Apologies for rambling this morning. I was just really turned on. Have no idea why. It wasn't even my second cup of coffee.
However, putting all of that aside, I am deeply blessed and grateful for our gathering on Sunday mornings. It has been and continues to be a profound blessing in my life. Thank you
As I was reading over this morning's material I became very aware the a huge commitment each one of us has made to transforming our lives, our thoughts and the world around us. It is a tremendously gutsy move to be willing to take responsibility for the healing of the world.
Of course, as we well know the healing begins with each one of us. We stand in a place where we are conscious of our own individual existence as well as our Cosmic connection with all other beings. It is only by or through the process of transformation that this continuing healing can take place.
We begin to realize, very deeply, that the conflict we perceive in the external world is a reflection of the conflict within ourselves and in order for any of that to transform or to be transcended means accepting responsibility as a first step.
When we accept responsibility for our perception of the world, as limited as it might be, we begin to open ourselves up to the possibility of healing. When John the Baptist presented his directive of “Repent,” it was mistakenly used or interpreted to mean there is something wrong with us; that we are sinners; that we are bad; that we are rotten to the core.
The word “repent” simply means to rethink something, to look at it differently, to realize that my perception, my limited perception has gotten me all caught up in limited thinking. The old “law” that the world was living under was “an eye for an eye.”
Paul later confirmed the new law by his wonderful declaration of Love in I Corinthians, and by teaching “Be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
We come here each Sunday morning in some ways to be renewed, to allow our minds to be transformed, to see ourselves to see the world differently.
I'm not sure whether the times we are living in right now are more difficult than other times. I do realise for myself personally that my perception and my sense of the polarisation of our society seems to be quite vivid and powerful. Because of that, it is quite challenging. A primary challenge is not to become too wrapped up in judgment--especially about myself.
I was mentioning that an aspect of my perception about what we sometimes refer to as the “two sides of the aisle” is that there seems to be no common ground. There seems to be no way of communicating. Then we are all so entrenched in our beliefs of what is right and what is wrong that there seems to be no room for debate or raising our consciousness.
I imagined myself speaking to someone of different beliefs and attempting to find a platform or a base from which we could communicate. I wondered what it would be like To speak with someone on the other side of the aisle, I might say something to the effect of “I am frightened. I am frightened that if those in power proceed in the direction that I am perceiving at the moment that the world will be a much more difficult place to live in; hat there will be a continual rise in a sense of separation, hatred and prejudice; that there will be the rule of the rich rather than the rule of the righteous. Can you tell me what you are afraid of?”
It was pointed out that perhaps the person I am talking with will not acknowledge any fear at all. If that scene where the present itself I could very easily see myself becoming angry, belligerent, self-righteous, and accusing them of being small-minded, of being ignorant of their own inner workings, etc. What I also realized was that, for whatever reasons, I was not able to reach this other person. I do not have to judge them as being overly entrenched or in denial of their own fears. What I need to recognize is that what I said or how I said it did not open the doors to communication. I might not have any other ideas to present at the moment. So instead of getting into a conflict or a judgmental rage with you, I need to move back for a moment and in my heart and in my mind to ask for forgiveness for not being able to connect. I am not blaming myself, I am not blaming you either, I am simply being aware of the impasse that seems to be present right now in our communication and recognize my responsibility for not being able to work through it yet.
Now we did not presuppose if there is a wrong that needs to be righted that we ignore that, but it is true I can work justly without rancor or judgment, what the Buddhists might call right action without stepping all over you. That does not mean I will be able to completely avoid conflict, but I can certainly make that my intention.
During our discussion this morning we came across our old friend that we sometimes refer to as “illusion.” Primarily it was related to a sense of fear. “Isn't fear an illusion?” one of our classmates asked. Of course what we have been taught is that it is an illusion it's not real. And yet even though it might be an illusion, even though it is not real, doesn't mean that I don't have it or that it doesn't affect me in some ways. I am still affected by my fears or I still perceive myself as being affected by my by my fears. Just because they are an illusion or not real on a higher plane of reality does not mean that they simply disappear. I might have to work with my fears, to forgive them, to heal them in order for them to be released. It is usually only after they are released that I recognized the illusory nature of my limited thinking.
Shall we begin a new phase in our learning with this chapter entitled a Demonstration of Love.
Most of us do not have a difficulty or a problem recognizing our love for other people. It is difficult however to allow ourselves to receive or to be loved. Part of the difficulty here is that we are still seeing ourselves as a personality self that somehow has to deserve love or that has barriers to love or that lives in a world where unconditional love seems to be an impossibility. When we speak of love, the essence of love, the essence of Who We Are, we are not talking about the emotion of love or romantic love or a sense of love that comes from the personality. We are speaking of the essence of love which is the essence of Who You Are. “God is love and he who buys in love abides in God and God in him.” That's it; that's the truth.
And we are being asked to go beyond those words. Each one of us, including myself, can be quite glib about saying or affirming those words as being the truth, but all I have to do is to stop and listen to the negative chatter in my mind, to observe how I am treating myself, to notice how free or not free of judgment I might be with regards to myself.
Awareness is the beginning of transformation.
Here is part of a message I've used in another class that I would like to pass on:
So it begins with me, realizing and opening myself up to the possibility of a world without war, a world without conflict, and the next step (because that first one is kind of a generality); the next step is opening myself up to the possibility that I can be without conflict. Now again we might fall into the trap of trying to beat up or destroy or tear up all that seems to be conflict in our lives, throw it out. The next step is to focus on myself and the truth of the Divine being that I am. In this step or stage in the process of manifesting Truth, I am not in a struggle with myself, not in a struggle, even with my lower personality self. I bypass the struggle, which is unnecessary on this plane of realization, and by opening myself up to the truth of who I am, whatever I was holding as struggle or war or conflict ceases to exist. I cannot hate you or judge you if I hold you in the light of truth that you are.
This does not deny my personality self that still holds you in judgement, is still annoyed at your personality, that still thinks you are wrong etc etc but, I am choosing not to feed that lower vibration.
There is even another level of Truth here it for me that demands awareness and practice. I was watching and listening to Ram Dass recently giving a presentation with a couple of other teachers. He asked a question in his halting peaceful loving way— a question that seemed to come out of the blue. He asked “What do you do with these awful, horrible, terrible thoughts you might have?” He didn't give an example of that, but you can imagine what that might be— like “I hate you blah blah blah; I wish you would croak; I wish you were never part of my life; I wish you would disappear from existence; if you would only go away everything would be okay;” that and many others. He waited for these other teachers to give an answer to that question, but they seem to have been dumbfounded at the question itself, and so he answered that for them, “What do you do with these awful horrible and terrible thoughts you might have?” He smiled and said, “You love them to death. You love them to death.” How beautiful!
“The changes that you are undergoing now, as you engage with this text, are on two levels. Your own consciousness is acclimating to the information we offer you, and the vibratory field that you stand in is engaging with your changes and realigning itself to a new possibility.”
These two levels are happening whether we are conscious of them or not, but I do believe that our purpose, our intention is put into play simply by our willingness to show up. The yearning or the desire of our hearts significantly raises our vibration. I often quote Augustine's observation and affirmation “Lord you have made our hearts restless and they will never rest until they rest in Thee.” I am suggesting that by simply recognizing that and letting it be a guiding principle in our lives, even though we might forget occasionally, our vibration, our sense of Truth is expanded. Holding that awareness in front of us without a doubt raises our vibration. Our wanting to is a vehicle for providing that to happen.
We do not always realize these changes or Transformations are taking place until we might be challenged by a situation and we discover that we are handling it differently. The result does not have to be dramatic or terribly overt. There might be subtle changes in our awareness in our responses and, to go along with this chapter, in our ability to love ourselves or to be the love that we are.
In Love, Gratitude and Simplicity