August 11
My whole attitude to life is spiritual--a
feeling of identification with all nature,
all mankind, all life, the whole of the
past, the whole of the future.

Fenner Brockway


Today's Meditation:

I think that the reason for which most people shy away from confronting their own spirituality is because when they do so, they'll be forced to acknowledge their unity with all others on this planet.  And that unity frightens us, for it means that we're a part of a much larger whole and we have certain responsibilities to others if they are part of the same whole.  The independence with which our culture has filled our heads is a myth, and as spiritual beings we belong to and with others--and we can no longer deny it.

When we do acknowledge and appreciate this connection we have with others, we find life to be a much richer experience.  If I'm completely independent, then I'm beholden to no one, and I'm obligated to serve no one.  But if I identify with all around me, then I do have an obligation to give to everyone, to serve everyone, to share my gifts and talents to help others in any way that I can.  As spiritual beings, we are working on the level of eternity, without judgment and criticism--and we are not working on making life better for ourselves without caring for others.

We are a part of everything.  You and I and the next person you see and the last person you had contact with and the dog in your home and the trees in the forest--everything depends on everything else, and each of us can be fulfilled only insofar as we seek to help the world reach its potential, and stop allowing negative and harmful things to happen without at least trying to do something to stop them.

Focusing on our spiritual selves is not a method of adding new responsibilities to our lives or berating ourselves for not being more selfless.  Rather, it's a way to keep in mind just why we're here on this planet, just where we fit into eternity and the universal whole, and a way to keep ourselves from feeling the artificial--and often painful--separateness that we learn when we focus on independence rather than interdependence.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of our cultures value independence so highly?

When was the last time that you thought of yourself as a spiritual being here on a planet filled with other spiritual beings?

What does it mean to be connected to other people and things, and the past and the future?

For further thought:

When we think we're separate, we lose power.  Whenever I say "my," I have lost my power.  Power is not my power; it is not enlarging oneself as a separate individual.  It is only gainable as part of a larger whole.  Then you communicate with the rest of yourself--which may be a tree.  You, reciprocally, are moved by the universe.  Whenever you shut down connectedness, you get depressed.  Psychic awareness breaks in as a gift.  It's fearful to know we're connected to everything in the universe, because then we're responsible.

Glenda Taylor


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