A Point of Contact
Someone has said, “We should stop trying so hard to get along with God, and try to get along with people.” It is an interesting thing that when we really try to get along with people, we can accomplish tremendous things. Many of us may not be able to make any tremendous contribution to solving the big problems of the day, between nations or between individuals. But we can start with ourselves. We can strive to be a human catalyst, bringing people together in common understanding and purpose.
Lao Tsu, in Ancient China, defined life as, “to be in relations.” He says that “one lives in proportion to the number of points with which he makes contact with life and with the world.” I recall hearing a man emphatically saying that he could count his real friends on the fingers of one hand. His acquaintances were many; his friends were few. That’s a very sad thing to see in the life of another. On the other hand, I recall Will Rogers, who said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”
Without a doubt, this business of human relations, getting along with people and making contact with people, is one of the most needful things in life. It is the key to a successful and a very happy marriage. It is the key to success in business. It is the answer to a happy and peaceful life.
But how can you find that “something” that insures the harmonious relations that we need? Let me illustrate with a story. In the course of the Armenian atrocities in the Middle East, many, many years ago, a young woman and her brother were pursued down the street by a Turkish soldier. They were cornered in the angle of a wall. And the brother was slain right before the sister’s eyes. She dodged down an alley and leaped a wall…and escaped. This remained fixed in her consciousness, as you can imagine. Later, because she was a nurse, she was forced by the Turkish authorities to work in a military hospital. One day, into her ward was brought the same Turkish soldier who had killed her brother. She recognized him immediately. He was very ill, and the slightest inattention would have insured his death.
As the young woman told this story some time later, from her new home in America, she confessed to the bitter struggle that took place in her mind. Something in her cried out for vengeance! She wanted to get even! She couldn’t forget that sight of this soldier killing her brother right before her eyes. Somehow, the voice of the Divine Flow within her, working through her reasoning mind, bade her to love, to forgive. She finally came to realize that the “eye-for-an-eye” pattern certainly had to stop somewhere. If it went on, and on, and on, there was no hope for peace in the world, let alone for people to get along. To harbor hate and bitterness certainly was a poison to herself.
So, she nursed this man as carefully as anyone else in the ward. One day, unable to restrain his curiosity, the Turk (who, incidentally, had also recognized her) asked his nurse: Why didn’t she just let him die? Why did she help him? Why was she so good to him? She replied that she was a follower of him who said, “Love your enemies, …and do good to them….” [Matt. 5:44] He was silent for awhile. Then he said, “I never really knew that there was such a spiritual philosophy. If that is your religion, please tell me more about it, because I want it for my own.”
There is an important point involved here: Just knowing the words, “love your enemies,” doesn’t help anyone. But this girl had, somehow, made an inward commitment and an inward contact with God, with the Creative Flow. She was so accustomed to making an inward contact with this Flow, and to dealing with the God-Activity within other people, that this loving tendency simply overwhelmed her. It is “the secret of the ages,” as far as getting along with people is concerned.
Making contact with God within yourself and making contact with God within other people is what I call the “Namaskar Consciousness.” Namaskar is the Hindustani word, N-a-m-a-s-k-a-r (pronounced, “num´-us-kar”), which means, “The Divinity within me salutes the Divinity within you.” Meet people in the “Namaskar Consciousness,” “The Divinity within me salutes the Divinity within you,” and you will find a point of contact and a harmonious relationship.
Man will always have difficulty in getting along with others, until he learns to get along with himself. How often we are at cross-purposes with our self because we are at cross-purposes with God. We are off center, as it were. The reason people “rub us the wrong way,” and we have hurt feelings is because we are not on solid ground ourselves. The reason we are “sandpapered” by events is because we have some “sandpaper” within our own consciousness. The person who is poised and peaceful within himself has nothing to worry about.
When we find ourselves losing our temper, we should remember that it is because we have lost our Inner Contact [with God]. Somehow, we have cut ourselves off from the Source of Power. So, rather than letting ourselves lash back at people, we need to learn to get still, to “cool it,” to find the Inner Point of Contact, and to deal with the person, again, in the “Namaskar Consciousness.”
A classic example of one who got along with people because he knew how to control himself was that great American President, Abraham Lincoln. You know his story. He came up from the backwoods to the Capitol, where he was surrounded by the most cultured, highly-educated, ablest men of his time. Most of them had a low estimate of Lincoln at the start, because he seemed to be crude and unlettered. When he made William Henry Seward secretary of state, it was at first constantly implied that Lincoln didn’t have the intelligence to shape policy, and therefore, he would have to let Seward do it. A little man, who had no Inner Contact [with God], might have been insulted. But Lincoln patiently showed Seward that he knew what he was doing. And a few weeks later, Seward said, “The President is the best man among us.”
We must form the habit of making contact with God within other persons. This is the “Namaskar Consciousness,” again: “The Divinity within me salutes the Divinity within you.” This is understanding. You may recall the old American Indian saying, “I will never judge a man, until I have walked at least three miles in his moccasins.” The main reason we don’t get along with people is because we don’t like them. And, we don’t like them because we don’t know them. And, we don’t know them because we are too involved in our own selfish thoughts about our own little world.
I’ve talked to many salespersons who have been having trouble with their sales. Quite often they say, “People won’t talk to me. They run the other way. I have a good product, but I can’t reach them. How can I sell them, if they won’t let me talk to them?” I usually say, “What do you know about the people you are calling? Do you know their names? Do you know if they are married or single, if they have any children, if they like baseball? People usually think that these questions are silly. They say, “Well look, I just ask them if they want my product. That’s all there is to it. It’s a good product. Either they want it or they don’t.” I try to explain that selling is a fine art. First of all, you have to sell yourself. You have to make contact with the customer as a person, and then you have a field in which to do business. I always suggest that a salesperson give some time, in advance, to “researching” the person he is going to call on. First of all, make contact with God in himself—silently get a sense of Oneness with Divine Intelligence. And then, address this “God Self” to that within the other person. Say to that person: “The Divinity within me salutes the Divinity within you. And there is only love and respect and cooperation between us.” Once you have prepared yourself in this consciousness, then you go into your sales approach. You have a marvelous opportunity, in a free, open relationship, or Point of Contact, to express or experience what you want.
One of the great barriers to effective human relations is the human insistence upon getting across our point of view. This is the thing that always leads to arguments and feuds. Man has forever believed that in everything there a right side and a wrong side…period! We think we are on the right side; so, we have got to tell people they are on the wrong side. But again, the need is not to get across a point of view, but to arrive at a Point of Contact.
The secret of getting along in life is to make contact with God within ourselves, and to make contact with God in all people, in all things—the “Namaskar Consciousness.” “Namaskar,” the Hindustani word that means, “The Divinity within me salutes the Divinity within you.”
So, I say to you, dear friends, whoever you are: Namaskar! I salute the Divinity within you!
© Eric Butterworth