(Global Heart) Book Spotlight! Excerpted from God and Love on Route 80: The Hidden Mystery of Human Connectedness by Stephen G. Post (Mango Publishing, August 2019). Foreword by Larry Dossey.
God and Love on Route 80
The Hidden Mystery of Human Connectedness
Stephen G. Post, PhD • Foreword by Larry Dosse
Scent lingers on the hands of those who deliver flowers.
—Ancient Chinese Proverb
“If you save him, you too shall live,” spoke the blue angel, real or not, and the boy followed along, having nothing better to do. Translation: to stay on the journey, you need to give and glow, which is only possible when you are aware of your inner being and oneness with the infinite Mind of pure love. The source is Spirit.
This is the universal law of the giver’s glow: when we are contributing to the lives of others, abiding in the Golden Rule of “do unto others,” and focusing on the well-being and security of our neighbor as well as our own, we manifest the giver’s glow, so long as we do not ignore the need for balance and self-care. When we live such good lives, the infinite Mind that is also Higher Love can more easily surprise us with synchronicity, and our feeling for the interconnectedness and Oneness of Being can increase. Synchronicity whispers are more likely to occur when we follow a path of love, though in a larger sense all synchronicity is grace because we are all flawed creatures.
In the quest for, and invention of, meaning in life, the boy found great strength in simple acts of giving, as blue angel dreamers do. One evening in 2005, when he was on the road headed back to Cleveland from a presentation in Washington, DC, to the US Congress, he passed a shiny wheel with metal spokes by the side of the road, and it inspired a powerful intuitive insight about the nature and modulations of love. This “wheel of love” continued to resonate in his consciousness, and a year later became the basis of Why Good Things Happen to Good People. The “wheel of love” is an image that could only come to mind on the highway, where the routines of everyday life in the office vanish, the phone isn’t ringing, no one is at the door, and there are no emails to disrupt the mind.
The psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan (d. 1949) of University of Chicago fame wrote, “When the happiness, security, and well-being of another person is as real to you, or more real, than your own, you love that person.” We can all relate to this definition of love, whether we are contemplating friendship, parenthood, a special calling to assist a needy group, or affirming our shared humanity. We can also extend love of this sort to other species and to nature generally. The centrality of such love in our everyday lives should be obvious.
Back to the image of the hub and spokes. Love may be expressed in different ways, depending on the needs of those around us, and on our own personality and strengths. Each “way of love” constitutes a spoke on the wheel.
And we are all called to align with, and express, some spokes more than others.
Here are ten spokes, or ways of giving and loving:
Celebrating is taking time to acknowledge and affirm the lives and achievements of others;
Helping others in ways small and large without being limited by a “payback” mentality is as good for the giver as for the recipient;
Forgiveness is breaking free of destructive emotions by concentrating not on our own resentments but on contributing to the lives of others, and knowing that time will reveal a more meaningful perspective;
Carefrontation is standing firm against the destructive behavior of individuals and society, while staying grounded in an underlying love for all people without exception;
Mirth is the gift of tastefully reframing a situation with loving laughter that does not diminish but rather uplifts; mirth is the lightness of love;
Respect (“re-spectare” or “re-look”) means looking more carefully at the opinions and lives of others, striving for civility in discourse, and practicing etiquette in speech and behavior;
Attentive listening is setting aside one’s own voice in order to focus on, and be fully present to, another, undistracted and unhurried;
Compassion is responding wisely and actively to suffering when we see it;
Loyalty is sticking with others through both the peaks and valleys of their lives, so they know that they can count on us in tough times;
Creativity used for noble purposes is the tool that allows unique, personalized expression of our love for others.
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Excerpted from God and Love on Route 80: The Hidden Mystery of Human Connectedness by Stephen G. Post (Mango Publishing, August 2019). Foreword by Larry Dossey.
For more information, or to purchase the book, click the cover or visit at StephenGPost.com
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About the author
Stephen G. Post is a bestselling author and the founding director of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. Dr. Post a professor at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, NY, where he also directs the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics. A leader in medicine, research and spirituality, God and Love on Route 80 is a meditation on the meaning of life and the importance of spirituality.