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...
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.