One of the guiding lights of the 20th century, Howard Thurman was an American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. Emphasizing the connection between inner life and outer action, Thurman pushed people working for civil rights to take the inward journey to “find the sound of the genuine in [them.]”
The external, transactional nature of so much of (North) American life in particular doesn’t nurture the spirit. In the realm of the spirit, social constructions and markers ultimately fall away.
Thurman talked about the “inward sea.” In this inward sea, each person has an island in their spirit. On that island, there is an altar. Next to that altar, there is an angel with a flaming sword. In order to put what is most important on the altar, you first have to find the sea, get to the island, and get past the angel, so that you can find what is truly genuine in you and what is most important. Once you find that, then you come alive.
Then you discover what you have been purposed for, Thurman said. And then you begin to work outward.
We work inward to work outward.
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