In Part 1 of this series on cultural diversity we introduced and generally defined the topic of cultural diversity and in this post we’ll explore its practical implications for CSL as an organization. Part 3 will place all of this in the context of the Global Vision.
The question we’re exploring today is:
If we believe in Oneness, should we even be noticing differences, much less celebrating them?
As a practical matter, the Leadership Council of CSL has created the Diversity Commission in direct response to a failure to notice difference in the form of marketing materials for the 2011 Gathering in San Diego that showed a picture of “us” that included only white people.
This raised a variety of concerns regarding how the organization sees and seeks to portray itself and how it in turn is being perceived. Clearly the decision has been made that we wish to project images of ourselves that portray diversity and inclusivity; but how does that fit in with our belief in Oneness?
Unity is Not Uniformity
Unity does not mean uniformity, Ernest Holmes repeatedly affirmed.
We know that our being all One does not mean we are all the same. We are each unique expressions of the Divine, just as the entire manifest Universe is made up of a multiplicity of expressions of the One. In this way we are simultaneously All like EVERYONE else AND like NO ONE else.
Culture is the arena of expression in which we are all like SOME others. Race, gender, ethnicity, national identity, sexual orientation, class, physical ability, and religion are all expressions of the way we are like SOME people.
In fact, cultural expression occurs across the entire spectrum of human relationships. Your family of origin has a culture. Centers for Spiritual Living has a culture. Your Center has a culture. Perhaps your Vision Statement articulates it. In any event, something has knitted you together and become the water that sustains you as community. The possibilities for how we express as like some people are endless.
Where Do We Go From Here?
This brings us back to Dr. Holmes explanation in the Textbook regarding objective and subjective mental activity:
“The objective, or conscious, mind is the spiritual mind…”(SOM 112:3) “When we think, we think from conscious intelligence, or Spirit. The thought then becomes subjectified; it goes into the subconscious mind” (SOM 124L4).
The question for us, then, becomes
“Is our culture reflective of who we intend to be in the world?”
Does it match our Vision, Mission and Values? Who else might need to be here in order for us to fully manifest God’s highest idea of who we are called to be? These questions become particularly important as we consider how they – and we – relate to the Global Vision. That is the topic of our third and final installment of this series.