Today more than ever our world is crying out for peace. But peace on our planet will continue to be wishful thinking until we embrace unitive consciousness. Humankind needs to really get it that we are connected with each other, all living beings and the entire ecosystem as well. Living from this state of awareness ignites our inner light with love and grace, revealing our divinity and our kinship with the totality of the Universe. By developing love and compassion for all life forms on our planet, we become less preoccupied with the "self" and freer to feel our oneness with creation.
Honoring the Godliness in all and through all is the natural outcome of true unity consciousness. If all of us embraced this oneness of the whole, many current problems would vanish. Violence against others, terrorism, war between nations, aerial gunning down of wolves, gas and oil drilling on our pristine wilderness, and other practices that pose a threat to our beautiful world would cease to exist. Hurting others would become unthinkable because we would know that causing harm to others would be causing harm to one's self.
A lack of understanding about the interconnection of all of life and disrespect for any of creation, causes severe consequences for the individual and the planet as a whole. It is this feeling of separation from God, from the sacredness of being, that is the root of all suffering in the world.
Finding peace is the topic of an ancient legend I once heard. In this story, a farmer asks a rabbi when there would be peace on Earth. The rabbi replied, "Follow me." He then brought the farmer to the side of a brook, put his hand on the farmer's head, and pressed it into the water until the farmer came up gasping for breath. The rabbi then said: "This is your answer. When people want peace as much as you just wanted air, when one comes up gasping for peace, when the individual is ready to give everything in him or herself to have peace, as you have given to have air, there will be peace."
Is our planet not yet gasping enough for air? What will it take for our nations or our law enforcement agencies to give everything to have peace? The only place to start is with our own consciousness, the most fertile ground for individual and world transformation. By practicing love and compassion and honoring the sacred in all, we can extend peace one heart at a time and resuscitate the world.
If we are not the shepherds of a new era of peace, who, then, shall lead the way? With this in mind, would you join me in taking the peace challenge? For one month, extend loving kindness and compassion to one living being a day, including those outside of your immediate family. See how that feels and how it brings an expansion of heart and a deeper sense of unity to your life. As always, you are invited to drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your results.
*Adapted from Live Your Joy: How to Awaken from Spiritual Slumber by Barbara Gulbranson.
Dr. Barbara Gulbranson is one of the nation's leading spiritual teachers, author, spiritual coach, ordained minister and director of the Suicide Prevention Center, a program of United Health Services.