Goodwill. Good will. Positive intention. Nice thoughts. Right desires. Correct thinking.
Examine these concepts in order, from left to right, and see their relationship. Recognize the progression from left to right, and take note of the similar terminology. Is “goodwill” different from “correct thinking?” What if they are the same thing?
I believe that goodwill is correct thinking.
Life forms are animated by Life Energy, Consciousness, or Spirit (whichever you want to call it). This intelligent energy is also responsible for the creation and sustenance of the universe. Through the substances and beings It inhabits, the intentions of Divine Intelligence are brought forth into existence and, while we observe, history happens.
In the cycle of life, you could say that the Creator, this intelligent life energy (which I like to call “JUICE!”), “descends” into creation and, once living, thrusts “upward,” from within beings, back toward the Source (Itself) for which It is constantly striving. This thrust is the impetus for evolution and life.
Beings who begin to feel and understand the presence of this Energy within themselves soon recognize the rightness of goodwill toward other people. Eventually they move on to goodwill with regard to life forms, first animals and then plants. If they continue far enough on their path, they begin to emanate goodwill not only toward all creation, but also toward the Creator Itself:
They feel goodwill toward God.
This goodwill toward God can also be called “reverence,” or even “worship.”
The essence of worship is the recognition, within the individual being, of the connection he or she (for those are the only two choices at this level of biology) shares with the Divine Being. The reason this connection exists is the unity of the individual and the Divine. “I and the Father are One,” said the Master. “Atman (the individual spirit) and Brahman (the Great Spirit) are one,” said the ancient Hindus. The same can be said for any person who recognizes that the very spirit which animates himself is the same Spirit which religions seek to personify and describe in their myths and ceremonies.
One’s spirit and Universal Spirit are a unity. This is why spirituality brings one closer to one’s Divine Source. Spirituality is the allowance of Divine Energy within oneself to draw closer to the Source “above” or “out there.” Like attracts like.
Goodwill toward God, then, is goodwill toward oneself—one’s Greater Self, “God in you.” Worship not only recognizes the Divine; it also serves and refreshes the spirit within. True worship is right thinking toward God.
(written in 2008)