Mutual Adaptation

The chief problem of nations as of individuals is always the problem of inner adjustment, of adaptation to the environment and the circumstances. Inner adjustment and spiritual adaptations are the key to happiness, wisdom and peace. The world is unhappy and inharmonious because it has not found that key. Instead of adapting oneself to one's environment and bringing out the best in it, thus raising the level of the whole, the effort of nations and of individuals is to make others accept their ideals and adjust and adapt to their concepts of what is best and most desirable.

The claim is made that the world has grown smaller and more united with all the modern inventions for improved transportation and communication. But this in itself is of little avail without the moral and spiritual elements. All recognize the desirability of union, of harmony, of brotherhood, but brotherhood is not possible on a personal or selfish basis. Physical proximity does not bridge the barriers between people. The problem of disharmony between individuals and nations must be recognized as a moral and spiritual problem. The petty regional view must be transcended in the consideration of universal aims and mutual adaptation.

Though modern scientific knowledge is misapplied and divorced from moral and ethical aims, science in itself is not a barrier to the realization of universal brotherhood and its application in practice. There are two main barriers to brotherhood—religion and politics. Religion has become sectarian and separative; it does not unite its followers. Politics has become party politics, and strife and division and war are the logical result. People who want to defend orthodox religion claim that social customs are responsible for the divisions between people, but the social customs that divide are kept up because of orthodox religions. The different communities are generally tolerant so long as their own prejudices are not offended and so long as others adapt themselves to their views and their ways of doing things.

Orthodox religion is not based on knowledge but on feeling. Feeling and belief are two aspects of the same principle. The feeling of sectarian religion must be purified. A man is truly religious only when he applies knowledge, not when he indulges in blind belief. True religion is a religion of mind and of heart, a religion that not only brings knowledge and correct understanding, but energy to act in terms of that understanding.

The problem of the individual man or woman is the same as that of the nation and the community. Individuals suffer from a sense of frustration and misery because they have not found the key to inner adjustment, because they have not learnt to adapt themselves harmoniously to the people and the circumstances surrounding them. We have friction and discord even in the family group because of differences in tastes, in likes and dislikes, all personal, and because each tries to force the rest into the mould of his own preferences. For the individual as for the nation, a larger altruism must be substituted for the limited personal view; a true religion of knowledge must be found and practised, if universal brotherhood is to be realized and put into effect.

Love is the face and body of the Universe. It is the connective tissue of the Universe, the stuff of which we are made. Love is the experience of being whole and connected to Universal Divinity.

All suffering is caused by the illusion of separateness, which generates fear and self-hatred, which eventually causes illness.

You are the masters of your life. You can do much more than you thought you could, including cure yourself of a "terminal illness."

The only real "terminal illness" is simply being human. And being human is not "terminal" at all, because death is simply transition to another level of being.

—Barbara Ann Brennan

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