“Giving your complete attention,” I said in Seeing the beauty #1. Observe. Let’s mine that idea a little, because its influence and impact spread out into all areas of the process of balancing the Ecology of the Soul. Observation is concentration, paying attention. But wholly, one hundred percent. It’s crucial because observation is also compassion. You look with love. Anything that will exercise that power of compassion within you is worth having and worth doing, because compassion is the single, overarching principle which drives all your relationships with the external world – and indeed, as the Buddha says, with yourself. There is the beauty of your Self, the jyoti bindu, the pinpoint of light, the never-ending flame; and there is the beauty of your own consciousness of your Self.
If you are Soul Conscious enough to see others as Souls, then you are seeing their beauty – which they probably don’t see themselves – and they cannot help but respond. That’s if they are Souls in search of peace and power, or at least aren’t heavily disposed against it, recognizing the ‘vibe’ when it comes through. They’re interested, they’re receptive, they’re listening. You will also come across Souls for whom this vibe is not just uninteresting or irrelevant, but actively inimical. For the people – Souls – who respond nastily, aggressively or destructively, it is somehow a threat. It makes them uncomfortable, or worse. Here, the usual best policy is to move swiftly on. Look them in the eye, see the Soul; and move on. Don’t, whatever you do, allow yourself to engage so far that it gives them the chance to attack or disrespect the peace, power and beauty that you are seeing, absorbing and just plain being. It is bad karma for the soul in question, and also for you, because it is your responsibility to protect this consciousness, to look after it as an act of stewardship.
This leads to the question: how do we cope with ugliness in general? There’s unlimited beauty in the world (and in the world inside You), but there’s also an abundance of ugliness. Endless stretches of polluted industrial wasteland, rubbish tips as big as cities that are home to thousands of people, poisoned rivers, ravaged rainforests; inner city poverty, deprivation and degradation; war, famine, natural disaster, cruelty, pain, disease and despair. For many of us there isn’t much beauty in our daily lives; for many more, there is worse than none. Life, quite simply, is hell. If you are confronted with this ugliness, if it feels overpowering, the only thing you can do is refer to your inner landscape. Close your (notional) eyes and concentrate on the beauty within. Know that the root cause of this ugliness (apart from the natural disasters) is human souls who have strayed far from their true nature.
Keep your compassion up to the mark, but there is a point at which you have to avoid, simply to protect your own state of mind and stop yourself being dragged down. No one is served if you lose your level of consciousness as well. As for natural disasters, if you’re there on the spot your compassion will drive you. It might also drive you if you’re not there in person, leading to donations and contributions or other charitable work. But if you feel powerless, remember that you are made of power and peace, and just by remaining in that consciousness you are bringing beauty to the world. Communicate it by being it.