We are exploring “tolerance” as the practice of non-judgment; as our mindful capacity to choose to love, respect and accept the diversity of the forms, bodies and expressions that make up life on earth, and make us unique and precious to one another.
Tolerance isn’t about enduring our perceived ignorance and flawed behaviors of others. It is about living in loving relationship with each other without the self-righteousness that would judge the thoughts and behaviors of others as less spiritual, inferior, or wrong because they differ from our own. Spiritual Tolerance is based on an awareness that everyone (no matter how they appear to us personally) is born of the same Flawless Universal Energy of Love and given the same Divine Right to be who they are created to be, and not as we think they should be.
Even so, why should we bother practicing tolerance and non-judgment when all we need to do is look around us at all people, places and practices that need to change to improve the world?!… Why? Because judgment gets the way of our ability to express our spiritual power, that’s why! It blinds us to the Truth that lives in us, and prevents us from accessing the joy, peace and power to live as we are created to live—as an interwoven, yet unique expression of the One Life and One Universe we share with ALL life.
There is a New Thought saying, “There is no spot where God is not.” Do you believe that is true? How often do you think, talk and act as if there are plenty of spots “where God is not”? The more we affirm God is not present in another—whether that “other” is in our circle of acquaintances or someone in the news; whether it is someone who doesn’t look like we do, or speak or act as we do—the more we block our spiritual view of the Good, Beautiful and Holy that Life Is in each moment…if we could but see. But intolerance causes us to experience spots before our eyes that are caused by our own poor spiritual vision. Judgment, and the self-righteous certainty that the spots we see have nothing to do with our vision, makes a world where the blind lead the blind. Our judgments cast dark shadows on the pure, clean, pristine Retina of Reality within us that belongs to the eyes of Christ.
We forget that when think about or talk about anyone or anything out there in the world (either in a loving or unloving way), we are saying nothing about them, and everything about our self, because we are revealing the contents of our own mind. There is not a place where our mind could end and something separate from us appear to our awareness for how could we see anything we are not aware of? If we see a spot where God is not that spot is in our mind.
Every relationship and encounter, no matter how brief, no matter how joyous or unpleasant, helps us to become aware of the thoughts we are entertaining in our mind. If we are entertaining unloving thoughts, we will see those thoughts as spots where God is not because God is Love. When we see such spots, we need to have our inner eyes examined because it is only as our own vision clears that we are able to see our self and others as we are ALL created to be…and only Love gives us eyes to see.
Love, and the tolerance it brings, is not a passive permissiveness. It is an active embrace of the unity in our diversity. It is a sincere appreciation for the uniqueness of another that says, “I am enjoying the fact that you are you and I am me.” We are here to help each other to see the beauty of Creation more clearly, and to become aware of how beautiful we are created to be within It together—happy, interwoven, unique expressions of the One Life we share. After all, how would we know who we are if there were no one with whom to be our self? We are here to shine in contrasting harmony with one another, not in conflict with each other. We can choose to challenge our self, no matter what challenges arise, to teach only Love by demonstrating only Love.