Diversity Gravitates

"Diversity Gravitates," digital painting by Mark R. Turner
“Diversity Gravitates,” digital painting by Mark R. Turner, click the image to see more

You look everywhere and see more differences than sameness. How can there be togetherness?

It is because we are all different that we can make a whole. You don’t want a puzzle with every piece the same. How would they fit together?

We open a little bit to admit some variety but tend to feel overwhelmed as we perceive the limitless differences. They just seem wrong. Enough is enough. We are afraid all that we value will be taken from us.

Fear often grips us when we don’t know; we cannot understand. This is dictated by the intellect which is only part of the whole. The intellect opens the gap between what I know and what confronts me. If we reach beyond the fear, that gap may be filled by others’ differences. This is how we can allow ourselves to risk learning to swim, ride a bike, dance, try something when a trusted teacher is present.

There are scriptures that teach “faithful in a little, leads to faithful in much.” One way to hear this is that, having allowed a little newness into our embrace, we are given more which would have been too much to start with. That does not mean the risk of embracing newness will necessarily feel good. It can be uncomfortable and threatening, needing courage to try.

The Unseen Reality

As I often do, again I invoke faith. Faith draws upon our capacity to believe there is more to this picture than we can see. Believing is like eating: you trust it enough to merge with it, become one with it. Knowing intellectually is only observing the evidence of something unseen, the rush and sound of the wind, “… you don’t know where it came from or where it is going” (Jesus). There is movement and change. Believing is allowing yourself to merge with another in ways that are not intellectual, to move and change with the other. It is a mutual dance.

Calculating losses or gains, guarding material things, blocking others’ entry, maintaining a preferred set of circumstances such as an exclusive society, these are based on the surface things, the intellect, only part of the picture. That is not a full life.

Faith tells us the Greater Whole is not overcome by what we fear, that if we will risk opening to the difference, we will find the Greater Unseen Whole is the trustworthy Teacher like the one who taught us that little skill with the bike, the swimming pool, or the piano.

We have had many smaller teachers nurturing, challenging us to grow and become more. They exemplify the Love which makes the universe expand. They, like us, are pieces of the Greater Whole who have discovered something more about the whole than we have and act as the voice of the whole calling us deeper in.

It is a mystery of beauty that differences can contribute to a better world. My faith is growing aware that we are each created with unique differences which are needed by everyone else.

Trying to be Everything

We, our preferred tribes, our chosen systems do not have to be everything unto ourselves. That is the way to die, to wither, the way to hell. Look closely at the failed empires of history and see how their bid to be all-in-all ended. Observe the current empires. Are they perpetuating the same routine, trying to stay the same, guarding their material stuff, focusing on the surface effects instead of receiving the deeper riches of diversity?

It is not only about nationalism or racism but about all our tribes, denominations and corporations competing, strategizing how to block one another so they can get what the others want first. So much energy is expended getting the jump on the other’s plans, manipulating public perception in order to build our own followers … pretending to be the whole instead of who we really are: a piece of the whole, a piece with needy gaps besides all we have to contribute.

Beware of pieces, or collections of pieces claiming to be the whole. If they have boundaries, they cannot be the Whole. If you can see where they end, they are a piece. Do they fit with the other pieces, or hold back until the other pieces reshape themselves to fit with them? This is not what the Greater Whole is like.

Watch and Learn

You, as an individual piece observing, can take the lesson to heart: know your real self, what you need and what you can contribute.

Love your differences. Get to know how beautiful are your differences. You will begin to see that the Greater Whole loves you that way and is beckoning you in to your unique place where you are needed to fill gaps as well as have your gaps filled. I know this takes most or all of a lifetime and a lot of intentionality.

If you find that the whole does not want you the way you are, you are not looking at the real Whole. Remember there are pretenders.

You can trust the Teacher to help you flourish as an important and valued piece where contentment and fulfillment are a way of life.

I speak idealistically but that doesn’t mean it isn’t True. If we can imagine or have an idea about it, there is a possibility.

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