Nona L. Brooks
We have thought that human relationships held an element of mystery for us, because it has been the custom of the race to speak of that tie which binds families and friends into closer relations as something strange. We have felt ourselves attracted to one person and repelled by another; and some who professed to be revealing the secret of human love and its opposite have told us that there were psychic attractions and repulsions taking form in thought currents. In these years when great stress is being laid upon cause and effect we are learning to reason more wisely about the subject of human relations.
One of the best habits you and I can form in our thinking is to begin to investigate any situation by getting our bearings; in order to get our bearings it is necessary to go back to our Basis and to think from principle. Since we have found that there is a great Reality underlying all relationships in life, let us find out how it applies in your relationships and in mine.
There are two phases in our daily experiences--an outer aspect and an inner reality. Let us turn our thought to that Something within, and begin to solve the problems of our human relationships from this basis. What is that Something within? It is the truth of the Omnipresence of God. It is what Paul taught us--that we live, move, and have our Being in God-Being. There is one God above us, in us, and through us. The psalmist tells us that we cannot flee from the presence of God. Whither shall we go? It is this Presence and Power that inspires us in all our expression--be it in our relationships or in our work. Are we considering this point carefully enough?
What are we seeing in our fellow man? That which we are seeing in ourselves. If we hold steadfastly to the concept of Omnipresence we see that man must be Godlike. We are all divine; we are endowed with the inherencies of infinite Life, and we are all working out our missions as individuals. God is loving through us. Back of us all, there is only one true nature; it is Love--the infinite Presence itself. How, then, can we love some of our neighbors and hate others? Let us see. This is a point for meditation and reflection. If we really know this Presence as infinite, we can draw from it all that is requisite for our development; and we must see our neighbors as we are. That which seems to differentiate one from another is what we call our likes and our dislikes. One person seems to exhibit certain splendid qualities; another, undesirable ones. Consider for a moment. Is it the person or the quality that offends us? If we hold true to Omnipresence our neighbor is not one with his faults and weaknesses; he is one with God. Our neighbor is in God and of God, even if he does not see it. Shall we distrust him for his ignorance? If you and I really get hold of God we shall never separate men into classes--those we admire and those who offend us.
Are we getting our bearings? Do we see where we stand in truth? As we unfold in the process that we call life, God grows greater and greater, nearer and nearer, with the years of our development. We become increasingly more capable of appreciating the larger values of life; and appreciation is another name for love. He who loves, appreciates; and he who appreciates, loves. Spiritual unfoldment and intellectual development should be parallel; the intellectual is simply one phase of the spiritual. In true development, the Spirit within is seeking the Spirit without; there can be no separation. The Divine Urge is impelling us to choose a spiritual basis from which to judge and decide. There is only one retarding element to progressive unfoldment, and that is dependency upon the outer. There are many mysteries for the one who lives in the outer, some of which he never solves until he changes his point of view. Absorption in the external experiences holds us out of the true satisfactions of life.
We never meet any one only on the surface, and establish any bond of understanding with him; we must look through his appearance into the man, if we would understand him. The one who meets the experiences of the home, the schoolroom, the office, the store, the pulpit, or the platform from the deep inner standpoint of high realization sees the bearing of the demands, the events, the circumstances of life upon his individual unfoldment. The man who sees these only as surface incidents falling into his life by chance, fails to establish any contact with the truth of human progress. The former meets the day with power and shapes his own course of progress; the latter falls under the load of the day, and separates himself from the law which is working for his good.
I am often told that Divine Science is a difficult religion to live, and that other forms of religious belief afford an easier way. Perhaps this is true; for in Divine Science we never hold anyone else responsible for the things that come to us; we hold ourselves responsible for meeting the experiences of the day with power and of living our own lives divinely. We work within ourselves. This is a glorious and an easy way after we have made a positive decision, for we soon begin touching reality, and then every phase of human experience is illumined by truth. The thing that makes our living difficult is vacillation. We stand upon the mount of consciousness one minute and see the whole; the next, we are wandering in the valley of indecision. There is, of course, at present necessity for traveling in the valley sometimes, but this does not mean that we need to descend from the consciousness of the mount. We can travel from the heights without losing anything. There is great satisfaction in radiating the light that it may illumine the valley, and bring comfort to the valley dwellers, who often ask, "Why has this come to me?" Those who have spent much time on the mount know why it comes. Experience is by law; we are responsible for making the most of all that comes to us in the way of opportunity, and each experience gives us opportunity for service. Our attitude has all to do with determining the kind of experiences that come to us. The love attitude brings harmony of experience; the fear attitude, confusion.
Love, then, is the basis from which to work out the problems of human relationships. There is always this question to be answered first: How are we loving? Is it an impersonal love? Are we demanding from the one we love or are we giving? Love is reciprocal. The practice of the Golden Rule in relation to our fellow men will solve all mysteries and problems. We must see another in the same light as we see ourselves. Love is freedom, not limitation; faith, not suspicion; light, not darkness. God is Love; and law is God in action. Hence, let us consider well the place of law in our lives; it is fundamental. Law is ever coming forth to bless us instead of to limit us. Relationships come by law; hence, these are experiences to be met with our best. Relations from a human standpoint are often more or less difficult; it often requires a big attitude in order to keep them harmonious. If we lose our sense of perspective in relation to others, these relationships often become obstacles in the path of him who might make of them opportunities if he would. Do you see that after all it is a matter of attitude? In order that we may love our fellow men as Jesus loved his, we must take our personal will and opinions off. Law is always working; we cannot interfere with it. There is nothing by chance; no person comes into our lives who does not for the time being at least belong there. Each one comes by law; there is something to work out before he goes. Only the ones who belong in our lives come to us. What about the ones who seem to cause us much trouble? They are not causing the difficulty; it is only that you and I are seeing the situation from without instead of from within. Let us turn to principle; it is always at hand. No one is unlovable, if we see him as an expression of God-Life, even if he does not see himself that way. We can love everyone, if we will. We must first make our unity with him as a part of the universal plan. If there is at present someone in our environment whom we dislike, let us work with ourselves toward overcoming the aversion. Let us leave the supposed reasons we had for disliking the person out of the question all together. There is tragedy in the thought of how many of God's children there are who cannot live together harmoniously, because the individual is so busy with his neighbor's shortcomings. It is our faults that we are responsible for; these are probably causing inharmony in the group now. Had you ever thought of this?
The law is perfect at every point. Are you longing for a beautiful atmosphere in your home? Test yourself and see if you are keeping the inner glow alive all of the time. You are helping to form the atmosphere; perhaps, you are responsible for it. It is living the Life that counts. Others feel our atmosphere, whether we are aware of it or not.
It is not strange that we are drawn to the one who loves truly; it is not strange that we love; for God is Love, and in Love we have our Being. The mystery is why we do not love all men more. We shall, when we see that love is God in action, and that we are opportunities for the expression of God-Love. Love is not emotion; it is Life. Without Love, Life would not be. God so loves that He gives His all in expression. This is why we live.
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Symphony of Love