|SYDNEY GOODWILL UNIT OF SERVICE|
No 202/October 2003
Often because of a lifetime of conditioning in particular ways we do not realise how steeped we are in the past and present modes of dealing with questions of interpersonal, intercultural and international relationships. Yet surely the new world must be created out of a new sense of identity and being if we are to leave all past problems behind. This new sense of being must go beyond the sense of separate self to the common life and spirit we share - because, essentially, the world's problems stem from reaction to a sense of difference and of lack and need experienced by those who are diminished while others are seen to gain in terms of material comfort, territory, worldly power and standing. When everyone is granted their true status as a unique member of our common, human Being, the solutions we need will become clear. Every individual quality and talent is as important as any other and it is our common endeavour rather than individual achievement that is the key to our future destiny.
Such was the inspiring experience of the recent Share the Spirit of Peace International Youth Summit held in New York over three days from 19th to 21st September. The most mentioned highlight of the event was the experience of a new sense of relationship between the young attendees who came from 20 different countries around the world. This transcendent sense of community began with events at the United Nations headquarters in New York City with Secretary-General Kofi Annan's ringing of the Peace Bell, interaction with the UN Peace Messengers and then with other young people, via satellite teleconference, in places such as Sierra Leone and Afghanistan as well as with high school students around the USA. The celebration of all nations was highlighted with the stirring World Peace Prayer Flag ceremony. This was followed by a joyful day of workshops facilitated by young people for the international youth delegates at a retreat centre inspiring much ongoing thought about leadership, conflict resolution, community, personal and planetary peace and bonding future working relationships through deep friendships breaking through national and cultural barriers.
The final day was a celebration of our oneness with thousands of people at the World Peace Festival held at the World Peace Sanctuary culminating in an elaborate World Peace Prayer Flag Ceremony amidst the tall flag standards of 191 countries, with national dress and music. A most significant moment was demonstrated when a young Muslim man from Kuwait carrying the flag of the Palestinian people and a young Jewish woman carrying the flag of the Israeli people stepped onto the stage, waved their flags together and then embraced. The gathered community erupted in cheering as we saw represented before us in these magnificent young people the future we pray and work for with such dedication and hope.
Those of us who considered ourselves amongst the "adults" found the vitality, creativity and commitment of the young delegates a reassurance and a confirmation of the great future we are in process of creating. More than the words and actions it was and is the ongoing experience of our common being that was the greatest inspiration. This was set beautifully by the words of Kofi Annan when he rang the Peace Bell:
The following week the Secretary-General addressed the Plenary Session of the General Assembly and pointed to this crucial moment in time.
His words remind us that it is a collective endeavour before us which places responsibility on each and every one of us to live that common sense of being and that "whole" planetary context in which we "live and move and have our being". Our individual and personal image and achievement is of no consequence in the face of the grandeur of our common humanity. This is the imminent realisation that is even now unfolding throughout the world. It highlights a point in the development of humanity at which physical survival alone is no longer the driving purpose so much as a sense of common destiny and the emergence of the shared spirit of humanity, the Spirit of Peace.
It is time to move beyond reacting to a sense of lack and to enter into the reality of a complete, whole and undivided spirit of being that can recognise and live the abundance that the planet and our Being provide. What greatness can we then steer our planet towards when this is achieved? So when we speak of freedom let us not then seek to impose our own brand of "freedom" on others but recognise that it is the freedom of the whole community of being that must be realised and allowed expression. When we work for freedom, fairness and fulfilment of potential let us not prescribe how and when others should do this for such is the contradiction with which we grapple as we transition from material survival to the eternal human spirit seeking expression.
Our lower mind - the instrumental and material mind - sees only structures. Yet the ideas, concepts and inspiration for these structures and methods come from the abstract and formless world of our common being. Let us bring the two together under the unerring guidance of inspiration. The magnetic potency of the greater life behind any outer action is its true source of power. Words, actions and images lack meaning and effect without it and become temporal and hollow. The true and lasting power of life comes from the contact and recognition of it in each and every living thing and not from the temporary command of a personal magnetism or the power commanded by a role or an office. These are but the tools and instruments to be used on behalf of the whole.
Our fears, doubts and worries are all part of the material realm and have no power over our sense of being. These are transcended as we experience our unbreakable oneness through common endeavour. The Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, tells us: "There will ... come a point in the experience of all those thus making a spiritual approach along some specialised line, where a meeting place will become apparent, where a joint goal will be ultimately recognised, where essential unity under diversity of forms, of methods and of techniques will be acknowledged, and where pilgrims on all ways of approach will know themselves to be one band of demonstrators of the divine."
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The Festival in Libra will be celebrated at a meditation meeting at
8pm on Friday 10th October, at the YWCA, 5-11 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney.
The keynote for reflection is: I choose the Way which leads between the two great lines of force.
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