“The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music. where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.” ~ Baha’i Faith, Science and Spirituality, page 192
The birth and development of democracy in the United States of America was centered around two key phrases: “E pluribus unum” and “In God we trust”. “E pluribus unum” is the Latin version of “Out of the many, one”. It is on many of our coins and bills, and it is a phrase that bears bringing into consciousness and applying in our lives. Democracy is built upon the idea that many peoples of different races, cultures, and religions can come together and become one diverse society. The notion of a Muslim ban, or building a wall to keep Latinos out, is very much the opposite of what this country is supposed to be about.
Now is an excellent time to go back to our roots and rediscover who we are as a society and what are supposed to be our central values. Democracy is no longer just for this country but is increasingly what the world is discovering and putting into practice. The United Nations is a product of this emerging awareness applied to the world as a whole. We as a nation need to give the proper place to the United Nations and let it take on the role of applying democracy to the nations of the world.
Riane Eisler has two books that develop this idea in terms of dominator vs. partnership as a way of being. Democracy is a partnership model, and the more we can make a place for every race, culture, and religion, the more we will be actualizing the potential of democracy. Her book The Power of Partnership spells out in great detail the role of cooperation and mutual respect as a basis of modern society. Her second book, The Real Wealth of Nations, develops the idea further as it relates to what she calls caring economics and the importance of partnership in global society.
In terms of the second phrase as applied to democracy, the notion of “In God we trust” deserves some serious attention. What is God that can be applied to everyone in our democracy? God is not just a theological concept that one can easily disregard while in search for life’s meaning. God is the One in relation to the many, the unifying factor in the midst of the diversity of race, culture, and religion. It is the center of the circle of life, the central purpose of meditation and inner awakening. It is time to begin or resume our quest for God (Spirit, Oneness, Ultimate Reality – called by any name or no name). It is no longer adequate to dismiss that Infinite Beingness as if we had gone beyond where it is of any value to us. When we do that, we are simply limiting our vision as to what life is all about.
We are living in the presence of an exciting experiment to discover the infinite depth of understanding that will enrich our life. That search is never ending. We cannot go beyond it; we can only further awaken to its beauty and richness of value. In this time of great challenge in the world around us, it is an especially important time to go within and find the peace and sense of meaning that will help us to be more healthy and to live a longer and more fruitful life.
Spirit is One; paths are many!