Cooperation And Fellowship
(Posted on March 27, 2014 by David McMillin)
NOT MY WILL BUT THINE, O LORD, BE DONE IN ME AND THROUGH ME. LET ME EVER BE A CHANNEL OF BLESSINGS, TODAY, NOW, TO THOSE THAT I CONTACT, IN EVERY WAY. LET MY GOING IN, MY COMING OUT BE IN ACCORD WITH THAT THOU WOULD HAVE ME DO, AND AS THE CALL COMES, "HERE AM I, SEND ME, USE ME!" (262-3; Cooperation affirmation)
HOW EXCELLENT IS THY NAME IN THE EARTH, 0 LORD! WOULD I HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THEE, I MUST SHOW BROTHERLY LOVE TO MY FELLOW MAN. THOUGH I COME IN HUMBLENESS AND HAVE AUGHT AGAINST MY BROTHER, MY PRAYER, MY MEDITATION, DOES NOT RISE TO THEE. HELP THOU MY EFFORTS IN MY APPROACH TO THEE. (262-21; Fellowship affirmation)
The ASFG lessons are sequential and cumulative. Important themes are repeated like echoes at higher octaves on a piano keyboard. So it is with the lesson on Fellowship which resonates with that first lesson on Cooperation.
Both Cooperation and Fellowship are common words with a variety of meanings. At the most mundane, material level, these words refer to simple human relations in a secular or practical manner. There need not be any particular spiritual depth or meaning to the interactions, and sometimes quite the opposite. For example, in the video overview for Cooperation lesson, the example was given of a group of criminals apparently cooperating in the planning and execution of a robbery. Obviously this is not the level of cooperation associated with spiritual seeking. Rather, Cooperation in the Search for God, begins with attunement to God – “Thy will be done.” Then, that level of Cooperation with the Divine within is brought to bear in human relationships – spiritualizing, as it were, interactions with others – even when clashes arise and Cooperation is a challenge.
Likewise, Fellowship can have various meanings and nuances. A group of guys getting together at a bar to watch a football game could be called fellowship of a rather rowdy sort. And there certainly could be a high level of spirituality in such a situation depending upon the ideals of the individuals involved and whether the individuals were attuned to the Divine through a spiritual ideal. Thus, like Cooperation, Fellowship in the Search For God, begins with God and attunement to the Divine within which is then expressed outwardly in relationship to others (God within, God without).
Thus spiritual Fellowship at the human level is an echo or shadow of the inner personal Fellowship one has with God. At the human level, this “spirit of fellowship” could be called brotherhood/sisterhood, as it is defined in some of the Cayce readings given for the first study group. For without that human expression of Fellowship with God as brotherly/sisterly love, there is something missing. When we can see God within another and relate to that God self in resonance with our own inner attunement, then the spirit of Fellowship is made manifest and enhances the potential for Cooperation in whatever area of activity.
The study group readings (262 series) consistently recommend putting the lessons into practice in the midst of life, not as a thing apart, but rather in daily activities with others. Thus it is with Cooperation and Fellowship – the experience of God within and without – inner attunement expressed through interpersonal relations.