Love's most strange, most holy mystery -- we are intimate beyond belief.
Since the very dawn of humanity, humans have looked to the stars and wondered every question imaginable... it is as if the most ancient dream of humanity was to soar among those stars -- and perhaps also to fly into the very Mind of God... but with the arrival of quantum physics and the wide dissemination of the world's mystic teachings, the new human is destined to advance in the "spaceship" of Love, Life, and Consciousness: perhaps too, someday, we will fly among the stars, but that will pale in comparison to our awakening into our essential divinity...
In spite of the temporary ascendancy of the world's corporate-elite who would gather all wealth and power unto themselves, a very different culture is emerging: a Planetary culture of awareness and eco-solidarity: dedicated to the exploration of consciousness, of inter-being, and of enlightenment. This transformation is occurring simultaneously around the world -- look to the margins: it is there that a new humanity is being born! Within each of us individually, and all of us collectively, this dream is steadily rising: from eco-feminism to the occupy movement, from shaman explorations to quantum mechanics: a new paradigm of Unity, Partnership, and Mutual-Aid is taking hold and pushing us toward a transformational awakening.
To access this vision is to enter into the mystic path: to sustain this vision is to step onto the activist path: to unite both these paths within one human being -- and then into a network of intentional communities -- is to become that which we seek: One Love. This transcendental potential is shared by all! One Love will teach us how to build the society of our dreams: a vital participatory democracy, an economics of global solidarity, and a culture of equality, reverence, and justice.
This vision of the New Human requires the steady expansion and deepening of our consciousness into a mindful awakening: setting aside the many temptations of the isolated ego, for the awareness of the essential unity of all. We need to embrace our destiny as "One": intimate beyond belief: with Love. We need to "polish our mirrors" that we may see ourselves as we really are: interdependent beings existing within the "mercy" of a Planetary ecology.
The power of the corporate elite is nothing in comparison to the power of the people coming together, and it is even less than that in comparison to this dream that lives with each one of us. We have been born for the infinite: to unite the immanent and the transcendent within our own consciousness: to become aware of the One who links us all, all of nature, and even the furthest stars into the truth of the New Human. This metaphysics is all about connections: uniting the spiritual, psychological, and physical into an entirely new language and story and eventually into an as yet undreamed myth about which even newer stories will be told... can you hear the beginnings?
Sometimes I would guess that you can: when watching a sunset, while holding your lover, when kissing your child, when demonstrating for justice, while organizing for action, and perhaps while standing in a shower and letting the water course upon your head: thinking only that everyone should have a share in "enough": in beauty, in kindness, in gentleness, and in liberation... You think and feel these thoughts deeply, perhaps wondering if you, too, have been specifically called to these adventures and explorations... and so you are imagining yourself as an agent, a creator, of the new Planetary Consciousness: and maybe, too, the mystic who will give birth to the New Human...
We can build a world that is gentle and beautiful -- a mirror of the Holy One! We can build a world that is welcoming and warm for every newborn child; a world in which no one is afraid to love without limit...
We can build communities where poetry, art, and wisdom are born; where walls are taken down; where insights and gifts are honored; where the freedom to love is encouraged; where there is no religion that is not always and everywhere practicing kindness; where everyone shares in the blessings of justice; where the Earth is sacred; where life is filled with wonder at the least little surprise; where the Holy One smiles at the silent secret within every awakening soul; where adoration and worship liberates everyone from fear and activates compassion...
We can live magnificently in mindfulness, mystery, and mercy...
We can summon all that is best in us and in every culture and dedicate that to the passionate pursuit of paradise...
We can dream great dreams and envision infinite possibilities on the Way of Love...
Listen to this simple line from Rumi:
"Be foolishly in love,
because love is all there is."
So, for those who scoff at this paradise dream of mine, Rumi offers the only response that just may be grace-filled enough to get you closer to the heart of the matter... but do you understand? Are you beginning to realize that you have within you the power to choose: will it be love or will it be fear? This is what everything boils down to: all religion, all politics, all economics, all culture, and all hope for the future and this precious blue Planet. Great Souls like Yeshua, like Rumi, and like Gandhi do not teach us as if they are simply on some sort of vacation from eternal bliss: no, they teach as souls deeply engaged on every level with our human possibilities: and they have not left to some far-off blue heaven: no, they live among us as "Whisperers" in our hearts... they live among us as the activists, poets, and lovers who always inspire us to open our minds to new dreams and undiscovered passions...
Okay, I do understand how tired you may be! I do understand how difficult it is to maintain a belief in goodness and hope when so much in our world seems to be filled with darkness... but isn't that just an excuse? Wouldn't it be better -- wouldn't you feel more alive -- if you sacrificed your pride for a little bit more of the folly of love? Not many people are really remembered 500 years after they are dead -- most folks are not really remembered 5 years after they're dead! And untold numbers of people have died and NO ONE even noticed that they were no longer around... so truthfully, what have you got to lose? We all end up feeding worms and flowers, so why not live for a few minutes, days, years -- or the rest of your life -- magnificently loving to love? Why not live intending to love more than Yeshua, Rumi, and Gandhi combined? Why not touch, caress, kiss, serve, activate, organize, and rEvolutionize like there will be no tomorrow?
Do that. And you just might be remembered 500 years from now. And if not, you will still have become a magnificent lover!
"How you love is the open sky"... so teaches Rumi the Ecstatic... and, "If you want to know God, enjoy the company of lovers." This precious blue Planet and all the life that it supports and sustains is pregnant with the creative Divine Consciousness -- the One Love response to the Original Question of "What If?" So if your love is like the sky, open and expansive, you become the mirror of the Divine... if, on the other hand, you contract your capacity to love, like into something as small as a fist, your reflective possibilities will be steadily reduced -- like a mirror in a steam-filled room...
What is the truth of the human condition? Each and every one of us possesses two root emotions: Love and Fear. These two root emotions have the power to create certain trajectories in our consciousness -- tendancies of thought become patterns, and patterns of thought steadily become habits... this is as true for the saint as for the scoundrel. The difference between the saint and the scoundrel is this essential orientation (reinforced by family, peers, and culture) and the activated will to transformation: in the absence of familial nurturing the pervading cultural "field" becomes the dominant instructive force in the life of the child and teen: Fear requires flight or fight: violence and other survival (pain reducing) addictions result from its overwhelming power: and the activation of the will for transformation becomes then a nearly impossible task. "As for one, so for the many" could be an axiom for the cultural addiction to Fear Consciousness: we see this all around us and the world, for example, in all the justifications for weapons and violence.
Turning once again to Rumi, he instructs "lovers leave what keeps them confined... you are the soul, and when you hear yourself in some hypocrisy, cut free." This is the "activation of the will for transformation": the saint sees the problem and proceeds to change. The scoundrel reacts to the problem and proceeds to contract. This plays out in our families, economies, politics, and religions until it becomes "fields" of reality: supported by fist, gun, money, and theology. But to believe with Rumi that "you have the energy of the sun in you" compels the seasoned step: "Go to the banquet of true human beings. Split open the cultural mold. Put your head up out of the sack..." In doing this, "Impossibilities occur."
This very specific moment in time is a radical confluence of forces: science in regards to climate change is roundly condemned by the right-wing, while the science of genetic manipulation of seeds is roundly supported by the same right-wing; criminals have guns, children have access to guns, and other citizens -- by the millions -- have guns to "protect" themselves from their children and the criminals their policies consigned to poverty and hopelessness; global resource exploitation is endangering the capacity of Earth to sustain life; depression and suicide are rampant the world over; terrorists have no regard for anyone's life anywhere; women are globally oppressed and victims of rape, war, dominator-economics, and male-dictated theologies -- AND at this very same moment: women the world-over are rising, claiming their equality and rights to life and the pursuit of happiness; millions of women and men both are choosing to engage with a path of heart-awakening and are forging new spiritualities and organizations of alternatives to the limits imposed by Fear; "East has met West" and the globalization of information, education, and enlightenment is breaking down every sort of previous barrier; and the many justifications for violence, injustice, and oppression are being met with a sincere openness to the "other" and an increased willingness to trust in the open-ended possibilities of tolerance, acceptance, solidarity, and a new culture of Practiced Kindness, Equality, Justice, Harmlessness, and Beauty. This confluence has the potential to radically (to the roots) alter the course of our common human story: We Can Choose, Right Now, To "Love As The Open Sky", and Truly Come Alive in Our Personal Transformation (required for a Planetary Transformation).
So, to say "how you love is the open sky", is not a poetic metaphor but a spiritual and political truth both. To consciously choose the way of expansion -- or to follow the dominant cultural "field" and contract -- is the meaning and power of this moment: YOU can choose to live for the rest of your life as an agent of transformation: OR NOT. But to activate the Power of One is to unleash all the pregnant possibilities of the Universe: don't kid yourself and say that you are not important and that what you do doesn't matter: You are, in fact, everyone and everything... so stand up: state your declaration: we've been waiting for you...
Somewhere, there is a House for Beauty... a Place that invites the soul to consider peace as its deepest center... and so to relax into the heart and a life of steady awakening... In the center there is a garden where the Community works, plays, and grows flowers and food... a workshop for crafts and art studio... a quiet place for meditation and soul cultivation... a common Kitchen and Table for meals and celebrations of life, passion, kindness, and loving-harmlessness... and where sacred simplicity decorates the walls... with Beauty leading the way into contemplation: beauty is the language spoken, and service is the action that is offered...
Somewhere, there is a House for Beauty... a place for children to know they've come home... where Light falls in the clearing and a rainbow of color enlightens the mind... where Mystery is an honored guest and the Divine Feminine transforms every power into adoration... where every window is an icon: a revelation into each perfect moment... where guests discover their possibilities for purpose and sacred action... where every eye is "occupied" with awakening into the Mystic Breath of Yeshua and Rumi, where Gandhi teaches, where Green Tara, Hildegard, Mirabai, Dorothy, and White Buffalo Calf Woman lead the council of women and men into a deepening -- a greening -- communion...
Somewhere, there is a House for Beauty... where life is lived as a school of Love: where Love is the instructor and the course of study, where Love is the awakener into sacred action for Justice and Peace, and for the saving of this precious blue Planet... where hope is nourished by the bread of wisdom, where radiance is the every-day experience of life... where the Community lives in solidarity with everyone who struggles in life and for life... where life is lived in anticipation of personal and Planetary transformation: "We were created by Love, for Love, to become Love" (Simone Weil)... where everyone knows how deeply wounded they are, and yet do not live in the excuse of wounds, but in the radical joy of humility, mercy, forgiveness, and kindness -- as a self-practice flowing out into the Community and on into the world...
Somewhere, there is a House for Beauty... where the lusciousness of poetry vibrates through the walls... and where it is discovered: "There are a hundred ways to kiss the ground"... "The sky itself reels with love"... "Live in the opening where there is no door to hide behind"... "Close the language-door, and open the love-window"... "Teach me how to kiss"... "When love itself comes to kiss you, do not hold back"... "You are the soul, the universe, and what animates the universe"..."Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd"... "You that love lovers, this is your home. Welcome." (Rumi)
... Somewhere, there is a House for Beauty...
What was the point of the year 2012?
What was the point of the global interest in the ancient Mayan calendar?
Were you among those disappointed in the absence of an obvious "shift" in consciousness? Did this attention -- and then the big "nothing" -- do damage to your enthusiasm for your further plans for spiritual / metaphysical adventure?
As I hope that you have discovered, in the pages of this website and in the archived blogs, there is here an abundance of both inspiration and suggestions for the serious student of "soul-shifting surrender". This particular blog is going to re-focus attention on the sacred "Now"... So, to begin, what was the point of 2012 and all the global attention to ancient Mayan prophecies? Simply put: 2013. Huh? The point of every yesterday is always today: or more specifically, "now". The essential question is always the same: what is it that you need to wake up? In truth, each moment is "pregnant with paradise": each moment is as good as it is ever going to get. Right on the other side of our every-day awareness is the fullness of the Surprise, the Divine, the Cosmic Consciousness creating, sustaining, and evolving all of existent reality. Right "now" anyone can increase their awareness and steadily step into a life of awakening.
Many ancient peoples and cultures lived intimate with creation -- with a natural awareness of the Divine Mother birthing all of life in Her sacred cycle of creation and destruction. This intimacy was fully expressed in the way of the shaman who could cross "portals" of awareness and access the Reality on the "other side" of the visible world which has only the "appearance" of form. Everything exists as a "shadow" of its true nature or divine truth: "polishing our mirror" means to wipe clean our mental conditioning and awaken into truth (not the mental affirmation of a creed but a direct metaphysical experience uniting the created with the Creator). Among others, the ancient Mayans, the American Plains Lakota, and the Australian Aborigine lived (live) on the edge of this natural and sacred awareness. We can choose to re-focus our interior lives on this core reality wherever we may find ourselves living: aware of "Now", each moment then becomes a portal to awakening.
The mandala picture gracing this page is a visual representation of this sacred awakening: from the outer edges (where most of us live), to the inner core of One: there is a Way: the path of soul-shifting surrender... Surrender, in our current cultural parlance, equates to "defeat" or "giving up"... but in metaphysical terms, surrender means "yielding as water" and "getting into the flow": there is no defeat here and there is no giving up. There could instead be the victory of life as it is meant to be lived and the "giving out" of endless love, service, and ecstasy! Following the mandala from the edges into the Center is the way of soul-shifting surrender: a daily meditation followed by a daily participation in kindness, gratitude, and beauty: deeper and deeper, until each moment becomes "Mother of God" and the Divine is suddenly recognized as the Only Reality, the Only One, and the One Love penetrating and pervading all of creation... 2013: could be the very best year of your life, the year that you decided to finally surrender and awaken, the year that we all decide to sanctify every moment and this precious blue Planet with unlimited Love. Why not?
This path shifts the soul from ego-identification to the original selflessness of Only One. The Bhagavad Gita teaches of the "atman": and identifies the essential truth of our being: our soul shares the very same Identity as the "super-soul": the One Love "thought" that originates every field of consciousness and through which, by which, and from which the entire invisible and visible "reality" of matter is formed, sustained, and transformed: always from the lower into the higher: reaching ever higher into the expanding field of Love and evolutionary (rEvolutionary) Possibilities. THIS is who we are! So you can take all of your long history of "thats" and fold them up and forget them... leave them as you would leave coyote scat on the trail... step lightly over and keep going... your sacred journey promises your awakening: welcome home!
There is an old saying, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"... while I do not believe in the existence of a place called "hell" for the eternal torture of human beings -- even for those who failed to live up to their good intentions -- is there perhaps not a smidgen of value to the saying?
Let's start by re-creating the saying: "The road to transformation is created by steady intention." That doesn't roll off the tongue very well, so how about this: "Your feet mark the path, your heart is the goal." Okay, maybe that's still not it, how about: "If Love is your goal, then Love must also be your way." In other words, intention is not only a good thing, but it is everything! As you intend, so do you will: as you will, so will you transform: as you transform, your intentions gather increased power and begin to radiate possibilities: one intention after the other, sort of "leap-frogging" into the lusciousness of ecstatic delight!
The key to intention is to keep it simple -- so you will begin to establish a sense of motion, of movement forward. If you intend to run a summer marathon you don't begin practice with a fifteen-mile training run! You instead start with a do-able schedule of a few miles at a time: adding on vigorous sprints: adding on more miles: giving your body sufficient rest and nutrients: building up to... you get the picture: you build upon your initial intention with a string of success. Each success adds depth and courage to your character. Each success adds a vivifying power to your essential person-hood! And you begin to know that you are different: you are changing, transforming before the eyes of your family and friends: as it is in regards to running, so it is in regards to the soul and mystic awakening.
Begin with the intention to give attention: first to the unconscious stream of your thoughts, and then to a gentle, but firm and consistent, intention to "massage" that flow into the constructive and positive: no more unconscious swearing (save those words only for the surprise of really special occasions -- like when Yeshua called King Herod a fox). Secondly, begin to utilize the power of positive affirmation: make it a part of your daily practice to notice and affirm the people in your life: make gratitude your new identity (not just an attitude -- but your identity!). Every time that you notice a negative thought entering your mind -- go to the "bank" and deposit an affirmation: so, the thought "I'm an ugly piece of crap" comes into your mind -- unbidden from your past -- as soon as your notice it, affirm "I have been created by Love, for Love, to become Love. I am choosing to be Love now. I am choosing to affirm my everlasting Beauty right now!" In short order, you will discover your "bank account" has a significant savings!
At this point it is vital that you take the next step: ultimately, transformation is not about "you". Instead, it is always about the "other". A lot of folks wonder after years of "walking the path" why haven't they made any evident "progress". Somehow they just forgot this essential point: you've got to bring everyone along with you! No one gets left behind! Nothing gets left behind! So now your daily practice is firm "do-able" intention, built upon the steady use of affirmation: and you are including others in your embrace: you volunteer in a soup kitchen, you mentor teen girls, you do something important for others... Now your meditation has the uplift of love-in-action: your heart is fully engaged with your life. An important "bonus-step" is the deliberate working on reducing the difference between your vision and your reality: in other words, if you want love in your life, you must become love: if you want peace on earth, you must become peace: if you want a just world, you must practice justice. You must give evidence to others that it is possible to change! (And then, again, look behind you on the path to lend a hand... and if you are intending to a total transformation into your true self, into your secret identity: go to the very back of the line and work from there, ushering everyone before you into Paradise...)
So, "the road to bliss, is straight through your heart, opened and shared for everyone in need"... all flowing from your good intentions...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.