In this guest blog post Martin Nathanael, Interfaith minister and soon to lead a workshop at Unity Maidenhead, offers us this answer to the question: What is your world view?
Your worldview is your fundamental outlook which may be consciously or unconsciously the driving force behind all you do.
What do you believe about life, about how the universe works, about human nature? What is the lens through which you interpret the events happening to you and around you?
If you believe that all that happens in your life does so by chance or accident then, when difficulties arise, you might tell yourself: “Stuff happens – get over it!” Or you might generally adopt the ancient sentiments, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!” – or a more contemporary version, “Get what you can, while you can!”
However, if you believe there is a purpose underlying creation, and all that happens, you may well look at things against the backdrop of a much bigger picture.
There is a worldview which recognises that life does not end when the body dies. This worldview is aware that actions have consequences beyond the immediately obvious. The great interpreters of this bigger picture are the great mystic teachers, past and present – and these men and women are never restricted by any particular tradition, religion or culture.
They sing with one voice of our divine origin. Their modes of expression and language may differ, but their essential “perennial philosophy” is one.
They tell us that the eternal reality abides in everyone, and can be accessed directly without the membership of any church, or like institution, and without any intermediary priest, or like official.
If you would know the truth of this eternal reality – call It God if you like, but the name doesn’t matter – then seek to know yourself. Opening into the deeper layers within, the treasures of divinity unfold, the soul awakes to its true nature, and begins to understand its destiny.
Through stillness, and the courage to be a pilgrim of the soul’s length, and breadth, and height and depth, the enlarging worldview attains cosmic dimensions.
We have been here before. Our birth was no beginning; our death is no end. Indeed, we can embrace the latter as merely a doorway through and into the next stage of our unfolding journey into wholeness.
Our worldview governs the way we experience this embodied existence. Do we curse “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or embrace Life’s extraordinary tapestry of events. The larger the view, the greater the courage available to us to meet the challenges we all have to face.
I’ve always loved the beautiful prose of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He is someone who expressed many aspects of such a universal outlook:
“. . . within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul.” (The Over Soul, 1841)
In this worldview, there is no “me” and “God”, the veil of separation is dissolved. And when we look at each other, whilst acknowledging the diversity of form, we are privy to our essential oneness.
Interfaith Minister and our May workshop speaker
To find out more about Martin’s workshop- The Path to Oneness, click here