“What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”

As we look out on the planet and see wars and violence, ideologically entrenched politicians, culture wars and polarization to such a degree that positive progress on the issues facing humanity seems impossible, we can’t help but think that the world could sure use a healthy dose of loving energy!

But who is going to bring that love to bear? There’s no sense waiting on others to do it. Ultimately, you and I are going to have to bring it. The world needs you and I to show up – but we’re called to show up in a certain way. We need to show up as a “beneficial presence”.

What is a beneficial presence?

I borrow the phrase from the teachings of Dr. Thomas Hora. In the late 20th century, Hora created a type of spiritual psychiatry which he called “existential metapsychiatry“.

Hora wrote, “the aim of metapsychiatry is to heal man of his afflictions by elevating his consciousness to the recognition of his identity as an image and likeness of God, a spiritual being capable of transcendence.”

It’s important to note that when he uses the word “God”, he’s not referring to the old myth of an external God whom we picture as an old man in the sky. For Hora – as well as many other spiritual teachers – God is an infinite power, presence and intelligence which both created the universe and embedded itself within it. Hora referred to God as “Love-Intelligence”.

When we identify with our ego or our sense of personal self, Hora says “we are all dreaming that we are physical personalities interacting with one another, positively or negatively. And we are very serious about this because we do not know that we are dreaming, and so are experiences are very important to us.”

When we take all of our interactions with others who appear separate from us so seriously, this can lead to competition and conflict. One might consider that most of the problems facing the planet are driven by this attachment to separation and our sense of personal self. For Hora and many others – including myself – the key to solving our challenges is to release our sense of separation and move to a place in our consciousness where we recognize that we are all connected.

When we truly sense this, we will have “elevated our consciousness” and see ourselves as “a spiritual being capable of transcendence.” From this place of consciousness, we cannot help but desire to assist others. However, our intention is not driven by a desire to “change others” but rather by a desire to simply be a loving presence.

As Hora writes: “Man is seen as a ‘place’ where God’s presence reveals itself as omniactive Love-Intelligence. We are led to ‘overcome the world’ by discovering in practical ways how to be ‘in this world’ and yet ‘not of it’.” Becoming a beneficial presence is ultimately about creating a new quality of loving consciousness.

Have you ever encountered an individual who can be a great blessing to a situation just by the quality of their consciousness? Have you ever experienced someone for whom things have tendency to work out for good in an almost mysterious way? Have you ever met someone who exudes such warmth and love that you simply want to know them and be in their presence? If so, you have experienced a beneficial presence.

Now whether you believe or not all this stuff about our interconnectedness or God as Love-Intelligence and so on – even if you consider this “highly woo-woo” in your way of seeing the world – I would still ask you to consider how you might employ the following steps to be a truly beneficial presence.

Four Steps to Becoming a Beneficial Presence

Step one: approach all situations peacefully and calmly.

Let go of any emotional attachment to the outcome of any interactions with others. Consider releasing the need to be seen as right in all situations. Consider valuing your relationship with others as much more important than “winning” any differences of opinion.

Step two: have an assurance that all things will ultimately work out for the best.

Life has a way of working out. When we look at events from a higher vantage point or from the wisdom given by the passage of time, we always recognize that things end up okay. Cultivate that feeling when you are in the midst of any challenge.

Step three: live with a sense of gratitude.

All of our life and all that is in it is a gift for which we should be grateful. Turn your attention away from those things that are less than what you want and towards the blessings of your life. Note that your life experiences, your abundance and your relationships are true gifts to you. Recognize that even challenges carry gifts. Feel grateful for it all.

Step four: be love at all times.

Go through life feeling the joy of love – love for yourself, love for others, love for life itself. Truly, “all you need is love.”

If we can bring more peace, assurance, gratitude and love to the world by being a beneficial presence, then I am confident that we will be moving towards solving the challenges which we “appear” to be facing and move us positively towards what is really real and true.

Mark Gilbert


Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his very latest one Becoming a Spiritual Change Agent. Check it out!


Photo credit: AlicePopkorn / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND