A Higher Union

William Blake

William Blake

Often it is asked, if God is good and beautiful, why is there so much evil and ugliness in the world? The answer is that the Creator has endowed humanity with freedom. We are free to choose love, and the virtues and inspirations that love kindles, or to choose lovelessness, and the dark shadows that lovelessness casts.

The prophets and prophetesses are living symbols of love. They led mortal lives and knew all the limitations, trials, and temptations of earthly existence. What makes the prophets extraordinary is not the possession of supernatural powers, but their determination to serve and glorify God with all their heart, all their soul, and all their might. By living for the Creator and calling souls to remembrance they became lights to the world.

The world’s religions are the legacies of the prophets. Beneath a crust of tradition, every religion has, at its core, revelation: the call of the One to the many. Tradition has a necessary role to play in human life, but too often a narrow and querulous preoccupation with tradition has eclipsed what matters most, the sacred bond between the soul and its Source.

In recent times, reacting against the constraints of inherited belief, many people have turned away from religion. The last three centuries have seen an astounding proliferation of discoveries and inventions. Amidst so many gains, what is in danger of being lost is the sense of the sacred. If the presence of the numinous fades away, the world must inevitably become a spiritual wasteland.

Through travel, trade, immigration, and communication, the nations of the world have become ever more closely linked. And yet the need remains for men and women to enter into a higher spiritual union. This prospect will be realized when people of all creeds at last come to recognize the religions to which they belong as so many limbs of one Faith, and to esteem all prophets as voices of one inexhaustible Truth.

Most crucially, the realization of a higher union necessitates that we rise high enough to see beyond the boundaries of our separate selves, to survey the interconnectedness of our lives, and to bear witness to the ultimate oneness of the whole of existence.