Monday, May 23, 2016

Unity - Spiritual Perspectives

Greetings all - 

For some reason, C-Span programs often seem to spark blog post ideas.  I saw some coverage of the recent African-American History Conference - "The Future of the African American Past"; notably the panel on African-Americans and religion.

It was Harvard professor Evelyn Higginbotham who reminded us of a fantastic Bible verse.  It was of import to me since there has been so much fearmongering, dog-whistling and divisive politics and rhetoric around. The verse is Acts 17:26.  St. Paul is preaching on Mars' Hill in Athens.  The verse (KJV) reads:  "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation"

It doesn't get much clearer than that now, does it?

Of course, being a Christian I relate to that sort of perspective most of all. And I wonder if some other Christians should be reading, marking, and inwardly digesting (I think that language is Episcopalian, so I hope you'll bear with me) such verses.  Speaking of us Episcopalians, I found this wonderful quote from former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams:  "I value unity because I believe we learn truth from each other in this process."

But those of other faiths have also been concerned with human connectedness and unity.  I can only give a few examples here, but I'm sure there are many others (feel free to share!).

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, has certainly concerned himself with this. From his 1989 Nobel lecture:  "When I meet people in different parts of the world, I am always reminded that we are all basically alike: we are all human beings. Maybe we have different clothes, our skin is of a different colour, or we speak different languages. That is on the surface. But basically, we are the same human beings. That is what binds us to each other."

Think of this from Said Nursi: "Life is a manifestation of unity."

Now one more; this from  Mata Amritanandamayi:    "To awaken spiritual unity, and to spread to others the love that is our inherent nature, is the true goal of human life."   (Feel free to look up both of those spiritual teachers.)

This all points to there being also a spiritual dimension to the concept, the goal, of unity.  Often we think in terms of unity in social or political terms. Certainly that's sooo important and a key message here at TVFH.  Knowing there's a spiritual dimension as well makes it even more important!  Serendipitously, I also found this quote from Edmund Burke: “What ever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man.”  That seems to sum things up fairly succinctly.  So whatever your faith tradition (and even skeptics or nonbelievers should relate to the concept of connectedness of us humans), I would hope that you would buy into the desire for unity.

Related Posts:

Just click on "unity" in the tag cloud on the right to view all posts about unity.  Especially related might be  Excursion Together

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