Do you want to tap into the power of the Divine Life and experience its flow through you as Divine Love’s joyful radiance so that you know who you are, know why you are alive, understand how to reap value from hard times and feel deeply satisfied with your life? This essay tells you why purified cooperation frees you to receive increasing power, insight, understanding and satisfaction as you purify your motives for cooperating.
The more you purify your motives for cooperating with another person, the more Divine Power flows through you as Radiant Love that fulfills your heart’s desires, including your desire to be empowered to pursue your passions and to feel deeply satisfied with yourself. Ulterior or mixed motives for cooperating dampen Divine Power’s flow. To share in and reap the benefits of Divine Power’s miracles, it’s necessary to purify our hearts so as to live as God’s lives towards others. Purity of motives matters maximally in God’s Life Enrichment Plan. One benefit of purifying your cooperative connection with the Divine is that God creates the future and will help you have the best future possible. If you tend to worry about the future, focus instead on purifying your cooperation with God now and leave your future in God’s hands as you help others to enjoy and appreciate their lives more in the present.
Spiritual teachers are plentiful these days. Many promise to teach you how to experience more power by tapping into your inner realm where power waits to be released through you into your life experiences. They are pointing in the right direction. Much of what they teach is good as far as it goes but it does not go all the way to the heart of the matter. Your power does abide within you, in the core of your being. It’s there waiting to be tapped into and drawn to the surface to be expressed by you as you. I want to add a tip of wisdom to your endeavor to tap into this power. The wisdom is this: don’t mistake your own puny power to develop your own “improved” lifestyle as measured by personal convenience, wealth and social status as Divine Power. That’s the measure many teachers use to entice you to pay attention to them. They seduce you with promises of increased convenience (a parking space!), prosperity and social approval. If that’s all you seek as a goal, then you’ll not be interested in the wisdom tip I’m sharing here. However if you’d like to experience Divine Power as Radiant Love and a promising future on God’s terms, keep reading. The most direct way to tap into Divine Power is to cooperate totally with its Divine Purpose.
Divine Power is God’s to share with all who seek it on God’s terms for God’s purpose. God’s terms do not focus on our personal convenience, wealth and social approval. God’s terms focus on our learning to deliver to others experiences of divine love, heartfelt comfort, healing oneness and blessings of life in abundance. Please take note: The key is our capacity to deliver the goods to others, not merely our capacity to soak up the goods for ourselves as if we are the end consumer of God’s Divine Power. If we truly want to experience Divine Power in all of its miraculous nature and scope we simply must cooperate with God on God’s terms and not try to dictate terms to God or impose our limited purpose for its use. God’s terms include God’s wholehearted commitment to demonstrating God’s oneness with all people. Most people are not comfortable with humbling themselves before God so as to receive as generously as God is willing to give. Their egos get in the way because their egos are rooted in belief in separation from God and from one another. God’s purpose of demonstrating the Oneness of Life, within which all things are interconnected, violates the ego’s basic premise that separation is real. The ego resists humility because humility offers no place for ego. If you want to receive and deliver to others the divinely enriched good life that God has in store for you, be prepared to cooperate with God even when your ego protests that you’ve offended it and all it values.
Here’s the scoop: God has always wanted every human being to receive Divine Power and all of its life-enriching benefits. It’s never been God’s will to shortchange anyone or leave anyone unfavored. There’s a way to share Divine Power among all of us that God knows and reveals but our egos ignore and obscure. We are each created to express Divine Power but we adopt egos as false social identities to survive in our society where egos and ego’s values and priorities determine how social approval and disapproval are distributed. If you want to set Divine Power free to flow through you, be prepared to encounter turbulence as your own ego and egos around you react to your violation of ego’s rules, roles and routines and accuse you of being a boat-rocker and rule-violator – too “different” in your attitudes, beliefs and social orientation for a conformist society to approve of – while you are not a social deviant except to the extent that you exceed social standards by deviating towards excellence. The ego may declare you a hero one moment, a scapegoat the next and then do its best to ignore you entirely as it exiles you from its company. More than likely our ego-based traditionalist society will do its best to make you feel unwelcome and regret siding so radically with God as to value God’s will that Love reign supreme over our pathways to freedom and joy. You will not experience the flow of Divine Power as your natural inheritance until you reclaim God as your Divine Parent and participate fully in Divine Family Life, treating every other human being as your brother and sister, as beloved of God as you are.
Purifying our hearts means letting go of all fear so as to allow Divine Love to radiate where fear once imposed the gloom of separation and loneliness onto God’s celebration of oneness and companionship throughout all circumstances from lovely to harsh and back again. Purification of our hearts is a process that conflicts with modern practices and principles now widespread throughout our fear-based, fear-saturated society. Social norms support our maintaining hearts filled with fear as if that’s a desirable goal. Purification sets our hearts free of fear so that we become social nonconformists (even sometimes feeling like a freak) until being pure of heart becomes the new social norm. In the transitional phase during which society shifts from being fear-based, fear-saturated to being love-based, love-saturated, mutual encouragement to make the shift is vital. We most need to learn to no longer fear Divine Love and instead to share it generously with mutual appreciation for all we are daring to be and to become.
In modern times, while fearing Diving Love, humanity mistakenly subscribed to the lie that human life evolves towards an ideal standard of improvement on account of the “survival of the fittest.” In fact, quite the opposite is true. The ideal standard of improvement for humanity is an increase in the flow of Divine Power to comfort, heal and bless us all. (Students of A Course In Miracles may recognize this statement of Divine Purpose.) Human life evolves towards increased flow of Divine Power through the service of the fittest in promoting the welfare of the whole so that all members of the human race thrive, not merely survive. Service by, not survival of, the fittest is what matters. In other words, empowerment for humanity is not about outdoing the competition by being fitter for survival than others. It’s about being fitter for service than others may currently be. Empowerment and life-enrichment happen naturally from learning to be more helpful towards others – with pure hearts, based on motives as pure as God’s.
Those who serve others on God’s terms (e.g., not co-dependently, compulsively or fearfully) are models of humanity’s divine nature as they serve the best interests of the whole, including those who may at first appear to be least suited for survival or service. It is wise for honored leaders of society to be spiritually oriented servants of those with the least social status. When those at the leading edge of humanity’s social privileges reach out to aid those at humanity’s trailing edge and lift them forward along with the whole of humanity, we all move forward together. Within the dynamics of service of “social bottoms by social tops,” progress sustains itself because those previously at society’s trailing edge learn to participate meaningfully on leadership teams at society’s cutting edge of positive developments.
In sum, God’s plan for humanity’s progress in awakening to our divine nature is a wrap-around process that leaves no one out of the circle of mutual service – the Circle of Life. Humble service means that socially privileged people do not use spiritual principles and practices to continue to feather our own nests and expand our experiences of convenience and privilege. Instead we adopt humble lifestyles that free our discretionary resources to be applied voluntarily to benefit less privileged members of society, elevating everyone together into a sustainable range of lifestyles that are totally adequate but not extravagant or self-indulgent.
How can this idealistic “bottom served by top” social dynamic become reality? It is guaranteed to become society’s new reality when we commit to cooperating with it wholeheartedly because God’s orientation to humanity is as our Wholehearted Supreme Servant. Serving us all with Divine Delight, the Ultimate Top will orchestrate the creation of the new society rooted in purified cooperation. God asks not that we serve Him/Her but that we serve each other while we also allow God to serve us all without imposing any restrictions on God’s faithfulness and generosity towards all of us through each other. We become God’s means of equity, liberty and justice as well as creativity and multimedia beauty when we cooperate with God’s will. While we have been uncooperative with God instead of serving each other with grace and joy according to God’s divine plan for our evolution (awakening), we have learned to crucify (do a disservice to) each other by habits of our egos while we know not what we do. We are ignorant of what we are doing because our buried guilt and shame numb our sensitivity towards others and cause us to ignore how we are harming them (and ourselves) emotionally as well as in other ways. Our natural sensitivities that would alert us to our wayward ways are offline because development of an ego and its social habits requires that we deny our hearts, tune out our emotions, limit our listening, defend against change (including improvements offered by God) and turn away from each other in distrust.
A forgiving, attentively listening, trusting God waits patiently for us to repent and turn back to Him/Her to be restored to awareness of our innocence (free of guilt and blame as well as pride and shame) so that we might once again walk with God in humility to love mercy, do justice and liberate all captives of the ego – setting them free to walk, dance and sing along with God as well. Universal mutual service will set us free of ego’s cruel tyranny and resurrect us from the deadening effects of benumbed hearts and painfully confused minds. In serving each other’s best interests as God defines what is “best,” we will regain clarity of mind as we regain purity of heart. God’s mind is clear. God’s motive for serving all of us is pure love. To serve as God serves and become living channels of service under Divine Authority, we must purify our motives by learning to love as God loves and to trust one another as God trusts us.
“Let he or she who would be greatest among you be servant of all.” Such a calling strikes at the heart of the heartlessness of the egoistic culture modern society has become. In modern times, shrines are built to egos while hearts are shrouded in despair. Their kinds and styles vary but the purpose of each shrine is the same – to glorify to a lesser or greater degree an ego-imprisoned person who has failed to serve with humility on behalf of the health and happiness of many who would have benefitted from a life lived egolessly. Pervasive neglect of the needs of others and studiously maintained ignorance of God’s divine plan to bless us all hide behind every enshrined failure of an ego-bound person to serve others. Some who are popular in the eyes of fans (or Facebook friends) may protest, “But I mistreat no one!” Yet all of us are at risk of allowing our craving for social approval to cause us to be more concerned about cooperating with other people’s egos than about cooperating with God.
Eager to get along (survive) socially, we please others at the cost of being empowered (thriving) spiritually. We protest against being called “indifferent” towards the needs of others only because we are unaware of the many we could serve but fail to serve when we focus our energies and resources on cooperating with egos to conform socially instead of cooperating with God to transform spiritually. We are more inclined by ego’s habits to use our resources to insulate ourselves from people in need than to come into contact with them personally as we naturally would do if we serve them with all our time and resources. Once society makes cooperating with God its standard procedure, we’ll be able to conform both socially and spiritually. But not yet while social norms ignore God’s offer to enrich our lives through service empowered by purified cooperation.
Under the ego’s current reign, with few exceptions, the socially privileged are blessed and yet of little blessing to others. In catering to our egos, we divert into shrines of varying degrees of personal isolation, convenience and self-aggrandizement time, energy and other resources intended by God for the welfare of others. God blesses us to empower us to bless others, but we restrict the flow of blessings by diverting them into futile attempts to satisfy insatiable egos. In so doing we continue to mislead generation after generation of children to believe that the path to greatness lies along the ego’s way and not along the way of service to those God calls us to serve. All shrines, tiny and elaborate, divert resources. It is time to awaken to the error of the ego’s claim upon our lives and rise free to serve as our hearts’ wiser nature is restored to its rightful preeminence as guide and counselor in place of ego.
For centuries, men and women have clambered over each other to acquire greater fame and fortune through socially valued achievements ranging from minor to major in the eyes of other ego-oriented people. Today we accept the approval of others and amass wealth in excess of our basic needs on account of our performances as employees, employers, entrepreneurs, professionals, politicians, captains of industry, entertainers, sports figures, experts, critics, religious leaders, middle managers and other paid and unpaid roles – and as common citizens who allow social approval to be our false god. We admire others for their performances, allow others to admire us (often for our pretenses as much as for our performances) and bask in the glow of spiraling social approval as often as possible. Often we blindly accept our social approval ratings and fail to point our admirers to God as the only Being truly worthy of admiration and imitation as a role model. Instead we accept praise as if it were truly due us. If we mention God, we do so only in passing. We tip our caps to God but do not topple ourselves from the pedestals our adoring fans and friends erect for us – or emerge again from the tombs of shame we may endure if we offend our fans and friends. To be clear, there’s only life-enrichment to be gained through expressing and receiving heartfelt gratitude and genuine compliments. It is awe and worshipful praise we must reserve for God alone.
Of course, because we are not A-list celebrities and rarely attract media attention, most of us will deny that we are heavily invested in self-serving lifestyles and continue to participate in moderate mutual admiration societies we call friends, co-workers and other restricted-entry social gatherings. By the ego’s trick of comparing ourselves to others and finding ourselves “not as excessive as ‘them,’” we justify our modest participation in a society that is blind to God’s plan. But ego’s success in diverting our attention and investment of our lives from God’s plan is still controlling our decisions and blinding us to the truth of how God would have us serve if only we were more cooperative with God and less cooperative with egos.
We prefer to applaud and admire the few who serve in exceptional ways and call then “heroes” than to become one of them according to God’s calling in our hearts. If we share a portion of our wealth and other resources with others, we do so only according to some token measure that assuages our guilty conscience but does not honor God. Our tokenism reveals our egoism. All we have received we hold in trust as endowments from God yet we give back to God only the little that legalistic social conformity requires. A tithe perhaps, but not the whole. We trust not God’s promise to return to us a thousandfold all that we might give cheerfully to God. We trust not the engine of universal prosperity that would function for the benefit of all if only we would honor God and give all to divine service as God gives so generously to us. We take credit for God’s part in our successes and fail to express our gratitude to God as fully as God expresses His/Her generosity to us. Today there are many who continue to make excuses for glorifying ourselves according to the ego’s subtly deceptive model rather than step entirely free from self-serving lifestyles to serve God and let God be glorified. The time for undiluted, uncompromised cooperation with God has arrived to save humanity from extinction. It’s likewise time to be entirely free to love as God loves and to be loved in return with equal power and commitment.
Our devotion to the ego’s way results from competition that epitomizes the deceitful proposition that survival of the fittest causes humanity to evolve. As evidenced by events and conditions worldwide, the truth is that competition dehumanizes the human race and causes us to dissolve, not evolve. Cooperation is the way of Life – of ever-expanding Vitality. Symbiosis and mutuality of living are features of Life. The ego belittles being truly helpful as humiliating and debasing “obedience” as if living humbly in harmony with God’s will is evil or at least an embarrassingly nonconformist way of life to be avoided at all cost. The ego declares generosity to be a sacrifice instead of a sacrament that expresses God’s nature and an opportunity to live in oneness with God, with one another and with all forms of Life according to God’s plan of creation and sustainability for us all.
Life is God’s to design and implement. When we gracefully serve God in all humility with joy in our hearts, we return to God the grace God first extended to us with divine joy. By grace, we participate in Life fully and it flows through us as joyfully as a bubbling brook of crystal clear water. Many are those who come to the Water of Life that God shares through us when we cooperate with God and serve as God serves. Only then can we declare as protector of the socially less powerful “Such grace as has been given to me I give unto you” and open the way for the healing of our lands through the healing of our hearts. Such gentle generosity and grace compose the way of true power because it is the way of life amid which we encounter and embrace God as He/She encounters and embraces us.
Life is not a process primarily characterized by disintegration and lack of integrity as ego’s false version of life presents. Life is a process primarily characterized by continuously upgrading integration of creative ideas around a core of integrity that is eternal as well as internal. Spiritual principles and practices of many paths of faith invite us to experience the wonders of this expanding process called “Life Everlasting” or “Limitless Creation.” An apt analogy for this expansion from the inner core outward is found in the growth rings, spreading branches, abundant fruitfulness, towering majesty and longevity of ancient trees. That is one reason the Tree of Life so frequently appears as a universal symbol of Eternal Life. Our pure cooperation with God creates a reality that will outlive all physical symbols used to convey its nature through human languages other than the universal nonverbal language of love found in smiles, twinkling eyes, heartfelt laughter, music, dance and other signs of peace and goodwill among all peoples of the earth.
How did we go astray from God’s plan for a continuously upgrading integration of creative concepts around the core of timeless wisdom? We strayed off target when we mistakenly equated our lives with the physical expressions of other kingdoms of life – of minerals, plants and animals – and failed to recognize 1) the human kingdom’s unique identity and qualities as the pinnacle of God’s creation and 2) our developmentally unfolding wholeness as an expression of God’s nature being progressively revealed throughout humanity with some individuals unfolding in time ahead of others. We misunderstood our status as God’s most exalted creation as an excuse for exercising power over all other kingdoms of life without regard for the counterbalancing responsibility that comes with greater power. Even Spiderman had to learn that “with great power comes great responsibility.” It is time for humanity to learn that lesson too. When we wield power over others for the sole purpose of serving supportively under those we serve we achieve the delicate balance required of stewards of divinely augmented power wielded on behalf of all. Through this spiritually enriched, ethically administered paradigm of power we achieve the greatest good for the greatest number by ensuring the best for all in the long run. Such are God’s ethics.
Each of us can personally wield the power of life ethically if we wield with wisdom and committed cooperation the power God entrusts to us. As we grow in wisdom in its wielding by allowing God to purify our hearts, God entrusts more power to flow through us. We maximize this power’s potency and perseverance by minimizing our ego’s intensity and interference. We cause death – and impose upon others fates worse than death – through all forms of abuse and by a thousand slices of neglect when we fail to exercise our divinely entrusted power wisely with pure motives. God is relying upon us to master the art of wisdom so as to cooperate with Him/Her fully before all forms of life upon the earth are damaged too heavily to sustain life for human beings. God ensures the sustainability of all other kingdoms of life. They will thrive well without humanity’s presence if we humans insist that they do so. They will thrive well with humans present only if and when we are present as God is present in relationship to all such kingdoms and serve them well so that they may continue to serve us well in turn.
We have a choice to live in harmony with God and all created kingdoms of the earth and thereby share in the mutual benefits that flow from the symbiotic miracles of nature or to defy God’s plan of creation and render it unsustainable for humanity. The other kingdoms will recover from our abuse and neglect once we are gone. The issue is only whether we want to render ourselves extinct on account of failing to cooperate with God and with each other as children of God or prefer to perpetuate our race as one race under God with liberty, justice, beauty and grace for all – for all of Life in every form created. To choose in favor of purified cooperation with God – with total commitment to accepting and adjusting to its terms and conditions – is to choose to be true to ourselves as expressions of God, to perpetuate the human race as God created us and to place our futures in the hands of a Most Competent Supreme Servant who knows how to lead us into the experience of our Divine Home on earth modeled on Heaven’s Home now imagined to be only reachable beyond earth. We need only imagine that Heaven is already here on earth for us to begin the transformation God has in mind for all of us.
© Art Nicol 2013