Two things. First a report of my experience at Wrayco this morning. Next, a reflection on the reports I heard about the marches last Sunday in Washington and Cleveland.
This morning at Wrayco, the plant near my home that is closing, I applauded and greeted to those who were going into the building, thanking them for all their good work. My main message: Everything good that we do benefits everyone else. There’s a ripple effect. The message was very well received.
Seeing some of them for the third time, I realized that I’m not just bonding with them; they are bonding with us, too (me and Mahtab, who joined me last time). Meeting the plant manager for the first time, he identified me before I spoke: “You’re the guy that has been blogging about us. The guys have been talking about you.” He told me that, in his entire career, he had never before worked with a group with such a high level of talent and work ethic. I met a guy from Memphis who had come up to learn how to do the things that these skilled craftsmen have been doing; and he remarked on how nice the workers here had been in helping them during the last couple weeks to learn their jobs, as work being done at the plant up here, will be transferred to where he works in Memphis.
The ripple effect of good work is an application of my newly realized philosophy of the cosmos as a living organism.
Here’s the second story. Yesterday I heard a friend tell me of having his life changed by going to Washington, D.C., to be part of the march on Sunday, January 21 (2017). It was affirmative, embracing of humanity, loving, and on a higher plane than hostility, contempt, and antagonism. Vast numbers of people flowing in the momentum of these values and commitments gave to my friend the experience of what I see as the living organism of spirit-led humanity. Another friend reported hearing a story of the same quality of unity in values and attitudes in Cleveland.
A fine-grained report by a team of journalists would portray a more complex phenomenon in the Women’s March on Washington. But such reporting may fail to recognize the core spiritual significance of what happened. I have heard enough to be convinced that the Spirit of God was powerfully at work. People experienced spiritual unity, a unity not predicated on intellectual uniformity, not predicated on partisan political attitudes or the enmity of the culture wars. The spiritual affirmation of our common humanity embraced people of every perspective.
To whatever extent the reports that I heard are correct, these gatherings last Sunday represent the number one essential in our present situation. History in our time is a competition between the forces of hate and division and the forces of love and unity. Clear, realistic, courageous, and insightful thinking about social, economic, and political questions is urgently needed, but such thinking has no chance to become effective if we allow high values and spiritual unity to be lost in the din of conflict. A moral and spiritual renaissance will one day make it possible for us to deal with such questions with greatly enhanced effectiveness. And I began to believe in the possibility of a spiritual renaissance emerging in our time in continuity with the phenomena that I heard about yesterday.
After hearing these wonderful reports about Washington, Cleveland, and elsewhere, upon returning home, I feel into anxiety about the prospect of our keeping the momentum going. Anxiety represents loss of the essential communion. So my lesson is to trust, to find again and again, as often as is needed, that Presence within, kindling anew in me the fires of the spiritual family of God.
When I need to re-center, my favorite verse: “Be still and know that I am God.” On that basis, I can work for this emerging spiritual unity without being driven, can mobilize my energies while abiding in calm and poise. I missed the events on Sunday, but the unity, the living organism of spirit-led humanity, is a reality pre-dates the march and does not vanish when the march is over, waiting in abeyance until the next spirit-led march. The reality of the family of God lives in our supreme commitment to the will and way of God. The all-inclusive love and mercy of the Father in heaven is available within each one of us. When we abide in that conviction and experience, our work for planetary progress retains the spiritual quality which alone gives cosmic leverage.
When work is that truly good, the ripple effects multiply.