The Beloved Community can be seen in several contexts. One is the universal sense of human community referred to by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said:
“The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.”
And in this statement from The King Center in Atlanta:
“Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”
That is The Beloved Community in the universal sense. Another level of The Beloved Community is at the local spiritual community, which is the subject of this series of posts (LINK). This is out of the recognition that the consciousness of the universal humanity is the result of the consciousness of myriad local communities.
As within, so without. As above, so below.
My focus on spiritual and organizational leadership is about the need to create a structure, an environment, and a presence in which The Beloved Community can evolve. In a spiritual community where dysfunction is the norm, the energy that might otherwise go toward developing the necessary consciousness to support the universal level of The Beloved Community goes instead to managing the dysfunction. Or, even without significant dysfunction, if leadership is lacking the necessary combination of vison and skills, the result will be marginal functioning that requires most of the energy in the community to go toward organizational survival.
In order to contribute to a larger collective consciousness of The Beloved Community (as in #AWorldThatWorksForEveryone), the local community must function at a level sufficient to allow greater focus on the development of consciousness. In other words, it must be as healthy as possible and be focused on getting healthier.
I suggest that the following qualities are important, perhaps even essential, to the creation and expansion of The Beloved Community:
- A conscious of compassion
- A consciousness of love and connection
- A consciousness of deep and radical self-knowledge
- A consciousness of healing
- A consciousness of vision
- A consciousness of pioneering
- A consciousness of evolution and emergence
- A consciousness of mutual support
- A consciousness of contribution
- A consciousness of possibility
- A consciousness of resiliency
These qualities come from the gathering of spiritually aware people who jointly seek to deepen their realization through practice, learning, and connection. From this, The Beloved Community emerges, a community that has something to contribute to the more universal Beloved Community.
NEW THOUGHT AND THE BELOVED COMMUNITY
New Thought communities are especially well-suited to contribute significantly to the consciousness of the Universal Beloved Community because of the nature of New Thought teachings. These teachings, the continuity of what Aldous Huxley called The Perennial Philosophy (LINK), are perfectly compatible with the evolutionary times in which we live today. New Thought teachings find no issues with science, technology, psychology or other methodologies of modern times.
This means that New Thought as a movement AND as individual practitioners have much to offer to the creation of the Universal Beloved Community. The continual and expanding expression of higher consciousness thought and action is what will generate The Beloved Community at every level. Since New Thought, in all its varieties, is based upon the idea of a Universal Creative Intelligence to which all have complete access, it is the ideal theology/philosophy to create the field of love and compassion which is the foundation of The Beloved Community.
I am not moved by appearances, therefore, appearances move.
~ Florence Scovel Shinn
This classic New Thought affirmation expresses the essence of the realization of Divine Power and Love. This is the kind of thinking and, ultimately, knowing that will lead humanity forward to greater expressions of our inner potential. It is also what is taught and, ideally, modeled in New Thought spiritual communities. It is what the world needs now.
There is unlimited potential for New Thought to rise to a level of powerful and relevant influence in our world. This is not about aggrandizement, but about being in service at the highest level. To do this, local spiritual communities must work to embody the qualities of The Beloved Community within their own walls first, and then out into the world at large. There are many, many ways that this can be done – it is less about the form that it takes than it is about the consciousness that is developed.
Is there anything more important to create a vision around? Is there anything more important to do?
As always, your comments are welcomed.
Copyright 2016 – Jim Lockard