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September 23, 2014
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editorial

Peace on earth and goodwill to all


Christmas is a time when (if we can put aside the crazy commercialism of the season) we willingly and freely talk about such lofty ideals as peace on earth and good will to all people. We hear the Christmas message of hope and its promises of redemption, forgiveness and healing. Then the season is over. The Christmas star goes off on its merry way, orbiting around the galaxy, and we go back to the world as we know it.

So how’s that working for us? Really, how did the world get to be such a mess? Too many warring nations and tribes, too much hate and revenge, too many poor and needy people, too much poisoning and pillaging of the earth, too little acceptance of others who are different, too little love, too much fear.

Is it any wonder that growing numbers of people are yearning for a different kind of world, a different way of being human on this earth, a world where we respect and value each other, where we protect and cherish “Mother Earth,” our only home in this universe?

Some people think the world is at a tipping point where this change is really ready to happen. How then might such a transformation in human consciousness come about that would usher in peace on earth and good will to men? Today many people are finding the answer in cultivating and embracing a deeper spiritual life. Some are turning to traditional sources for inspiration; others are seeking their own way from sources that speak to them.

Still, this search for the spiritual and the sacred is nothing new. The Christmas story reminds us that the world was awaiting, anticipating the arrival of a savior. “Do not be afraid,” the angel told the shepherds, “for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior.”

It seems we may be hard-wired to search for spiritual and sacred meaning in our lives. Look at the aboriginal peoples who had a deep sense of the sacredness of their world and of the universe. Consider, too, that every major world religion offers some teachings about our deep, inner connection with a divine God (or Spirit, if you will) and that we all have the creator’s divine spark within us.

Interestingly (and you might at first think otherwise) in today’s modern world, science and technology also present us with opportunities to consider the sacred and the divine in the mystery of life and of the universe. Take our exploration of space—both inner and outer space. What drives us to learn ever more about the universe and its origins? We send out satellites with cameras and telescopes into deep space and they send back awe-inspiring photographs. Who among us, looking at these photographs (ti.me/TrYO4r) cannot help but wonder—how was this universe created and what is our role in this boundless creation?

What drives us to learn more about the elusive theory of everything that physicists are searching for, or about what human consciousness is, or even what matter is? (Did you know there’s actually something called “strange matter” that we do not fully understand, or that matter is largely made up of empty space?)

Once we thought the earth was the center of the universe, and as recently as 100 years ago, we believed the Milky Way was the only galaxy of stars in what was otherwise empty space. It seems we have learned so much. Yet the evolution of our human consciousness has not kept pace with our scientific and technical achievements. Has the time not come for the human race to leave its adolescence behind and step into adulthood?

And that brings us back to our search for the sacred. Imagine how our world might be different if everyone saw that all living beings are sacred, that we are all interconnected, all one, and that creation itself is our home and our very being. Might that usher in a time of peace on earth and good will to men?