And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded...
Into the crowned knot of fire...
And the fire and the rose are one.
-- T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding, Four Quartets
There are essentials for the "life-pack" of the modern mystic / activist: if one legitimately anticipates awakening "into the crowned knot of fire..." One must begin with an active sense and vision of "Unity", or Oneness: perceptions and opinions must each and all be "massaged" with the truth of Oneness: differences must yield to this higher wisdom: illusions of separation must likewise surrender to this essential mystery and truth. Observer and observed are One: perceiver and perception alike are under the "umbrella" of One: the patterned waves are all existing within an invisible wholeness that is neither / and both "here and there"... Collaboration is the synergy of Communion... on every level, the mystic / activist is called to live within this synergy...
The "I" who is reading this, is called to the disappearance of "self" in the discovery of the "other": this is essential practice! "Self" must "vanish" in Love for the "other": our previous learned boundaries of relationship must be increasingly experienced through the new lens of "CSC" -- collaboration is the synergy of communion: one touches, not a boundary, but a Person and the Divine... The politics of division, the economics of exploitation, and the religions of domination all await the transformative power of Oneness as experienced by the mystic / activist. It is this collaboration in the synergy of communion that is the One Reality: cause and effect are not independent of the whole. All that we call "natural", is a symbiotic network of matter, minds, bodies, and consciousness: with the core question being, "How do I lessen the pain in the world?"
This core question, "How do I lessen the pain in my world?", is a daily practice: and the sure step "Into the crowned knot of fire"... which is the vocation of the mystic / activist. Oneness is a modern expression of the ancient Tao. The Way of Lao Tzu is an excellent guide into the mystery of the One Reality: there is an ethic and an aesthetic which grants access to the collaboration in the synergy of communion... The "natural" human is "crafty" in the face of an ever-advancing technocracy: like lovers and poets who can embrace the daily moments of life with radiance: like workers of the soil who live gracefully in the flow of the seasons... Looking around with even a smidgen of honesty, the modern mystic / activist recognizes this truth: very few people live in obvious bliss: looking around with even a smidgen of integrity, the modern mystic / activist makes this simple decision: there simply has to be a better way... I am going to find it... And the fire and the rose will be one...
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.