The Divine Within Others

Sunday, January 23, 2011

As a Baha'i, I love and appreciate the shining spark of truth that I believe flows through all major world religions. One phrase that really touches me from the Buddhist tradition is the term "Namaste" which is often used in greeting and/or Yoga practice. Namaste has been translated in many different ways, but they all basically amount to the same thing...

"The Divine within me bows to the Divine within you"

Beautiful, right? Today's blog is very similar to last weeks blog in that the main focus is still "The Divine Within". But last week I just focused on the concept itself, now I want to discuss a little more about what it means. If I believe and recognize that there are attributes of God within me, how should that change the way I relate to others and the world around me? Or does it? Check out this video...

I think this video demonstrates the concept of compassion and love for all creation in a very simple way. If we can recognize the Divine within ourselves and appreciate and see the Divine in everyone around us, the world would be a much better place. We truly are all one. And it only follows that if God created us all and endowed each and every one of us with the ability to mirror forth his attributes, then we should honor the divine within every individual who crosses our path.

So, my personal answer to whether recognizing the Divine within me changes the way I relate to the world is "YES! Absolutely!" How could it not? There is a part of God in everyone! I would be a fool not to honor that. Easier said than done, you say? But people are rude and obnoxious and selfish, you say? Yes, sometimes. But I say, you can still find the Divine within them.

It is just a matter of changing focus. The more I remember to focus on looking for the Divine in myself and others, the more often I see it. And when I am successful at retaining this type of focus, I see beauty everywhere and in everyone. I'm not saying I see those warm globes of light like in the video (LOL!), but it feels kinda like that inside. It can be challenging to do for sure, but when it happens, it feels AMAZING!

Here are some quotes on this concept. Please share your own thoughts and quotes!

"Be in perfect unity. Never become angry with one another. Let your eyes be directed toward the kingdom of truth and not toward the world of creation. Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God. Humanity is not perfect. There are imperfections in every human being, and you will always become unhappy if you look toward the people themselves. But if you look toward God, you will love them and be kind to them, for the world of God is the world of perfection and complete mercy. Therefore, do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections." (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 92)

"He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye." (Buddha)

He who thus vows
His soul to the Supreme Soul, quitting sin,
Passes unhindered to the endless bliss
Of unity with Brahma. He so vowed,
So blended, sees the Life-Soul resident
In all things living, and all living things
In that Life-Soul contained. And whoso thus
Discerneth Me in all, and all in Me,
I never let him go; nor looseneth he
Hold upon Me; but, dwell he where he may,
Whate'er his life, in Me he dwells and lives,
Because he knows and worships Me, Who dwell
In all which lives, and cleaves to Me in all." (Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr))

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (King James Bible, 2 Peter)

Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created." (Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)


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