There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.
There is a Chinese saying, “when you're in extreme danger, wrap your arms around Buddha's feet.” It is the Chinese version of “there are no atheists in foxholes.” The general meaning is the same; when people feel acutely threatened or are in dire straits, they hope or believe in a higher power to pull them through what they don't think they can do by themselves.
People refer to what sustains and supports them by many names: God, Spirit, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, Greater Power, Nature, and many more. Most believe that there is a power, a source of ultimate energy. This is what has kept people going through times of immense stress, provided inner counsel in times of confusion, and given more meaning to joyous events. How do we regard this core belief and what can we learn from people who have devoted their lives to honor it? There are common themes throughout the major spiritual traditions, which I will share here. Please interpret and use them as it resonates with your individual belief system. In this chapter I will refer to this greater power ...