“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
In his book Power vs Force, Dr. David Hawkins portrays the difference between the two being that force requires effort while power is effortless. Based on these definitions, we have often misused the word power and relegated ourselves to using much more force than we often had to. When we consider those who have ruled over the various facets of our civilization, they have not always done so because they had power, but because they implemented force.
Force is used quite effectively in negotiating conflict to ensure that one side comes out of the conflict better than the other. Power guides both sides through the conflict to find a better outcome for both. Force is used in making something so, while power abides in knowing that it is so and merely participates in the process of becoming.
Too often in our society, we are still forced to do things that do not work in our individual or collective self interests, and though different means are used now than when whips inspired cotton pickers, we have still become enslaved through those who forcefully demand our energy and time in order to make their vision manifest. Yet, given the communicative resources and technological means at our disposal, we are at a pivotal moment of human history, where we have been granted immense opportunities in recognizing the power we have to help guide the world toward a better vision for all, and not merely those who claim to wield power.
It may very well be that the greatest amount of force we have exerted has been in getting people to choke down the knowledge of good and evil, and pitting ourselves against one another, standing on the logic that we must be good so “they” must be evil. Yet, by the biblical account, in that first week of Creation, before mankind tasted of the duality that morality mandated, God had created everything – light, water, sky, plants, animals, and even humans – with “good” as the defining characteristic. Although our newfound knowledge has enabled us to define all sorts of things as “evil”, and even make up a few new things of our own to promote this new dimension of reality, we will be much more adept at truly understanding our power if we look back to the original blueprints and see once again, that life is good, and nothing need be forced to be what it is not.
Those who are drawn to the lower vibrations of force feel some compulsion to make others do things the way they want them to be done and see things the way they want them to see. And so are many laws made, both religious and bureaucratic, as people look upon the world with fear of what is, and feel the need to force it to become something different. Yet there is great power in accepting life as it is provided with grace and gratitude, and humbly accepting our responsibility to participate without having to manipulate.
“With humility comes the willingness to stop trying to control or change other people or life situations or events ostensibly ‘for their own good’,” writes Dr. Hawkins. “To be a committed spiritual seeker, it is necessary to relinquish the desire to be ‘right’ or of imaginary value to society. In fact, nobody’s ego or belief systems are of any value to society at all. The world is neither good nor bad nor defective, nor is it in need of help or modification because its appearance is only a projection of one’s own mind. No such world exists.”
In the civilization of force that has been developed over the last few millennia, there have been many egos at play, seeking to control others by playing with emotions, planting ideas, administering brutality, and even limiting the parameters of spiritual growth. And while these trends may continue with the worldwide proliferation of ego boosts, there is now, more than ever, a movement of people who are reclaiming their own emotional health, thinking for themselves, working toward their own passions, and cultivating their own unique relationship with their Creator. Although some may decry the plethora of selfies that now fill the Internet, they are a testament to the rising mantra of “I’m here, and I’m doing my thing.”
Throughout this story of ours, there are many moments that could be attributed to the existence of evil, yet in total, they’ve created the steps to Now, and considering the opportunities they have granted us to learn, grow, and prosper without such need for the forces that have compelled us throughout, I think that’s pretty good. Should we be able to once again be grateful and in awe of the Life that provides for us, and move beyond the burden of force, there is great power in store for us, through our artistry, our activities, our communities, and our prayers.
Although I may often come across as anti-Christian, I still resonate with what those fingers have been pointing to all these many years, but for each finger that points, there are four that grasp. I cannot deny the greater Power in the Universe to which they try to point, with sometimes crooked fingers, nor that It works with us as we co-create our existence, yet for true eternal life to fully engage, the search for the answers to Mystery must end, and the pointing fingers must each become open palms, so that we may all be open to the abundance of Power.
At the tail end of the Information Revolution, having long fought the battle of religion versus science, we still have a predominantly large number of people who still subscribe to having faith in some sort of Divine Entity. Religious organization has largely guided our conception of whatever Divine Entity formed this ball of matter we’ve come to call Earth, the inhabitants upon it, and the Universe around it, of which it is a very small part. Yet there is a growing spiritual maturity that is helping people see beyond the remedial stories and rudimentary depictions of our Creator, and open up to a new understanding of faith, one more grounded in love as a state of being.
As Jesus is reported to have said in The Gospel of Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
In what remains of the story of Jesus, the four canonical gospels, as well as those that the Church didn’t accept, the words speak much to the topic of oikonomia, at least our personal economies. It is a measured blend of forgiveness, faith, hope, kindness, and non-attachment, with an inflated budgetary attachment of love. While the first “red letter” Bible to highlight the words attributed to Jesus in blood red crimson wasn’t published until 1899, it’s unfortunate that the opinions of Paul and the Jewish traditions have played such a predominant part in the development of Christianity. Nevertheless, as Jesus broke down the Ten Commandments to loving God and loving each other, for those who truly want to follow Christ, more emphasis should be put on just those red letters than the other books that supplement it.
Although some question even the existence of the man who would come to be known as Jesus of Nazareth, the spirit of humanity that he represented, that spirit of Christ which serves as the pinnacle of humankind as immensely powerful yet not self-obsessed, still serves as a guide for how most of us truly long to be. Considering the majority of the problems sprouted from the cultivation of civilization are based in greed, selfishness, and ego aggrandizement, there is an ineffable resonance with the idea of being selfless, of service, and sacrificial. The religion of Christianity, based largely on the teachings of Paul, may be waning in popularity, yet Jesus does still stand out as one of history’s greatest heroes, and regardless of how the Church may crumble, that legacy of selflessness and love will continue to inspire the human heart.
Although the proliferation of ideas to support Christianity has often been fueled by fear and intimidation tactics, there are truths in those red letters that effortlessly transcend religious ideologies, and are evident in most of the religions that have been developed as a way to deal with the civilization spawned from our totalitarian agricultural system and the hierarchies it has created. Beyond the efforts that have been made to homogenize beliefs and establish parameters around how people may find connection with the Source of their being through purposeful service and the full enjoyment of life, there is a core message of loving God and loving your neighbor that ultimately relegates the rest of the scriptures to the annals of commentary. To tap into the power that each of us has as our birthright as the children of God, we would be wise to release ourselves from the trappings of whatever dogmas our egos might use to inhibit our joy and simply open ourselves up to experiencing a life lived in love.
A true faith in Christ, or God, or Allah, or Buddha, or any other religious fulcrum, need not be relegated to being a belief in the dogmas that other adherents have collected, but knowing that the efforts we put into participating in the world around us will have some sort of positive result. Yet the radical notion of treating others the way that you would like to be treated in order to participate in creating the kind of world you want to live in is not limited to a belief in Christ or in any Divine entity whatsoever. For those who are not of the Christian tradition, whether you be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Scientologist, or Atheist, we all breathe the same air, are comprised of the same water, live on the same earth, and are illuminated by the same sun. Although we use different words to describe our connection to the essence of divinity that created all that we know, it is within our ability to transcend our “isms” and regard one another with common respect and the love of pure spirit.
When we can see every person as the asset they are instead of the burden we often judge them as, when we can recognize the power that comes with relating to even our most hated enemies with love, interest, service, and truth, we will change our world largely through the shift of our perception. By our conscious reconciliation with the brothers and sisters that we see every day, and pursuing the goal of collaborative interdependence and harmonious living, we start the process of manifesting a society that is much more sustainable, resilient, and offering a greater quality of life than the practices of separation, competition, and judgment of the prevailing, yet waning culture. As the global economy reaches its greatest height, and teeters on the brink of extinction, as the Tower of Babel is told to have done before, by fortifying our local economies, starting with the relationships we have with the people we see every day, we have the capacity to endure the implosion of an invention that has outlived its purpose, and we can more gracefully transition into a state of renaissance.
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