Inclusiveness. Discernment can lead to separations which are necessary, but how does the disciple use inclusiveness in harmony with discernment to avoid the negative aspect of discrimination? How inclusive should the disciple be?
Those who have used discernment through illusionary eyes develop wrong discrimination and become harmfully exclusionary. This has been such a problem in the past that the word "discrimination" has become a terrible word in the eyes of most people, as Marylin points out.
"The negative aspect of discrimination would be the confusion between appearance and essence: you must discern through the forest of acts, feelings and thoughts, and act for the highest good, and if people oppose you, or don't have the same view on things, you mustn't judge what they are but what they express."
While it is still a virtue to have a "discriminating palate" or to be a discriminating buyer one has to be very careful in the use of the word or he will be frowned upon as a politically incorrect bigot.
What has caused this problem in communication is that the politicians have popularized the wrong word. When one is accused of discrimination what is the accuser really saying? Is he saying that because you can see shades of meaning and color that you are evil?
Instead he is saying: "You are judging what this person is inside because he looks different than you on the outside. You are therefore judging apples as they are related to oranges and you have no way of knowing if you are correct."
What word correctly describes the above?
The problem is that no single word does. The shortest available would be something like "bad judgment," but that is not simple enough. Therefore "discrimination" was pulled out of the hat and applied and such application has tainted the positive use of the word ever since.
The meanings of all words have a positive aspect. Exclusiveness normally has a bad meaning these days but as Zia points out this can also have a positive application:
"I exclude worthless belief systems, and by their exclusion without energy they dissolve away, I find exclusion powerful. Exclusion allows observation, rather than disagreement."
This positive exclusion harmonizes with the quality of discernment.
Nevertheless, all wise acts of discernment and exclusion must be balanced with an inclusive attitude that is essential in the attitude of the working disciple.
We will give some examples of negative exclusiveness balanced with the ideal inclusiveness:
Exclusive: The most obvious is the excluding of some because of judgments based on the color of skin.
Inclusive: Include all races as if they were at an equal starting point and if judgment is necessary judge on performance and ability.
Exclusive: Excluding a person from the possibly that he may be as enlightened as you because he has a different belief system
Inclusive: The person may be farther along the path than you think. Some authoritarian thoughtforms are so powerful that it takes a much higher degree of soul contact to break away from them than it does the New Ager to proclaim that: "All is love and oneness." If you find common ground with a seemingly backward Bible thumper you may realize he seems pretty bright after all.
Exclusive: Seeing the other person as the bottom of the barrel because of differing political beliefs. For instance, both sides of the abortion issue see each other as pond scum that must be excluded at all costs.
Inclusive: Again, the disciple realizes that even a very intelligent person can be captivated by wrong thoughtforms and illusions and if we excluded all those in such a state there would be few if any to be gathered into anything.
A great example of political inclusiveness is the show on Fox called Hannity and Colmes. Hannity is on the far right and Colmes on the left. Many of their guests have a very exclusive attitude yet both Hannity and Colmes are very gracious and inclusive with some fairly obnoxious guests. They are also good friends with each other and often go to lunch together. They appear to be inclusive of each other and respect each other even though each believes the other to be very misled.
Exclusive: Many people are exclusive because of the income, social standing, or the appearance of others.
Inclusive: These types of people never seem to get it right. Behind what appears to be are many virtues that are not visible on the surface. We must start from point zero with all people and include them within the realm of all possibilities.
An inclusive attitude was one reason that Jesus had such ability to heal. When He looked at a poor ragged cripple He did not allow himself to see a person excluded from the gifts of God. Instead He saw one who was equal to himself, deserving of all the fruits of the Spirit. When that vision that Jesus saw was glimpsed by the cripple, he became a Son of God himself for an instant, and was healed.
Xavier sums this up well:
"Inclusiveness is like calling the whole to engulf you in order to receive insights about things you hadn't noticed and perceived yet. Be one with the whole for a minute or two, and change your point of view that was focused in discriminating and analyzing precise points. (In fact it is rather a second than a minute:-)"
If we expect the Brotherhood of Light to include us as co-workers we must learn to be inclusive with others who may be as far below us in evolution as we are to the Masters.
One of the best examples I can think of in inclusiveness (as well as discernment) is this discussion group.
When a person joins this list we do not have a clue of anything about him or her except for what he actually says. We do not know his race, background, financial status, political thought, dress code etc. Sometimes we do not even know the sex. I saw Xavier in my mind as a cute French lass when he first joined, as I am unfamiliar with French names.
When a person joins this list he starts at point zero and is entirely judged by what comes forth from the inner self. When you think of it there has never been a time in history for such inclusive opportunities as the Internet offers.
I will give my comments on harmlessness next but in the meantime contemplate the next quality:
Now we are not talking about the politically sensitive geek here that is ashamed of the Washington Redskins, but we are talking about one who is sensitive to many things that others are not.
Among them are:
(1) Ability to tune into the feelings and sometimes thoughts of others.
(2) Ability to sense higher contacts
(3) Ability to sense the direction of the Path.
If you can "sense" other areas of positive sensitivity name them and elaborate.
Why is sensitivity such an important quality for the disciple to possess?
As we proceed here we will see the truth of Jennifer's words: "I am beginning to see just how much each of the qualities we are discussing is interwoven with each other."
Copyright 1999 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved