Psyche and Spirit
by Paul Werner
11. Human Responsibility
Fulfilling our Responsibility
The Need for Responsibility
Responsibility in Relationships
Compassion and Forgiveness
Responsibility for Communication
The World of Emotion
The World of nought
Throughout the ages, man has been ignorant of what he is meant to do with the gift of life. He feels confused: life has been bestowed upon him, and is obviously to be used for a purpose, but how does he discover the "what?" Some see life as a blessing -- to be treated with care. Some see life as a curse -- something to stumble through, and make the best of. Man needs to be illuminated about his responsibility: what he should work toward accomplishing, and why.
God has a definite reason for creating man, and a specific goal for him. By falling from God, though, man forsook his God-given responsibility, and from that point, it became unclear to him what he should be doing. The Bible portrays through historical figures such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, how God revealed more details of His will within their respective ages. How He urged His estranged children to discover their responsibility, something which has been shrouded in mystery.
We might well imagine that olive growers from the hills of Judea alive at the time of Jesus were just as confused about the purpose of life as any business tycoon of this day and age. Each earned his livelihood -- but both probably wondered what it all meant. Within the story of Adam and Eve is contained God's direction to His children: "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it." The Principle explains that if man would accomplish this, God would have the necessary condition to claim him as His true child.
Man has obeyed Satan's will since the time of the Fall. Satan never gave man clear-cut direction for his life, but simply used man's obedience for his own purpose; in so doing, he retained control over this physical world. It stands to reason that man is bewildered and confused; it seems he has two different masters. Who should he follow? And what is the purpose of life, anyway?
Part of becoming a true child of God is to perfect our heart and love: this should be considered part of "human responsibility." For the most part, man is ignorant about this. He inherited fallen nature, which is strong enough to overshadow the aspect of divinity within him-thus man has based his life on false ideals and assumptions which he learned from Satan. It is impossible for man to fulfill the Three Blessings (as explained in the Principle) without having an example to follow.
Fulfilling our Responsibility
History is molded by great visionaries from all fields of endeavor, who sacrificed and served mankind through their contributions. It is they who are remembered; those who merely lived for themselves have not made much impact. Yet anyone who fulfills the responsibility given by God has the chance to positively affect the lives of many people. Our attitude and actions determine if the direction for our life goes toward God or Satan. The stumbling block we face is knowing how, and having faith enough to persevere even when we are unsure that we are doing the right thing.
The concept of responsibility entails many things. It includes planning and managing our life in accordance with God's goal of recreation. Lack of fulfillment is a dilemma man must face, and a primal cause of many of his psychological problems. People are torn inside -- not knowing what to do or how to behave. A sense of dissatisfaction can manifest in many ways. A person whose psyche becomes bruised finds it hard to cope; in his depression, he might seek a substitute for love. He feels some invisible weight on his shoulders and is at a loss how to remove it. He then tries to supplant that desire, generally through physical means, as this is the option most familiar to him. Most people do not consider what impact this will have on their spirit, and relying purely on physical stimuli will ultimately do little to further our own spiritual growth.
Although the Principle helps outline human responsibility, it is still up to the individual to fulfill it. Realizing something of its nature does not make it any easier, but taking the necessary steps to do it is the answer. Unless we fulfill our portion of human responsibility, we will never be able to assume our rightful identity as a true child of God.
People should ultimately do this for the sake of God rather than themselves. Driving themselves or being pushed by others to accomplish this might be a rather unpleasant notion, but without taking some such drastic measure, people too easily yield to their sinful nature and allow their bad habits to gain control. If in the process they shirk some of their responsibility, where does this leave God?
Responsibility and Spiritual Influence
A person who is unable to fulfill his responsibility then becomes prey for evil spirits or even Satan himself, either of whom can easily influence either a weak psyche or spirit. Once the person's own will subsides and he becomes overtaken or "possessed" by spirits, he subsequently could lose self-control. That can and does happen to everyone to lesser and greater degrees. Yet a person heavily deluged by negative spiritual forces, might also lose sight of reality. One's view of himself could also be inhibited by the work of evil spiritual beings. To grow spiritually and once again accept ourselves as an upright human being can and should be done; doing so is a necessary part of our human responsibility.
Sometimes we feel a sense of fear or insecurity because we have not prepared ourselves adequately to accept a certain responsibility; in that case, such a feeling of apprehension is justified. If we make preparations and then call upon God and the spirit world, they will cooperate with us. This is something which is not very well known.
The Need for Responsibility
The Bible says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35), yet the things of the creation are so unequally divided among humanity. Because the tendency for greed is so all-pervading, man often does not have the spiritual strength or fortitude to practice that adage. Man is in need of an inner revolution, but no matter how much psychology is used, it is not something which someone can be talked into. He won't suddenly receive a revelation and instantly become a new person. It takes time and a sense of responsibility to persevere through the course of smoothing out our rough edges.
Most people today live with all kinds of fear. No matter who we are or in what social strata we live, socio-economic problems are burdens; these pressures upon us squeeze out certain reactions to the stress we feel, thus we focus mainly on surviving. And many do that exclusively -- hanging on, making little headway in terms of spiritual growth, all the while consumed with nothing but worries day and night. This is part of the human condition: the more narrow-minded we are, the more lonely we are. Each of us has to fight the tendency to center our world on ourselves, for when we comply with it, we can easily become psychologically or spiritually overburdened by our own constricted thinking. That only succeeds in cutting us off from greater possibilities. This may be a point of "responsibility" not normally considered, but unless everyone carries the burden, not only for himself, but for his family, his society, his nation, and his world, it will never be fulfilled, and mankind will continue to live in disharmony on every level.
The Responsibility to Love
A great many people feel the world needs more love. They feel that world peace could happen so quickly -- if only we loved one another. The ideal is glorious, but when it comes to doing it, we face difficulties and often resist quite vehemently. There are so many good people -- lovable people -- in this world, and yet something within us prevents the icy barrier surrounding our heart from cracking enough so that we can give out our love. We have such vivid memories of being victimized by others in the past that we become downright reluctant to opening ourselves to the possibility of such pain again. We might hope that this time it will be different; that this person will not be like the others who have hurt us. But time after time, we are disappointed. We know we should love, but yet we don't love. Why?
We are ashamed that although we see people we would like to love, we hold something back; we don't give of our heart. We often offer only token gestures meant to appease. Despite feeling guilty about it, much too much of the time we continue to focus on self-preservation and do whatever necessary to protect ourselves.
There are many genuine and conscientious people in this world who strive to do something with their lives that would in turn benefit others. But there are also many individuals who live without goals, and with little regard for others. They might consciously or unconsciously reject and segregate themselves from other people. They do not see themselves as amounting to much, and it is as if they then set out to fulfill their self-prophecy. Some people rebel, and in the process, reject this loveless society. They defy their parents, teachers, society, the government-and also resist God. Unfortunately, the human race never learned how to adequately perceive the love of God. We set out to survive, and feel we alone must handle the socioeconomic problems confronting us. We fail to remember the values God planted within us. Yet even if they are dormant for a time, they can be activated, for they revolve around and are moved by the one word-the one ideal-that is so simple, yet so complex: love. Although we might lock it away, the potential to love with divine and perfect love is within each of us. We need to be responsible enough to draw it out and activate it.
Many people think of love from the viewpoint of sex. That is a very narrow concept. Such a person has a self-centered perspective about wanting to love and be loved. But there is so very much more attached to the responsibility we have to love. And there is also much more to being loved. We don't always allow another the freedom to love us; often we push away and reject such an offering, for we don't like to be indebted, and thus don't accept the love they wish to bestow upon us. We should think in different terms-that when we give and receive love, we actually exercise our sense of responsibility.
When someone picks up a handful of sand and squeezes it tightly, some of that sand will escape. Yet if he keeps his palm open or at least does not clench his fist, much more of the sand will stay. So it is spiritually. If the human heart is squeezed through being controlled too tightly, it will also "escape"-whether into daydreams and fantasies, or resentment and apathy. Human beings, although "squeezed" by the demands of love and loyalty Satan extracts, do have a certain resiliency. It is this responsiveness that God tries to employ: He continues to extend His outstretched hand to us in hopes that we will be responsible enough to break free of the grip Satan has over us, and instead allow ourselves to be held by Him.
For love to be meaningful, it has to be expressed. If we deprive others of our love, we may feel remorseful and guilty. We cannot relive those times in the past when we failed to love. But we can restore them even by visualizing ourselves as loving.
There are no exceptions: all human beings need love. And yet many feel that admitting this makes them too vulnerable, and thus they prefer to maintain isolation and remain somewhat aloof. This leads to tremendous spiritual malaise. All of us worry continually as to whether others find us lovable, or if they are willing to overlook our faults and love us anyway. This constant search for favor or acceptance affects our behavior. Out of the fear of someone's approval or disapproval, a person might even unconsciously "respond" by walking stiffly or becoming overly clumsy. These types of reactions could relate mostly to the fact that the person feels God does not love him. His behavior could also be connected to playing a particular role as a seasoned victim of Satan's brand of "love."
The world needs to learn the lesson embodied within the quality of love given by God, for His love is unconditional. We must see by the way God loves us that human beings are definitely elevated through giving and being given to. We would do well to learn and practice the same. We receive infinitely more satisfaction when we give of ourselves to fulfill the life of another. Love can uplift in so many little ways. Everybody is dogged by insecurity to some extent, but we can more easily overcome our uncertainty when we give of our love and when we accept love from another.
There is, however, much more to the divine love of God. We should see the human predicament with the eyes of God, for the love that springs from this practice will enable us to even feel compassion for someone who hurt us. Looking at his plight with the viewpoint God must take, we might even shed tears for him, perceiving that in fact his heart is wounded much more than our own, and that the tone of voice or harsh words reflect his own inner pain. When we feel the assurance that we are greatly loved by God or even another human being, a certain amount of fear and insecurity evaporates. As it says in John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." And those who have a genuine faith in God can recognize that is surely God's teaching and example.
Responsibility in Relationships
The Fall was caused by disobedience to God's word, therefore, submission to the law of God reverses that mistake. Yet external compliance to direction, while inwardly rebelling, does not constitute true "obedience." We may be internally resistant, but becoming compliant without complaint is what the Principle maintains as one way of offering indemnity. Getting bogged down by fear and anxiety is counterproductive and only delays the inevitable-confronting and then fulfilling our responsibility.
Religious people have commonly thought that to pray and observe religious disciplines would assure them of a strong and constant relationship with God. But God requires man to do more to reach perfection. Sometimes we underrate the importance of our responsibility to unite with those around us. But actively working to smooth out our difficulties is one way to mend our relationships with God, our mate, our children, our teacher, our employer, our friends. We might try to avoid this because facing our own problems is unpleasant, or because we realize that creating harmony can be difficult. But doing this will only distance us from God and others.
Some people develop neuroses if they accept either too much or too little responsibility. Some place the blame on others, expecting that another person will actually accept the responsibility for their particular problem. But this does nothing to cement a solid foundation of love and trust in our relationship with God, and in those we form with others.
God's original hope for human relationships was something far different from what actually transpires between individuals. He still dreams that love would permeate all our dealings with one another, as a natural consequence of the divinity He planted within each of us; He absolutely desires that we perfect our character and heart. It may be hard for us to even imagine that such a divine quality is within others, but once we uncover it in ourselves, shouldn't we also search for and coax it from each other? Love has the power to bridge any gap and overcome any obstacle that separates people.
Once we allow ourselves to be channels for the love of God, we will be capable of forgiving and loving. The essence of spiritual maturity lies within a person's capacity to love, and his willingness to accept his responsibility to love. Truly, the greatest sin is depriving others of love.
People are damaged not so much physically or mentally, as spiritually. This is because there is a cause and effect relationship between one's mental attitude and the state of his spirit. It is often the case that someone who has spiritual problems also has mental problems. Given the fragility of both the human psyche and the human spirit, however, we must recognize that we can harm someone much more in an emotional, mental, or spiritual way, than through bodily injury. Since man often neglects his human responsibility to love others, that very thing is done far too often.
For this reason, playing psychological games and tricks with another person's ego is so damaging; such things can completely devastate an already wounded spirit. Many people are used and manipulated by those who "pull" strings that, in effect, control their thoughts and actions. Those affected could lose their self-confidence and become low-achievers by virtue of the fact that they see themselves as less than they are. When a person's ego is constantly attacked-whether by friend, mate, child, teacher, or employer -- his subconscious is definitely influenced. It is only a matter of time before the person starts believing as others view him, and then becomes that lazy, stupid, arrogant person he was told he is. A "Casper Milquetoast" is never born; he is shaped and molded by the people in his life and his environment. In a sense he becomes a victim of others' lack of human responsibility. God sees the potential of such a person as being much more, therefore, one's true human responsibility should be to uplift and encourage him-to love him and thus see him as God does, despite his iniquities and timidity.
In view of the Principle, we can go one step further: given the premise that Satan still retains control over this world, we can see that he or evil spirits can be the ultimate force behind the inferences people make about others. If someone hears negative or accusatory words about himself which are reinforced time and again, not only will his feelings be hurt, he could succumb to them and be sent into a tailspin of depression. One comment with the intention to slight can start an avalanche of self-accusation, for once such a seed is planted in a person, it is easy for spirit persons-perhaps even ancestors-to step in and subsequently widen the base. It can grow so big, it becomes a veritable launching pad for evil spirits to use time and again. They could "speak" within the individual's mind, or influence other people to say things that succeed in slowly "killing" his ego. One can fuel another, and the tailspin can gain momentum.
In such a case, then, what kind of responsibility should be taken? The answer lies in whether one is on the giving or the receiving end. If a person is batted around by the spirit world through negative elements as self-accusation, or the accusation and persecution of others, his responsibility would be to reinforce his own self-worth through positive thoughts and affirmations. That would ultimately mean that he assume a certain dominion over the spiritual forces influencing him.
Yet if a person can clearly perceive that his own actions or words are causing great pain to another-be it emotional, mental, or spiritual-the most responsible attitude would be to stop being used as a channel by such negative forces of the spirit world. Praying and consciously directing good spiritual forces to assist him could prevent the spiritual intervention of evil spirits.
Compassion and Forgiveness
Compassion has the power to heal a broken spirit. It can also dissolve the sting of resentment and anger. But how can we adequately heal the hearts of others if we do not study and administer this precious commodity we could refer to as "spiritual" medicine? Although psychologists learn psychoanalysis, they would do well to discover and also use "spiritual analysis." Formulas can be learned, but to really help people, we have to love with a compassionate heart.
Sometimes people act in a certain way because of particular circumstances or environmental pressures, but just as often, due to the subtle but all the while invisible interference of Satan. The person himself may be unaware of what is going on, but at the very least can recognize that he has difficulty controlling his emotions and actions. Others may wonder why he behaves as he does. If they could realize it is because he is in a spiritually vulnerable position-literally between the forces of good and evil-they would automatically have more compassion for him. Recognizing this does not necessarily mean we have to turn the other cheek, thereby allowing the negative forces affecting him to also affect us, but the more patience we display and the more parental our heart, the more we will understand others and help them surmount their difficulties. And perhaps the more we will receive the same type of help when we need it.
How do we deal with one another responsibly? Compassion plays a great part. When we see someone who tries, yet fails a thousand times, and rather than condemning him we express compassion for him and give him yet another chance, we have definitely taken steps toward perfecting our love. In theory this might sound reasonable and something which should be done, but on a practical level, it is difficult to do. Someone may irritate us to the saturation point; we might feel that we cannot put up with his behavior one minute longer. Anger might well up within us for minutes, even hours, but all of a sudden, we feel literally overtaken by feelings of love for that person. What we experience actually comes from God, for such compassion is what God Himself feels for the person. The individual might recognize any feelings of hostility we have toward him; as a result, his own dignity might become eroded to such a point that he feels he cannot go on. Though he might recognize that he is not the most skilled in social graces and be aware that he should change, he probably feels quite powerless to do something on his own. That is when we could step in; that is when we could willingly accept and fulfill part of our human responsibility-by helping him. That is where we should abandon our usual practice of nit-picking every point in his character which we-according to our own standard of values-think he should improve on, and instead assist him to gain confidence in his talents and abilities. Furthermore, we should do our best to overlook those points in which he may not be the most productive, or the most refined. When we can accept and respect another person-despite any initial conjecture we might feel about his worth as a person-we surely extend healing energies powerful enough to instill at least a spark of new life.
To give people another chance, we must employ forgiveness. If we can actually overlook their behavior and still love them-even under the most extreme circumstances-our love has undoubtedly become more pure. The choice is ours: do we condemn the person, or develop the same viewpoint God takes about him? In this respect, it could be said that in its many forms, love is the bottom line in human responsibility.
Our conscience instructs us about the meaning of "responsibility," and teaches us what God would have us realize. If we are confronted with the will of God, yet do not do it, no one else can do it for us. Human beings can reach perfection when both God and man cooperate, each fulfilling a portion of responsibility.
The way to solve many of the spiritual problems which plague us is by doing our part. By our own free will we should take steps to break free of Satan's manipulation, for there is ultimately much more benefit and blessing when we do something of our own accord. Some people do not relish being poked and prodded to do something. Yet if it becomes their idea, they become stimulated and motivated to accomplish it more quickly and more accurately than if a result is dragged out of them. If a person is judged for not having enough result or the right kind of result, his ego might, suffer to the point that he becomes apathetic-toward finishing a task, or even toward life in general. We must "judge" a person responsibly. The kind of judgment we offer a person becomes critical to his performance, and indeed might also influence how he lives.
If we are placed in the position to judge the actions of others, it is especially important that our decisions be moderated by love and compassion. To give a fair verdict, we have to understand why the person acts as he does. If we cannot be objective, we might judge a situation unfairly. In such circumstances, then, what constitutes true human responsibility? If we are put in the position to judge another, we must first find out who he is-his good as well as his bad points and not just criticize his weaknesses out of anger or because we feel disappointed in him. . Chances are that by doing so we could either intimidate or anger him. We need to give him the benefit of the doubt, and deal with him from the vantage point of love and compassion. If we are able to do that, the person himself can more easily work on developing and strengthening the goodness and beauty God originally planted within him. We should strive to become healers, and thus bind the wounds of others. This comforts not only the person, but most importantly, consoles God.
Many times children are more cruel and judgmental than grownups. Nonetheless, if we receive a barrage of criticism, sarcasm, or resentment, our very human nature might inspire us to retort with our own mouthful of venom, if we are not careful, we could "kill" another with our insensitivity. If we can relate to people through parental love, we will naturally be forgiving and understanding of any discrepancy we notice in their character. Sometimes that might take the form of walking away without confrontation; when we sense a person is already hurting, either in general or about a specific difficulty, we should be sensitive enough to realize it is not the right time to add to his burden, or to further expose his vulnerability. We should sense that he obviously does not need any more pain, so an insult would be completely uncalled for. At such a moment, then, we should temper our desire to offer any criticism-no matter how "constructive" we might think it is. No one likes to be kicked when he is down. We should act responsibly. That might mean to take a little time from our busy schedule and ask the person how he feels, in a tone that demonstrates love, not indifference. Perhaps no one has done that in a very long time. God still waits for the prodigal son to return home. And in the deepest part of our heart, we want to be that prodigal child-the one who finds "home" in his loving Parent. We intuitively sense that, too, is part of our responsibility, and yet what better course of action could we take as we travel the road home than to be "prodigal" parents-to one another. What could be more healing to either a psyche or a spirit that has been bruised.
We should, therefore, take care not to analyze people -- "judging" whether they are good or evil. We would do better just to simply go by our intuition. If people react negatively to us, we should not automatically brand them. People can react harshly, brutally -- even insultingly. Many times their behavior is simply a self-defense mechanism. Nonetheless, they hurt us and we want revenge. Yet we would deal with those people more responsibly if we could see beyond their reaction, and consider that sometimes they act that way because they are over pressured by spiritual influence. That their words and actions are repercussions to emotions which they may have suppressed for a long time. Too often we slide back into accusing; too often we fight fire with fire. But we should remember how quickly out of hand fire can get; wildfire spreads quickly, and it destroys.
When we find that a person is weak in certain areas but we become too critical of him -- exposing his most vulnerable points without regard for his feelings -- then whatever else we try to "offer" him may be rejected. We have to help a person change by coming to him with a genuine desire, even with tears in our eyes. We should feel that responsibility for unity is on our shoulders. We should give others every benefit of the doubt. But too often we come with criticism, and then wait for them to react the way we feel they should respond. Yet if the response is antagonistic-even hostile-we may feel it is totally the person's problem, that it is just his insecurity showing. But if we search further, we will realize that the person is either afraid, or is affected by what we say. Replaying the actual scenario in our mind, we could discover that perhaps we were in the wrong, but at the same time, would have to recognize that our "judgment" of him might make a great deal of difference to his mental and spiritual health, and even to his future. We should think before we speak-knowing that we can help shape that future in a positive way, but just as easily, destroy it. Therefore, before we aim to "judge" what goes on within him, we should sensitively bestow a great deal of love and understanding.
Upon meeting a person for the first time, we may initially be repelled by the defense mechanisms he has erected in his attempt to hide all that which he does not want exposed. As time goes on, we may, in fact, see little of his spiritual essence and instead notice only his character deficiencies. But we must remember that the person may be seeing us in much the same way.
Perfectionists see everything, and things in every crevice of life seem to bother them. Each of us has a different standard, and when someone doesn't do something that complies with our personal code of ethics, we tend to regard him as someone undesirable, someone we want little to do with. What he does or does not do may be of minor consequence, but nevertheless it still annoys us. If we allow our feelings to get out of hand, that "response" might just shatter the relationship. Then what would our responsibility become? Shouldn't we be concerned with protecting the dignity of others? A truly responsible attitude would be to nurture others by helping them grow and mature emotionally and spiritually.
We must realize that the things we do and even those we fail to accomplish may also irritate someone else. If we had perfect love, the habits of others wouldn't bother us so much. Yet often we are on the receiving end of someone's impatience or intolerance. If somebody "judges" or snaps at us for our behavior, why do we often attempt retaliation and try to get even? Why is it so hard for us to simply turn away and get on with life? It is usually because unknowingly we allow ourselves to be cornered by spiritual influence-no matter how subtle-and sometimes because of that, we act irresponsibly. When we wrongfully criticize another, we have at least temporarily forgotten that all fallen people are sick and in need of healing, and that human responsibility entails bringing them out of despair, not creating more difficulty for them.
We must eventually go beyond the boundaries of what our mind tells us about someone and love him anyway, even if he persecutes us. We will either win his love, or find the strength within ourselves to forgive him of the things he does or does not do. If a person wrongfully criticizes us, universal law will take care of him. That is justice; that is what could be considered "spiritual karma." But if we purse him -- directly or indirectly -- for his criticism, we definitely have the wrong attitude, and will lose the merit we could have pined in terms of growing toward perfection, were we to have responded differently.
Spiritual Influence and Judgment
When we become angry, good spirits who have been with us will be forced to withdraw their help, leaving the way open for other spirits to influence us; perhaps ones who feel apathetic or irresponsible will take their place. We have to realize that our mood has a great deal to do with the caliber of spirit persons able to influence us. If we could persevere during such a confrontation, and based on our faith in God and even in our fellow man nurture love rather than spite, we would feel totally different, not only about the person but also about ourselves. In such circumstances, many spiritual beings will be able to reach us and console our heart. Our attitude and action, then, could literally set us free. Although going through such a course may seem arduous or even treacherous at the moment, choosing such an option can have an effect which we "see" only sometime later. To better temper the psyche and the spirit, then, we should rise above any desire we may have for revenge, no matter what the circumstances.
The term "human responsibility" may seem to carry a negative connotation, but originally God meant for it to be something creative and positive. Unfortunately, a great many people fear and shy away from responsibility, preferring that someone else take the brunt for it, and hoping others will take the responsibility to do what needs to be done.
We live in a bewildering and crucial time. We could choose to succumb to fear and despair when we hear news reports concerning terrorism, AIDS, and violent crime. We could shy away from all but the bare bones of individual responsibility, and let the world burn. But can we really do this in good conscience? If we analyze the situation of the world from more than a humanistic perspective, we will recognize that Satan is definitely on the rampage. We should question what God would have us do about it. Ultimately what we do is our decision, but the motivation for our actions can be prompted by either God or Satan.
Jesus taught us, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25). His words are timeless; they are still an essential part of the formula for spiritual salvation, but without understanding the nature of life after death, some people don't see any benefit in sacrificing their life for others. Neither do they understand the need for accepting and fulfilling responsibility. We can help expand their viewpoint and motivate them by pointing out that saints made amazing sacrifices in serving others, but we cannot do much more.
When some people see others suffer, they feel impelled by God to do something. Seeing life through the eyes of God clarifies our perception, and fills us with the sense of urgency to heal the wounds of this world. But failure to act instills in us a sense of futility and complacency. If everyone felt this way, though, where would we be?
Those people who do not fulfill their human responsibility or do it only partially, will not inherit the same benefits as someone who rushes forth to even help others fulfill what they must do. Good or bad deeds and good or bad results follow everyone. Eventually we will be "judged" by them. If someone does not do something he should, in the end he must realize that it is no one's fault but his, and that ultimately he will have to suffer the consequences for it.
We can easily miss the significance of the small mistakes we make daily. Yet either good or evil consequences can come from small actions. If we had greater insight into our position, we would take better care to do what we can, and what we should. Responsibility is crucial. There is personal responsibility, responsibility for the family, socio-economic obligations, as well as commitments to the nation and the world. Will we later regret what we did or did not do? Will we feel that we wasted our whole life, or at minimum, many of our years? These are questions each of us must eventually ask ourselves. Do we want to live full of energy and love with an exuberance and zest for living, or are we satisfied to simply follow like sheep? Are we indecisive and weak, a person who hangs on to routine just to make it through? The problem is our will, our intellect, and our emotions, are sometimes hard to control. If we are not driven by the spirit of God, we should at least try to work from a sense of responsibility. To do for God rather than for Satan should be our stimulus, our motivation to act responsibly.
Responsibility for Communication
Communication in all forms is healthy to both spiritual and emotional growth. Negative emotions will fester within and spiritually poison us if we do not release them somehow. Growth and development is enabled through nurturing constant communication.
The quality of our communication is important. Communication, in fact, is an art, something that takes some developing. We should aim to convey words that have a positive and optimistic effect on others and will be well-received and understood. For example, the power of even a few angry words is amazing. Because a person's life can be damaged-even destroyed-in an instant, we should act responsibly by controlling our temper and refusing to speak out of anger.
We each possess such a delicate spiritual system. Everyone has his antennae out, attempting to receive what is "between" the lines -- the unspoken words, and even what certain vibrations mean. When we communicate with a person, our whole self becomes involved, sometimes to a greater or lesser degree. But if our heart becomes numbed and we shut off from communicating, a further consequence is that our self-expression will also diminish in quality and force.
What motivates people to act in such widely varying ways -- some so selfishly and uncaring, and others with so much love and generosity-depends partially upon the foundation they create. Quite simply, if we lay a base for God, He will work and speak through us, but if we lay a base for Satan, he won't hesitate to do the same. If our motivation is self-centered, the words we speak could be self-serving and damaging to others. We may be unable to stop an emotion of anger that rises within us and usually takes shape in the words we speak, or the attitude we project. Either bespeaks a great deal of what remains beneath the surface. Again, we are not always aware that our ancestry or those spirits working with us also speak through us. We may find ourselves saying unkind, even cruel, things to another, even though we personally have no malicious intention. It must be that this "communication" is generated and perpetrated by someone else. Again, we must consider the point that different ancestries still war with each other. It is quite possible they do battle "in" and "around" us. Once we realize what is going on, we could responsibly deal with this by taking control of our conversations, rather than allowing spiritual beings to do it. Therefore, we must become determined to stop the war, and thus halt what might be a long history of perhaps deliberate hurt to the psyches and spirits of others.
We need to see the importance of communication, and also recognize that ineffective communication can greatly harm relationships on the level of the family, society, nation, and world. It begins with the individual-from what we "communicate" to ourselves, to what and how we, as individuals, relate to others.
In some religious circles, the belief in predestination is quite strong. Some people feel that God predestines everything one does, and no matter what they might do to change that, they cannot affect His ultimate plan for their life. Yet the Principle explains that those who make such a proclamation neglect the need for and the importance of human responsibility. They do not see that we human beings actually have quite a big stake in what God is able to do in our lives. While we may not "predestine;" we certainly have a role in "determining" things. Of course God has hopes for us; He hopes we will accomplish things and reach certain goals. He does "predestine" us to be His true children, but the way we respond to fulfilling His desire is ultimately up to us.
Man has been given the gift of free will, thus each of us has the opportunity to either move toward or go against the will of God. Our ultimate potential is to be a true child of God-a co-creator with Him, and a lord over creation. But whether or not we become a true child of God is wholly up to us. We are "predestined" to be perfected in heart and character, to become true parents in our own right. Yet unless we have the right tools with which to fashion such a creation from our life, we may waste months or even years in pursuit of something we alone desire, but which has nothing to do with the plans and goals of God.
There are two basic types of people: those who move, and those who are moved. No matter how intelligent or practical we might be, qualification to do either is based on the outpouring of love. If we have no love, we are, as Paul says, "a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal."
The World of Emotion
The intellect can be satisfied pretty quickly. We are used to thinking something through and arriving at a certain conclusion or answer. What we may not realize is that based on our emotions and frame of mind, we attract countless spirits who relate to our feelings. For instance, if we feel love, we may be surrounded by thousands or millions of spiritual beings who also feel love. Their presence surely brings an atmosphere that is uplifting. The same is true when we feel anger or fear, thus one careless word or thought can start a tumult of negativity, and the whole atmosphere can become spiritually blackened.
The world of heart is far superior to any other world. Although it is hard to turn off our intellect-to sit and think of "nothing,"-the sounding of the heart and emotions vibrate a long time after either we experience an emotional "heartwash" or something which "stung" us. We might find it extremely difficult to think things "away;" whereas emotions can be swayed easily. We may not want to wear our heart on our sleeve, but to draw the assistance of spirits based on what our heart rather than our intellect dictates, is a responsible attitude.
We must be able to evaluate our feelings by using our intellect. Sometimes our feelings may be influenced by spiritual beings, and thus we must first discern whether that persuasion is positive or negative, and then how accurate it is. The quality of heart is central to our life of faith, but it is up to us who controls it. It is our responsibility to see that it gets in the "right hands." Unfortunately, Satan's hold on this world has existed since the Fall, and it is still to him that our hearts feel "loyal." But when we understand and see the psychological tricks which he has been using to keep control of us, we then must take the responsibility to stop Satan's influence.
In the last world war, entire cities were wiped out, but what gunpowder and grenades could not touch was inside the heart, and the guts of the people. While it is true that new nations were built among rubble, if it had not been for the dreams of creating a better life still alive within their hearts the people could not have re-created what they did.
What they must have felt was no doubt akin to the impassioned dreams of God; it was man who fell, yet it is God who accepts responsibility to do everything possible to help man restore himself and the world. W e should link our sense of responsibility with His-for then great things can happen.
We may battle and even kill people from the nation which opposes our own, but we cannot do physical battle against ghosts, whether those ghosts are actual spirit persons or the "ghosts" of family unity, love for nation, etc. The Romans, for example, could not kill the zeal and love the Christians held for Christ. Those who became martyrs were cast to the lions, and thousands of spectators must have wondered how and why those people could go through that torture. The answer lies in the fact that their hearts were connected to the heart of God. He was at that time and still is today looking to fulfill His original will. That same dream is also alive within the human heart. It is because of God's urging -- and His spirit working through us-that man is able to conquer the "ghosts" of negative guilt and shame which continue to plague mankind. It is God's own responsibility which impels us to keep going, despite the difficulties.
The answer to the question of how God keeps Himself going is that He loves unconditionally. If we could act as He does -- being sensitive, understanding, compassionate, and loving -- we would become different people. And we would surely fulfill all aspects of our responsibility. When we are self-centered, we find it easy to collide rather than harmonize with others. Wars and revolutions are not only fought on the worldwide scale; there are numerous battles within the realm of the heart. We can be genuine peacemakers when we accept our responsibility to put down our weapons of "knowing it all" and what "should be," and instead afford peace through love and an expression of "I understand."
The World of Thought
We cannot blame other people if they do not have a vision; most see little more than their small world-their friends, their parents or children, their neighbor, or employer. For many, this circle has become, and is, their world.
Rene Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am." His thought was profound, but he actually just scratched the surface; there is so much more to life. We must not look back. We should instead walk forward; we should walk into the new world, which even at this moment is being created.
Subconsciously or even consciously we may be proud of our intellect because we feel it is the surest thing we possess. We could tend to be arrogant or defensive about our level of education. If we do, we may ignore that connecting to God is determined in part by humility not intellectual capacity. Man has been apart from God too long, thus, we more easily trust our logic than rely upon God. When some difficulty or point of contention arises, we are tempted to reason it out instead of taking it in faith.
Sometimes our vision and goals become clouded. This can be either temporary or more permanent, depending upon the way we have appraised the circumstances, but even how we view ourselves. Psychology may encourage us to deal honestly with the facts, and face up to our failings or change our reaction to the way things are going. Our psyche would surely benefit from such a perspective. Ignorance is a problem for God and humanity; people are so unaware of the will of God. In the past it was out of ignorance that thousands of witches were burned. And even today certain people who may seem of questionable persuasion, often are persecuted without good cause.
People from all races, colors, and nationalities have similar problems. Psychological problems could be considered "all in the mind." In one sense, that is very true. Awareness is up to each individual, for we alone allow ourselves to inwardly live or die. But if as the family of man, we could more clearly perceive the human dilemma as well as our responsibility, we could surely effect greater change and advancement.
People today are interested in human rights, but on the other hand, there is far too little regard generated toward human responsibility-toward what we should do to "right" the situation. Yes, there are cries of injustice, but some people simply shrug their shoulders, wondering what should be done about this predicament, something which has lasted throughout the ages. We must resolve to change the situation. It will take perseverance, courage, and patience, but it will also involve accepting greater responsibility.
In the twilight of their lives many people come to face the questions they may have avoided all their years. Eventually they may find themselves alone-friendless, and unloved. Yet at that moment, they must ask whether they ever invested themselves in loving others. Inevitably, they may question what value such a life as theirs really had. A life enriched by a give and take of love with God and others, is a life lived without regret. What conclusion will we come to about our own life? If more people could live from the viewpoint of mending their relationships to God and others, the final outcome would be victorious, for they could eventually feel that yes, they did fulfill their human responsibility, and in turn, yes their life fulfilled God's purpose.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents