The Universal* Way
THE ORIGINAL TRADITION
(Also: "Initiation into Your Maitreya Mind")
* Used to be called "The Integral Way"

STEP 7
of the
The Universal Way

 

The Great Learning
(COMPASSION)

STEP 7

Extension of commitment

1. The Great Learning or Ta Hseh (DASU)  is one of the four Confucian Classics, dedicated to the Great Mother and probably written by Tseng Tzu (China, 400 BCE), one of the followers of Confucius. It was especially important in the life and works of Wang Yang Ming (1473-1529), the enlightened activist of early Neo-Confucianism. Compared to the moral rules and prescriptions of other main world religions, the Great Learning is conspiciously dynamic, universal and especially suitable to our time. The text begins as follows:

„What the Great Learning is teaching is enlightened action in the world, to love the people while abiding in one's true Self "

2. „In ancient times, one who intended to carry out enlightened action in the world, had to first rule his state well. To rule his state well, he had to first manage his property. To manage his property, he had to bring harmony in his family. To bring harmony in his family, he had to become aware of his true Self. In order to become aware of his true Self, he had to bring order in his thinking. In order to bring order in his thinking he extended his knowledge. To extend his knowledge he had to investigate all things"

A modern version could be like this:

3. „How to realize a sustainable world, without first establishing an ecological economy. How to establish an ecological economy, without first taking the future of our region in our own hands. How to take the future of our region in our own hands, without first bringing order in our neighborhood. How to bring order in our neighborhood, without first managing our own household well. How to manage our own household well, if we fail to take care of our own wellbeing. How to take care of our own wellbeing, without first finding our True Self.

4. „The conscious person first realizes his/her True Self. By being balanced him/her self, he/she will be able to optimize his health. Because his health is optimal, he is able to establish a harmonious household. Because his family life is in harmony, he will be able to work on awakening his direct surroundings. Because the neighborhood is awakened - Self-sovereignty - the future of his own region can be taken care of. After the region has been reclaimed, an ecological economy can be established. By establishing an ecological economy a sustainable world will be achieved".

A healthy mind in a healthy body in a healthy
environment in a healthy society

5. "Being your Self connected" could very well serve as a key concept to underline the essence of the spiritual process. It means, that sooner or later it appears that "inner is outer", that nature is an extension of body-awareness, that the Self is the Essence not only of yourself, but also of everything and that (true) Enlightenment is all-embracing. Hence, the vertical and the horizontal prove to be intimately connected. It means that genuine spirituality necessarily unites Self, nature and community as parts of the same process.

6. What has been put forward by the Great Learning is part of all major spiritual traditions. They all emphasize the necessity of both working for your own salvation and the wellbeing of the community. Now, with the global crisis worsening, people of all backgrounds should agree on a common denominator, on which they can work together to save mankind and the earth. The model of the Great Learning seems to be extraordinary suitable to that purpose. Translated to the current situation, it means that everybody should start with his or her own awakening, while step by step extending it to his or her direct surroundings.

7. It basically means drawing concentric circles from the Self to one's environment. The first circle is spiritual awakening. True awakening includes to become the observer, to be rooted in "Heaven" and earth and to realize the Light within. These principles are universal. Hence, the Great Learning reflects the existential situation every human being finds him/herself to be in. It is beyond any belief system or religious practice. On the contrary, it appears to be the unity in diversity. Once people have discovered their common heritage, it will be easy for them to acknowledge, respect and celebrate their differences. They will be eager to learn from each other and cooperate rather than being competitive.

Drawing concentric circles from the Self to society

8. The second step is to extend one's awakening towards one's immediate environment: the integration of one's own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. This is the area of holistic health. Countless initiatives around the world are working hard to contribute to this goal. Our Personal Health Plan is only a small part of it. Its advantage is that it consists of relatively simple but very effective measures. One of its secrets is, that these methods aim at the integration with daily life. To us this has proven to be most effective. It includes a two month's Personal Health Plan (Optimal Vitality Care), which optimizes health regardless of complaints, disorders or disease. This health program is part of a larger project called VitalWorld, which you can find in www.vitalworld.org

9. Once the integration of Self (awareness) and individuality (small self) has reached a level that a surplus value has emerged, you will be able to draw the next concentric circle: that of extending your quality into your more extended surroundings, your household, the street and the neighborhood. You start sharing your experiences in countless different ways. Ranging from making peace with your neighbors, organizing a wholefood cooking course, sharing knowledge about ecological gardening, practicing holistic self- and mutual help, organizing a yoga class, taking care of children, cleaning up the street, contributing to the poor, maintaining safety in the area etc. etc. It is a first attempt to reclaim your own habitat. Awakening means to "be your Self connected". Your immediate environment appears to be an extension of your Self, hence the greater your freedom, the more you feel responsible. I have called this Self-sovereignty.

10. Self-sovereignty is the expression of our inherent unlimited Buddha e.g. Divine nature, the unchanging Self within us. Every individual - the whole existence - is holy. It is the Dimension, which connects us all. Hence, Self-sovereignty includes our environment as well. Not only we, but also the family, the street, the neighborhood, the commune, the county and the region, they are all Self-sovereign.

11. To share your best qualities with others is the greatest joy possible. Rather than spoil them for the sake of personal gain and profit, you contribute them to restoring your community. Anything you can do you do. Your family is doing the things that cannot be done by you. Anything that can be done by them they do. The street is doing the things that cannot be done by the family. Anything that can be done by them they will do. The things that cannot be done by the street are being done by the neighborhood. Anything that can be done by them they will do. The commune is doing the things that cannot be done by the neighborhood. Anything that can be done by them they will do. The county does the thing that cannot be done by the commune. Anything that can be done by them they will do. The (autonomous) region does the thing that cannot be done by the county.

12. To reclaim your spirit, soul and body, your household, your street, your neighborhood, your commune, your county and your region based on Self-sovereignty is the challenge for the 21st century. Our survival will depend on it. Our political system will undergo fundamental changes. Rather than being governed from "above", we will develop ways of basic democracy, in which the people will take their lives in their own hands. It is a reforming process in which the existing structures remain - e.g. forms of local government - but brought back and transformed to their natural hierarchical functions: bottom up. The people will be choosing their own representatives rather than being manipulated by political parties, big business and other life-threatening interests. Thus the representatives of the families constitute the body of the street, those of the street constitute the body of the neighborhood, those of the neighborhood constitute the body of the commune, those of the commune govern the county, those of the county the region, those of the counties the states, and those of the states the federal government.

13. There's not too much fantasy needed to understand that by simply bringing back "the power to the people" many hot issues, dominating the political landscape of today will simply find solutions by itself. The key factor is to reinstall the community as the foundation of society. Starting with the individual, the family, the street etc. society again becomes an integrated whole in which many problems will simply disappear. Solidarity, sharing, social justice, health, proper education, safety, environmental protection, care for the elderly and e.g. employment all become part of the communities' responsibility. They will all appear to be interrelated. Once Self-sovereignty has proven its superiority over the current deterioration, people will find the courage to examine the existing economic system as well. They will find ways to cooperate rather than compete, of co-prosperity rather than just pursuing their own personal interests. The surprise (to many) is that prosperity of the community and that of the individual are interrelated, they depend on each other.

14. To achieve all this women may play a crucial role. From ancient times on the tribe mothers were in charge of all daily affairs. Now that the participation of women in business and state organizations increasingly proves to be a failure - 67% of the working American women would prefer to return to full homework if the money situation would allow it, Dutch women increasingly abandon the competitive work system - women should understand that their careers belong to rebuilding their communities. It is in no way of lower status than a corporate career, on the contrary. As your energies are just wasted in the race for more profit, power or other gains, working in and for the community is rewarding in countless ways. It includes Self-realization, real empowerment, wellbeing- supporting activities, political self-determination, responsibility, working in and for an integrated whole, a career, the relationship with the environment, meaningful work and a contribution to the future of your children. Thus, in my option women should take the lead here. It is them who have to occupy the most important positions. Their power should have the chance to benefit the community as a whole. Let us begin NOW.

AWAKEN!, RESTRUCTURE YOUR LIFE
AND SERVE OTHERS
Message of the Grail

15.

Treat the Earth and all that dwell therein with respect
Remain close to the Great Spirit
Show great respect for your fellow beings
Work together for the benefit of all mankind
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed
Do what you know to be right
Look after the wellbeing of mind and body
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good
Be truthful and honest at all times
Take full responsibility for your action

Indian Ten Commandments

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  2003 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
Last revising: 09/19/12

Can we still be saved?

Culture Renewal Manifesto for the 21st Century