“E Pluribus, Unum”
“When each person loves the other as much as he loves himself, then ‘one out of many’ becomes possible.” —Marcus Titulus Cicero
The motto of our nation displayed on its currency above the head of an eagle is “E Pluribus, Unum.” It’s a Latin phrase lifted right out of the writings of Marcus Cicero. It translates as “Out of many, one.” Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry spoke to the usual meaning and significance of this motto on The Today Show in response to Samantha’s inquiry into a way in which we can find “common ground” in this divided nation of ours. While it is obvious that the US is one nation of many diverse nationalities, we all share one Origin.
I would invert the order and meaning of these words to indicate that it is out of the ONE that the many proceed, as it has been from the Beginning of Creation. Ex Uno, Multis: Out of the One, many. Yet, even in the appearance of being “many,” we are one human race, one people, one species, one Body of Mankind, created to serve on Earth as the Body of God the Creator. We’ve come a long ways down the many levels of Being over the long span of our sojourn in the material plane of manifest reality; about as low as we can come.
I received a very thought-stimulating letter from one of my followers in the UK, Peter Watson. It speaks for itself, so I will share it here without introduction.
Dear Anthony, thank you for your fine wheel-illustration of how the power-of-love is conveyed to creation.
Doubtless there have been civilizations in the past. The idea of civilization, its purpose and motivation, is to improve our environment. In the present civilization, the starting-point of the caveman-stage of mankind’s rise from savagery, we toiled as hunter-gatherers, in hand-to-mouth existence. We progressed through an agricultural stage, an industrial revolution, and on to a technological space-age stage. Progress has been hampered only by conflicts of interest, between nations, and of course individuals and groups of individuals composing the nations.
Having come from a conflict-free realm, prior to conception, we took form in the relative safety of our mother’s womb. However, from birth onwards, and depending upon class, colour, and geographical location, it’s been anybody’s guess as to how well one might survive, let alone succeed, in the world of mankind. Somehow we weathered a compromised environment safely to a state of relative sanity, in which we can communicate with each other about sacred things.
Mankind’s world, unfortunately, does not share the safety of divine intervention. In their global disunity of struggle to rule by persuasion, or application, of armed might, contestants overlook the sovereignty of benign life to which we all owe our existence.
The enemy, when stripped of threat, or diplomatic camouflage, is fear. Fear gives license to defend; defense provokes attack. Hence a telling phrase – “survival of the fittest”– has been adopted and applied. To those assuming authority for law-and-order, this has meant armed-force; love, at best, is confined to human affection, but not to be trusted enough to control the destructive elements of human nature, such as jealousy, rage, hatred and fear. Although it is said that, “perfect love casts out fear”, nobody in public awareness, except one shining individual, has put that statement-of-truth to the test.
Learning of war, or defense, is as endless as the escalation of fear motivating defesce and attack. Peace has been thought of as ascendency of the fittest, or the most technologically-advanced, or the mightiest, as the fearful means overcoming the enemy.
For millennia, global growth has been punctuated by recovery from exhaustion, repairs of defense-mechanisms, and the replenishing of more highly refined arsenals, between wars.
During lapses of aggression, some philosophies have explored the power-of-thought – “the pen is mightier than the sword”, and so forth – but without adopting the ability of learning to think from truly peaceful motivation.
Philosophy, the same as war-strategy, is biased in thought eclipsed by fear. The higher the leadership roles, and responsibility for protection, the greater is the invisible ogre of fear. As said by ‘through-a-glass-darkly’ Saint Paul,
“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? . . . . For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
Harrumph! What is this talk of battle? God speaks ‘as of a trumpet’, but not for battle. Love does not ordain battle; only fear can do that. Job too, when motivated by fear, recognized, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.”
So, civilization has brought with it a measure of fear and greed; perhaps understandably so for the cave-dwellers, as scavengers in a harsh environment, but surely there is less need of fear or greed in a world of such abundance in many parts. Imagine if those emotional-controls of fear and greed were ousted from human hearts by the provision of generosity, which so easily and recognizably characterizes the Giver of the spirit of life that freely animates us.
Is this just wishful thinking, or plain common-sense? Surely those in authority could and should recognize that if the uncreative [and destructive] motivations of fear and greed prevail unaddressed, there will be nothing left for anybody, which is basically what caused the demise of earlier civilizations, albeit in some other form, such as flooding and ice.
When ‘those-in-authority’ are mentioned, let it not be confused with those in positions of power and might by armed force; they represent the Caesars of this world, who know not love, nor the authority of life. A Good Learner is one who learns from life, not how to lead life.
It may be difficult for the human mind to picture the original state of Eden, prior to the need for civilization, or what happened to Eden to give rise to a condition that needed civilizing. The best we may be able to do on that score, is to ignore for a moment the way the world around us is now, and think instead of the perfection of the realm we all originate in, and come from, prior to conception. With some sacred thought, we can remember that state-of-perfection, because we were there.
Just as there is life after death, there is life before birth, and this is from where we originate, exactly the same as Eden, which has since become Earth. Thank you for your invitation to suggest a topic for meditation. My proposal for a new blog, Anthony, is to exercise our imagination, and memory-skills, to teleport consciousness to that time ‘in the beginning’, before the so-called Fall of man was initiated.
There are two significant reasons for suggesting this spiritual research; the first and most important being to clear the Name of God from any complicity in the cause of the Fall, and secondly, but just as importantly, to clear the name of Man from having been tarred by the same brush by which Adam and Eve have been tarred by theological and religious superstition. With love and light, Peter
I appreciate my reader’s suggestion. It’s a worthy topic. I had another letter from a dear friend who suggested I write in a more positive and uplifting mode:
Thank you for your blog posts. It is so wonderful to feel your strong
Vibrant Spirit. Could it be helpful right now to focus on gratitude, knowing
What truly Is, and Awe? —Alice
I am more inclined to go with Alice’s suggestion. Actually, I have written extensively on the subject of our Edenic origins. There’s a passage I borrowed from Richard Heinberg’s book MEMORIES AND VISIONS OF PARADISE that describes the spirit and demeanor of our ancestors and the quality of life in Eden. I will bring it forward here as a clear reminder of how we were — one that may trigger memories and visions of Paradise:
The myths and traditions of the ancients do not portray Eden as the sort of technological Paradise that our present civilization tends to project into the future. If the Golden Age really existed, it must instead have been, as the Chinese describe it, an Age of Perfect Virtue—an age in which . . .
. . . they were upright and correct, without knowing that to be so was righteousness; they loved one another, without knowing that to do so was benevolence; they were honest and leal-hearted without knowing that it was loyalty; they fulfilled their engagements, without knowing that to do so was good faith; in their simple movements they employed the services of one another, without thinking that they were conferring or receiving any gift. Therefore their actions left no trace, and there was no record of their affairs.” ¹
Moving on now, I pose this question for consideration: How do we think this quality of life came about? How was it created? Well, we can go to the Creation Story itself in the Book of Genesis for an answer:
“And the Earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God said ‘Let there be light.'”. . . and all else that followed.
In truth, all of creation that followed the creation of light was created out of light — and sound: “God said let there be. . . .” The Word, the vibration of Love, of God’s Triune Spirit of Love, of Truth, and of Life, when given expression through the mouth of God, is made flesh and takes form in the physical planes of Being. We are the mouth of God here on this physical plane of Being. We are the creators of this world, and we can let it be the way we want it to be or the way that God intended it to be from the very beginning: a Paradise. I don’t see where there’s any other option.
Eden will be restored to Earth when we human beings consistently and clearly express the triune Spirit of God in our living. It can come about in no other way but when we LET the Spirit of God move upon the face of the waters of our consciousness, upon which there is gross darkness. Ex Uno, Multis. Out of the One Spirit, many. ♥
In my next posts, I will explore the path of “Kenotic Love” as seen through the heart of one of my favorite authors, Cynthia Bourgeault. I will include excerpts from the inspired writings of another favorite of mine, poet and diva Diana Durham, who recently penned these words of wisdom:
If we learn to stay true to ourselves, to feel when new insight lines up inside, or in Emerson’s words, ‘to detect and watch that gleam of light’ when it flashes across our minds, we are less likely to become controlled by others. We get a ‘feel’ for when something is right for us, or not. While we maintain our alignment, the ‘relationship’ of mind and heart, Adam and Eve, remains harmonious and effective. What is happening inside us is that we have taken on the identity of a creator — some one who authors and shapes their own world. This is the meaning of the word ‘authenticity’.
I just love such freeing and onward-looking writings and enjoy sharing them. Any thoughts you wish to share? I welcome them. Until my next post,
Be love. Be loved
¹ Richard Heinberg, MEMORIES and VISIONS of PARADISE — Exploring the Universal Myth of a Lost Golden Age.