...Even the kindness of a child towards a doll is of immense importance -- no, it is not just of immense importance: every single act of kindness is a summary of every potential that has ever existed, or will ever exist, in the Universe. Every single act of kindness is a call into Being for the Holy One -- the Source is Born -- again and again throughout all of time -- by every moment and movement of Love from "one" to "an other". We become the Mothers of God by our Love and through our Love! We give birth to God when through a thought, word, or action we exist -- in that specific and precious moment -- not for ourselves, but only for the "other".
This opening... this shift in awareness... this awakening is the core practice of personal transformation: it is also the only way forward into the conscious evolution awaiting us behind the thinning veil of time... The power of kindness, the perfect beauty of every act of love, awaits our activation in justice, compassion, and harmlessness... this is the total revolution that will unlock the door to paradise upon this precious blue Planet...
So, what are you living for? What is the work that you have given yourself to do? With what passion do you engage all the days of your life? In other words, what are you really, really worth?
Good! Good! If you are getting antsy -- if you are sensing that, yes, you are famished for "more", for all of the possibilities of life, of giving, of surrender, of transformation... good! You are on your way! And the perfect beauty of kindness will carry you, and everyone else, finally, into "Welcome Home!"... "Welcome Home!"
This is the pathway of the Divine Mother's return...
With every breath, with every thought, with every word, with every action: One Love Blessing... and then we will finally become instruments, channels, of the Lord's Peace... and all will be well, and all manner of things, well...
"The entire world has been embraced by the Creator's kiss." -- Hildegard of Bingen
How do you sleep at night?
How do you wake up in the morning -- with whose eyes do you gaze out upon the world? Have you lost the eyes of your inner child? Where, along the way, did you lose them? Was it when you were hurt by someone -- one too many times? Was it when you woke up, on another morning, and realized that it was you who had been hurting the one to whom you pledged your love? These few questions are not meant to distress you, rather, they are simply meant to serve as a cup of tea for you to sip... not a sweet tea, of course, but the tea that brings with it the promise of an opening...
We are, each one of us, made for an unlimited and an unending amount of bliss -- for each one of us has been touched by the Creator's Kiss... Yes! The Holy One truly makes love to you with every breath that you take! Ah! Isn't breath a wonderful orgasmic delight! Isn't this morning, isn't this moment, stunningly beautiful? If this isn't your normal, everyday, life experience, shouldn't you consider a quick "cut and run"?
Your Creator is kissing you! So, what is keeping you from following your bliss? You have been made for radiance -- yet here you are, not yet ready to commit to its actual possibility... how many days and nights will you endure before you take the radical leap of faith into your radiance? Or, will you never summon the courage to really believe that you are worth the tender lips of the Creator? Even now, those very lips are brushing against your skin! That breath is so close to you that it is going directly into your lungs... how can you still be sitting down?
Why aren't you sprawling across your bed laughing yourself silly? Why aren't you running around into your life hugging and kissing like the mad fool you are inside your heart? Why aren't you setting free the lips that are on your face to kiss and kiss and most especially to speak peace, kindness, beauty, and blessing to everyone you meet today? Do this, and then go back tomorrow, and answer the question, "how did you sleep last night?"
For the sake of this blog entry, (while we all know this is not true) let's pretend that we were all conceived in an embrace of radiant delight... and then, for awhile (but only for awhile) we actually lived radiantly... as sort of exemplified by this photograph...
The question then becomes: what happened to most of us along the way? Even a short walk down most streets and pathways of the world reveals face after face barely concealing life-pain and struggle... and nowadays, those same looks are increasingly in the faces of youth and children... what has happened to us? Why have we allowed ourselves to hunker down into stories of pain, fear, and unworthiness? Why do we perpetuate the thoughts, actions, addictions, and policies that are only guarantees of adding suffering upon suffering?
Quick and easy answers abound: usually those answers have to do with general theories of absolutes like: original sin: "you are a sinner"... "you need salvation"... "you need the salvation only we sell"... "blame it all on the blacks, the mexicans, the gays, the liberals, the jews and the muslims"... "blame it all on the ditto-heads, FOX News, the Supreme Court, and multi-national corporations"... I have a whole-lotta stories that I could tell as justifications for the pain that I yet cling to -- in this, we are, every single one of us, exactly the same... like dominoes in a row we keep falling in line with the flowing pain... but here's the thing: there is a secret waiting for you...
But to receive that secret, you've got to summon the courage to step out of the line! As often and for as long as you need, say to yourself: "Step out!" "Step out!" And, finally, when you do, this is IT: YOU were created by Love, for Love, to become Love! YOU were created to experience and expand upon "radiant delight"! AND YOU CAN! YOU can live in such a way that you become increasingly free and increasingly happy and increasingly purposeful and increasingly great!
Once you've taken that first step out of line, you've got to say to yourself "Stay out!" You've got to build your capacity for wonder, for imagination, for the fraternity of the creatures, for passion, for intentional community fellowship, and for all the things that make for a full, "other-realized" human being. You've got to unlearn a whole lot, you've got to practice forgiveness (you've got to become forgiveness) -- (especially, you've got to forgive yourself of how you've added to the pain of this world). You've got to unlearn as you re-learn: the mystic path is, in the words of Rumi, "The lover's place to kiss, place to kiss, the lover's place to kiss"...
Admit it! This is what you want! You know intuitively that you have been made to become more: to enter into the Sanctuary of Other-Realization: and live the rest of your days in "radiant delight"... passing it on and passing it on and passing it on... WE CAN create Paradise upon this precious blue Planet! And everywhere can be the lover's place to kiss...
When John Lennon wrote the anthem "Power to the People", I was a young man searching for a life of meaning... a life of radical engagement... and great possibilities...
Now, quite a few years later and with John Lennon having been murdered long ago, these same compelling thoughts continue to pursue me... settling down somewhat into place, the richness of a life of contemplation and action has found something of value to say...
"Personalism Unleashed" on this website succinctly states the core principles of a truly radical philosophy -- and unless the dominator paradigm is challenged to its core, nothing will significantly change. As far as I can see, the central christian doctrine of "Original Sin" (which Yeshua never mentioned), is the root of both our personal and social problems -- if you want real change, you've got to get down into this root-system and begin to cultivate a radical difference. So long as people believe that their essence is "bad" and needs "saving" -- so long as people let other people control that "saving" through manipulative theologies and practices -- so long as the simple and beautiful Yeshua of Nazareth is distorted into a "god of power and might" -- so long as power and greed dominate every aspect of what is passing for "western civilization" -- we will never fully experience life as it is meant to be lived!
We were created for the expression of infinite possibilities in Love, Beauty, Community, Justice, and Peace! We were created to be all-together delightful! But look around -- how fearful, how depressed, how angry, and how sad we are... if you want change, you've got to actually change your mind... and pick up and use the power that you have!
It is well past time to let go of our collective fear of changing course... the economic system of predatory capitalism that has the total allegiance of this "christian" country is nothing other than a Planetary abomination! The complete merger of corporations with our political system is nudging us closer and closer to fascism -- our government is now of, by, and for the most powerful of the corporations (and those who have pledged their souls to its advancement). Power to the People means: a complete and immediate ban on all private contributions of money or anything of value, to all politicians in or running for any state or federal office. This ban must include all individuals, corporations, political action committees, super political action committees, lobbyists, unions, and every other private source of money or thing of value. Corporations are not people and money is not free speech!
As this is an occasional blog and not an essay... more later... but remember: if you really want change, you've got to dig deep, within your mind, and then all about you... remember too, you have been created for radiance and total delight! Your core is always beautiful, worthy, and great: right now!
An enlightened principle that serves to guide our national dialogue -- at least over the long haul -- is that every person has an inalienable right to the pursuit of his / her happiness. An important question to ask of the foes of marriage equality is simply this: Does your happiness truly require that others not be allowed to pursue their happiness?
Of course, we can all depend upon FOX News to bash President Obama, "Obama Flip Flops, Declares War on Marriage." (Will anyone ask why they have not said the same thing about former Vice President Dick Cheney -- who has endorsed marraige equality?) And of course, we have long known that FOX News has no association with either journalism or integrity...
"Regardless of how old you are, it's the first time you have ever seen a president of the United States look into a camera and say that a gay person should be treated equally under the law. The message that that sends, to a young gay or transgendered person struggling to come out, is life changing." -- Chad Griffin, incoming President of the Human Rights Campaign
"Obama understands, from the inside-out, systems of oppression and what they do to people." -- Rev. Jane Spahr
It is important to remember that African Americans were only considered to be "partially" human when this country was founded. It is important to remember that even before that, there was a raging theological debate going on in the Catholic Church as to whether or not the natives in the Americas had souls -- whether or not they were human beings. It is important to remember that it was only one hundred years ago that women achieved the right to vote in this country. These remembrances are extremely important, for they conclusively prove that change is inevitable! And it is legitimate to believe that we are changing for the better! The "forces" of small-mindedness, and fearful hearts, may have the financial resources to win elections -- but they cannot stop the march of history!
Every single citizen of this nation has the absolute right to, in every way, be equal before the law! This water-shed belief is fundamental to leading the rest of the world into the discovery of their own "remembrances" -- and into the vision of justice for all. If you dream of peace upon this precious blue Planet, it is incumbent upon you to work vigorously for justice -- with no one outside the reach of that Shining Lady!
(Does one really need to go into a biblical analysis of marriage as between "one man and one woman"? The bible is replete with examples of men with crowds of wives -- and everyone blessed by "God"... there are quite a lot of other horrific details in the bible that men in power have justified at one time or another that are really best forgotten as unworthy of both the Holy One and genuine faith...).
Faith is not just a word describing a condition of relationship with the Holy: faith is also the passionate conviction that relations between people -- and between people and creation -- must be firmly rooted in the struggle and practice of justice and reverence for all.
Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing, so said Dostoevsky. This means: if you are going to claim "faith", then you absolutely must put that faith "on the line": you must activate your compassion: you must exhaust every effort to create the conditions necessary for everyone to thrive and fulfill their potential as human beings: you must resist the seductive power of greed and live in "abundant simplicity": you must not accept anyone's presumption of power over you -- and so excuse yourself from "showing up" in your life.
Too often, faith is seen to be a "litmus test of salvation": profess the "right" creed, and you are thereby free from the obligation to think and act from the perspective of those for whom to live means to suffer. Too often, faith is understood as a "personal relationship" with "God": even to the point of mocking the teachings of the prophets to practice and seek justice and mercy -- before bringing your gifts to the altar. Too often, faith is seen to be a mark of "success" -- a sign of "rich blessing" -- instead of being a living call to action...
The true power of faith lies in powerlessness... this spirituality of solidarity is the genuine core of each of the Abrahamic religions... For too long, and for too many people, the preachers of faith have lied about its requirements and have proposed a corrupt system of domination in its stead. Faith requires that we stop paying for our oppression. Faith requires that we embrace a radical transformation into "loving loud"...
It is not the Way of Love that a few ultra-rich folks enjoy unlimited comfort and pleasure -- while billions of their fellow human beings suffer extreme poverty. No! Love does not require that some people remain poor and malnourished forever! Love is meant to be the force of transformation -- the force that lifts up and frees the poor into their possibilities! The primary duty of the rich is to divest themselves of their wealth and enter into lives of solidarity and service -- only such selfless action will justify the blessings they have received!
Aware of the possibilities within gratitude and passion, I am determined to be expansive and delightful as I serve others and share in the mutual liberation of our dreams and visions for everyone on this precious blue Planet.
Awareness ripens, as fruit on a tree, slowly readying itself to drop into your open hands... even the molecules within the fruit take on the characteristics of lusciousness... when the fruit falls, you hold it, turn it this way and that, perhaps you hold it to your face and breathe deep its wild and natural scent... perhaps, too, you lift it slowly to your parted lips and kiss it, even touching its skin with a swirl of your tongue... smiling, you place it gently in your pack, to carry home to share with your lover...
The Universe is as that fruit you have hidden in your pack to later share with your lover... the Universe lives, moves, and has Being within you and without you... the Universe is alive and hungry for your lips, for your attention, for your devotion, and for your beautiful, beautiful, love... awareness is the utter simplicity of opening your eyes to That Which Is... and the smile with which you greet your day and your love...
The "What if? before the Big Bang" anticipated Her own delight in your touch, in your embrace, in your sighs, in your laughter, in your sweat, in your enthusiasm, in your passions -- in the sum total of your essence... as a New Mother on her birthing bed, the Divine Mother exists in the total concentration of Her energy in loving every "you", and every "thing"... awareness is appreciation for this everlasting Wonder...
Finally, awareness is the everyday choice to live in this Sacred Circle of Holy Remembrance... and to liberate every relationship into the mysticism of Only One, of One Love... this luscious fruit is yours: for the giving...
As a matter of principle, "liberals' consistently express significant concern for the health of our national and planetary environment along with a positive view of the role of science. Also, as a matter of principle, "conservatives" take a very dim view of environmental science and regulations -- believing instead that people (and businesses) need to be left alone... and in the long run everything will be fine...
I recognize the limitations of attempting a one paragraph summary of "liberal" and "conservative" thought in regards to the environment and public policies. Nevertheless, I think my introductory paragraph is pretty close to the mark. Coming out of the "radical" or Catholic Worker tradition, I'm inclined to yet another viewpoint which is oriented to the mystical insight of St. Francis: the entire universe exists in a living web of relationships. For Francis, this was his experience of "fraternity".
Nearing the end of his life, Francis was lying on the floor of his hut in the woods, plagued by both self-doubt and too many mice running about over his dying body. Near despair, his surrender to the Holy One deepened into a final revelation: we are all One in the fraternity of creatures. With this revelation came a flood-tide of spiritual rapture and peace... and as was his wont, he burst out in song... and so we have the "first great Italian poem" and one of the greatest mystical treasures belonging to all of humanity: the Canticle of the Creatures. Here are a few lines from this Canticle:
"Praise be to you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Brother Sun... Praise be to you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful... Praised be to you, my Lord through Sister Water... Praised be to you, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs..."
These few lines point to a third way between "liberal" and "conservative".
And this third way is what Francis experienced as "fraternity". In support of this franciscan perspective of "one vast web of inter-being", we can begin to entertain thoughts of a new paradigm... we, too, can experience the revelation of St. Francis... and by changing our language from "liberal" and "conservative" into "fraternity", we can re-create an environmental movement that will leave no one out, and nothing behind.
"Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system." -- Dorothy Day
"We cannot live alone. We cannot go to heaven alone. Otherwise, as Peguy said, God will say to us, 'Where are the others?'" -- Dorothy Day
"What we would like to do is change the world -- make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do." -- Dorothy Day
"I love because I want to love, the deepest desire of my heart is for love, for union, for communion, for community." -- Dorothy Day
"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage." -- John Steinbeck
May Day 2012: there are those who propose as national policy a mentality of "hunkering down". They offer no grand vision -- unless one considers it either "grand" or a "vision" that we continue down the "free market" path of profits before purpose -- or, our national purpose is profits (for fewer and fewer people and corporations).
There are many who say "we can't afford to..." Yet, how can we afford not to? The fact that every 45 seconds a child dies from lack of access to clean water should be driving our political conversation! We should be staking our claim to a renewed national pupose and vision! That we could be creating a paradise upon this precious blue Planet -- and we lack the courage to make it happen -- should shame everyone who considers her / himself to be "American".
Consider: to cut world hunger in half would cost about $24 billion dollars; and we spend about $33 billion dollars a year on makeup and perfume. To ensure reproductive health care for all women would cost about $12 billion, and about $17 billion is spent on pet food in Europe and the U.S. Universal literacy would cost about $5 billion; and about $14 billion is spent annually on ocean cruises. To immunize every child would cost $1.3 billion; and we still spend $1.8 billion on animal furs. Finally, it would cost about $11.3 billion to provide clean drinking water for all; and we spend $22 billion on ice cream in the U.S. There is not one person among us exempt from personal responsibility -- just as this nation is not exempt from our social and moral responsibilities.
The Occupy Wall Street (Occupy Everything) Movement is finally creating some opportunity for more serious conversations about our true national identity and purpose. Obviously, we could choose the Republican proposal to "free the corporations to maximize profits" (and for the rest of us to grapple for the crumbs that might fall from their tables). Or, we could actualize the words of the prophet Yeshua of Nazareth into public policy "Woe to you rich, and blessed are you poor" -- in this fundamental choice will be written the history of our lives.
Consider, today, to personally advance the cause of social justice! Click on www.indiegogo.com/occupywallstreetpoetryanthology
and place your order for the upcoming book rising out of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Along with poems by Adrienne Rich, Wanda Coleman, Bob Holman, and Allen Ginsberg, my poem 'Generation Heat' will be included...
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.