Collect for Labor Day Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
"The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Reflection Is it not interesting how well the words attributed to Jesus in the gospel according to Matthew, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if you eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness…” are aligned with the words of modern day quantum physicists as quoted from Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality?*
“We live in a self observing universe where we are the instruments through which the universe becomes aware of its creative nature. The question then becomes: How do we hold up a mirror to ourselves when we ourselves are the mirror? For we are simultaneously the mirror, the light it reflects, and the eyes that see the reflection. Everything is part of one unified quantum system with no separation to be found anywhere.” (p 60-61)
Does this scientist not echo the wisdom born on the lips of the Collect (Prayer) for Labor, “Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives?” There is no separation. All that is, and this includes all people, creatures and black holes, is One, interconnected, interdependent unity (not uniformity).
There being no separation, we can no longer rely on or trust our habit of dualistic thinking; forcing things into discrete categories of good/bad, right/wrong, true/false, us/them. As we stretch beyond a black/white perspective we engage the complex nuance of ten thousand shades of grey, ten thousand thousand subtle shades that constitute the unity of all things.
Considered in the context of all that is, we humans are at once infinitesimal and absolutely essential. In their textbook on quantum theory the authors tell this story.
“An old legend describes a dialogue between Abraham and Jehovah. Jehovah chides Abraham, “You wound not even exist if it were not for me!” “Yes Lord, that I know,” Abraham replies, “but also You would not be known if it were not for me.”**
How do we humbly take responsibility for the fact “that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives?” How shall we remain mindful that when we light a candle it heats the world? When we breath hatred we foster hostility? When we bless we invoke happiness? When we vilify we call down fear? When we compliment we commend honor? When we are covetous we diminish life? When we are benevolent everything grows?
In the past we heard debates; science v.s. spirituality. Today’s science breathes life into spirituality with words such as these.
“And then at last an inspiration: a feeling that we who felt ourselves so small amidst it all are, in the end, the carriers of the central jewel, the flashing purpose that lights up the whole dark universe.”* (p 75)
- Levy, Paul Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality? Levy suggests the study of the universe and human consciousness are inseparably linked.
**Wheeler and Zurek, Quantum Theory and Measurement, 197. Artwork by Alex Grey
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