“A human being is part of a whole, called by us 'Universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few people nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein
It is said that we were made in the image of God and that we are all God’s children, and yet we humans sure do like to separate and put people into categories and attach labels to them. Some even feel they have the right and the power to decide who is good or bad or who should be loved or not loved. Some are even preaching, teaching, and declaring that certain segments of society should be banished and/or destroyed (murdered). Many who are saying these things come from the religious and political realms and people are being brainwashed into believing whatever they say. So rather than putting their beliefs and faith in God (or the God of your understanding), people are putting their beliefs and faith in man.
How do you tell the difference? Jesus made it pretty clear when he said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” All the great spiritual masters have taught that we are to love one another (no exceptions), and yet if you look around you, listen to the media, or even listen to your family and friends, there isn’t much love going around. If people really believed and followed their spiritual masters from whatever religion they belong to, then there would be a whole lot more love in the world.
As long as we separate ourselves from our brothers and sisters on this planet for whatever reasons, we are separating ourselves from God. We say that God is love. Where’s the love? When I hear people speak words of hate, bigotry, or ignorance, or when they judge others, I know that they are not coming from a state of love; they are coming from a state of fear and it is not of God. But there’s hope because more and more people are becoming enlightened knowing that unconditional love really is the only answer!
Marianne Williamson wrote, “Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”
A Course in Miracles states, “If hatred finds a place within your heart, you will perceive a fearful world. If you feel the Love of God within you, you will look out on a world of mercy and love. You look upon that which you feel within.”
We project our beliefs about ourselves and each other out onto the world and it is that world that will manifest from those beliefs. We see the world as we see ourselves. If we want love and peace in the world, then we need to cultivate love and peace within us individually. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
We have got to stop the hating! Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
We wonder why so many are turning their backs on God, the church, and religions, but people are seeing the hypocrisy and they no longer want anything to do with it because they’re literally not seeing the love.
Martin Sheen said, “We wind up in cells of our own making when we’re not generous, loving, compassionate, and forgiving. Without love, we build dungeons in our hearts and fill them with our perceived enemies. We believe they deserve to be there for the harm they caused us, but by imprisoning them we’re destroying our own spirits. When our dungeons are overflowing with these prisoners we refuse to set free, we become slaves to our self-righteousness, our anger, resentments, and self-loathing, which we let multiply until we wind up imprisoned on our own death row.”
We have a choice. We can either promote and live in a state of love…or a state of fear. Which do you choose?
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper October 7, 2016.