Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the weeks of July 13 & 20, 2020

Joining Love

(Serving Our World Soul: 8)

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In our heart of hearts, our inmost core is love. The very root of our will, the very source of who we are is love. Yet we walk through life with a defensive crust, acquired in childhood, that hides love from us. But that hard crust can give way and love can shine through the cracks. We may fear losing ourselves in the unity that is love. But it is only in love that we become complete. Rather than defending ourselves against love, we can welcome it as our basic nature. We may suppose that unity, that love, is impossible. Yet by allowing our defenses to relax and opening to love, we make the impossible real.

We experience love as simple unity. And it touches our whole being, mind, and heart. But the essence of love is in our will. We may be able to see the unity with our mind, with our consciousness. We may be able to feel the unity with our heart. But to embrace all in that unity, to enter all in that unity, to open to all in that unity is an act of will, a very high and all-encompassing will, a will that welcomes us to join it.

Love comes from within and the unity is within. Outwardly we all appear quite separate: you there, me here. Inwardly also we are isolated in our attitudes and opinions, thoughts and emotions. But deeper down we find love and unity. So if we are to love, it will be from our within to the within of all. If we are to live in unity, it is the oneness within that will find us all.

The surprise is that even in unity we are each still unique. Within the essential oneness that we share, we are each beautifully singular. That is the mystery of will: that we can be both individual and a drop in the great ocean of life. We are like many different pens, all continually filled from one inexhaustible bottle of ink, each one writing its own story. One ink, many stories. Here we all are. Unity does not destroy uniqueness, it celebrates it.

One specific step, relevant to our times, is to make room in our heart for those with whom we disagree. When we put labels on people, for example as belonging to this or that political persuasion, we tend to view them through the filter of that label, or even as that label. Can we view people as people like ourselves? She may have a very different world view from mine, but can I nevertheless keep her in my heart, see her as a human being just as I am a human being? Though I believe he is mistaken, I know that I have been mistaken. This applies to the people we meet regularly. It also applies to people we never meet, like our political leaders whom we know only through the media. Can we keep them all in our heart, regardless of their attitudes? Is it possible that the vehement and poisonous atmosphere in our politics begins in me? To what extent can I let go of that? How can I participate in love for all, if I hate some? The sun shines equally on every one of us. Love embraces us all.

As for the World Soul, it is not enough to know about it conceptually. Nor is it enough to "see" the World Soul, though both the knowing and the seeing are necessary. In the following practice we put ourselves in the place of the World Soul. We become the World Soul, which is based in love. If we are loved, we can love. And the great truth is that we are loved. We may not feel ready. We may not be pure. Yet we are loved. We can be love. We can love.

Here is something from Thomas Merton. "In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness … There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun."[1]

We envision a far future humanity, evolved and utterly transformed, inhabiting this blue and white pearl of a planet, embodying the universal purpose, emanating the great heart of love into the heavens. We can contribute to that by means of the spiritual, meditative exercise presented below. Love can only come as a free and individual choice to open to love. Our work is to make that choice more available by helping bring the unitive energy of love to our planet. Along with the practices of Raising Consciousness and Welcoming the Sacred Light, this exercise of Joining Love is a third method of direct inner service. In actual practice, we take as much time as we need to fully realize each step in the following.

    1. We find a quiet place and begin our sitting by building up robust, complete sensation of our whole body. We keep our attention focused in our whole body. This grounds us in the present: our first step inward.
    2. Enter your heart of hearts. Temporarily let go of everything but this. There in your core, feel the warm embrace of love. Feel that you are loved. Feel that you are in love. Be in this love, without walls, without boundaries. Be in this love that transcends separateness. Let your heart melt into love.
    3. With your ability to visualize the whole planet, be everywhere on the surface of the Earth. Make this visualization real by tying it to the actual Earth. Starting from your physical location, quickly go from horizon to horizon in every direction to encompass the planet. Take the entire Earth into your perceptual embrace.
    4. There is a very high will that loves the entire Earth and all on it. That will welcomes and needs our participation. Put yourself into the position of that will, embracing the whole Earth with arms of compassion. Join with that will, like the sky, to enfold the Earth and all on it in the great heart of love, in the within of all.
    5. Rest in the simple presence of non-doing.


[1] From Thomas Merton: Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, 1966.


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