Julie Redstone asked:
Today, in America, the call to unity has become louder and more vocal, emblazoned upon the banner of current presidential political campaigns, and awakening within the heart a feeling of hope and of striving. Unity moves with the new vibration of spiritual light that is arriving. But what is unity?
There are many people hungry today for a vision of the world in which people do not hurt each other, in which anger and rage no longer take the toll in human life and in human pain that they presently do, and in which conflicts between people, groups, parties, cultures, and nations can be resolved peacefully, without recourse to bitterness, force, or denial of the right to respect that each human being must be accorded.
This vision of unity is awakening in the hearts of people everywhere. It is a hunger for cooperation instead of enmity; for brotherhood instead of separation; for compassion instead of indifference; and for the perception of a world in which the human family includes all persons, no matter what their political, social, or sexual orientation, and no matter how reprehensible we feel their behavior to be.
For this vision to become real, the heart must find a way of remaining in a state of love, and of extending compassion and forgiveness even to those with whom we disagree vehemently – even to those who might wish to harm us, recognizing in this wish to harm, the underlying causes of desperation, outrage, and helplessness, rather than evil. As our hearts become more expansive, we do not need to expand our acceptance of wrongdoing, for justice must still hold all people accountable for their actions, no matter how they feel. And individuals, while forgiven for their feelings, cannot be excused for their behavior where it impinges on others.
Despite such behavior, the heart and soul of all beings must be recognized. It must be recognized and it must be honored, no matter how culpable the outer behavior of another, no matter how painful to the heart. Unity can only be inclusive for all or it is not unity, but only a new and more subtle form of prejudice which cannot find respect or accord equality to all.
Unity cannot tolerate disdain toward those who disagree with us while we maintain a position of superiority and relegate others to an inferior position.
Unity cannot claim to love all, while denouncing those who do not believe that unity is possible or who seek a different goal.
Unity cannot sanction prejudice of any kind, and must be firmly rooted in an honest appraisal of the means, both subtle and obvious, by which people are treated unequally.
Unity cannot speak with a voice of sarcasm, derision, innuendo, ridicule, meanness, backbiting, or disrespect toward others, no matter how different or wrong their point of view may seem.
In a word, unity cannot claim to be true to its origins and meaning if it allows even one other to be held as less worthy than the rest.
For this to be realized as part of a political system, national ethic, or personal creed, it is necessary to stop justifying our anger and to stop acting out of fear. These are not simple things to do, however. They are deep and profound adjustments of the psyche that require us to place love in the supreme moral position within our hearts, allowing no other motive, feeling, or response to compete with it.
For this to take place, we must feel strongly the pricelessness of each human life and each human heart, and must seek to honor and uphold each.
For this to be realized, we must seek to go beyond the words we use which may articulate the ideals we cherish, to a more honest appraisal of the tone of voice we use, and the feelings we display both in public and in private, as individuals and as nations, to determine whether we are just speaking of unity, or practicing it as well.
This movement toward unity may not happen all at once. It may not happen without difficulty as the counterforces which create special interests and selfish motives continue to seek their day in the sun. But it will happen, it must happen, because the time for unity’s expression is now, and we are witnessing, even amongst the division and discord that still cover our interactions with others, the birth of a new way of being in the world and of a new life for the heart. This new life is infusing the deeper layers of consciousness of many people in many places, and will one day make itself visible as the dominant ethic that governs a free society and the dominant motive that governs each human heart.
For today, we participate in this transition by examining the motives of our own heart, and by allowing ourselves to notice where we have set another apart from the rest – apart from our compassion and forgiveness. When we reclaim our own hearts and allow them to beat to the new vibration of unity with greater purity, we simultaneously elevate our own consciousness, and contribute to the advent of greater peace in the world around us.