My blog this month is an excerpt from my new book, The Gentle Art of Spiritual Discernment – A Guide to Discovering Your Personal Path.
“Towards a spirituality of service” is a very timely topic when one considers all the challenges facing humanity – from deadly wildfires in various places of the globe to major floods or severe droughts and earthquakes in others, not to mention record heat and a dangerous warming of ocean waters, continuing conflicts including military coups. Millions are fleeing their homes, famine is threatening vast populations, and poverty is on the increase. A mystic and spiritual teacher of the last century, Joel Goldsmith, said in an address to one of his classes in 1963 (!) : “Humanity is now faced with the question of survival. Therefore, anyone who has attained enough spiritual endowment to help relieve individuals of their pains, sins, diseases, lacks, and limitations, must inevitably turn to the larger subject of world work, or praying for the world.” PP
Towards a Spirituality of Service
With the growing world consciousness that all things are linked on our planet, from the microscopic life forms on land and in the sea to eight billion humans, and that our behavior as a race has a huge impact on our environment and the climate, it is less and less conceivable that a spirituality worthy of the name be lived without a strong dimension of service. And more and more, a new vision that is cropping up on all sides is affirming that my neighbor is myself, whether he or she lives the other side of the world or next door, given that all forms of life are the infinitely diversified expression of the same Love which animates absolutely everything.
This present-day spirituality takes numerous forms, from the spiritual healer available 24/7 and who takes calls any time of day or night (I have personally known quite a few) to the social activist committed one hundred percent to a cause he believes in totally, from the monk spending long hours in daily meditation to the well-known spiritual teacher who attracts large crowds, to the single working mother trying courageously to fit a spiritual practice into her impossibly crammed 24/7 schedule.
If we live a spirituality concerned about the planet and all its inhabitants, this may well imply profound changes in the use of our time, our money and in our lifestyle. In the new vision, the idea that one possesses one’s time, funds (whatever their origin) and is master of one’s lifestyle belongs to another era. We start managing the totality of our lives, all that with which Infinite Love entrusts us – our health, our income, our contacts, our time … as if we were simply the stewards of all of these and no doubt many others. The notion of private possessions becomes almost comical.
Personally, I am still only at the beginning of this path of non-possession, but already it has given me a magical inner freedom.
And let us remember in this time of world crisis that we are all together the stewards of our little blue planet. Will we live up to the trust the universe has in us?
Q: How do I react to the challenges in my life? Basically, with calm and dominion, or do they tend to unsettle me?
Q: How do I use my unique skills to help build the new humanity that awaits so as to manage to face the immense challenges facing our world today?
Excerpt from The Gentle Art of Spiritual Discernment
For another blog on the subject of service, read here – The Joy of Service