Respect for the life of others is a consequence of honoring others as souls, equal in their right to unqualified freedom. Though souls differ from one another in countless external expressions, their right to exist as themselves is the sacred gift of liberty.
The power of the human soul lies in its existence — its freedom to become whomever it chooses to be. This freedom is unqualified. It is not limited except by the soul’s own choices. The greatest expression of this freedom is demonstrated when the soul reveals all of its dormant potential, that is, when it becomes who it is truly meant to be. Lesser expressions of self may seem easier to attain and more pleasant in the moment, but they contain less freedom. The fullest expression of self and of life is what brings greatest joy to the soul.
Respect for the life of others is a consequence of honoring others as souls, equal in their right to unqualified freedom. Though souls differ from one another in countless external expressions, their right to exist as themselves is the sacred gift of liberty which belongs to the individual and which must be honored as we honor our own lives. This respect for the right of souls to exist, to live, and to pursue their own ends lies at the foundation of democracy. It forms the basis for a future society which will blend individual differences in a working collaboration with God at the center. Such a collaboration is not easy to attain at present since we currently deal with others not as souls but in terms of their more superficial personality expressions. It is also not easy to attain because God is not at the center of our meetings with one another. Yet, the possibility for such a society to evolve and to exist is real because it is based on truth: the truth that we allaresouls, and that we each have the capacity to live from our essential nature to a far greater degree than is presently possible.
The encouragement of diversity of expression within a broader understanding of the commonality of our soul-nature is the task of a future society, one which we can help promote. The government of such a society will rule according to more fundamental principles than political expediency. It will elevate the status of its poorer members, seeking to grant them the equality of existence that befits the dignity of individuals. In aiming to abolish poverty, such a society will rely less on competition to promote the wealth of certain segments, and more on common humanity to promote the wealth of all segments. Such thinking will not be considered ungrounded idealism at that time, but rather the logical outgrowth of a view of life in which all others are seen as part of oneself, part of a living whole. Just as an individual would not cut off their arm and think that they were better off, so it will seem in relation to the people of the world. We will respect their life knowing that it is part of our own. This view of planetary life will hold the awareness that one segment of society cannot be significantly better off while another segment suffers, without negative consequences to all.
At this time in our history, this has occurred to such a degree that the earth itself is now in jeopardy, becoming less able to support the life it is meant to carry. In any culture or civilization, ongoing behavior that extensively departs from the basic values of the heart and of God creates an imbalance which eventually must be corrected, sometimes with radical changes to the culture itself.
Respect for the life of souls also asks us to look again at the principle of competition among individuals, groups, organizations, and nations. This principle has often in the past taken humanity in the direction of violence and destruction, whether that competition was for land, for resources, for religious dominance, or for political power. Wherever wealth, dominance, or superiority have been given importance over the values of peace, harmony, and concern for others, an imbalance has been created in which large groups of people suffered, or the earth itself suffered. At this time in our history, this has occurred to such a degree that the earth itself is now in jeopardy, becoming less able to support the life it is meant to carry. In any culture or civilization, ongoing behavior that extensively departs from the basic values of the heart and of God creates an imbalance which eventually must be corrected, sometimes with radical changes to the culture itself. At the core of this correction is the requirement that we return to those values that once again emphasize the heart’s truth — values that share concern for the life of all people and affirm the spiritual purpose for which souls exist.
Respect for life and for the life of souls places an emphasis, first and foremost, on the essential dignity and worthiness of all persons, maintaining this principle in the face of pressure, even when other values claim the right to crowd it out. To live in such a way is what it means to truly be human, and it is the return to our essential humanity that lies in our future as we come to recognize ourselves as spiritual beings. This recognition will also reveal to us that the earth, too, is a living organism, one whose life must be respected as we respect our own. Now, at this pivotal time in our history, we can choose to align ourselves with the forces of materialism and indifference that are common and present in society today, or we can place ourselves firmly on the side of life and seek in every way we are capable of to contribute to the life around us. We are given this choice as souls, and can respond in freedom to each opportunity we have to address the way in which we do things. When we realize that ‘quality’ is a function of holding supreme the values of the heart and soul over all others, we have the means to soften our lives so that we live in accordance with the directives of our soul in a manner that God intends for us to live. This, ultimately, is the future for the earth, and it is ours to begin if we choose to do so now.