One Ideal, Many Ideas

Kermit, the frog sings a song, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, where he bemoans the difficulties of blending in with the colors of the world. Poor frog, it’s hard to be unique when you are the color of the grass and trees. Can you imagine a world where there was just one color—even if it was your favorite color? You could not differentiate between one thing and another. Color adds diversity and allows us to see the nuances of all of creation. Isn’t it ironic that we prefer to have less diversity in ideas? We fight with one another over the variety of beliefs, creeds, religions, and doctrines that abound in our world. What if they were all the same? How dull!

We have confused the notion of varying ideas with the ideal. What we really should be aiming for is not total agreement of our ideas but that we all share the same ideal. The ideal shared among most seekers after truth is the one that Jesus summarized by saying that we are to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is an ideal that most of us can agree upon. The ideas that we have regarding how this looks are varied and important.

When you consider the number of varying backgrounds, races, and cultures that people come from, it is inevitable that we will hold a corresponding number of ideas about how we believe God looks, how we are supposed to act, and how that will specifically look and feel in any given culture in any given time and place. When we make the motivating factor behind our spirituality to be Love, then we will be able to tolerate different ideas. In other words, when Love becomes the ideal, then we will respect the different ideas that people hold regarding the ideal.

Love does no harm. Love towards God and our fellow man seeks to restore and uplift. It does not kill, covet, dishonor, adulterate, steal, or harm others or self in any way. It puts nothing else in place of God, and it remembers its relationship to the Creator as the created.

You can see that we have developed some ideas about God that are not in harmony with the ideal. Religion tends to become self-serving and can distort the ideal. You do not have to look far to see this. But we are all part of the whole; so tolerating the limited ideas within others and within religion becomes an important part of seeking and manifesting the ideal—to love God with all our hearts, and others as ourselves.

If we will remember that differing ideas add variety and point out nuances and shades of meaning to the ideal, just like colors help us to distinguish pattern and form, then we might be able to tolerate and actually manifest the ideal of loving one another a little more easily. It is somewhat bizarre that in our endeavors to manifest Love, we often trample over others in order to defend our ideas about the ideal. This should give us pause for thought and also a big dose of humility as we realize that we have much room to grow in our own spirituality.

The only unifying force in the Universe is the power of Spirit. God is Love can only be realized in our own hearts by the presence of the Spirit dwelling there. We can attain to the ideal, but if the Spirit does not overshadow us, we will be fairly ineffective at being agents of Love in the world. We will be more interested in defending our ideas about God than manifesting the Love of God.

The path of gnosis is the path of having an indwelling Christ. It is having your life filled with the Christ power, the power of Spirit, and the power of Love. You pursue this path by inviting the presence of God to live in your heart, mind, soul, and body everyday. You make a commitment to this path by spending time everyday to be filled with God’s Spirit by practicing prayer, meditation, the study of sacred writing, and service to others. These practices create an environment that when coupled with a humble, teachable spirit, invite the Spirit into your life. They make manifesting the ideal in your life more than just a worthy idea; they make it a living reality.