Every individual struggles to live life as best as possible, even with all the hurdles we place in front of ourselves, and the stumbling blocks we cling to. Yes, our lives are filled with difficulties, pain, suffering and the like. Even when we have wonderful things to potentially make life easier, bring joy and be less painful, and bring happiness and have less suffering, our lives are not free from any aspect of life. We simply have a different kind of pain and suffering in our life. Some of it is easily seen, and some of it is hidden to everyone except ourselves.
No individual’s life is strictly either black or white. No life is strictly either pain or joy. No individual, no soul is strictly either good or bad. Consequently, no experience is strictly only good or bad, black or white, pain or joy.
In our world, we know suffering exists and many of us try to help there be less of it. In our world, we know that understanding God more can help there be less of it. Yet, again and again we run into the wall of the differences between our efforts and our results. Over and over we seek ways to offer others insights or learning which we have with the hope of reducing suffering and with the hope of increasing understanding and compassion in our societies and the hearts and minds of people.
It is so common to get very discouraged and saddened when we believe that we’ve been ineffective and unsuccessful. If we hold to this belief – that we’ve been ineffective and unsuccessful – or that we haven’t even been able to change ourselves or enhance God’s presence in our own lives, then we can also become depressed or despairing – feeling that we get nowhere with our efforts at changing another’s consciousnesses.
But, if we open our minds just a little bit more, we’ll be able to see something different happening. If we can see that our effort at changing our self is the superior path – the path that brings us to greater awareness of our world through the greater awareness of our self, we can begin to see that, of course, we’re going to get depressed about our ability to change somebody else. Of course, we despair when we think we’re here to put love into someone else’s heart.
There’s a paradox here. These tasks are not realistic tasks for us. These tasks are not the tasks set before us by God. These tasks are not why we’re here. We’re not here to bring salvation to someone else. We’re not here to bring enlightenment to someone else. We’re not here to bring about someone else’s greater learning.
We’re here to demonstrate something special. We’re here to seek salvation within. We’re here to seek enlightenment within. We’re here to come to know our own self as uniting with God within. We’re here to seek our own greater learning within. We can do this by loving God above all and loving our neighbor as our self, and demonstrating all of the above. What we learn from this is a very simple realization.
Each time we love or express love in some way, each time we feel love in our hearts and demonstrate it, we are in a very real way, bringing God’s consciousness, energy, and vibration into this plane in order to affect this plane – like a tuning fork, to raise the vibration of all things. Each time we love, regardless of who or what receives, we are opening to allow God to have a greater presence in the world. Each time we love, the love energy extends and strengthens the connection we have, and increases our awareness of the Oneness of all life. Each time we love, the world, the planet, the environment we’re in changes. Each time we love, we change.
This means the way to healing is to love in a greater capacity than the way of illness. This means the path of illness, dis-ease, darkness or whatever we call it and this path’s strong inertial pull, can be changed by choosing to love and sending this love out.
While the path of love is not an easy path to walk, it certainly offers more than the path of trying to change others instead of ourselves. It offers more than the path of thinking that we’ve failed because the world is still “crazy” even after all those meditations and talks we’ve done. It offers more than the path of trying to figure out what what we’re supposed to be doing to make ourselves “spiritual.” It offers more than the path of believing that spirituality is what we do rather than what are.
The path of loving is the path that can offer the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and taking life one day at a time. The path of loving is a path of demonstration of all that has been said in this article. Every time we love, we bring God in all God’s Infinite Consciousness into the present moment into this space that we’re in. Every time we love, we demonstrate love to someone who may have forgotten it. There is no greater spiritual act that any of us can enact than to love. There is no greater spiritual purpose to which we can attain. There is no greater spiritual path that we can progress upon.
Love is it.
Now, a few questions:
If any of us died right now, would the people in our lives have known for certain that we loved them? or would they think something else? If anyone we knew died, right now, would they die knowing that we loved them? or would they die thinking something else?
What is the harm of demonstrating to someone else that we love them? What is the harm of expressing to all life that we love all life?
What is the harm of showing God that we love God?
This article is dedicated to a friend of mine – someone I love.
“We’re here to demonstrate something special. We’re here to seek salvation within. We’re here to seek enlightenment within.”
Profound realization, Jodie!
Many people seek the external, but the truth is that we must seek enlightenment from within, from our innate Buddha-nature. Buddhism teaches what you say in this post. The most important thing is to become a Buddha yourself first, then you can use the boundless abilities recovered to help sentient beings of all types across the entire universe and Dharma-realm.
I recommend everyone watch the documentary of Ven. Hai Xian’s (1901-2013) life of cultivation. Upon becoming a monk at age 20, he focused only on single-mindedly reciting Namo Amitabha (Pureland Buddhism) until he achieved enlightenment. His life is a demonstration of something very special- the achievement of liberation within one life:
English subtitled version of documentary (above)
Also, if anyone is interested, here is a recent translation of Upasaka Xia Lian Ju’s Path to Pure Land practice (text is in Public Domain):
Your thoughts spoke to my heart, Jodie. This is exactly what I wanted/needed to ‘hear’. “This means the way to healing is to love in a greater capacity than the way of illness.” I will continue developing and trying! Thank you!
You bring up an important quote. In the Dharma-book I referred to in my comment below, there is also a story of a women whose son had cancer.
The Sage simply told her that it was not that his son had cancer, it was that there were impure and cancerous thoughts in her heart, which manifested in the negative external situation. Thus, the Sage told her that if she were to repent and show compassion, her son would get better. She did and he was healed.
“Each time we love or express love in some way, each time we feel love in our hearts and demonstrate it, we are in a very real way, bringing God’s consciousness, energy, and vibration into this plane in order to affect this plane – like a tuning fork, to raise the vibration of all things.”
Also, Jodie, what you are saying reminds me of an important principle I read in a Dharma-book some time ago.
Basically, in the book, a Sage had a personal mantra of : I’m Sorry, Forgive Me, I Hold You Very Dear.
And whenever he encountered a negative situation, he would sincerely utter this mantra and blame no one. Miraculously, the bad situation will then change better by itself, with stunning results.
Thus, usually, our first reaction to something negative is blame shifting, criticism and anger. However, if we were to sincerely feel remorse, compassion and utter the mantra, the negative can be reversed and purified by the higher thoughts and vibrations.
Thank very much for writing this post.
I would simply add another phrase in the “mantra” you list above. “I’m sorry. I forgive you. I love you.” Another is “I forgive us both and all others. I love us both and all others.”
All of these mantras are worth practicing and experimenting with. Each one offers a different way of moving the inner patterns around so to be healed and resolved.