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39 - Justice in Contemplation - Part 5: Love

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

There is a spectrum of inequality at play in everyone's life.

We could all easily identify someone who has it better than us, and someone who has it worse. We are all struggling in one way or another. So, when we see individuals or groups garner attention for their inequality, we can respond with, “what about me?"

In any situation or circumstance, it's difficult for us to overcome our self-referential stance, to truly see things from the perspective of the "other." We are so often stuck thinking about ourselves, our situation, and seeing the world from the vantage point of "me."

To think about yourself is to actually create another you.

To curate a “self” separate from who we truly are is how we lose who we are, how we lose touch with who we are. This is most easy to illustrate with anorexia.

The anorexic person sees themselves as being too fat, when they are actually too skinny. They can become very unhealthy because they cannot see themselves as they truly are. To create an image of ourselves, apart from our true self, results in a distortion of who we are, because we are meant to be "other" focused.

We were made for connection at the highest level, connection in every way to everything and everyone. We were made to live in harmony with all things. This is what Contemplation calls unitive consciousness. It’s what we could also call community or an ecosystem. It entails the idea that all things are connected, and as all things do what they’re supposed to, then everything works for everyone. But it only takes one part to step out of that harmony and ruin the whole system. The rhythm and synchronicity of any system depends on all its parts doing what they are supposed to. And what we are supposed to be doing is focusing on the good of the "other."

When Jesus calls us to self-denial, he’s not putting us down, but trying to get us back to where we belong. When we know how to live together in harmony then we all will experience what is best. We break the system by trying to take it over and bend it to our own selfish means. It’s not how the system was designed to work. It was designed to work at the highest level of a spiritual connection that binds us together.

There are four levels of human connection.

1. Individualism (inner consciousness)

2. Atheistic Spirituality (inner consciousness guided by collective consciousness)

3. Agnostic/Deistic Spirituality (collective consciousness guided by Divine law)

4. Theistic Spirituality (collective consciousness guided by Divine personality).

When I speak about the spiritual, I’m merely referring to that part of us which is invisible. We are able to have connection with others through things which we cannot see. This is what I would call spiritual energy and spiritual connection.

At the lowest level, our disconnection to this spiritual energy equals individualism. This traps us in our most disconnected state. But it is not total disconnection. It’s just the most limited. We still have a sense of some kind of inner consciousness that guides us in making choices, and helps us define and discern what is good or bad. But it is the most disconnected consciousness because it can only reference our own good, individually.

Next is Atheistic Spirituality. It is a good to step up out of Spiritual Individualism and into the larger sphere of the collective consciousness of Atheistic Spirituality. This kind of spirituality does not yet recognize any consciousness higher than humanity, but it at least recognizes a greater connectivity of the whole. This is a great step up, and if we all could at least come to this place, we would see great improvement in the world at large. The connection at this stage of spirituality allows for a concept of what is good for all humanity, not just the individual and its small communal circle.

The next level of spiritual consciousness is Agnostic/Deistic Spirituality. This is the level of most world religions, which teach about connection to God but mostly practice an institutional connection. They are also very Deistic, believing more in a Divinely created system than Divine interaction. The greater “good” in these religions is adherence to the “right” set of moral ideals and teachings. These are still trapped in the idea that the right truths can bring unity. It does bring a degree of unity, but also a degree of separation by the same attempt.

Lastly there is Theistic Spirituality. What religion pointed to is now what we are getting to, and that is a real connection to God. Consciousness at every level is guided and infused with God-presence, but it's more obscure the further down the spectrum you go. We may have a vague sense of right and wrong within ourselves (Individualism), we may see the need for a larger sense of right and wrong through collective human culture (Atheistic Spirituality), and we may give more concrete guidelines to that collective human consciousness through religion (Agnostic/Deistic Spirituality), but nothing has the ability to draw us together like a single, pure, and perfect heart and mind. That is the beauty and hope of Theistic Spirituality. That single heart and mind is present at every level of spirituality, pointing us towards this greater reality, but reaches its fullest expression as we fully connect with it.

If God is real, and guiding us along this spiritual journey from the individual to the universal, then what else could God be but the binding energy of love in all things and for all things. What we find, at every level of spiritual consciousness, is a part of that love leading us to the next level. The love-energy of God in the universe is always calling us out of our smaller boxes and into an ever-expanding sense of love for more and more things. The expanding movement of this love is an inclusive energy, always pushing us to see how we have loved some things well, but not others. It is always pushing the limits of what we love, and how we love, to widen the boxes of who we include in our love.

God is always revealing the truth of how all things are connected.

At the smallest level of Individualism, we see the smallest picture of connection, and work within the smallest box of inclusion. We only see everything as it pertains to our own small good. What is good for us, as individuals, defines how we love and what we love. This level is the epicenter of ego-centricity. It is the smallest circle of love and connection. It points everything in towards ourselves.

Stepping up one level, to Atheistic Spirituality, we expand our idea of connection to realize that there must be a greater good beyond my own personal good. Things like ecology and government form out of this level of connection. We come to understand that my personal good is inexorably linked to the good of the larger environment and world around me. We could also call this level tribal consciousness. It allows us to recognize and work for the good of a larger group, because we come to understand our connection within a larger group. But it still leaves us fighting for the good of our “group” in competition with other outside groups.

Stepping up another level, to Agnostic Spirituality, we graduate to the idea that there is one meta-system which encompasses everything. It entails the idea that we are all a part of one large reality, which binds us all together. Agnostic Spirituality attempts to establish a framework big enough to hold differing groups, cultures, and races together under one larger moral law, and we can see how it has done just that. Religion has been able to cast a wider net of inclusion that does transcend individual groups, nations, cultures, and histories. But we can also clearly see that it has not created a perfect unity, but just a larger system still at odds with other large groups at this same level. It still leaves us in competition, just at a higher level, because this level of spirituality is not founded in the largest frame.

Stepping up to the final level, we get to Theistic Spirituality. This is not Theism, the belief in the existence of God and all the “truths” associated with that, but the reality of a meta-consciousness that binds us all together. It entails the idea that the entire universe is one thing, bound together by one heart and mind, and that by getting in tune with the Spirit of God we can also experience that same cosmic unity. It is a large enough container that does not require uniformity of belief to accomplish unity. This kind of unity allows for diversity without division and separateness without separation. Isn’t that what we would expect true unity to do. We can still be an individual, who is part of these smaller groups, which may belong to any number of different religions, but still connected to the whole in healthy ways. The largest frame does not require we drop the smaller frames. True connection to God does not require that we lose ourselves or our smaller frames of reference. It allows for the Atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, Deist, Hindu, and any other smaller group to exist in harmony under the largest group of all. That largest group is the reality of life itself, of one energy that binds us all together in pursuit of a space big enough for everything.

Love begins by embracing. Love never begins by assessing the value or worthiness of something to be embraced. Love never attempts to determine what or who is worthy of love. Love is that which simply loves, and then moves from there towards connection. Love begins by inviting all things into a space where everything belongs. Love never sets out to confine the space of what deserves space.

Love is an infinite space of belonging.

As soon as we decide that we get to determine who to love, the true energy of love, for us, is over. Then we are on a journey of shrinking love, until we get to that place where we struggle even to love ourselves. We cannot start with the idea that love requires something from another. Love simply requires us to love, to be an open space towards everything, to see that everything belongs, even when we cannot personally understand why or how it belongs. This is the true state of God’s existence.

God exists in a space big enough for everything. If God is the energy of life, the sustaining energy of what gives life and keeps life alive, then all living things are in the heart of God, by the very fact that they are alive. Life itself speaks to the reality of what God embraces. When we can start from that space, we are starting from the biggest space of all.

The problem is that we do not start from that space. We start from the opposite, and thus the spiritual journey is our attempt to get back to that space from the opposite end. To recognize the whole spectrum is helpful; to understand what it is that we are moving towards, in order to not get stuck at any of the lessor levels.

I believe all injustice stems from our inability to love.

Love knows no injustice.

Love never seeks to do others harm.

Love is the ultimate fulfillment of our desire for equality.

Our ability to empathize with others, to see things from another’s view, to participate in the stories and perspectives of others, will always lead us to include and embrace others.

Love is never about what it can get, but what it can give.

Love is a giving flow.

Love turns our attention away from ourselves, our needs, our desires and towards the needs and desires of others.

Love understands that for human connection to work, we must begin to move away from ourselves and towards others. We cannot draw others to ourselves, in order to experience this connection. We must allow for a flow of things from ourselves, because all we can really control is how we choose to treat others.

"I believe love is the answer, I believe love will find a way"

- Blessed Union of Souls

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