If we can heal ourselves, we can help heal the world.
Feel the connection to everyone and everything.
Release any Insecurity.