The Art of Gaining Spiritual Altitude . . .

Helen Keller was once asked, “What could be worse than being blind?” Her answer was, “Having sight but no vision.”

The keen insight of this astounding lady has served as a beacon to many throughout the past century and will continue for generations to come.

How unfortunate that so many of us with sight to see things as they are, have absolutely no perception of how things should and could be and/or what could be done to effect change. We each instead become too tightly wrapped in our respective insecurity blankets, totally oblivious of the other’s hurt, hate and fear through misunderstanding. But the answer is not isolation but dedication–to causes that promote unity through diversity and not uniformity; to promoting self-esteem and to fostering respect for rather than fear of differences in others, whether physical, cultural, political, religious or otherwise.

We are all aware of some beautiful soul who may live a lonely, solitary life because others are too caught up in the temporary beauty of things to fully appreciate the far greater and more permanent beauty within them. Consider also that the life span of all humans is “from childhood to childhood” if we continue to live that long.

The lyrics of a once popular tune, “Lean on me” include the words, “We all need somebody to lean on…” But again, according to the wisdom of Hellen Keller, “There is no security in man and anyone who gives you that feeling only deceives and weakens you.”

Another song from the past by once popular “Soul Train” host, Don Cornelius tells us, “…From love’s infrequent, eerie height, there is no black, there is no white.” Also from such altitude there is no short or tall, no fat or slim, no religious denominations, political parties or nationalities. With eyesight we perceive color, shape, size, age, race and all other factors upon which we base our multitude of prejudices. I usually equate it with being seated in an aircraft on the runway awaiting take-off when you sit an observe people of all shapes, ages, sizes, races and religions, nationalities and professions go their respective ways. But once the plane taxies down the runway and takes off into space, everything on the ground including the trivialities on which we base our multitude of prejudices becomes less distinguishable as the plane gains altitude. Even plush upper-class neighborhoods and ghettos become indistinguishable as the plane continues to climb.

How similar this physical experience to gaining spiritual altitude when likewise all of the things on which we base our multiple prejudices become indistinguishable as we gain spiritual altitude! If we find ourselves more closely related to (and perceived comfortable with) those things in society that reinforce the barriers we have erected to separate, rather than unite us, then our spiritual plane is either flying too low or has never left the runway!

God unites–man divides! And only through spiritual altitude will these man-made divides become indistinguishable!

As taught in Baha’i children’s classes: “God is One, man is one” and all religions are one! And “when everyone learns the 3 Onesses we’ll have World Unity!”