ORIENTED TO LIFE
The Power of Collective Love
For about six months I’ve been on Marianne Williamson’s mailing list as she has been working to capture the Democratic party nomination for President. I haven’t written anything about this because it’s not my position to feature one candidate over another, but now that she is no longer in the race, I want to share with some of what she is saying.
I also want to say that I read one of her books many years ago. so I knew who she was. I just purchased her two books on politics—Healing the Soul of America and A Politics of Love—because she does bring a spiritual view to politics that is in alignment with our Lifely viewpoint, and I want to learn from her many years of experience on this subject. More will be coming on how politics can be lifely as we advance in this year of a Presidential election.
But I give you this introduction only because I want to speak to you on a subject prompted by an email from her, and that subject is collective love.
As we approach Valentine’s Day each year, our attention turns to love. In our industrial-consumer society, love is about hearts and flowers and expensive dinners and vacations and diamond rings. According to the National Retail Federation https://nrf.com/insights/holiday-and-seasonal-trends/valentines-day, “record spending” is expected for Valentine’s Day 2020. “Spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from last year’s record $20.7 billion as consumers buy more cards and candy for friends, family, co-workers – and pets.”
But material gifts are not love, though they are perceived as love in consumer society. A material gift can be an expression of love if it truly comes from the heart and fulfills a need of the recipient, but most of this $27.4 billion will not be spent on gifts of love.
Love does not need to be limited to one person, or one’s family, or even a group of “loved ones.” Marianne Williamson says, “Martin Luther King Jr. described Gandhi as the first person to take love beyond the personal realm and turn it into a broad scale social force for good. If love can heal our individual relationships, according to Gandhi, then it can heal our economic and political relationships as well…Love is the greatest power in the world, and it is the solution to every crisis.”
Inspired by this, I went looking for what Gandhi said. And I found it.
Gandhi wrote, ““Slavery consists in submitting to an unjust order, not in suffering ourselves to be kicked. Real courage and humanity consist in not returning a kick for a kick…If someone gives us pain through ignorance, we shall win him through love.”
After Martin Luther King studied Gandhi’s success using love to eliminate Britsh rule of India, he adopted as his own the power of love to overcome injustice. “Love must be at the forefront of our movement if it is to be a successful movement,” he said. “And when we speak of love, we speak of understanding, goodwill toward all men.”
Our Lifely viewpoint has always been based in love—love for each other, love for humanity, love for nature, love for life in all its myriad expressions. Love at its very core is that which makes us alive and what moves us to take actions that sustain life.
If there is too much hate and harm in the world, it’s because there is only lack of love. Just as heat is a thing and cold is lack of heat, so too is love a thing and hate lack of love.
The best Valentine you can give is simply to LOVE MORE in every aspect of your life.
And if we all were to love together, in agreement on principles that support Life, what a powerful force that would be!
Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery