December 22, 2004
In our reactions to the "new age" variations
and dogmas we have to be careful not to
throw the baby out with the bath water as
they say. But as we adopt new ways and
technologies it is important to stay grounded
in what is real. Now there is the question of
what is "real for you" and "real for me", but
by the first "real" I mean the ultimate goal
known as "Higher" or "God" consciousness-
how things appear to one who sees deeply, not
lost in outer appearance. The second set of
"realities" relates more to one's expression
or interpretation of what one sees. There are
so many ways and means of approaching the goal
and all of them by definition are not quite
the goal, but a personal expression of
infinite variation. Now, however foreign or
weird or dogmatic a person's way seems to you
it must be regarded with respect.
What is respect?
Re-spect means to look again, look
again more deeply and you will begin to see
past the dogmas and rhetoric, past the
sentimental and the detrimental into the
heart of what moves each one on their path.
And you will find that the underlying
motivation is the same for each one however
strange or contorted it may appear to you on
the surface. We all want to be happy. We are
being drawn back to the infinite, the omni-
present eternal heart of what is - what
yogis call ever-conscious, ever-present,
ever-new Joy. Now that may be a large
mouthful to swallow. It may sound like
just another chunk of dogma to choke on,
especially when attempting to look with
respect upon one who is apparently lost in
some bizarre philosophy or psychological
sickness. How does a born again look with
respect at a fanatical Muslim? How does a
lover of peace look with respect at those
who wage war? How can we ever attempt to
respect a serial killer? a rapist or
pedophile? Look again, and look deeper no
matter what you see on the outside. It is
this new way of looking and seeing that
opens a way for you to reach your goal, a
way for peace to manifest.
We don't have to condone or embrace acts
that offend us, just look more deeply.
The more we act with respect the more our
lives will radiate an unspoken message of
love that will heal this earth and its
inhabitants. One way to cultivate respect
is to first apply it to yourself. Self-
respect grows naturally in a quiet place.
It must be grown in the inner garden, so
the process is known as intro-spection.
Self-respect grows as we look again and
again into the heart of the silence until
we begin to see deeply what is. This goal
has many names none of which is sufficient
to describe it. Until we see it for
ourselves and in our Self we do not see it
in others and there is no real respect.
Peace begins with respect.