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I am amazed at the synergies of different but similar stories and movements. I became part of "" five years ago and it teachers similarly to Eckart Tolle's work, A NEW EARTH. I delivered a paper at the 2006 International Conference for Social WOrkers in Hong Kong in which I sated that Descartes idea: "I think therefore I am" is at the heart of perpetual conflict in our world. When what I think defines who I am and what you think defines who you are then we have to fight for who we are. What if the "I am who I am and then I respect therefore the who that you are" then mutual respect and shared responsibleness can bring harmony in our internal and external worlds. In other terms: when my parts are part of the whole of me, and when the whole of me welcomes the whole of you and your parts.....harmony and balance will come. I believe more and more that what ever you want to call it: Buddha Spirit, Consciousness, Jesus, Islam higher Self, Hindu is the light in all of us. It is being the "I am who I am" without needed to impose that on anyone else. It is the power of now now. It is being authentically "I am" without imposing or intruding on any other I am that is. It is authentic presence in the now in the past and into the future that heals all.

Christianity's greatest asset is the person and authentic presence of Jesus and its greatest liability is the presentation of Jesus as the ONLY way. The way is "authentic presence in the inner and outer world in the moment which his Jesus! Lost to many churches Jesus is in every person. When Jesus declared "I am the way", his focus was not on any particular religious tenet as many churches would have us believe. Rather his way was the way of being authentically present in the now of each person's day, sacrificing the drive to be reactive to the design to be proactively compassionate toward everyone and everything, and to live in peace internally and relationally regardless of the external threats. Jesus is not the way as any church defines Him. The way is Jesus as He lives so we should live also.

I am a member of the United Church of Christ and a pastor and psychotherapist. The shift in awareness described above is the shift that Eckart is talking about. It is a shift from over and against any parts in me or you to a calm, compassionate, courageous embrace of all people as who they are regardless of anything. This parallels the Dalai Lama's "Unbiased Compassion" It is what everyone has and everyone in the world needs. Let's let the self of compassion and calm rise up and settle down in all of us to the glory of God and the good of humanity. Dr. Donald L Paine, www/