Peace on Earth comes not merely through "tolerating" our various worldviews and spiritual traditions - as the popular bumper sticker would have it - but through actively learning from one another. This isn't a patronizing kind of activity, where I DECIDE I'm going to TRY to learn from you. Rather, it comes from a genuine curiosity and NEED to learn new things from your experience and unique worldview. This, after all, is what all of that SILENCE I experience out in Nature has taught me. In the silence I am immersed in a Divine Source who listens to and learns from me, and this being listened-to and learned-from is what actively "creates" my being! Who of us doesn't want to be learned-from, especially by the Creator?
Similarly, each of us finds spiritual fulfillment both in learning from others and in being learned-from. For me, it's like being a kid in a candy store; spiritual "sweetness" is radiating at me from every corner of the world - through YOU! Here, true strength comes not from the macho stereotype of "having it all together," but in being able to open up to wider and wider realms of experience, listening to and learning from ever more diverse sources. That ability to continue opening into wider and wider realms is the TRUE definition of strength! For incredible inner centeredness and spiritual backbone is required to open up endlessly to learn from one another - and to do this for all eternity!
If only we can "fast" from the media-driven "herd mentality" that would try to TELL us what we think; if only we can enter the solitude of our own mind and heart in order to hear what the Spirit is speaking uniquely to us - then, and only then, can we truly get in touch with the wisdom that others need so desperately. And then, and only then, will we gain the centeredness that gives us the strength to open up to what others have to teach us. May all of us find the grace to get in touch with our own sacred center, thereby discovering the strength to listen to and learn from one another, and so bring true peace upon the Earth!
Photos: Various winter scenes near my home in Larimer County, CO, December, 2015
Please visit: http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.