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The world faces nearly unprecedented changes. They come to uplift people’s consciousness, and there will be a great disruption in “business as usual.” Society will be shaken.

Where does that leave us?

To survive, and even do well spiritually, those who love the ECK must reconcile real and imagined differences with each other. United we stand, divided we fall.

All people, inside and outside of ECK, are really moving along the path of their own consciousness, toward the same goal—God Consciousness. The experiences all face set colorful pieces in the mosaics of their own lives. Yet they often trip themselves en route to that goal.

The reason? A deliberate or unconscious myopia about another’s conduct or intentions. It serves no good purpose.

The solution? A very slow count to ten, which allows a chance to cast your gaze further afield, to glimpse a truer and more generous picture of a fellow Soul.

With that in mind, I will repeat my recent letter to the RESAs. It will illustrate the point.

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Long ago, it became obvious to me that people in our time would best be served if ECKANKAR reached out to them with stories about how the Voice of God, the ECK, interacts with us in daily life.

Many people are today being introduced to Its unique teachings. And many will note them, only to forget about them, at least for the present.

Yet the seed of truth is sown within them.

Stories about divine matters can slip past the sentries of Kal, chief agent of darkness. These stories, seeds of truth, behave exactly like a seed planted in a garden. The sunshine of good days and the storms of trial nourish it to one day spring forth and flourish.

Stories, like Aesop’s, catch our attention. For example, “The Belly and the Members” illustrates what leaders must strive to achieve.

In ancient times, the story goes, a man’s members had yet to learn how to work together in unity. The members therefore took to criticizing the belly.

“The lazy slouch is idle and relishes the fruit of our labor,” they cried. “Enough is enough!”

And so the rebellion saw birth.

They conspired to cut off the belly’s nourishment. So the hands refused to carry food to the mouth. Neither would the mouth have opened to receive it, nor the teeth obliged to chew it.

They would soon set things in order.

But the plan soon crumbled, if you will. The members began to weaken and fail, and they now understood that the belly, so seemingly useless, did have a purpose too. They could not live without it; nor could it without them. Furthermore, it was in everyone’s best interest to keep their host, the body, in a goodly state of vigor.

So, too, do you as ECK leaders find it essential to work with a spirit of cooperation and goodwill among all the ECK chelas in your communities.

However, you are never alone in this. Remember, I am always with you.

When you need help, ideas, comfort, or encouragement, I am there with you. Come to the inner, secret place within you. I am there day or night, at your pleasure.

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Since our attention is on stories, let us consider a dream “Sara” recalls for us. It highlights the wisdom of hearing both, or more, sides of an argument before rendering an opinion.

In the dream, she and her husband were in an ECK Center with others. An old friend, an H.I. whom both loved and trusted, nodded his head to point out another H.I. He then began to grumble in a conspiratorial fashion. “Look, he’s unkempt and his clothes are dirty and crumpled.”

Exactly so, thought Sara. Yet she had carelessly taken her friend’s judgment and made it her own.

But then she had second thoughts.

When she again looked up at the man, object of criticism, he was coming toward her. In fact, his hair was combed and his clothes, clean. He took her hand and kissed it. Then she was looking into the eyes of the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ.

It is a sound policy to hear all sides of an issue before taking a side. Each position bears a story; each story opens a window to a fuller understanding.

*   *   *

Cast your gaze further afield.

—Sri Harold Klemp

Bonus! Exploring the wisdom in this article can help you release the karma that hides beneath your reactions to others.

Tip: Grasp the first opportunity to apply what you have learned.