Whether we are aware of it or not we constantly choose between love and fear. Fear comes up in the form of greediness and attack. We always want more, and more, and more, and we see ourselves in competition with others for material things, for attention, for pleasure. The irony is that true satisfaction and serenity in life, happiness if you will, comes from giving not from getting. We live in a society that constantly insists that we pursue getting because we are driven by profit, the bottom line, and we have made it our utlimate yardstick, our ultimate goal, our God.
We no longer, as a society, concern ourselves with the common good, the social benefit or even justice but rather with the accumulation of material wealth and power.
However, it is in the joining together, sharing, connecting with others for common cause and benefit that we as individuals as well as community grow and develop and become happy. It is indeed countercultural to realize that happiness and well being comes from giving not from getting, from sharing not from hoarding, from loving not from defensiveness and arrogance.
In the spiritual life, we become aware of the paradoxes of life. We are willing to be "fools for Christ", and we love the laughing Buddha, the holy fool Nasrudin.
I learned from the Unitarian Universalists that you don't have to believe alike to love alike. Mulla Nasrudin was asked one day, "Nasrudin, is your religion orthodox?" and Nasrudin said, "It all depends on which bunch of heretics is in power."
In the spiritual life, we look beyond power, beyond fear, and strive to discern justice, truth, and love. At the time of the early Christian communities, it was said that non christians would marvel and say, "Look how they love one another." Wouldn't it be great if the whole world became like that and we all learned to love one another?