I believe we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t exactly what the world needs. Our world needs all of us working together for good. For our Earth to move back toward harmony and health, we have the ability to band together, hold fast to truth, and be willing to sacrifice whatever we must. When we join together, our individual power is multiplied, and it is possible for the world to change. The world is our family.
When Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” I don’t think he means just the folks who live next door. Our ‘neighbors’ include everyone in the human family. Our neighbors also include all the creatures who share this planet with us, as well as the rivers and mountains, trees and rocks, oceans and deserts.
The world is our neighborhood and
we’re responsible for the quality of life where we live.
Sometimes I look at the way things seem to be going in the world and I feel the pull in myself to fall into despair. I see children dying, violence of every hue, the rainforests being cut down, the polar ice cap melting. I wonder what could possibly turn this seemingly irreversible situation around. What could bring peace? And I remember that “peace begins with me”.
Perhaps our only job is to keep the focus on ourselves, do what we need to do to be peaceful ourselves, and allow the world to shape itself around us. If we take care of our world—the one in which we live each day—and make sure we treat ourselves and everyone we meet with kindness, I believe we are doing what we came here to do. This also means that when we keep our eyes open to the prompting of the Great Mystery, we may find ourselves carrying a sign in a demonstration for peace, dedicating ourselves to a career solving the problems of global warming, or dishing up soup at a homeless shelter.
From Attention to Adoration
When we watch the sun set over the ocean, walk on a forest path, stand in front of a great oak we invariably think, “Ah, how lovely!” As we’ve said, please may we never forget that we, just as surely as the ocean with its magnificent beauty, are magnificently beautiful, too. It is time we looked to see the beauty in ourselves, to stop turning away from ourselves, and to see the life that we were created to live.
What happens when we see a rose? Our attention flows to it naturally because of its beauty. Scientists have discovered that the rose actually comes more vibrantly alive with our appreciation. That life flows back to us, and we become more alive. When we stay awake to life and appreciate everything and everyone we see, that appreciation zings back and forth between us and what we behold.
Attention leads naturally to a profound level of appreciation. Adoration leads even deeper. The letters of Woodrow Wilson to his wife allow us to glimpse a great love affair lived in our time. The Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was built by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz. Adoration can certainly spark the fullest expression of love in the human creative spirit.
The Earth itself can become the intimate beloved of those who are willing to see. In our imagination, let’s take another moment to zoom out from the Earth and look back on it from a great distance in space. What do we see? The tender green and blue, the globe we have twirled on since we were born. We see the continents and the oceans spaced upon its roundness. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s vision of the Earth from space changed his life. He founded the Institute for Noetic Sciences to probe the connection between matter and spirit, that which we can see from that which remains Mystery.
When we imagine ourselves looking back at the Earth from space, we may have the feeling that we are joined with every other heart on this planet. We may rest in the thought that
We are one, adoring and to be adored, after all.
Excerpted from Great Love in the 21st Century: A Path to Intimacy