"Beautiful are you" and "Welcome Home": five little words that effectively capture -- and unleash -- the living spirit of Yeshua the Poet of Nazareth: you have heard him called "Jesus" and "the Christ"... you have heard him called "Lord" as you have heard him called "Savior"... But have you heard him called "Beloved", "My Lover", and "Mother"?
This may come as a surprise, like the fairly recent discovery that this precious blue Planet, as it hurtles its way across the Universe, is all the time making music and singing... but then, the mystics have been said to lean their left ear just a tad bit closer to their heart while in prayer... because they could hear the same music being played there...
Beautiful are you... If Yeshua the Poet were to look into every face and heart: he would see only the truth of who we are: for many, pride would raise its voice in protest, "If you say the same thing to everyone, how am I to believe that I am special?" For a few others, humility would summon its courage to whisper, "If you say the same thing to everyone, you need not bother with me." But still to all, there would only be the same, "Welcome Home"...
There is a Mystery to the Way that Love is animating consciousness and evolution... Mystery begins with adoration and surrender: when asked, "Will you teach us how to pray?" The Poet says, "You must pray the same way that you make love, with no thought but of delighting your Beloved. But if you must use words, say 'Beautiful are you, Beloved of Earth and Sky! We cherish your Name like our breath: and how we bless your breath of love within us! May your love always encircle the Earth with mercy and compassion! May your love always feed us and all life with Good. And may you bring us all into the safety of your rest.' Something like this would be enough... But understand, prayer is really a movement, a whisper, of love... Prayer is like your lover's face nuzzling your neck and the soft tickle of eyelash upon your skin... If you remember this, you will draw ever closer to the One who is Love."
The Wall Street Journal, the Tea Party, and Christian fundamentalists all seem to agree that our recent election and the victory of Mr. Trump spells the virtual end of liberalism in America... but what of the Biggest Liberal of Them All? Is That One going to leave on some Cosmic Vacation? (Yes, perhaps, the above is the only known picture of God that you are now looking at... does She look happy with Trump, fundamentalists, or conservatives?)
And yes, I do like to engage in conversations and ruminations of Sweet Blasphemy... But I see no reason whatsoever to think that fundamentalists or conservatives have gotten anything at all right. Fundamentalists have centuries of accepted (more or less) theology behind them: you know, original sin, a second coming, a burning planet, and a final judgment: and a whole lot of people really believe this -- and proved it by voting for Mr. Trump... Meanwhile, conservatives no longer want to conserve anything except their perception that profit, privilege, and power are the primary values of this American experiment in democracy...
But, here's a Big What If? What if there actually is a "God" "Goddess" "Divine Source" or "Quantum Consciousness"? And What If? that Holy Quantum really did give voice to Her Awesomeness through Jesus of Nazareth (Yeshua in the Aramaic that he spoke)? What If? Jesus really meant it when he said "Whatever you do to the least person among you, you do to me"? And "I give you a new commandment, love one another"? Are there any two more liberal lines imaginable? (Actually, those two lines go way beyond liberalism and straight into the Lunacy of rEvolutionary Action... without end...)
The Lunacy of rEvolutionary Action... without end is the Tao of God unleashed upon Planet Earth: radical grace, whether we name it like it or serve it: it is here. Now. Already. Without End. And Only One Outcome Is Possible: (go ahead, guess: what is it? Is it conservative ideology? Is it profit, privilege, and power? Is it a second coming with a burning planet and a final judgment and billions tossed into endless fire? What is it? Are you going to guess?)
Radical Grace: "Behold! I make all things new!" God, the Big Liberal, is going to blaspheme Herself silly -- and every fundamentalism to boot: "You can't steal-profit-privilege-or-power your way into the solidarity of bliss! You can't get away with rape-injustice-exploitation-or-oppression! You can't return-to-sender the gift of my sacred intention! Stay -- or go -- the choice has always been yours, not mine! But I make all things new! The poor and powerless, the abused, the raped, the violated, and the crushed will inherit the earth! Everyone who has ever been told that they are not good enough surely are good enough! My liberalism knows no boundaries! Love always colors outside the lines! Now watch me color this world with a wild wah-hoo grace!"
So liberals and progressives, do not despair! In the words of ol' St. Ignatius,"Work like everything depends upon you. Pray like everything depends upon God." Or if you prefer the words of Mother Jones, "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." A "fundamental" concept of liberalism is that through our collective actions we can tend the world -- inch-by-inch -- closer to justice, equality, and peace. Liberalism is the conviction that our actions of today can build a kinder and safer and more beautiful world for the children who will be alive seven generations from now. And liberalism is the happy-knowing that, in the end, every human and this planet -- while always at risk -- are meant for the evidence of radical grace: goodness and kindness and love: liberal values without end...
The great Taoist sage, Lao-Tzu, wrote "Conduct your triumph as a funeral." Ancient wisdom of the most perplexing sort... Certainly contrary to the celebratory nature of our "so-called" human nature. Is it possible that Lao-Tzu was in touch with something deeper than human nature? I wonder, especially now as I consider the reality of Mr. Trump soon to become President... and I'm feeling as if I will be attending the funeral of progressive values...
Lao-Tzu also wrote, "The great Tao flows everywhere." Might this be a key to the idea of conducting our triumph as a funeral? The thought bubbles up: "Conduct your defeat as a celebration." No. I'm not in the least bit happy about Mr. Trump... But if the Tao is still flowing everywhere, then it is flowing in this place, in this now... So what is cause for celebration?
Is there a "direction" in the flow of the Tao? Or is the Tao an endless circle? I think of my readings of history: I remember stories of slavery: the Tao seems to be flowing towards freedom... I remember stories of a general oppression of women: the Tao seems to be flowing towards equality... I remember stories of alternative expressions of sexuality hidden in closets: the Tao seems to flowing towards something even better than acceptance... I remember stories of extermination camps: the Tao seems to be flowing towards an increasing awareness of our collective responsibilities... I remember stories of world colonization: the Tao seems to be flowing towards interdependence... Everything that I remember is of course still present in different ways: there is still justified violence, nationalism, greed, racism, sexism, exploitation, oppression, and injustice: our precious blue Planet is very much @risk... and yet, I also see the flow of the Tao quite clearly now: the Tao -- the stupendous wonder of Quantum Consciousness -- is Self-Identifying as Love-Without-Limits!
The Great Tao is impersonal: something that we can't comprehend: It is Source: It is Journey: It is End: It is Always New Beginning: It is a Living Revelation of the Choice to Be Love Now... Thus, this "It" of Quantum Consciousness sees, feels, hears, tastes, eats, thinks, wonders, delights, dreams, imagines, works, plays, discovers, strives, sexes, communes, and prays with and through us... And is more personal than the blood that flows through our bodies and the air that we breathe... The Great Tao has chosen Her Identity through the evolution of our human consciousness into a greater and greater awareness -- a Cosmic Awakening, if you will -- that, not Love, but Loving is our greatest good... This awareness and awakening comes with a certainty: there is no going back!
Some, the likes of Mr. Putin or Mr. Trump, might hanker for the domination of yesteryear: but the Tao is flowing forward and upward... We can be glad that angry and armed militias are not in our American streets threatening civil war -- we can be glad that the protesters are demonstrating for a commitment to justice, equality, environmental regeneration, and a renewed national commitment to peace and economic fairness: two entirely different scenarios with only the one of essential kindness being played out: as Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin attempt their regressive and oppressive agendas, the few thousands will swell to many millions: the Great Tao will keep lifting us up into ever-new possibilities...
Keeping in mind Lao-Tzu and the Great Tao, read these words of the Sufi Poet, Rumi: "Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly... let the lover be..." Now that is precisely what I'm writing about! "Let the lovers conduct their defeats as a celebration! The Tao is flowing and we are in the swim of things!" [Note: don't you think that the little girl in the picture above is worth all the love in the Universe? If so, then perhaps our task at this moment is to party, yes, but then for us all to embody the Tao, educate in our communities, and gather in Sacred Action Circles?]
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.