by Robert A. Kezer
How can the average person best participate in the effort for a non-violent world? Many people sense that our planet is at a point of crisis – that humanity will see even worse days in the future, and they wish to help. But often the magnitude and complexities of global problems are overwhelming: the person is left helpless. Needed is greater clarity: examination of cause and effect at our most fundamental level of decisions making.
ur history is one seeped in fear, the source of human emotions. Internalized as hate, anger, criticism, intolerance and judgment it manifests itself as greed, revenge, selfishness, violence, and unbridled competition. Stemming from ancient concepts of a wrathful God, this animal characteristic of our dual selves frames the institutions defining our world. Fear is the predominate base from which most people decide: our world is the result.
The other side of our nature is love Â those divine feelings of empathy, compassion, and selflessness that show themselves as mercy, service, patience, forgiveness, and good will. These are the characteristics of a loving God. They exhibit an evolved state Â a higher order of being – for the individual and humanity. This is the baseline level of spiritual attainment from which global peace will have its first true chance.
e know growth cannot be rushed, but it is a requirement if we hope to abolish war. As people ascend into their higher selves, their lives improve. No longer is life a struggle: inner peace reigns and relationships blossom. With humanity it is the same: the degree of peace anywhere is a direct result of the ratio of fear to love within the people present. On the global scale, this determines our degree of planetary evolution.
This relationship is best viewed as a balance beam scale like that held by the lady of justice. While some decisions carry greater consequences, every one counts – adding to either one side or the other. Modeling God after ourselves limited the degree to which we could evolve. Those who believe that at death they will face punishment from a stern judge are controlled by fear: for most of them, acting out of unconditional love is almost impossible.
Countering this imbalance requires more people making decisions based in love rather than fear. As with the part, so goes the whole: we each have an obligation to participate. Spiritual progression requires intention: a desire to be a better person. This means releasing our fear and trusting we are members of a universe bound by love. This can only happen for many people if they refine their image of God.
Love is the binding force of all creation: the essence of God. All people with minds capable of doing divine will have a fragment of our Creator within themselves. Only in this way can that finite – us – begin to understand that eternal, infinite, and universal – God. When open to the leading of our divine parent, a process of spiritualization begins. Whether known as our intuition or that quiet voice in our hearts, this contact is real for people of all faiths.
Believing in divine guidance, though, is difficult for many people to accept: our world is littered with the carnage of religious fanatics, all claiming the same. It is essential that we have criteria upon which we can evaluate the degree of divinity in any word, idea, or action. Understanding God as the perfection of eternal truth, divine beauty, and infinite goodness helps: in this way we can scale our actions by Godâ€™s attributes.
We are family unified through the spirit indwelling us: we are expected to care for each other. As we would never tell one of our own children to hurt the others, neither does our divine parent want us to kill one another. The highest order of the Golden Rule is not to love others as we love ourselves, but to love them as our Creator would have us do. In this way we transcend fear-based limitations and demonstrate our faith in a loving God.
Eternal life is freely given: it should be received as such Â it means we accept Godâ€™s will. Then we restart above exactly where we left off down here. Regardless of how bad we were, the tiniest desire for mercy will be answered – our wrongs forgotten. None of us are perfect: we will all require forgiveness. As it is extended to us, so must we reflect it to others – the harm done us, forgotten. This is a choice to be divine: God-like.
If concepts of a wrathful God made in our image have resulted in a world destroyed, then remaking ourselves in the image of a loving Creator may save us. To heal we must eradicate the disease: fear. Doing so affects our decision making process from its most fundamental level. This personal effort to evolve is our first duty, and the greatest contribution we can make in our worldâ€™s bid for peace.
About the Author: Returning to college in 2002, Bob earned degrees in International and Religious studies from the University of Oregon. Working to become bilingual and also present in Spanish, he writes and speaks on God, religious tolerance, and our tools for abolishing war. His book, God Refined: A Proposal for Peace, (http://stores.lulu.com/bobkezer) will be available March 1st. He has one son and lives in Eugene, Oregon.