By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness
You hear a lot in the conscious community about equality, and it’s obviously an important topic for those who want to address serious social issues like poverty, starvation, oppressive governments, etc.
Is it possible, however, to have a spiritual perspective on equality?
As various socially and spiritually conscious groups continue to come together, we can’t help but consider equality and other related concepts in a spiritual way.
That’s exactly what some people are doing, and here, I’d like to share some words from Paul Ferrini about the role of equality in fostering enlightenment.
First, here’s some info about Paul from TheGodLight.org.
“Paul Ferrini is the author of over forty inspirational books on love, healing and forgiveness. His books have been translated into numerous languages and his work is well known and appreciated abroad.
“Paul’s unique blend of spirituality and psychology draws from the wisdom traditions of both the east and west. His teaching is heart-centered and experiential. It goes beyond self- help and recovery into … the heart of healing.” (1)
He started out teaching A Course in Miracles, and he was also the editor and publisher of Miracles Magazine.
“Paul Ferrini first became known in the 1980s as a teacher of A Course in Miracles. Like Jerry Jampolsky and Marianne Williamson, Paul has been successful helping people understand and use the basic principles of the Course in their daily lives.
“Paul Ferrini was the Editor and Publisher of Miracles Magazine, an international quarterly publication devoted to telling stories of healing and transformation.
“His interviews with Elizabeth Kubler Ross, John Bradshaw, Larry Dossey, Bernie Siegel and many other are legendary. During his time, Paul also organized large scale conferences bringing students and teachers of A Course in Miracles together from all over the world.” (2)
Clearly, Paul has had a lot of experience helping people discover themselves. But what does he have to say about equality in regards to spirituality?
He addressed it in his book Silence of the Heart, writing that realizing we’re all one can help us lift the veil.
“Being in a body gives you the opportunity to explore the mistaken belief that your needs are different from the needs of others. As soon as you begin to see that your needs are the same as the needs of others, the veil begins to lift. You stop needing special treatment. You stop giving others special treatment.
“What you want for one, you want for all. You do not make one person more important than others.” (3)
Equality, he tells us, is the key to transcendence.
“The perception of equality is the beginning of the transcendence of the body and the physical world. When you no longer need to hold yourself separate from others, you can serve without being attached. You can give without needing to know how the gift is being received.” (4)
According to Paul, we’re in this physical body to learn that we are, in fact, one with the rest of humanity and despite what we prefer to think, our needs are all the same. We all have similar needs and desires that we try to satiate throughout life, and the needs of a Christian are basically the same as those of a Muslim.
The same can be said for a Catholic, Hindu or ‘new ager’. There are no differences between us beyond the ones we highlight and allow to divide us, and treating everyone with the same level of kindness and respect can be the first step to transcending the aspects of the physical world that confine us.
Some of you may have heard of karma yoga, the path of selfless service. It’s believed to be one of the most potent paths to enlightenment, and like Paul wrote about equality, it helps us solidify our understanding of oneness by helping others as we would ourselves or a loved one.
If we want to be happy, we can share happiness with others. If we want love, we can give love unabashedly. If we appreciate getting to have food, we can give food to those who have nothing.
Equality, karma yoga and the golden rule are all centered on the same concept of treating others how we want to be treated, and according to Paul, this philosophy can bring us closer to enlightenment.
As we practice equality and selfless service, we begin to transcend the misguided, self-centered desires of the mind and body. We do this by serving the whole rather than just ourselves.
We serve the One Creator by helping its entire creation, human or not, and we do it because we care about others as much as ourselves.
The resulting personal changes are valuable because they bring us closer to our creator and a higher consciousness, and the societal changes are valuable because we help those who need it.
So if you want enlightenment, consider the role that equality and selfless service can play in it.
There are more personal and societal benefits to helping people than you might think, and you could inspire others to share the philosophy of equality and selfless service with a world that’s forgotten about our oneness.
(1) “Paul Ferrini” TheGodLight.org – http://thegodlight.org/paulferrini
(2) Loc. Cit.
(3) Paul Ferrini, Silence of the Heart. South Deerfield, MA: Heartways Press, 1996, 33-4.
(4) Loc. Cit.