John Ball was a highly regarded author and a friend of Swami Kriyananda and many of us at Ananda. His most famous book, In the Heat of the Night, garnered a number of literary awards, and later was made into a movie that won four Oscars, including Best Picture in 1967. He so enjoyed Ananda Village that the setting for one of his books, Trouble for Tallon, was an Ananda-like community.
Although primarily a mystery writer, on occasion he expressed his deeply spiritual side. One of his many books, The Fourteenth Point, departed from his usual crime genre to delve into a religious theme. It has a fascinating premise: A conference of leaders from the major religions is held, the purpose of which is to find a unifying statement that they can all agree upon and publish. After several days, they have to concede defeat because every statement of commonality seems to conflict with at least one religion’s beliefs. Finally, shoulders slumped in defeat, they begin to exit the conference hall, when one of them collapses by the door. Immediately, everyone rushes to help and, a short time later, he recovers. They soon realize that they have stumbled upon a universally acceptable principle: the sanctity of life and the instinctive impulse to help someone in need.
As we drill down past those things which separate us, we find, waiting patiently, our innate spirituality. Past diversity, we begin to see unity. How could we not, if we are all created from the same one God? The other evening, during one of our monthly webinars, a viewer asked a question that we often hear: “I like these teachings, but I just can’t see how it is possible to love everyone.”
If we are candid with ourselves, we will acknowledge that certain people or situations bother us. When someone does something hurtful, the typical reaction is to do something negative in return. But if we realize that disharmony is a kind of mental virus, we see that it is ourselves primarily—our own minds and hearts—that we infect whenever we are negative. And if kindness is a cure, then we heal our own consciousness when we give back love. When you are hurt by others, try to reverse the energy, for only light can dispel darkness; only love can heal hate.
If we search within for universal principles, especially when the mind and heart are calmed through meditation, we will soon find the right attitude. Plunge deeply into your inner self and you will find an ocean of universal love, deep peace, and unending joy. Swami Kriyananda said, “It is the nature of joy to want to share itself.” After you connect to your own innate divinity then radiate it out: first to friends and loved ones, then in expanding circles to those who are in need, and finally, to everyone on earth.
When you have expanded your aura in this way, you will find it easy to send love even to those who have hurt you. As you do this, you can begin to shed the burdens of anger, hurt, and resentment that you may have been carrying for many years. Loving others, even though they are imperfect, will also help you to feel Divine Mother’s ever-present love for all, regardless of whether they have been naughty or good.
Finally, when you are centered in your expanded Self, you will realize that someone who is acting badly is merely ill and has collapsed by the door, and you will instinctively rush over to help.
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