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Lions Roar : January 2005
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2005 51 MARTIN LUTHER KING’S divine calling was to preach.He preached with an artistry, a divinely inspired creativity, that was wondrous to behold. He could call masses of people to hear the word of god; the holy, holy, holy spirit emanating from him was awesome. King was a prophetic witness. Able to convert listeners, he not only made it possible for them to hear sacred teachings, he invited them to open their hearts and be transformed. One of King’s favorite scriptures, taken from the Book of Romans, admonished believers, telling them: “Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may know what the will of God is.” Prophet, preacher, man of god, seeker on the path of righteousness and right action, King meditated often on this scripture because he sought direct connection with the divine. He knew he was constantly in need of divine guidance. Willing to reflect critically, grow and change, he wanted only to do god’s will. King was not an original thinker. Passionate about ideas, he was awed by the insights of original thinkers—especially the works of intellectual and/or visionary men of genius. Open-minded, will- ing to study and learn, King’s personal magic resided in his ability to take complex ideas and break them down bit by bit, placing them in a vernacular form that rendered them accessible to the widest possible audience. Two of the men who most influenced his thinking were Mahatma Gandhi and Erich Fromm. Challenged by the seemingly miraculous power of Gandhi’s mission to bring about a social revolution that would improve everyone’s chances of living a life of well-being with peace, joy, and healing through nonviolent resistance, King became a prophetic witness for peace. Explaining the influence of Gandhi, King wrote: “I had come to see early that Christian doc- Surrendered to Love: King’s Legacy B E L L H O O K S on why King’s vision of life based on a love ethic is the philosophy that could heal our world today BELL HOOKS' newest bookisAWoman's MourningSong(Writers and Readers Publishing).