Recently we watched an episode of the remarkable nature documentary, “Planet Earth.” There was one breathtakingly beautiful scene of thousands of pink flamingos flying together in unison, their image perfectly reflected in the still waters of a pristine lake. The photography in the whole series is beautiful and mind-boggling, instilling a profound sense in us of the harmony and oneness in the natural world. Even the scenes of predators stalking their prey captured not cruelty, but the balance in nature in which every creature plays it part.
After watching the episode, I picked up my iPad and began scanning the news. As I read the headlines, the contrast between the beauty and unity of nature and the violent, divisive actions of man was startling. It led me to wonder, “Maybe this world would be better off without man?”
Then I remembered Master’s statement that mankind is of a higher order than even the angels, as we alone have the potential to become one with God. In the moment it was hard for me to see this high vision of man, but at least I could accept that people are at different points on the spectrum from lower to higher consciousness. We can express the full gamut of human nature, from the most depraved despot to the most exalted saint and everywhere in between.
We are living now in unstable, volatile times, but we can see this as either a misfortune or an opportunity. Swami Kriyananda was once asked, “What is Ananda’s mission?” He replied, “To equalize the world on the spiritual plane.” Let’s personalize this: “What is your mission? To equalize your consciousness on the spiritual plane.”
So we have a choice before us: To give strength and power to the highest within us and in everyone, or helplessly to succumb to downward-pulling energy. Which part do you want to play?
You may think, “But I’m only one person. What good can I possibly do amidst the global forces around me?” Swamiji pointed out that advances in human consciousness often take place not by the actions of large groups of people, but by the intensity and commitment of a few.
The Renaissance, for example, transformed not only the world of art, but — by opening up a whole new vision of perspective and beauty — all of society. This “rebirth,” as the word means literally, was started in Florence, Italy, by a handful of dedicated artists who began seeing the world in new ways.
The power to make improvements on a widespread scale comes not from sheer numbers of people, but from an individual’s alignment of his or her will and feeling with higher consciousness. Action rooted in compassion and acceptance of all, and in an understanding of mankind’s high potential to know God, and in the realization of our oneness with all life, adds power to the Divine Vision of unity that created this world.
A friend of ours gave us a first edition of Master’s book of poems, Songs of the Soul, which was published in 1923. It’s personally signed by him with this inscription:
Oct. 20, 1924
There is one breath that enlivens all strange lands and strangers.
Under one sky we live watched by One Father.
With my blessings,
Let us each play our part in bringing about this vision of global unity. The new Temple of Light at Ananda Village stands as visible proof of this high aspiration. We are very close to the goal of completely paying off the cost of its construction. In our blogs last week and today, Jyotish and I are asking you to make an offering to help make this dream a reality.
With hope for a better world,
To learn more about the Temple of Light visit Ananda.org/temple.