I mentioned here the World Forum of Spiritual Culture. It finished its deliberations in October and issued the following basic document, “Peace through Spiritual Culture,” in November.
While the world pays little attention to deliberations such as these, they are nevertheless on the leading edge of events in the world from the point of view of the emerging unitive culture that will blossom in 2012.
There is lots one could criticize about efforts such as these. Whenever we attempt to bring together various religions, the result can be somewhat less robust than if a single person wrote a declaration. However this does represent the convergence of view of many spiritual groups on the planet, whatever one may feel about the exact words used.
I bring their declaration to your attention as one more step forward that we as humanity have taken.
“PEACE THROUGH SPIRITUAL CULTURE”
Wednesday, 03 November 2010
We, the participants of the World Forum of Spiritual Culture from 72 countries, met in Astana, Kazakhstan, October 18-20, 2010, and discussed pressing issues of our time:
1. How to overcome the spiritual and moral crisis that is destroying humanity;
2. How to pursue spiritual perfection and enhance creativity;
3. How to realize the ideals of friendship, tolerance, and cooperation in the everyday life of individuals, peoples and nations; and,
4. How to ensure, for this and future generations, sustainable healthy development.
Humanity, in this modern era, is in urgent need of improving the planetary environment for the benefit of all people. Global cataclysms and upheavals have disturbed people on all continents, forcing us all to reflect. In addition to such environmental factors, the world is now being shaken by an economic crisis as well as geopolitical and social conflicts. There is great danger in the destruction of the traditional institutions of life which embody our spiritual and moral heritage.
We believe that the spiritual and moral improvement of the world is our common task for both today and for the future. We welcome and encourage international, public and private initiatives for peace, encourage all people to individually pursue their spiritual growth, and collectively advance global harmony and solidarity amongst cultures and nations. In order to achieve spiritual concord we proclaim the priority of values and ideals of Spiritual Culture, founded upon the power of truth, beauty, creativity, kindness, cooperation and the genuine heroism of selfless service.
There must be far greater mutual understanding leading to friendship amongst peoples and nations. This requires an atmosphere of tolerance and an affirmation of the intrinsic human dignity of all people. Such an attitude is the key to the future of peace and the harmonious combination of material well being and spiritual growth. Such values allow the social life of people to thrive and ensure their internal development.
We assert the priority of developing an authentic Spiritual Culture, which will lead to peace and progress throughout the world. People who value the realization of spiritual values uplift humanity’s thinking and can make an enormous contribution to the transformation of human society.
Truth, goodness, beauty, and love determine the state of one’s being. We urge everyone to mobilize these forces and capabilities to restore harmonious relations between people, between man and nature, and amongst all nations and peoples.
Our determination is based on our common interest in establishing a peaceful and just international order, and creating a world with healthy living conditions for every person of every nation. Such an attitude of universal caring can stop extremism and its outgrowth of terrorist actions and terrorist groups. We must stop the destructive tendencies of extremism and its narrow pursuits of social, national and religious self-interest.
Thus, we direct the world’s attention to the vital necessity of overcoming the current spiritual and moral crisis by bringing into human consciousness a spiritual and moral renaissance for humanity. We believe that such an awakening of humanity can save the world from destruction. Understanding this simple truth, we recall the tenets of Spiritual Culture:
1. Love – the signature of true human life on earth and a common good. Spiritual harmony, reciprocity and tolerance are the manifestations of love, and the foundation of morality, ethics, and law. Spiritual Culture is guided by the life affirming creativity generated from love. Saving the world, as well as the salvation of an individual human being, cannot be accomplished without the energy of love. All living things bloom in it. The mystery of endless existence is found in it. All is actually born in perfect love. Love gives life meaning.
2. Virtue – a life in harmony with the entire world. In this principle lies the wisdom of being a true human being. All the prophets and teachers of all faith traditions have emphasized the importance of pursuing virtue, which is available to all:
“A man will be intelligent and obtain happiness by obtaining and preserving virtue” – Buddhism.
“The highest virtue is like water. Without fighting, it benefits all beings.”- Taoism
“Show the virtue in your faith for in virtue is real knowledge” Christianity
“He who turns his face to Allah and does good, he has established a solid foundation.” – Islam
“There are lower states of being enclosed in passion and ignorance, there is a higher state of existence contained in virtue” – Hinduism
3. Creation itself – a sign of divine will. When we operate in full harmony with creation we obtain salvation and order reigns. The natural creation can inspire creativity. Creativity is an affirmation of the existence of intelligence and the implementation of the divine will in our collective efforts. A lack of true creativity in harmony with nature is causing our current planetary situation to become tense.
Devastating disasters, dead lakes, burning forests, desertification are all ominous warnings. They are the result of the egocentric thinking of most of mankind, whose thoughts and actions cause such adverse circumstances. The availability of modern nuclear, chemical and biological weapons exacerbates the already precarious situation of the world. The establishment of committees for humanitarian relief in emergency situations is becoming an increasingly urgent task, especially in the areas of high environmental risk.
4. Evolution is the regular manner in which all forms of life improve. Evolution is a non-violent example of the manner in which we can pursue the needed spiritual well being of humanity and live in harmony with the natural world. Any violence against individuals, the human community, nature, biological life is a crime against the foundations of divine morality. It is a crime against common sense! The way of non-violence brings the gradual enlightenment of human consciousness. It inspires an informed sense of responsibility for all life and generates an internal birth that uplifts us from materialism to spiritual awakening.
5. Spiritual enlightenment – a pledge for the future of the world. We should give priority to educating generations to come on the means of Spiritual Culture. People with a developed sense of reverence for life are a benefit to any government for they are the best of and most reasonable of citizens and form the foundation for a healthy society. Culture is based on the experience and social life of people and is not separate from their inner qualities, their ideals or sense of aesthetics.
Consciousness, based on an active sense of conscience, always strives towards the light. Such people become the light carriers who follow the path of truth, goodness, beauty and love. They turn away from evil and direct their consciousness toward the harmony of life, the preservation of peace, and the advancement and growth of spiritual values and human dignity.
6. Work towards peace – the selfless heroism of a pure heart. It is a basic right to live in a harmonious society. Its implementation is a given for every inhabitant of the planet. By improving the world, we allow our children to live and develop in a positive fashion. Seeking to be of benefit to the world, by living and advancing peace is a task for any sensible person. A peacemaker intends not only to defend spiritual values, but actively strives to heal this world, to bring to it the vivid power and benefits of love in action. To live by heart means to love the world, to bring joy, and to thereby be an outstanding person.
7. Unity – spiritual fellowship and affirmation of the rights and dignity of all the people of the world. All people on earth want to live in peace. They share common values of life: family, children, home, friendship, happiness, safety, health, welfare and justice. Love, truth, and beauty, gifts of God, bring us together without regard to our race, nation, religion, or social group. At all times, these values are the highest guidelines of human life. Living these spiritually informed values leads to a conflict-free existence, provides us and our families an opportunity not to fear for the future and to live in a humane society. From disconnection – to unity and universality! This is the resounding call of spiritual harmony. The unity of people is found in open dialogue and through working together in constructing a new world.
8. Justice – serving the truth. A sense of justice is inherent in our humanity and required for living in community. Violations of human rights and freedoms and threats to security and prosperity are symbols of the crumbling old world. The number and magnitude of humanitarian crisis are growing. The economic model of the world is undergoing global modification, largely due to technology. Civilization that takes on the contours of a mechanical monster degrades spiritual principles by forcing acculturation and uniformity, which leads to the destruction of human individuality and creativity. Justice asserts the higher laws of life common to all peoples and nations. Only in a just and humane society can people find fulfillment. Only in such circumstances can technology be used in the service of creativity.
9. Brotherhood of all mankind – the planetary hostel. Our planet is unique in its natural resources and possibilities of biological life. All of us are equitable owners. In conscious cooperation and with the forces of light, we strive toward the higher calling of humanity to serve God by serving to keep and increase peace and honor and enhance the natural wealth bestowed from above. We are the children of one Creator who has given us a divine principle that makes us human. We have a spiritual foundation that shows us that the human family is one and that we can live in harmony and unity in this one magnificent world.
10. Culture of the spirit of peoples – the cornerstone of civilization. Love for God and His creation is the power of life. The old civilization went through material development and technical progress without understanding or implementing the evolutionarily creative power of thought found within the divine light of consciousness. People all over the world have always articulated ideas of life, and have been the bearers of light. “And the life was the light of men” – says the Holy Scriptures, confirming this idea. In place of the old world is coming the new world. We are returning to the true origins of life, the culture of the spirit, the living light of this world and all the other worlds of the universe.
Thus, we will:
Everyday confirm the main value of human life – love for God, for all living things and sentient beings;
Live the knowledge that we can change the world for the better;
Raise the good qualities that brighten the existence and creativity of humanity;
Generously give people joy and mercy;
Read the law of being and honor the unity of life in its completeness and variety;
Strive for harmony with the entire world around us; and,
Appreciate the God-given faith in the power of light, wisdom and goodness.
We are the participants of the World Forum of Spiritual Culture, and we invite all people of Earth to unite with our efforts for the salvation of humanity and all life. Only together can we fulfill the great task of human existence in accordance with the spiritual ideals of truth, goodness, beauty and love!
Last Updated on Friday, 05 November 2010 12:19