A new law I give unto you: Love one another, as I have loved you. — John 13:34
The end of all wisdom is love, love, love. — Ramana Maharshi
Look at the lives of some of the wealthiest people in the world, and you see lives full of misery, because so many of them haven’t learned the simple secret of a life well lived, a life of happiness and inner peace, a life of purpose, a sacred and miraculous life.
Millions of people throughout human history have known this secret — and have known that it is the greatest secret of all. The words have been written and spoken loud and clear in millions of different ways, including in every great spiritual tradition, East and West — in Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and indigenous traditions around the world. And it is being told by a great number of teachers and leaders in the world today. There is nothing new in it; it is the perennial philosophy.
I knew it as a child, but then forgot it. I learned it as a teenager, and again as a young adult, over and over, but I forgot it, over and over. It wasn’t until well into maturity that I learned the secret in a way I remembered, and continue to remember every moment.
The lasting awareness of the secret finally came to me through my morning prayer. For you, it may be different. You may have different ways of discovering it and different words to express it.
The secret may dawn on you when you simply listen to your intuition, that calm and clear voice within you. It may be revealed to you when you finally understand in a new way a phrase you’ve read somewhere or heard someone say many times.
Christ and Muhammad learned it through prayer; Buddha learned it through meditation. Some have learned it in nature, some in churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues; some have found it through having a child, or taking on some other great task; some have learned it in books and films, conferences and talks.
Every teacher of the secret can only point the way, because the answer is within us.
The secret is always revealed to me in a simple prayer. Nearly every morning, I step outside, look around, and let all thought go with a single, deep breath. Then I wander around the yard, and say a little prayer. It usually starts with, “Thank you, Creator, for this beautiful day...” and goes on to list a few things I am grateful for.
Then I say the simple words that lead to the greatest secret of all: I quietly whisper, Guide me, Creator. Guide me.
And I listen for any quiet words that come to mind. They are almost always exactly the same, and I have come to see, over the years, how the greatest secret of all is expressed in these simple words:
Love, serve, and remember.
Remember what? I ask.
Remember to love and serve, always.
I can remember where I’ve heard those words before. Love, Serve and Remember was the title of a book by Ram Dass years ago.
Remember that love overcomes fear.
Love opens the gates of heaven.
The Kingdom of Heaven is within.
Love overcomes fear — I recognize this from A Course in Miracles. And I remember again that we have the choice, every moment, between love and fear. We can choose, consciously, to love. It is the far better choice, always.
Love finds the perfect partnership
in all we do.
Riane Eisler gave us this part of the puzzle in her brilliant books The Chalice and the Blade and The Power of Partnership. She gives us what she calls a lens through which to view the world. Do we see partnership, based on love and respect, or do we see some kind of domination or exploitation, based on fear and on a need to control?
Partnership is the solution to our personal and even global problems. For our personal problems — our anxieties, doubts, and fears — we can find that partnership with ourselves, with our intuition, our spirit, or whatever you want to call it, that supports us and loves us as much as we love our own children.
For our global problems — hunger, poverty, and war — the solutions are only to be found in new and better ways of working in partnership in every relationship we have: with our intimate partners and families; with our work, our community, our nation, and our world; and with nature and Spirit as well.
The great work ahead of us, Riane Eisler reminds us, is replacing the well-entrenched model of domination, based on fear and a need to control, with a new way of living, a new model of partnership, based on love and respect for all people, and for all of creation.
That is the greatest secret of all. Sometimes I hear it whispered quietly in my mind in these words:
Loving and serving
yourself and others is the key
to happiness, fulfillment, and inner peace.
This is the greatest secret of all.
This is the key that overcomes our fears and leads us to a life of grace and ease, a miraculous life.
You know the secret now. Say it to yourself, in your own words. And remember it, always. It will guide you, every moment, to fulfillment, whatever that may mean for you.
It will guide you to the top of the pyramid of humanity, to a place of peace and power.
It will show you how to create the life of your dreams and contribute in your own wonderful way to making the world a far better place.
The secret is love. Love is the creative force of all life, and love is all that matters. Everything else fades into insignificance and passes away; love and life alone are eternal.
That is the greatest secret of all, the secret to a life well lived — a precious life, a sacred life, where we realize the miracle of what is.
It is love, always and forever.
This excerpt was reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New World Library. ©2011. www.newworldlibrary.com
The Greatest Secret of All: Simple Steps to Abundance, Fulfillment, and a Life Well Lived
by Marc Allen.
Marc Allen is an internationally renowned author and president and publisher of New World Library, which he co-founded (with Shakti Gawain) in 1977. He has written numerous books, including Visionary Business, A Visionary Life, The Millionaire Course, and The Type-Z Guide to Success. He has also recorded several albums of music, including Awakening, Breathe, and Solo Flight. Marc is a popular speaker and seminar leader based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more about Marc, including his free monthly teleseminars, see www.MarcAllen.com. For more about his music (including free samples), see www.WatercourseMedia.com.