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Seeing Past Our Differences To find Our Common Celestial Bond by Guy Finley

It’s a familiar analogy, but quite accurate, to talk about our relationship with the sacred in the same way we describe a beautiful gemstone. There are many facets to a gem, and depending upon the angle from which we view it, we see light reflected and refracted differently. Several people looking from different angles may report seeing something different, and yet they are all describing the same gem. In the same way, there are many facets to the sacred, and we all see it differently depending upon the ‘angle’ of our culture and experience. And yet there is but one sacred.

There is an old saying that actually comes prior to Walt Whitman (who is often credited with saying it) that “the central urge of every atom is to return to its source.” When you look at the gamut of religions, all of which describe their own versions of the many-faceted gem,  the one truth that runs through every one of them is that each of us is called to discover our true essence, our connection with the Divine.

That discovery is the whole of the spiritual journey, no matter what the religious path or discipline may be. And the beauty that is inherent in all of these individual religions is that they each provide an opportunity for individuals to discover the truth of themselves through their particular tradition.

It’s essential for us to realize that in spite of all the differences that seem to exist between us as individuals, color, race, creed, religious background, we all have a need within us that almost never leaves us alone, an almost incessant sense that something vital is missing from our life.

According to each different culture and tradition, that which is vital is named differently. Individuals pursue what has been named, hoping that somehow it will put an end to the sense that something is missing.

But when people get caught up in the particulars of their own religion, they often lose sight of the fact that the vital thing that seems to be missing is already within them, it has always been within them, and the same vital element that is within them lives within every human being on this planet.

To find it in myself is to see it in everyone else. And if I can see it in myself and in everyone else, I can’t be in conflict with others anymore. I can’t judge them. It’s impossible not to be compassionate if I see that I am everyone, and that every one of us is born with the same central need and the longing to fulfill it.

Now, more than ever, it is critical that individuals come to realize this common bond between us. There has probably never been as much conflict in our world, as much individual suffering, and as much global potential for a nightmarish situation, including what is happening to our environment, regardless of its cause. When we look at the planet at this moment, we’re looking at what has come from all that we’ve known, and known to do, from our understanding.

If I can see for a fact that the world that I am in today is not a better place than the one I came into, then inherent in seeing the world as it is, and recognizing that I am the world that I see, comes the understanding that the world cannot possibly change until something in me changes ,  until I begin seeing in a new way.

And this is where we come back to the unifying principle across religions. All true spiritual writings help individuals see the truth of themselves as they are. When we see the truth, in the very seeing of it an action is mandated. We must stop blaming others and start working to change ourselves so that we can experience personal fulfillment while also making the world a better place.

We must realize that every other human being, regardless of the surface differences, is after the same thing we are. We are all here to find the sacred, and it’s a difficult journey for every one of us. That understanding can lead to compassion, peace, and a world where we work together, instead of tearing ourselves apart.

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(Excerpted from The Seeker, The Search, The Sacred: Journey to the Greatness Within; Weiser Books)

Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and is a regular expert contributor to Beliefnet and the Huffington Post. For more information visit www.guyfinley.org, and sign up to receive a free helpful newsletter emailed to your desktop once each week.

Copyright Life of Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Permission granted to reprint with author credit.

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4 Responses to “Seeing Past Our Differences To find Our Common Celestial Bond by Guy Finley”

  1. Tony says:

    A brilliant article! There is so much rubbish on the web these days in the name of self improvement and spiritual growth, that it is really refreshing to read an article like this.
    What we all seem to forget, is that we are all created by God/Source and created of the same energy as our Creator, which therefor makes us equally Devine. Unfortuanately most religions , particularly christianity, does accept this. We are part of our Creator who is part of us, there is no duality here. As reflected in the article, until we realise this, we and the world, will never improve

    Tony

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  2. Tony says:

    re my reply above. I left out the word “not” after… “does” in the penultimate sentence. It should read “Unfortuanately most religions, particularly christianity, do NOT accept this.
    Tony

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  3. Amy says:

    Tony,

    I find your response interesting…I’m wondering which facets of Christianity you are familiar with. I’m Christian and I see these principles of Divinity taught throughout and in particular the doctrine I subscribe to as it teaches we are not only Divine offspring, but capable of becoming AS GOD IS. I know for many this seems heresy, but it’s fundamental to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as well as the doctrine of ALL being God’s offspring.

    My experience tells me it is in the many PERSONAL beliefs (about religious doctrine, intellectual humanism and any philosophy that leaves room for human error) that begin to divide us, that we find a non-acceptance of the understanding that we all spring from Divine source. All the religious leaders, poets, philosophers, people of true character who are living witnesses of this truth, accept it as foundational. Hopefully, whatever our tradition, religion or philosophy we ALL can come to and support each other in a fuller experience of the WHOLE truth of: Who am I? Why am I here? and Where am I going?

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  4. Laura G says:

    Quote from this article by Guy Finley: “We must stop blaming others and start working to change ourselves so that we can experience personal fulfillment while also making the world a better place.”

    My response: Amen!

    Love your writing Guy. I always hope for articles posted here when I receive the emails of this ezine. Thanks.

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