The Science of Relationships

An analogy can be drawn between human service and an electrical current. The current only flows when it is providing energy for something beyond itself. Selfishness drains away power as surely as a short circuit and, if too great, can equally surely halt the whole flow of power. When the technique of goodwill is more generally understood, its energy will begin to flow and its power be felt more widely.

Each of us is involved in a complex network of relations, individual, group, community, national and international. These may be thought of as the "horizontal" relationships of individuals with their fellows and with their environment. This horizontal system of relationships is a means of contact, communication and influence. Itis a carrier of energy at different levels, physical, emotional and mental. And since we live in a rapidly evolving world, this system of relationships is in a continual state of flux and change. The task of the person of goodwill is so to handle his or her place within this system, and the forces and energies under their control, that he or she assists in establishing right human relationships. Right relationships may be defined as those which encourage the maximum evolutionary growth of all the individual and group units within the system. The energy of goodwill is the most fundamental and important means to this end.

But humanity is also part of another relationship system--the "vertical", which links us to spiritual levels of awareness, to God and to the Universe. Contact with this vertical system is made by knowing and living up to the highest in oneself. Prayer, meditation and reflective thought are the essential means of creating and maintaining the "vertical" life of the spirit.

Creative living, involving the dynamic expression of the soul, or inner spiritual nature in the world of human relationships, calls for a right balance between the "vertical" and the "horizontal" systems of relationship, between the subjective and objective factors. Lack of attention to the "vertical" life of the spirit leads to static, crystallised and uninspired relationships and action in the everyday world. Excessive concentration on the subjective, or "vertical" life without allowing any opportunity for right expression in the material world can lead to overstimulation, tendencies to glamour and unreality, and to those distressing cases of messianic fanaticism that occur only too frequently among the well-intentioned but unbalanced aspirants.

The right balancing ofthe "vertical" and "horizontal" life can only be accomplished when the individual can balance the forces of their own nature, within their own psyche. The symbol of this balance, which also symbolises the goal for men and women of goodwill in the new age, is the even-armed cross. Once the balance is achieved, the fire of the spirit can inspire and permeate the world of everyday in a wisely adjusted system of human relationships.

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