A New Harmony

Compassion is the only way forward

Compassion is the only way forward if we are to be well. Compassion for those who do not know that they are beloved. Compassion for the children and creatures who are suffering today. Compassion even for the people and nations who wrong us. Revenge has no future, apart from bitterness and the multiplication of wrong. As Mahatma Gandhi taught his people in the midst of his nation’s struggle for justice and liberation, the philosophy of revenge, of an eye for an eye, will only make the whole world blind. If what we are committed to is transformation, then the only way forward is compassion, not revenge. A passion that is with and for the other as well as oneself, a passion that is with us and for the other as oneself.

~ from A NEW HARMONY by John Philip Newell

The desire for oneness

Deep within us, amid our differentiations as individuals and nations and species, is the desire for oneness. This holy longing is found not only in the human soul but in the soul of the universe, at the heart of everything that has being. We are not an exception to the universe. We are an expression of the universe. Our longings are a unique manifestation of the universe's longings. In listening to the depths of life, within our lives and within every life, we will hear the longings of the One that are deeper than the fears that divide us...There is no such thing as ultimate separation between one part of the universe and an-other, between the well-being of the human species and earth's other species, between the life of one nation and the rest of the world. We and all people, we and those who have gone before us, we and all creatures, we and the universe are traveling together in one river of life. We carry each other within us. And the universe carries us within itself.

~ from A NEW HARMONY by John Philip Newell

We live in a moment of grace

We live in a moment of grace. Through the hedges of our divisions we are beginning to glimpse again the beauty of life's oneness. We are beginning to hear ... the essential harmony that lies at the heart of the universe. And we are beginning to understand ... that we will be well to the extent that we move back into relationship with one another, whether as individuals and families or as nations and species. The time is right. The time is desperately right.

~ from A NEW HARMONY by John Philip Newell

The healing of the world by loving

Teilhard de Chardin says that the universe will be "unified only through personal relations." It will become one only under the influence of love. Teilhard calls this the "amortization" of the universe, the healing of the world by loving. Only love has the capacity to transform the individual parts of our lives and world into a living cum-unus. Nothing else can do it. . . "Love," says Teilhard, "is the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mysterious of the cosmic forces." How much truth and energy are we losing, he asks, by neglecting our "incredible power to love"?

~ from A NEW HARMONY by John Philip Newell

Angel of Compassion

Here in New Harmony, one of my favorite places of prayer is the sculpture of Tobi Kahn, a renowned Jewish artist from New York. The piece is called Shalev, or Angel of Compassion. It is a twelve-foot-high granite archway under which the angel of compassion is passing. She is a life-sized human figure made of gleaming bronze, and her head and entire posture incline with presence. The archway has always felt to me like the archway of the present moment, the archway of every moment. And the angel is like a messenger of the Living Presence, inclining with compassion, accompanying us and our world as we enter the archway of the present.
~ from A NEW HARMONY by John Philip Newell

Outbursts of singularity

. . for the world's well-being and for our own individual well-being, we need to know that all things are interwoven and that each strand in the tapestry is holy. We need to know that our distinct races, our countless species, our many wisdom traditions, our children, and the men and women of every nation are wonderful "outbursts of singularity," each carrying within them the life of the One.

~ from A NEW HARMONY by John Philip Newell
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