In a time when we are expressing great political differences, as well as vastly different understandings of the use of power on national and global levels, we might ask, how does the mystical spiritual path speak to our collective expression of humanity?
From the perspective of mystical spiritual truths, we are all one in the Divine Self. Importantly, we also understand that we are each an expression of the Divine in human form. These understandings of the Divine-Human relationship constitute the basis of the concept of Self-Realization, that we are called to realize, or manifest, the Divine Self through our own individual being.
If the Divine is in each one of us, then we might ask, what is the best expression of our collective Divinity within and through community? We might even dare to ask, how do we express Divinity through our collective political connections?
As I teach children, I invite them to sit in a circle to convey several basic truths.
The circle itself conveys the metaphorical nature of these truths. The first truth is that we are all equal, and no one is more important than anyone else. The second truth is that everyone is included; no one is left out in the circle of human community. The third truth is that, in the center of the circle, we are able to place all that is sacred to us: the common goods of respect, understanding, empathy, kindness, compassion, love, joy, laughter, generosity, sharing, courage, strength, and the like.
As I have expressed in the children’s program that I am currently developing, the first two truths constitute the essential foundation for democracy.
If we translate these metaphorical truths of the human community to a larger circle of humanity, at whatever level we may conceive of our collective interactions, the concept of the circle may be expressed perhaps most fully through the concept of the Common Good. I choose to capitalize the Common Good here to emphasize its sacredness; the sacred nature of these qualities such as respect and compassion.
If we then start from the essential truths that form democracy (everyone is equal and everyone is included), and then add the concept of the Common Good, do we empower ourselves to create an effective democracy? Do we empower ourselves to create a democracy that is sacred, and which does express the Divine in collective human form? (I would note: Even when we do not believe in Divinity, we nonetheless all have a concept of what is truly “good” or sacred to us; for instance, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”)
From a mystical standpoint, then, the concept of the Common Good becomes the forum for imparting each of our individual and collective understandings of what is sacred in human community.
The value of recognizing the sacredness of the Common Good lies in our ability to prioritize what is the Common Good for the Highest Good of the greatest possible number of people. If each individual is an expression of the Divine, then the Common Good becomes a way to seek to empower each individual to fulfill his or her potential. This is also an essentially democratic ideal.
The concept of the Common Good thus has value both for achieving democratic ideals as well as enabling the expression of the Divine in and through each human being. The Common Good thereby becomes the essential foundation for expressing Divinity collectively in human society.
This understanding of Divinity, democracy, and the sacredness of the Common Good becomes an invitation to each and every level of society to discuss and to seek agreement on what constitutes the Common Good for that level of community. Only when everyone is equally included and invited to contribute to the concept of the Common Good will the possibility of the true Common Good become fulfilled.
When human communities truly include everyone in creating the reality of sharing the Common Good, the Divine potential within each person will become more readily possible, and the Divine expression of the collective humanity will become possible as well. In the greater circle of humanity, we are empowered to mirror the sacredness of Divine Being through our sharing the sacredness of the Common Good in our collective interactions.
Together, we become empowered to express a greater good: Divine Presence in and through human community on all levels. May it be so. Om, A-ho, Aloha, Amin, Amen.
Love and Light,
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