“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” -Thomas Jefferson. Declaration of Independence.
One of the core beliefs here at Temple Of The Infinite Universe has to do with how we view our fellow human beings. We hold with the point of view expressed by Thomas Jefferson above; that all people are created equal and have the same basic rights regardless. We agree that this is a “self-evident” truth, one not needing debate or documentation. Rather, it should be obvious to those who have learned to see.
Following this basic truth we affirm that we shall not discriminate against others based solely upon race, ethnicity, creed, color, nationality, sex, or sexual orientation. Neither will we discriminate based upon economic level or mental ability. Rather we look upon the heart of the individual and the content of their character, keeping ever in mind the Oneness of All whenever we are tempted to pass judgement upon another. At our root level we are all joined together as a single soul. The good qualities I see in another I can also find within myself. Likewise the evil which I may perceive in the heart of another I can also find within myself.
We are all a mix of both Jesus Christ and Jack The Ripper. In being mindful of which side we feed, we allow either the best or worst qualities of ourselves to emerge. Thus we learn to accept ourselves and others as One, and begin the practice of Unconditional Love. We may disagree from time to time; we may even disagree strongly. But in the end all disagreements will settle themselves as the illusion of separateness fades and we begin to realize that when we oppressed another, we really oppressed ourselves; and when we lashed out against another, we actually lashed out against ourselves. We likewise come to a deep understanding that “what-so-ever you do to the least” you have done to The Divine. This understanding calls for extreme inner courage, the willingness to change and to grow, and the ability to forgive yourself and others over time. In attempting to live out this truth we will fail – perhaps spectacularly so – from time to time. But, when we do fail, we pick ourselves back up and carry on, determined to learn and to do better next time using whatever graces we are offered. In the end, we are only One!
“I am a Muslim, and a Hindu, and a Christian, and a Jew. And so are all of you!” -Mahatma Gandhi