Inner  Frontier
Cultivating Spiritual Presence

 

Inner Work


For the week of August 12, 2019


The Challenge

(One Earth, One Love: 1)

With the overarching threat of climate change, with terrorism, war, racism, economic instability, insular politics and oppression, poverty, pandemics, and other major challenges facing us humans collectively, we may feel personally unable to address these large-scale issues in any significant way. Clearly it is up to governments to act on behalf of all. Nevertheless, we do our part, on our personal scale, to diminish our own carbon footprint for example. Yet we insulate ourselves emotionally from the full force of society-level issues and the looming, uncertain planetary future, which seem far beyond our personal control. Furthermore, we have our hands full with our own life, with all our personal, family, and professional obligations and challenges.

But the large-scale need only grows and keeps coming back to confront us. Certainly, vigorous, external, personal, societal, governmental, and inter-governmental concerted actions are all necessary, if climate change and other mass-scale problems are to be resolved.

There is, however, another side to all this. Can we see into the roots of these problems and find another way forward there? From a spiritual perspective, the problems of our society and planet fundamentally arise from our splintered identities, from the fragmentation of our collective will, from the separateness from other people and from nature that we feel in our individual skin, in our personal points of view. This is the spiritual challenge of our time: to heal our fundamental fragmentation, to bring the vision and reality of oneness into our human life, both personally and collectively.

This inner spiritual approach is a necessary complement to the ongoing, world-wide but weak, external approach to the issues. Successful, external, forward movement is unlikely to occur without general agreement on the direction and necessity. But that agreement is blocked by our inner fragmentation. Yes, for climate change, a continuing drumbeat of science, severe weather, and political activism should create ever more agreement. We would accelerate that alignment if we became more attuned to oneness generally and in particular to the One Earth, our singular, beautiful home planet with all its inhabitants, a planet, atmosphere, and biosphere that are much more interconnected and vulnerable than we had imagined.

Part of this approach entails expanding our personal sense of responsibility to include our global responsibility. Our external responses can take many forms; our conscience, circumstances, skills, inclinations, and possibilities guide us in that. But this inner work series concerns our inner, spiritual response. We recognize the potential and need for an inner, spiritual activism, for a soul response to our global crises.

Yes, we can pray. But we can do much more than petitioning the Divine, however sincerely. The saying that God helps those who help themselves is relevant here. That we can help by living our material life responsibly is clear. We can also help inwardly, spiritually, and directly.

Our sense of responsibility informs our will. A truly global will is indistinguishable from love. And love begets love. In this we have an intimation of what could be our inner role of healing the fragmentation of our collective will. Can we open into, align with, and thereby support the higher, global will, responsible for our whole planet? Even a small impact at that level would have far-reaching, positive consequences, for our communities and for our One Earth. For each one of us who is able, to some degree, to open inwardly to our global responsibility, to the one great will of the Earth, that will strengthens, with a broader base and a deeper penetration into this planet of ours.

This process mirrors that part of the process of our individual, spiritual evolution whereby, through love, we bring all the disparate, conflicting desires and urges within our own psyche into accord and alignment, under a singular umbrella, our unified will, our own I.

For this week, please consider the world situation, from your neighborhood to the wider world. Please consider your responsibility toward that.


        

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