Well, my last blog sparked some good conversations and a little debate. I’m calling that good. Where there is a willingness to share ideas in love there will always be the possibility of revelation, realization, and tremendous benefit. On that note let’s keep the party going and consider a thought both “new” and “ancient.”
Join me for a moment in holding the idea that God, in God’s infinite scope and possibility, cannot and never has been contained in one place, one person, one religion, or one sacred text. Each of us has our favorites, and many of us will rush to defend the unique and powerful ways that those favorites have altered our lives in miraculous ways. I’m not asking anyone to suspend any of those thoughts, but to include the notion that everyone on this planet has found a portal through which God has been realized, and it isn’t necessarily the same channel as our own. Consider for a brief moment without resistance, that no one spiritual path is more valid or true than another; no one book, prophet, or teacher has a corner on the market of truth. Open a space in your mind to the idea that even though you resonate deeply with one particular way of teaching, that the truth and goodness contained within that teaching is also found in others.
Perhaps all great teachers throughout history, both ancient and contemporary, have pointed us in the same direction of peace, harmony, and love, but through a unique lens that a particular culture could understand. Perhaps before we judge any religion by the actions of its supposed followers, we can look more deeply at where we are incongruous with our own understanding of peace, harmony, and love. Perhaps we can momentarily remove any glasses that resemble “blind faith” and open our hearts to the idea that every experience of God, however foreign it may feel to us, is equally deserving of our consideration and at the very least, our listening. In doing so we clear our minds to hear the echo of a thousand sages that whisper, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”
Many of us in Unity will feel immune to this dialogue and easily point the fingers at “others” who need to shift their close-mindedness. The very use of the word “others” includes an opportunity to look at where we are out of alignment with our foundational teachings. Let’s “take the log out of our own eyes before commenting on the sliver in our neighbors.” Today, let us as students of Oneness, examine where we have judged others and their spiritual paths unfairly and where we have narrowed the avenue through which God can be experienced. Let’s step beyond any wounds we may be carrying and practice the oneness that we preach. I believe Charles and Myrtle Fillmore would support the exercise. Truth is truth is truth is truth, and when we clear our eyes and ears enough to transcend personal preferences, judgments, and dogmas, perhaps then humanity will begin to discover the great mysteries of love and peace that sometimes elude us. If after the momentary look you want to return to a different idea, that is okay too. I, for one will support your journey toward love even if it is different from my own.
Today I ask you to take a moment and set aside any concept of a dualistic universe—any idea of better than or less than—and open yourself to a view that transcends “specialness” and “private good.” I invite you to join me in considering that if someone’s path makes them kinder, gentler, more loving, generous, and compassionate it cannot be wrong. On that note of kindness and love, let the conversation and debate begin! The benefits await us!