Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of: September 24, 2007


Equality

(Part 4 of 9 in the Inner Work series The Stages of Love)

After deciding to tolerate people, the next level of love involves respecting them as our equal, in terms of innate value. This goes well beyond tolerance. It involves recognizing that, though very different outwardly in our abilities, physical traits, and personality patterns, inwardly we are all equally children of the one Creator, equally manifestations of humanness, of life on this Earth.

If you consider yourself to be above or below, more important or less important than another person, you create an insurmountable barrier of inequality. Arrogance or condescension, timidity or obsequiousness all keep us separate behind our barrier. Dropping that barrier brings us closer.

But to even recognize that wall of subjective inequality requires a fair degree of self-awareness, a quality developed through spiritual practice, through meditation and presence. When we realize that we do not respect another person as our equal, or fail to respect ourselves as their equal, the practice of equality calls us to be willing to relinquish such attitudes and regard the other as our equal, in the eyes of the Sacred. This brings the possibility of friendship.

We can also consider our rivals and enemies to be our intrinsic equal. Notwithstanding the fact that our capitalist society, like evolution itself, thrives on competition, we regard our opponents as our inner equal, no matter who wins outwardly. We can be fierce competitors without detracting from our path toward love.

By placing ourselves neither above nor below others, we can meet them eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart, preparing the way for opening to our deeper, hidden connection.

For this week, notice how inequality enters your relationship with others. Notice any lack of respect toward others or toward yourself. Choose to let go of your attitude of inequality.


     

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