World in Harmony: Can We Do This?

6a00d8341bffb053ef00e54f3e16e08833-500wi[1]Can we find common ground upon which to stand, to work toward harmony and peace in this world? Can we do so without compromising dearly held beliefs and convictions? Yes, I do believe so; in fact, I earnestly believe we share more common ground spiritually and religiously than many of us might imagine. I believe we can stand on this common grounds, lock arms, and with determination move forward, and all without ceasing to be who and what we are in heart, mind and soul. And this begins with an appropriate prayer:

Then did I recognize you in mind, to be the first and the last, O Lord, Progenitor of good thought, when I apprehended you in my the eye of my soul: True creator of all that is right, the Lord over the proceedings of life![1] And so it is that you are gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love; good to all, and your compassion is over all that you have made.[2]

The Lord is Cherisher of all Worlds – who created us, and it is God who guides us; who gives us food and drink, and when we are ill, it is he who cures us; who will cause us to die, and then to live again; and who, we have reason to hope, will forgive us our faults on the Day of Judgment.[3] Yes, but this self-same God of all says in majestic mystery:

I have no corporeal existence, but Universal Benevolence is my divine body. I have no physical power, but Uprightness is my strength. I have no religious clairvoyance beyond what is bestowed by Wisdom. I have no power of miracle other than the attainment of quiet happiness. I have no tact except the exercise of gentleness. [4]

God is love.[5] God is beautiful and loves beauty.[6] God is All-gentle to God’s servants, providing for whomsoever God will.[7] And so it is God says, “To love is to know me, my innermost nature, and the truth that I am.” [8] The Tao is immortal, the mysterious fertile mother of us all, of heaven and earth, of everything and not-thing; invisible yet ever-present, you can enjoy her forever without exhausting her.[9]

parvati3rdeye[1]God says, “I am mother and father of the world.”[10] And so we say, “You are father, mother, friend, and brother. With you as nurturer in all places, what have we to fear?”[11] We cry aloud:

O Mother of the world and humanity, advocate for the whole world! What a remarkable Mother we have! O Mother, a pillar, a refuge! O Mother, to whom all prostrate in greeting before one enters her habitation! We are justly proud of our Mother. O Mother who arrives, who arrives majestic and offers water to all![12] That breast of yours, which is inexhaustible, health-giving, by which you nurse all that is noble, containing treasure, bearing wealth, bestowed freely; lay that bare, divine Mother, for our nurture![13]

Indeed, we are the children of the Lord our God;[14] for all humans are God’s children, and those dearest to God are those who treat his children kindly.[15] For God, people of the whole world are all children of God, and so all of us equally must understand that God is our Parent.[16] So, too, all of us under the heavens; we must regard heaven as our father, earth as our mother, and all things as our brothers and sisters![17]

1400805161603[1]And so this is how we are to live: Whatever you wish that people would do to you, do so to them.[18] A woman should wander about treating all creatures as she herself would be treated.[19] Indeed, try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.[20] Comparing oneself to others in such terms as “just as I am so are they; just as they are so am I;” he should neither kill nor cause others to kill.[21] This simply means, one should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.[22]

Is this really so difficult? Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and God’s love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in God and God in us, because the Everlasting One has given us the very Spirit of life and love. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and she who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because God first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his sister or brother, he is a liar; for she who does not love her brother or sister whom she has seen, cannot love God whom she has not seen.[23]

Endlessknot[1]Have benevolence towards all living beings, joy at the sight of the virtuous, compassion and sympathy for the afflicted, and tolerance towards the indolent and ill-behaved.[24] Ah! Then that do we choose, O Lord of Wisdom, O beautiful Truth, that do we think, do we speak, and do we practice, which shall be best of the actions of living ones for both worlds![25] For to the addict, nothing is like his dope; to the fish, nothing is like water; but those immersed in the love of God feel love for all things.[26]

Amen and Amen. So let it be, Everlasting and Most Benevolent One!

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[1] Zoroastrianism. Avesta, Yasna 31.8

[2] Psalm 145.8-9 (Hebrew Scriptures)

[3] Qur’an 26.77-82

[4] Shinto. Oracle of the Kami of Sumiyoshi

[5] I Epistle of St. John 4.8 (Christianity)

[6] Hadith of Muslim (Islam)

[7] Qur’an 42.19

[8] Bhagavad Gita 18.55 (Hinduism)

[9] Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching 6

[10] Bhagavad Gita 9.17 (Hinduism)

[11] Adi Granth, Majh M.5, p. 103 (Sikhism)

[12] Yoruba Prayer of Nigeria (African Traditional Religion)

[13] Rig Veda 1.164.49 (Hinduism)

[14] Deuteronomy 14.1 (Hebrew Scripture)

[15] Hadith of Baihaqi (Islam)

[16] Tenrikyo. Ofudesaki IV.79

[17] Oracle of the Kami of Atsuta (Shinto)

[18] Gospel of St. Matthew 7.12 (Christianity)

[19] Sutrakritanga 1.11.33 (Jainism)

[20] Mencius VII.A.4 (Confucianism)

[21] Sutta Nipata 705 (Buddhism)

[22] Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8 (Hinduism)

[23] I Epistle of St. John 4.7-8, 12-13, 18-20 (Christianity)

[24] Tattvarthasutra 7.11 (Jainism)

[25] Avesta, Yasna 35.3 (Zoroastrianism)

[26] Adi Granth, Wadhans, M.1, p. 557 (Sikhism)

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