Techniques of Goodwill
Many people, concerned at trends in world affairs, are anxious to find new ways of helping to solve world problems. They wish to work in new and practical ways, but very often they do not know where to start or what to do.
Something must be provided – something based upon the essential human qualities of love and understanding, and sufficiently practical to give promise of constructive results.
The most contagious human quality which can be utilised and made effective is the energy of goodwill. And the greatest need in the world today is for activities based upon a more widespread use of this dynamic and harmonising energy.
The techniques which follow are designed to give practical direction to all those who have goodwill in their hearts and who want to do their share in bringing stability and peace to the world – a peace based on surer values than in the past, upon sounder planning, and upon the growth of the spirit of understanding and cooperation.
These techniques are strong enough to break down barriers, and to build a new world order adequate to the intelligent demands and needs of all humanity. They can be used by individuals or developed for group use; they are flexible and adaptable to any circumstances.
THE SCIENCE OF GOODWILL
The intelligent use of goodwill is a science. There are definite techniques which can be used: first, to locate and tap the source of goodwill; and, second, to use the energy of goodwill intelligently and constructively in one's environment.
Many people have mistaken ideas about the nature of goodwill. They tend to see it as something ineffective, as a passive kindliness or sentimental attitude. These are misconceptions which need correcting.
Goodwill is concerned with holding right attitudes; but it is much more than an attitude, and it is certainly not ineffective or negative. It is a positive and dynamic energy. It is, in fact, “the will to that which is good” – a purposeful energy which can be used effectively by those who are working for human progress.
Goodwill has beneficent qualities which produce seemingly magical effects on human relationships. Its contagious and magnetic influence facilitates the solving of all types of relationship problems. Any human problem can be solved if the energy of goodwill is creatively and practically used, but it will not be possible to find lasting and effective solutions if this energy is lacking.
The potency of goodwill derives from its own essential nature – it is an aspect of divine love, and divine love is the most powerful energy on the planet. It is said that goodwill is as much of the energy of true love as humanity, at its present stage of evolution, can respond to and express in practical terms. By using it deliberately and scientifically, humanity will be able to solve the urgent world problems with which it is faced and establish right human relationships.
The source of goodwill is to be found at spiritual levels. Each of us is part of a great inner system of relationships – what might be called a vertical system of relationships. We are linked, through our minds and hearts, to the soul, to the spiritual Hierarchy, to God and to the whole universe.
Goodwill and other spiritual energies are constantly flowing through this vertical system, available as a potential influence on human affairs. Our contact with this system can be maintained and strengthened through the controlled use of the mind and the emotions. This is achieved to a certain extent through prayer. But it is through meditation that we can scientifically tap the source of goodwill and provide a channel through which it may flow, for our own use and for the use of others.
Each of us is part of another system of relationships, comprised of our relations with our family, the people we work with, our friends and neighbours, the groups and organisations with which we are in contact, our local community, our nation and the whole family of nations. This complex network may be called our horizontal system of relationships. Difficulties of many kinds occur within this horizontal system. Conflicts arise which cause pain and suffering. Problems develop for which there often seem to be no solutions. And from time to time there is a complete breakdown. We all contribute to these difficulties, and it is within our power to help remove them. We can do so by the intelligent use of goodwill.
Our first task is to link up within the vertical system of relationships and by the use of focused thought and meditation, become open channels for the inflowing energy of goodwill. Our next task is to radiate this vital, harmonising energy throughout the whole horizontal network.
We can radiate goodwill systematically and potently by the power of thought. We can likewise radiate goodwill by holding right attitudes and basing our decisions on the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number. We can also radiate goodwill by taking positive action.
The energy of goodwill may be used in various ways. It may be expressed by thought, by feeling and by the spoken word. It may also be dynamically expressed through practical action. To take action in some area of human need, to work creatively and constructively in the interest of human welfare, is a powerful and practical expression of goodwill.
Everyone is surrounded by countless opportunities to take action. But we must seize these opportunities and turn them to good account. We must respond to human need in the place in which we live and work. And above all else, we must act on our own initiative.
If world affairs are to be transformed in such a way as to lead to the establishment of right human relations, it is essential that the new values emerge into the livingness of humanity. Yet, as these values are emerging into human expression it is evident that they are coming into conflict with the outmoded values which are characteristic of the past. Standing amidst the conflict between the old and the new are the people of goodwill throughout the world. Seeking to establish right human relations, they constitute a worldwide group which will be the agent whereby world affairs are transformed. Yet facing this problem, they face a fundamental challenge: how can the conflict between the old and the new be resolved?
The principle of cooperation goes hand in hand with the principle of sharing. Sharing of responsibility, as well as sharing physical resources, contributes to the quality of life and is an aspect of cooperation. To cooperate is to give with generosity, and also to receive with gratitude. In the coming new era, right human relations and worldwide cooperation for the good of all will be the universal keynote.
Creativity is not the exclusive province of the artist; creative life is an opportunity – and responsibility – for every conscious individual. The role of the creator is that of a mediator, a transformer of energy. The creative individual provides a physical outlet for the expression of any ideas or energies he can contact. The energy which flows through the creative individual manifests spontaneously, as it is focused and directed by that individual. The specific focus and direction of this spontaneity is dependent upon the receptivity of the individual's environment and his personal tendencies. The flow of ideas and energies through creative people ranges from the artist at his easel to the conscious soul utilising his very lifetime for the expression of some ideal or work of God.
In our interdependent modern world, no one can free himself from his own chains and limited states of consciousness, without at the same time affecting the consciousness of the whole human family. Those basic planetary principles of will, love and intelligent activity infusethe substance of our daily lives, the air we breathe, the work we do, the relationships we establish. They motivate those who are in process of achieving mastery of themselves and their circumstances. They impregnate the atmosphere of world thought, world politics, world communication. They stimulate the tendency to unite and to function in all relationships with goodwill and in good faith. They touch the seeds of divinity in human hearts and minds and increase man's capacity for freedom.
Focused, determined, enlightened public opinion is the most potent force in the world. No ideology, no nation, no powerful group of human beings is immune to its reality. Its underlying premise is that mass thought and energy can be directed into right lines so that good motives and wise action can dominate human affairs.
For many years a growing group of people in many parts of the world has been linking in thought each week and joining in a meditation on goodwill.
The purpose of this meditation work is to strengthen and increase the goodwill that is in all people, helping to solve the urgent problems facing humanity.