Once again we have reached the end of another course in the study of the human spirit.  We have used our imaginations to fill in the blanks on a body of understanding that can help countless people to live more fulfilled, purposeful lives.  The ancient concepts of Heaven and Hell, eternal joy or pain, eternal life with God or eternal punishment does little to address the infinite growth patterns that lie head in our spiritual evolution.

      Do we know anything for sure?  No!  What we can do is look at the nature of our creator’s loving energy patterns and connect the dots with respect to our role in the universe of spirit, a world where nothing in our material world will be present.  For many people, their transitioning from this life will be greeted with great surprise.  Others of us wait with patience and eagerness for our next great adventure in growth and creativity.

     The greatest question we can ask ourselves is this: What are we creating with our thoughts, feelings and activities?  While we can never perceive what happens to the ripples that are sent forth from our lives, we can remain confident that our creator can use them to influence millions.  This is what happened to Confucius, Buddha, Lao-tzu, Jesus, Rumi, Gibran, Tagore and scores of others. Those who sow their seeds have no knowledge of the crop that will result in a world they will not live to see.  We all are beneficiaries of the loving spirits who have gone before us.

     What defines us in the eyes of others is the spirit of our attitudes and thoughts.  Not everyone will understand us as we have learned from the life of Jesus, Socrates and a select number of others.  It is best not to try to impress anyone.  Much can be done simply by living peacefully in a world filled with countless crosscurrents of ideologies.

     In my travels, I came upon a document entitled Desiderata II.  It embodies the wisdom and common sense most of humanity has had in its grasp for centuries.  It violates the boundaries self-imposed by beliefs, but the message is extremely clear.

Desiderata 11

     “In whatever religion you have been taught, however you have been brought up, and however you have understood your teachers . . . on these levels you will understand and grasp this message.  It is not enough that this message be believed.  It is a message to be lived.

     The essence of Universal Religion is Peace and Truth, with Love for and Kindness to all the creatures of the earth. Now is the time to express this essence in your own life.  A beginning must be made, and the place to begin is with and in yourself.  You would reform the world?  Begin first with yourself!  The message of the unreformed reformer seldom inspires reformation.

     The heart of all Religion is love.  And righteousness, which is love in action, is the fulfillment of Religion.  Love not only family and friends! – for love limited is love denied.  Seek peace within yourself and seek, too, within yourself the Divine Breath of Life.

     Persist in these things!  Do not let up for a single moment!  Through your faith and through your deeds you shape your life and help shape the lives of others.  The Spirit finds in you its agent and also its partner, and to the degree that you are aware of this and act on it, your life is enriched.

     A revelation will occur to you . . . a revelation higher than your most exalted dreams.  The New Age is coming, and in it there will be a realization of the Oneness of all.  Differences between the various Religions will disappear.   The good, which is in each of them, will be fused and will become the common goal of all humankind.

     Know that you have the power to choose.  Choose love, not hate; choose gentleness, not violence; choose holiness, not evil!  Dare to believe that the Reign of Love and Peace is coming soon!  Ready yourself for it!  Ready yourself for it with deeds of righteousness!  Righteousness is the door-opener, and beyond the door is love.  Divine power will enter every aspect of your life endowing it with the rewards of material accomplishments, the treasures of purposeful existence, and the eternal light radiating from your spiritual consciousness and awareness.”

     A number of faithful Christians will find the words of Desiderata 11 too universal and part of a “feel good” orientation toward life.  There is no mention of “Salvation.”  The words of this document are simple but they capture a spirit that would renew the world if they could be lived by everyone.  That time has not yet come.

     Those of us who strive to make them a part of our lives will enliven everyone around us.  We will be the leaven for the loaf, warts and all.  That is precisely what a little band of disciples did 2,000 years ago.  All of us will make countless course-corrections because of our abilities to discern what kind of ripples we want to radiate from our lives.  We must bring to our minds that it is the judgments we communicate, not necessarily the choices we make that will reveal to others the direction of our lives.

     Treasure every day you have.  Each one represents a diamond you have been given. Polish it well.