I Am One With You

 

Of all the gifts I’ve received from New Thought, my sense of connection to others is probably the greatest. I used to feel very, very separate from you. I was afraid to let you know me and, at the same time, I yearned to be loved and accepted for my true self. Like many young adults, I had a bad case of what we called alienation in those distant days.

I first attended Religious Science church when I was in college. But I didn’t really understand much until later – after I’d been through two bouts of alcoholism and forced to grow up a bit.

In those early days, I would go to church and the minister would say, “We are connected,” or “We are One,” and I simply didn’t believe it. When I looked around that room, all I could see was that I wasn’t like any of those people. He was a guy and a Republican. I was a Democrat. She was a financial genius and old. I was younger and broke. Everyone seemed happily married. I was widowed twice and had a string of bad romances to think about. The list went on and on.

It took me a long time to hear and understand that I could be different and still be connected to others as a spiritual being having a human experience. I finally got it that God – the Creative Energy of the Universe – didn’t want clones but created an infinite variety of people who shared the basic experience of being human. I began to understand that while we were different in surface ways, we all dreamed of better lives.

Our dreams were basically the same. We wanted love and life and laughter and good health and good prosperity. The Science of Mind philosophy brought us together and I first felt a true connection in church on Sunday mornings. It was great to hold hands and sing Let There Be Peace even if I couldn’t carry a tune.

I began to understand that all humans share access to the Infinite Potential that we call God. I began to understand that all humans shared the same dreams that my church friends and I shared. I saw that we all yearned for greater lives and that we all had access to the Infinite Mind of God.

My horizons widened eventually to encompass all other humans. It was still easier for me to talk to people in New Thought, but I realized that all people dreamed of bigger and better lives.  Little by little, over many years, my sense of connection grew.

A lot of the wisdom that I’ve acquired is simply learning to see with clear eyes. I give most of the credit to Religious Science but spiritual wisdom has been around a long time. Anyone can see that all humans are connected. John Donne wrote his famous poem in the early 1600’s. He started with, “ No man is an island entire of itself; …. And ended with, And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”

If I had been ready, I could have seen the connection between humans very clearly simply by looking at the famous book of photography published in 1955. It showed people all over the world, eating, working, sleeping, loving, parenting and engaging in other normal human activities. It was amazing to see photos of mothers in Africa behaving just like mothers in the Ukraine.

The Family of Man was sold everywhere and is still in print.  The photographer, Edward Steichen said his photos were “a mirror of the essential oneness of mankind throughout the world.”

So the information was always available. We are connected to each other and we are essentially alike and we are responsible for living together in peace and prosperity. Even the least thoughtful of us understands that he or she is connected to the rest of the planetary inhabitants through economy, politics and medicine.

What desperately needs to be added to this knowledge about our connection on an earthly level is the spiritual wisdom that we need to love each other.  I have found it in New Thought and I know we can find it in the core of every religious and spiritual tradition worldwide. We are connected in God and God expresses itself through us as Love.

Learning to love means giving up our feeling of separation and fear and extending our boundaries. Right now, we are involved in a great evolutionary movement of love. We are all expanding. We are growing up. Nearly everyone loves his or her family and possibly his tribe, nation and race. It is a bit trickier to look beyond the difference and see our connection to other tribes, nations and races but we can do it. We must do it if we are to save the planet and each other.

I believe that the United States can lead the way in the extension of our love to the rest of the world. We already celebrate diversity. We are also the greatest charity givers. We are the birthplace of New Thought and our whole teaching is built on our loving connection to God and each other. We are the natural leaders in the movement toward seeing similarities rather than differences. The idea that we are connected in God is growing. We are One!

Ask Yourself      

 Do I feel connected to the wide world?

How can I reach out this week?

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