Some people think the world is heading for destruction. Pollution, war, famine, viruses, economic problems, hatred, greed, and suffering seem to permeate the world. Yet, at the same time, there is a silver lining. We can access hope, faith, positivity, and love for the greater good of our families and the world itself. This is the message that we learned from our distinguished guest, Dr. John Cobb, 97-year-old pioneer in religion, science, and the environment. Here is some of the wisdom Dr. Cobb shared with us about living an amazing and beautiful life in a sometimes ugly world:
Your Heaven or Hell Begins on Earth. Regardless of your faith or belief in the afterlife, it’s important to recognize that your spiritual energy when you’re alive—positive or negative— is probably what you’re going to take with you when you die. If you’re a loving, caring, and compassionate human being now, you will likely carry that with you to the next phase or level of existence. On the other hand, if you’re selfish, greedy, and hateful, you may bring the same energy with you wherever you go. Therefore, it’s important that you wake up every day with gratitude, as you strive to develop empathy, compassion, and love in your life in everything you do.
Love the Higher Nature With All of Your Heart and Soul. One of the greatest secrets of all spiritual paths is to love the Higher Nature with all of your heart, whether you call it God, nature, spirit, the Universe, and so forth. Love is the essential ingredient that holds the world together. Each day, you should strive to meditate, pray, journal, and think about your Higher Nature, what you believe in. At the same time, express that loving energy from the Higher Nature to yourself and others. Be self-compassionate and forgive yourself for any errors you may have made. Also, be loving toward others—smiles, pay sincere compliments, listen with full attention, and give others practical help as needed. When you help others, make sure that you give without expectations. You won’t expect that they will give anything back to you, or even acknowledge your giving. When you do this, you are expressing the love of the Higher Nature—unconditional love—to its fullest extent. In return, you will feel tremendous joy and satisfaction within.
We Can Learn From Others: According to Dr. Cobb, we can learn from other religions, other people, and other cultures. Just because we don’t agree on everything, and may even dislike certain things about others, doesn’t mean that we can’t collaborate on certain important issues, such as protecting the environment. In his ecological work with China, Dr. Cobb has made many friends among the Chinese, and has helped people understand the plight of global warming and environmental degradation. He believes that cooperation between the great countries is possible, and absolutely necessary, to save the planet from ecological destruction. Dr. Cobb advises us that it is important to emphasize the positive about other people and groups, and use our similarities to build a bridge of friendship, cooperation, and love.
In the end, as Dr. Cobb teaches, you are the world. When you help others, you help yourself by becoming more understanding and loving. When you protect and save the environment, you protect and save yourself because you are part of the environment of humans, animals, and nature. It is true that the inner dictates the outer, and the outer reflects the inner. Through love and sharing with others, you can change the world. You can transform yourself, and the world, at the same time.