By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO
In this age of ever present violence in our nation and in our world, I find myself in search of a meaningful way to respond. It is important to me that I do not devolve into simplistic finger-pointing, but acknowledge the deeply complex nature of our present circumstances. I do not find it helpful to paint entire groups of people with a broad brush of judgment for the actions of a small number of people within those groups. I also do not find it helpful to deny the anger and pain I feel toward the actions of that small number of people. I am looking for a way to respond that promotes healing, rather than more violence. I am asking myself, ‘What can I personally do to create a better world?’
I have recently been contemplating the art of manifesting. The word ‘manifesting’ refers to the process by which an idea is brought forth into tangible reality. The theory suggests that everything in our human experience begins as an idea held in mind, and then is brought into tangible expression by our efforts. It is easy to see this process at work with tangible objects. I imagine a quilt and sew it. I imagine a house and build it.
This process is equally valid, though harder to observe, with intangible creations. The art of manifesting is also the process we use to bring ideas of ultimate truth into expression in our daily experience. These ideas include universal human values such as love, wisdom, and compassion. They include the values espoused in the preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America – perfect union, justice, tranquility and freedom for all.
With tangible objects it is easy to see that much of the ideal can be lost in the process of manifestation. Sometimes the end product bears little resemblance to the original idea. When this happens, we go back to the idea and begin again.
The same is true when we are attempting to manifest ideas of ultimate truth such as perfect union, justice and freedom. Ultimately, every nation is an imperfect expression of the archetypal ideal community. Humans are constantly seeking better ways to be in community with each other.
I believe the violence we are seeing in the world today is a direct reflection of how far we are from expressing our ultimate truth. The violent acts of the few express the rage they feel over this disparity. They are a profoundly unskillful attempt to bring about change. It is important to me that I respond more skillfully.
So, I return to the original ideas, the ultimate truth that is wanting to come into expression. In my own small way, I seek opportunities in my daily life to express those universal values of love, wisdom, compassion, justice, safety and freedom for all. I hold these values in my thoughts, and I express them in my speech and actions. I invite you to do the same.