May 5, 2002-
Dear Friends/Friends of the Institute including:
Sen. Robert C. Byrd and Staff
Administration and Faculty of State University of New York at Albany,
West Virginia University,
University of Hartford,
Nassau Community College,
Hudson Valley Community College
Mayor and City Council of Morgantown, West Virginia
Black and Puerto Rican Caucus of the New York State Legislature, and Committee Leadership
Commissioner of Education, and Education Leadership and Members, New York State Education Department
United Nations Association–USA
Guilderland, N. Y. Lions Club
District Governor, 20Y2, Lions Clubs
Lions Clubs International Foundation
Family and Friends,
and People from 35 Countries who have visited our web site
“Following the Narrow Path”
All of us on a conscious spiritual journey will find the path to be narrow. For us, decisions must be made from a place of higher consciousness within. Whether called moral, ethical, or simply right and honest, the spiritual sojourner is constantly challenged to take the higher road.
This is a way of life that will meet constant challenge. Of particular difficulty is responding from a higher consciousness when others do not have the same constraints. One is tempted to take the path of least resistance–to lower one’s own standards, and meet the challenger head on. That is what the spiritual sojourner is restrained from doing.
To respond in like manner to one who has harmed us may bring an immediate satisfaction, but not a lasting one. When another cheats or harms, it is not a path of greater resistance to respond in like manner. It is preferred that one live one’s life in such a way that the other learns lessons. Some have misinterpreted the idea of responding with a higher consciousness to mean one must be a “doormat”. This is not the case! In fact, one needs to measure carefully one’s words and actions so that the offender will learn lessons about the offense.
For example, when one willfully cheats another, a lower-level response would be to do a similar deed in reaction. However, using the legal system to make the action right is a higher-level response that tells the offender, “I will not tolerate your behavior, yet I will not stoop to the offending behavior. Instead, I will seek remedy through positive means to recover that which was lost, and to teach you that your actions are not acceptable.” This is the purpose of a justice system that 1) seeks truth, 2) seeks recovery, and 3) seeks to prohibit undesirable behavior in the future. One does not have to seek justice with malice in one’s own heart. One seeks truth, recovery, and safety from the offending behavior in the future.
The narrow path requires one to speak truth. This can be one of the most dangerous of actions for it uncovers those who would lie and deceive. One should be protected from loss of employment, property, and life when one does speak truth. Too often, unethical and deceitful actions in bureaucracies are allowed to continue because those within fear speaking truth. Perhaps one area of justice which spiritual sojourners should demand is protection for those who choose to speak truth. For example, lack of honest behavior by a few is creating disruption of the U. S. economy and loss of faith in spiritual leadership, extending pain and suffering of innocent people, and creating ethical conflicts for many who know, but fear loss of livelihood for disclosure. All too often the legal system victimizes the victims by causing further emotional trauma. We need to make our justice systems user-friendly to victims, and find ways to avoid additional pain when seeking relief through the legal process.
The narrow path challenges one to care for others even when in pain. It requires us to learn lessons from all challenges, whether job, family, or health. It allows us to reflect on our pain, and use those reflections to improve life for ourselves and others. Look at those who are using adversity to help others–people like those suffering illnesses who initiate foundations that educate others and seek cures; or children who exemplify courage in the face of overwhelming odds. They help to provide us with examples of how even our life challenges can be used to serve Love.
Speaking truth, making ethical choices, serving others, responding with a higher consciousness, and carrying forward a message of love is the challenge of the narrow path. May we, together, make the world a better place for all people by living our lives in the consciousness and behavior of Love.
‘May all you do be done for Love.’
Please join us in prayer/meditation on May 5, and the first Sunday of every month, from wherever you happen to be. The web site of the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. carries the invitation to people all over the world to join in the International Peace Meditation. To date, 35 countries have visited this web site.
It is critical at this time in world history that people of all faiths join together in prayer for peace. Joining together will help to raise human consciousness, and promote peace in our hearts, and in our world.
As we pray together for peace, ‘may it stir your heart; may it calm your soul.’
Sue Kidd Shipe, President
International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
P. O. Box 3920
Albany, New York 12203 USA