It may seem a bit oxymoronic, and I know I come across most of the time as someone who gives primacy to spirituality over and above the human condition, but in many ways, I am a humanist. I believe in people. I believe in the strength of being human…I just think that being human and being spiritual are compatible, and not exclusionary categories. The best of our humanity reaches into our spirituality, and our spirituality joins our humanity as the best qualities of being human: kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement, etc. Today brings these two together…
Lift your mind and heart to the Truth of Being, to all that Is, to All you are. Accept your Self in Truth and offer your Self to All in gratitude for Being.
Every day I pay homage to God, to saints, buddhas and bodhisattvas, to avatars and angels, to Divine Beings of Highest Light. I don’t take a lot of time, or go through any elaborate ritual (most of the time).
A way to show this homage–in almost every tradition–is to light a candle, to offer flowers or money. Sometimes I bring some thing to place before the Divine Beings; sometimes I don’t. Either way, I simply acknowledge their presence, thank them for being, and make my offering. If I do not have some thing to offer, I offer my mind, heart, and hands to be used in their service, for the benefit of All. Then I ask for simple blessing, that All may be blessed through me. It takes less than two minutes.
The reason I thought about this is the line: offer your Self to All in gratitude for Being.
It occurs to me that I need to take my short ritual a (big) step further. offer your Self to All (not just Divine Beings…).
Acknowledging Divine Beings is one thing, as those beings are able to assist All in ways that are unfathomable, and often invisible. They are working tirelessly in Divine Service; when we communicate with them, and let them know we are open to their assistance, they are able to help us more.
But, we are human, and it’s hard to imagine those invisible beings; I still wonder if they really are there. I question why I do what I do–is anyone really listening? (I feel the rightness of it, but more than that, I can’t explain). As humans there must be some way that we can embody this with other human beings. After all, don’t people deserve respect and acknowledgement simply as being human, with the dignity inherent in that? Don’t we all live in this world, contributing to the life of culture, the life of nations, the stream of movement we call history?
Just acknowledging another’s humanity is the next step, the step further: offer your Self to All in gratitude for Being. I can imagine performing my short ritual silently, internally, with every person, with every being, “I acknowledge your humanity. We are different, but the same. Thank you for being the unique individual you are. May we enrich each other through our differences, and strengthen each other through human kindness. May we share with others that richness and strength, increasing it with all we meet.”
If you prefer something more spiritual… “I acknowledge we are One, united in and by Divine Love. Thank you for being, thank you for being One with me. I offer my heart, head, and hands to you in service to the benefit of All. Please bless me, that I may bless All.”
Why does this matter, as a humanist, or as a spiritualist? Because as you make these acknowledgements part of your routine as you meet people, you strengthen that truth within yourself. And, as you give blessings to others, those blessings ripple out, then return to you.
The world needs this now.