THE ETERNAL PARADOX OF GIVING AND TAKING
A key question is this. Why should we give, whether of ourselves or of things we might possess, when it is apparently more to our advantage to take? After all, we would appear to gain so much by taking, and in a real sense actually lose so much by ‘indulging’ in giving. Certainly there can be advantage in giving when we are linked with others in some sort of mutual arrangement. But what of altruistic giving. Must it always be to some extent sacrificial? There is an answer to this, and it is a profound one. Perhaps the words ‘advantage’ and ‘disadvantage’ do not sit easily with the concept of altruistic giving, but rather we should consider the actual effects – the spiritual effects – of either taking or giving. When we take in any sort of selfish or self-serving way, we actually close ourselves down, close ourselves up, cut ourselves off from others, and from our own spiritual and true selves. When we give altruistically, we instead open ourselves up, open up our souls. In fact, when we selfishly take, we darken ourselves and diminish ourselves. When we give in any sort of altruistic way we open ourselves up to spiritual nourishment and growth. Giving is an explosion of energy. Taking is an implosion of energy. There might even be cases when individuals can be so addicted and dedicated to taking that they become spiritual ‘blackholes’. To give, on the other hand, is to be a radiant sun.
It is no mere chance that all faiths, all religious and spiritual traditions, emphasise the need to give and to share. It may not have been consciously done, but what all our world’s faiths and religions were ‘referencing’ was the spiritual truth that ALL is ONE, and that the true purpose of all our spiritual and mystical quests, of all our holy pilgrimages, is to achieve that ONENESS, make manifest in each and every one of us and indeed in the world and ultimately the cosmos that sacred ONENESS, that is our sacred being, that is our holy purpose, that is our mystical destiny. ALL is ONE requires of us the profoundest inclusivity. And all the faiths and religions of our world, perhaps without realising it, knew instinctively that exclusivity, which is engrained in selfishness, is the great barrier to our spiritual pilgrimage, to our wondrous spiritual awakening that is our fundamental and mystical purpose.
We damage and despoil our environment, our beautiful Mother Earth, our Holy Gaia, when we manifest the extreme exclusivity that has so tainted our individual lives and our common histories. The only meaning in exclusivity is SELF. When we concentrate our minds and souls and physical endeavours in the aggrandisement of SELF, we diminish and indeed damage all others and ALL OTHER. When, on our mystical pilgrimage, on our sacred spiritual journey, we do not find ourselves, as such, as the culmination of all our endeavours. We find, instead, everyone and everything. And it is only by our destined discovery of all, of the ALL, that we indeed find ourselves. For we can never be our true God-given, sacred and spiritual selves when we are not yet ONE with all other selves. That is the deep mystery of our spiritual being and our spiritual journey. That is our destiny and our spiritual purpose. That is our beginning and our end. To be ONE with the ALL of which we are a sacred part. Thus, do we make our way through all the tests and trials and tribulations of our mystical path, through understanding in every fibre of our being the wondrous purpose of giving, which is no more nor less than LOVE made manifest.