On the shifting sands of our current world situation, every moment seems to create a “new normal”. Just as we adjust to what seems to be a new “status quo” new questions arise prompting a review of what is real and true. Our beautiful planet has the abundant capacity to care for all that live within it and yet basic living is becoming increasingly uncertain as the cost of living increases and supply of affordable housing diminishes. Famine, drought, floods, natural and man-made catastrophes, and rising sea levels leave millions dependent on charitable aid for survival. As foundational expectations crumble, aspirations return to essentials of how to survive, endure and find meaning when what previously gave our lives meaning is revealed as false or temporary at best.
While many are struggling in the chaos of changing circumstances, a growing number are experiencing the awakening of the heart and the emergence of the soul
What is this soul? And how do we experience it? David Brooks addressed this question in his New York Times Opinion Column:
….Whether you believe in God or don’t believe in God is not my department. But I do ask you to believe that every person you meet has this moral essence, this quality of soul.
Because humans have souls, each one is of infinite value and dignity. Because humans have souls, each one is equal to all the others. We are not equal in physical strength or I.Q. or net worth, but we are radically equal at the level of who we essentially are.
The soul is the name we can give to that part of our consciousness where moral life takes place. The soul is the place our moral sentiments flow from, the emotions that make us feel admiration at the sight of generosity and disgust at the sight of cruelty. It is the place where our moral yearnings come from, too. Most people yearn to lead good lives. When they act with a spirit of cooperation, their souls sing and they are happy. On the other hand, when they feel their lives have no moral purpose, they experience a sickness of the soul — a sense of lostness, pain and self-contempt.
Because we have souls, we are morally responsible for what we do. Hawks and cobras are not morally responsible for their actions; but humans, possessors of souls, are caught in a moral drama, either doing good or doing ill…” David Brooks – New York Times
While there is much one can study about the soul, this journalist reminds us of its livingness at the heart of who we are and central to how we lead our lives. He reminds us of the essential equality of all souls – the same radiant essence – and of what motivates soul living.
It is the soul that prompts us to seek new meaning and purpose as previous goals disintegrate.
The soul sees itself in all souls – there is no “other.” Barriers and differences do not exist although there is a myriad of expressions of its essential oneness. It knows only the flow of life and love radiating through it to all – giving freely within that beneficent flow. Can we imagine a completely different world based on that fundamental life-flow – on continuously giving rather than acquiring? If everyone is giving, contributing wherever they can and however they are able, all the world’s current systems and structures would become obsolete, and a system of heart-resonance would take its place.
Great forces are reshaping our human worldview and birthing a new civilisation
While worldly powers may continue to incite conflicts and wars, a global awakening is occurring and seeing with new clarity the falseness on which such conflicts are initiated, and the destructiveness and cost to our planetary life. There is a dawning awareness that there is one human race on a small planet. And we are realising that there is a vaster battle being waged and that the field is within each of us: the overcoming of old habits of acquisitive motivation and thinking, by the growing power of the benevolent heart through which the soul can shine.
Light is pouring into this small planet, illuminating and expanding human thinking wherever there is potential to respond.
He has arrived at the point at the heart of his being. From that point of pure spiritual realisation, he can increasingly work in the future. Through practice, he strengthens that realisation, and all life, work and circumstances are viewed as a passing pageant with which he is not concerned. Upon them, however, he can turn the searchlight of pure spirit; he himself is light and knows himself as part of the ‘Light of the World,’ and ‘in that light shall he see light’. He knows things as they are and realizes that all which he has hitherto regarded as reality is but illusion. He has pierced the great Maya and passed behind it into the light which produces it and for him mistake is in the future impossible; his sense of values is correct; his sense of proportion is exact. He no longer is subject to deception but stands freed from delusion. When this point is realized, pain and pleasure no longer affect him; he is lost in the bliss of Self-Realization.” The Light of the Soul, page 104
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