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Claiming our power, is it time for spiritual activism?
Many of us have been working on self-transformation for a long time, and we’ve made progress toward becoming aware and responsible. But we still live in a world marked more by violence than compassion; more by misunderstanding than comprehension; more by separation and finger-pointing than Oneness and mutual support.
Those of us dedicated to living by spiritual principles have often fallen short in our own eyes and we need to have compassion for ourselves. It’s hard to practice mutual support in a world dominated by greed and divisiveness, it’s hard to be serene in a family or community filled with anger and resentment and it’s hard to be inclusive when the folks we are trying to include want to fragment from the whole. Discouraged and isolated, many of us gave up long ago on trying to change the world and have focused instead on creating a self-contained universe and developing an inner life apart from the predominant culture. But that will never work.
We are not just individuals; we are one another, and we need to do our part in our collective evolution.
Why? First and foremost, because we are one. There is no way that we will be able to become perfect “individuals” who can achieve personal salvation. Every spiritual movement teaches that we are one, and that means we cannot heal in a vacuum apart from the rest of humanity, and we cannot become “perfect” in an imperfect world.
If we want to impact ourselves and our world, we need to start practicing Oneness as the real foundation of everything we do, think, say and feel. We must understand the simple truth that we cannot become pure as “individuals,” any more than that we can clean the air over one house in Los Angeles. We are not just individuals; we are one another, and we need to do our part in our collective evolution.
And once we understand this simple truth, we must commit ourselves to action: spiritual activism, the process of bringing higher consciousness into everyday life; the commitment to Oneness, accountability and mutual support in everything we do, everywhere and under all circumstances. This is what is needed today.
Have we fully taken on this challenge: the challenge to live a principle-based life in all our affairs? Only to a degree. When it’s hard, most of us have given ourselves excuses. I can’t be concerned with others when they are only concerned with themselves. I can’t practice mutual support with my wife or husband or relations; she, he, they are too self-centered and are not like me. I can’t be scrupulous in my relationship with strangers, bosses, merchants, fellow workers, teachers, students, the principal, thieves, political opponents, adversaries, competitors, big business, other races, nations, religions, bigots, men, women, somebody …. I don’t have the money, the time, the energy, to live a life of complete integrity.
And we run away from our responsibility for the collective when we feel weak. Overwhelmed by the challenge, we throw in the towel and criticize one another, thereby undermining ourselves and the power of spirit. It’s time to change all that.
Again, let’s have compassion for ourselves. How many of us as children hoped that our parents would stop fighting and become more loving to one another, only to see our hopes unrealized? How many of us have been horrified by racism, discrimination and unfairness and yet felt unable to change reality? How many of us at one time wanted to impact our society, whether at home or in the world, and felt defeated? How many of us have felt different because we were highly intuitive or naturally spiritual, and/or sensitive to the needs and feelings of others? And how many of us have marginalized ourselves, shutting ourselves in so that we could keep the world away.
We have to come out of hiding. The world has changed. People have changed. We have changed. Spiritual activism is everywhere. Many human beings now understand that we need to care for the good of the whole, care for the earth and other species, care for one another and care for ourselves – body, mind and spirit. Many of us in business are re-evaluating ourselves and the impact of our policies and procedures on our employees, customers and vendors, and there are voices calling for more transparency and accountability. People everywhere are examining what we eat and how we grow food, what we wear, how we drive and how we feel. And it goes on. Educators, parents, the medical profession, students, people everywhere are asking questions, and we need to step forward with answers, not answers about what to do, but answers about how to approach our relationship to one another, so that together we can solve our common problems.
It’s time for us to stop thinking of ourselves as the consumers of help and to start thinking of ourselves as the providers of mutual support. We need to stop thinking of ourselves as outnumbered and realize we are growing in number. It’s time to stop thinking of ourselves as outside society and understand that we are society.
We are “them.”The opportunities are here. And the responsibility is ours. Let’s get serious about uniting. I’m already working on it. Contact me if you want to know how.