Recently I did a webinar for 3PGC entitled:
Finding Peace, Compassion, and Love in a world that is hurting.
This is my description of the talk I presented.
“The Three Principles understanding gives us the ability to ‘see’ beyond the troubles of the world, and beyond our own issues. We have the world within us and the power to change it.
Sydney Banks said at the beginning of his teaching that leaving the world to find peace wasn’t the answer. Some of his earliest students, including me and my husband, left society because we were disillusioned and thought we would find peace by ‘going back to the land’. This is what he told us, “You are society. Change yourself and the world will change.”
We began to discover that instead of trying to figure life out, when we quieted our mind, this soothed our soul, and we could ‘see’ the world with understanding rather than with judgment.
There is something beyond seeing with the eyes. There is a depth of vision that is gained from stillness, the spiritual essence within us all.
This is a lesson to be learned time and time again.”
During the webinar, people began to share some of their thoughts about how to be in a world where the feeling is becoming more chaotic and hurtful. The question I heard was “how do we remain engaged without taking on the toxic feelings?”
This brought to mind a phrase that was an insight for me that offers engagement, with neutrality, to a world in which we want to offer love in our desire to help.
Years ago, when I was working with the late Dr. Roger Mills, in inner city communities in Los Angeles, New York, and several other areas, we consistently came to a cross roads in working with the residents who were struggling to find not only their own identity, as confident, resourceful human beings, but to find justice for the many prejudices their community was facing from government, the judicial system, and so on.
As we began to develop our working relationships with these communities, we shared with them that if they went ‘inside’ to where true confidence and wisdom resides, they would find a deeper understanding of how to rise above the status quo they were experiencing. They found this very difficult to believe. We understood this and continued to do our best to remain in a feeling of neutrality and love.
An incident occurred in the South Bronx before we began working with them, where a resident had been brutalized by the police. The residents marched on city hall, demanding justice. Things got out of hand and more arrests were made in the ensuing violence.
When we began our training, it took a while to establish rapport and for the residents to trust us. We began to discover the power of love, that when we could remain in our feeling of understanding and compassion, the residents were more inclined to listen and to take in what we were offering in terms of them considering another approach to seeking justice and a degree of alignment with city/police.
In the feeling of neutrality and love, the residents gained their own insights, and when they arranged the next meeting with government officials, they met them with respect vs intolerance, with understanding vs condemnation, with perspective vs judgment. The result was a far more successful meeting where they began to listen to one another in a way they hadn’t before. The feeling of engagement was prominent, along with a degree of neutrality that had been absent before, both in the residents and the officials.
The residents were the ones who initiated a new relationship with the officials, based on mutual respect and understanding. This in and of itself was an amazing position for the residents to find themselves in. To be the ‘leaders’ in communicating differently with the government representatives was unheard of. This added to the resident’s confidence because they began to ‘see’ themselves with new eyes. And because the officials are made up of the same spiritual essence, they ‘heard’ and responded differently.
I’d like to say that after that, the community and officials resided in complete peace and harmony. They did for some of the time; then personal thinking would take the lead, and occasionally harmony would be left behind. However, the new relationship was a great start that provided a solid foundation for all those involved so they could remember and return to the positive feeling when they forgot what engagement with neutrality and love looked like. That’s a huge step forward.
When I reflected on what transpired in that community, I could see that acknowledging the practical side of spiritual activism means we don’t have to take on the hurt of a negative environment. We don’t have to ‘do’ if we don’t feel drawn to march or protest. If we do feel drawn to do so, fine; but we don’t have to. We can be active from the inside out. We have the protection inside of our true nature, the essence that is us and surrounds us with love. Pure essence has a practical side as well as a profound role in understanding how our world works.
If we can ‘see’ that the ripple effect of love as the pure energy source that all humanity is made of is a working spiritual activism that can and does create sustainable change, we will be “doing without doing” as Sydney Banks often said.