There is a beauty in opening, turning out to radiate inner goodness to the world beyond oneself. We all have that progression in our natural birth, growth and relating as a member of humanity. Self-love grows to include the rest of the members of our extended Body Creation. Part of maturing to wholeness is the exercise of our will to contribute rather than to consume. We recognize that something important is missing when a person does not follow that progression of growth and maturing. Much trouble in the world is due to those who resist opening and radiating goodness to the world beyond themselves.
It is a conscious choice whether to view oneself as the center, or as a member of the Whole. To the extent that a viewpoint is self-centered and exclusive, it is part of consuming the Whole, leading to death. Some even cloak self-indulgence with claims that their goals will make us great. Many follow them unaware, or worse, knowing we normalize self-centeredness.
The paradigm of the current dominant society is for the individual to climb to the greatest height within their lifetime and make their “mark on history”. This drives many to use any and all means to achieve some superior pinnacle, leaving everyone and everything wasted in their wake. They manipulate the masses by appealing to self-centeredness, adopting any message true or fantasy that will gain them followers to storm the castles of the world. Their own goal is to get the power so they can have the most and prove their divinity. This behavior is observable in family life, traffic, school, employment, religion, politics, and global relations.
Dialogue with the Devil
The lessons of Jesus’ dialogue with the devil about divinity and grasping power are timeless (Matthew 4). Jesus did not deny that he came from the Source but refused to twist his state of being into a tool to gain temporal supremacy. He meticulously taught and demonstrated that being human is being extensions, offspring, of God; it is unnecessary and counterproductive to assert or flaunt it. He left many sayings teaching that beauty, loving, success, honor, and joy are the normal state of being human without force. He placed next to divinity the principle of loving our neighbor, not as the other, but as “your self”. Years after Jesus, Paul wrote the key statement, “… Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God something to be grasped …” (Philippians 2:5-11 …) The divinity that Jesus wanted to awaken us to we assert wrongly, causing competition, aggression, tribalism, hierarchies of class and race, making the “other” person our tool or enemy and the world just a pile of stuff to be consumed.
This is still the dominant paradigm in our world even for many who claim to follow Jesus. But the fact that many are horrified by it is a glimmer of the antidote. In fact, the awakening to the paradigm demonstrated by Jesus began when history recorded the rise of disciplines in pursuit of our connection to Something Greater. It is called the Axial Age in which the major religions and the thinking of philosophers like Aristotle and Plato gave voice to our awakening. During that age the Hebrew prophets helped lay foundational revelation about what being human really is. The prophet Isaiah narrates a progression of changing and living which reverses our destructive paradigm.
As I contemplate the sixth chapter of Isaiah, and observe Nature as well as our inventions, some principles are emerging:
- Regular and frequent pause for contemplation is essential for holistic health.
- Acknowledging that we are parts of a Whole and come from an eternal Source, is transformational.
- Engaging with our Source allows us to admit wrongness, incompleteness, in ourselves and in our world, and to experience growth toward the wholeness and rightness of our Source.
- From engaging with our Source, we grow in our capacity to radiate to others the rightness and completeness the world needs.
- This transformation generates the power of creation within us.
- Though wrongness disintegrates the world around us, we retain the Whole within us like seeds which regenerate.
Every day take this transforming step forward in your evolution and hence the evolution of humanity:
- Stop and wait for the impulse in your heart from beyond yourself and beyond the influences of your world.
- Acknowledge wrongness in yourself and in your world.
- Contemplate the nearness of the Source of all things, the Source which is the rightness you long for, that you are from that Source, that the Source is resident in you.
- Interact with the Source as a trusted intimate.
- Believe the rightness of the Source annuls your wrongness and re-energizes your rightness.
- Allow and observe the surge of creation power rising from within you to radiate to your world.
- Conduct your word and deed in this new and energized paradigm.
As I endeavor to practice this:
- The central, pivotal, all-encompassing paradigm of my life is to participate with our Source in nurturing Creation toward our destiny of ultimate rightness.
- I possess the hope that the will of our Source is prevailing even if wrongness reduces all to the basic elements, for from the elements we all rose and in eternity our Source is manifested in materiality.
- I sense that our Source continues lovingly forming, comforting, encouraging, and challenging us as we ebb and flow in our attempts to cooperate. I can dwell in that communion as we grow toward the union called “eternal life”.