“The normalcy currently experienced in the day to day lives of a small percentage of the world's population is an illusion & it is stolen. The least that can be done is to use this time to nourish the fabric of community, find the cultural blind spots & acknowledge the damage done.”
~ Nora Bateson on Twitter
Humanity is in desperate need of healing, and like an individual in need of healing, the symptoms of the dis-ease are becoming increasingly obvious. When I need healing, my body and my psychology/emotions combine to give me clues, which may be subtle at first, but grow louder as time passes and I do not make the necessary changes. The parallels between an individual and groups of any size are striking when it comes to how the healing process unfolds.
The signs of our collective need for healing are everywhere today, beginning with what is clearly a massive threat of ecosystem collapse on planet earth. This is the biggest issue for all of us, but it is one of many. We have the usual wars, corruption, racism, sexism, and poverty. We have leadership in much of the developed world who refuse to take us forward toward healing, either ignoring problems, proposing inadequate solutions, or denying them all together. In the United States, the current administration denies climate change and denigrates science across a wide spectrum of areas of concern, especially relating to the environment and women’s’ health. And that administration’s actions have led to a tremendous amount of energy and resources being expended in an impeachment investigation. Meanwhile, an epidemic of gun violence, with mass shooting at the tip of that iceberg, sweeps the nation, especially among young men. All of this at a time when people are leaving religious community in larger numbers creating a spiritual hunger.
How does one exist in these times without falling into depression or despair? The answer is through the practice and exploration of spiritual teachings. We in New Thought are very fortunate to have access to some of the great spiritual teachings of the ages. The question for each of us is – are we continually learning and practicing these teachings?
“One cannot be a good student of the (New Thought principles) who is filled with fear and confusion. He must keep himself in a state of equilibrium, in a state of poise, peace, and confidence . . . in a state of spiritual understanding. By spiritual understanding, it is not meant anything strange or unnatural,
but merely that the belief in goodness must be greater than any apparent manifestation of its opposite.
It is this science of faith we are seeking to uncover –
a definite technique that will conduct our minds through a process of thought, if necessary,
to that place which the sublime minds of all ages have reached by direct intuition.”
~ Ernest Holmes, The Science Of Mind, page 160
It would be foolish to expect someone to be unaffected by humanity’s woundedness. But it would be equally foolish to refrain from using the spiritual principles to which we have access in times such as these. We must develop the spiritual poise to be optimistic in the face of the challenges we face, and that poise will not come without practice.
“Our pain for what is happening is the other side of the coin of our love for the world.
We feel such depths of despair because we love the planet so much.”
~ Jess Serrante, Grief Counselor & Climate Activist
In order to express that love in ways which can actually make a difference, we have to do our spiritual work to gain the strength and poise necessary to express the best versions of ourselves. We must act as if there are solutions to all of these challenges (there are) and know that we are the ones to bring those solutions forth. In other words, we must be diligent in our spiritual practices so we can act with wisdom, courage, and compassion.
The SUM Program offered by AGNT is a blueprint as to HOW to approach some of the most pressing areas in need of healing. Spiritual communities and individuals would do well to engage with this excellent program and provide avenues for the expression of healthy spiritual poise to benefit humanity. These efforts at engagement will be successful to the degree that those involved are spiritually ready to step into a larger arena. It is up to all of us to do our practices, to continue our spiritual pathways of learning, and to make ourselves truly available to serve.
"You cannot hope to grow spiritually unless you are prepared to change. Those changes may come in small ways to begin with, but as you move further and further into the new, they will become more drastic and vital.”
~ Eileen Caddy
Let us choose to live in nations where love, integrity, and compassion are the norm. Let us choose to live in communities where we do not fear violence because everyone feels included in the commonweal; where no one feels diminished because of who they are, and where everyone has opportunities to express their true selves. Let us find new ways to live sustainably on this beautiful planet. Let us hold our leaders accountable to help us co-create such nations and communities. And let us make our local spiritual communities feed into a universal Beloved Community in which humanity thrives in every way. This is our potential awaiting our realization.
Join Jim Lockard at the Center for Spiritual Living Simi Valley for a very special men’s retreat
THE HEALTHY MASCULINE – Jan 3 (evening) & Jan 4 (9-5).
More information at (805) 527-0870 or at https://cslsimi.org/