Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For those who are hearers and not doers, they are like the ones who observe their natural faces in the mirror; they observe themselves and go away, at once forgetting what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers that act, they shall be blessed in their doings.
— James the Apostle, Science and Spirituality, p. 431
Religion contains both moral and spiritual dimensions. Those who want to substitute “spiritual” for “religious” have a tendency to leave out the horizontal dimension of morality, which connects us to all human beings and all life. Today we have many religions, and yet if in fact we tune into some form of Higher Power we often neglect to connect that Higher Power to living a moral life in the world. With all of the corruption in our society, and the great amount of misunderstanding and violence now present, we cannot afford just to live within a cocoon that keeps us from acting in line with our beliefs.
Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra have been doing a series of meditation experiences that help to link us with our deeper natures and help us to find personal and spiritual meaning for our lives. All this is good, and the language used seems to move beyond words that are apt to cause blockages in terms of being sectarian or tied to one religion. All this is most helpful. But neither should meditation be only about ourselves. We live in a world that needs our help, and part of the meaning of our lives should lead us to serve others and the world. We are challenged to find ways of serving that are in tune with the universality of the Life Force, called by any name or no name.
Beyond political parties and antagonistic points of view there is that Essence that unites and helps to remind us that we are part of that Wholeness which is the Life Force itself. Our living of a nonviolent life is one of the major challenges of our time, and we need to be able to apply that attitude at many levels as we live our daily existence, and in particular when we are faced with those who have a different point of view than we do.
The Peace Wheel that the Unity-and-Diversity World Council has developed contains twelve different sectors that show the many different interests and fields that make up our society. In the midst of the Oneness of the Spirit, there is the manyness of everyday life in which we are all involved. In a democracy we are called upon to live in both worlds and to encourage others to do the same. Together we can find our way through the maze of the modern world and the coming of the global civilization.
Spirit is One; paths are many!!!