Individual spirituality and humanity's welfare

DURING a challenging period at our college, a colleague of mine used to precede his visions of a bright future with these words: ``Come the revolution . . . .'' Yet it has almost become a truism that hopes invested in revolution may later be dashed by that very revolution. The history of social change might make us cynical, if there were not a persistent yearning in the human heart for a revolution that actually fulfills our highest aims. This yearning holds the seed of the most powerful revolution--spiritualization of the individual heart and life. And this is the revolution that must take place if humanity is to have lasting freedom and justice. True spiritual revolution--a fundamental change of heart and basis for action--is not selfish. It does not care for one's own well-being while others suffer. It doesn't shift the furniture of social institutions while leaving oppression intact. Nor is it lawless--overthrowing the good as well as the bad. Rather, it is brought on by all-embracing Love, by God, who says, ``I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: . . . until he come whose right it is.'' 1 St. Paul's conversion gives an idea of the character of Love's revolution. A man responsible for the imprisonment and death of innocent people is brought to his knees, blinded by the power of Spirit. Not only is his heart transformed, his blindness healed, but he is impelled to help others find freedom. Though he faces injustice and brutality, he persists in his far-reaching mission. He knows he is a truly free man, because freedom is the gift of God. His conversion indicates the infinite means Love has to reach where no government program, no violent overthrow, no social action, can go--to the very core of oppression. Divine Truth lays open the arrogant belief of power opposed to Love. It exposes the carnal mind for what it is--``a liar, and the father of it,'' 2 to use Christ Jesus' words. And with a refiner's fire, it dissolves this lie and its influences on the heart, replacing them with unselfish aims and the strength to heal. Fear, propaganda, institutional overhauls, cannot foster this transformation. Only the activity of the Christ, Love's healing, saving power, can do this--can bring to light our true, spiritual nature as the expression of Love. Only the power of Spirit can bring us into conformity to the highest ideal, the spiritual identity Christ Jesus taught and lived. There is a sense in which each of us is a chosen vessel as Paul was. But Jesus said new wine cannot be put in old bottles. There must be a willing emptying out of the old tactics--the plotting, the maneuvering, the willful efforts to do it our way. The spirit of Christ is bestowed on the humble servant, the quiet listener, the obedient heart. As individuals, we forward the freedom this revolution holds for humanity by not resisting the overturning that the Christ is doing in our own heart. Because it brings to light God's all-power, Spirit's revolution is a source of both present and future safety for humankind. But this all-power must be expressed in individual spirituality. ``The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.'' 3 These are the words of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Her love for God and her yearning for justice impelled her to tireless effort on behalf of humanity. But she put her hope of success in the power of God: ``T ruth brings the elements of liberty. On its banner is the Soul-inspired motto, `Slavery is abolished.' The power of God brings deliverance to the captive. No power can withstand divine Love.'' 4 Wherever a heart is obeying God's impulsion, wherever one is standing for Truth, shored up by the fact of man's spirituality, there the revolution of Spirit is taking place. Individuals, families, neighbors, putting the law of Love first, promote with an irresistible power the cause of freedom for all humanity. 1 Ezekiel 21:27. 2 John 8:44. 3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 192. 4 Ibid., p. 224. 30{et

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