Our place in this world
Spirit has a way to express itself always - and I find Her (in Hebrew Spirit is feminine) especially near in wisdom. The best lessons in wisdom we learn when we see humility in action and decide to step back from having the need to formulate an opinion. When we lose personally or collectively (from super bowls to elections) we can turn this loss into a moment to grow, because then our spiritual self speaks louder than our bruised human sense of ego. Because then we eventually will value hard work, mercy and secret effort more deeply than before and feel humanity as a family ever so close.
No one outside ourselves, especially not our human ego, knows where we truly are and what our work is truly worth. My daughter says: Only spiritual growth matters, everything else is insignificant. My sister says: Integrity is always important. My spiritual teacher says: True listening is yielding to true unfoldment.
Christians take heart in remembering that Christ Jesus took generally sides with the weak, outcast, minorities, and attacked upfront hypocrisy and the pride of power. The cries of victory of the crucifiers of Jesus didn't end the impact of his career - and through the centuries the most deeply engaged Christians were the ones supporting the needy, the oppressed, and the helpless. Buddhists will remember that "everything suffers" and take heart in this saying from Buddha: "It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell." Hindus will find strength in reminding themselves of the key lesson from the Vedic culture, namely, that human experience is an illusion - and that unselfishness is the royal path of pure spiritual being, as Swami Vivikananda teaches: "The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful."
Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder and Discoverer of the Science of being, would agree with these spiritual thinkers. She knew all about difficulties and obstacles as a woman entering the world of theology, medicine, and science at a time when women could neither vote nor study nor own property. She held in high regard the ethics of life - so much so, that she contemplated for a while to call her discovery "Moral Science" instead of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy lived a public life and was committed to the betterment of humanity. She loved these words from Hugh Blair, an eigteenth-century divine:
"The man of integrity is one who makes it his constant
rule to follow the road of duty, according as Truth and
the voice of his conscience point it out to him. He is not
guided merely by affections which may some time give
the color of virtue to a loose and unstable character.
The upright man is guided by a fixed Principle, which
destines him to do nothing but what is honorable, and to
abhor whatever is base or unworthy; hence we find him
ever the same, — at all times the trusty friend, the affec‐
tionate relative, the conscientious man of business, the
pious worker, the public-spirited citizen.
He assumes no borrowed appearance. He seeks no
mask to cover him, for he acts no studied part; but he
is indeed what he appears to be, — full of truth, candor,
and humanity. In all his pursuits, he knows no path
but the fair, open, and direct one, and would much rather
fail of success than attain it by reproachable means."
(as quoted in Miscellaneous Writings, p. 147)
Our place in society is defined by our willingness to step out of the choir of opinions and be true to our highest self - to not disappear through the back door when it gets difficult. When the spiritual thinkers of the world point the way to unselfishness, it is possible, a possible way to live a life. This is behind what Mary Baker Eddy regarded as worthwhile: to be a public-spirited citizen.
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In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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