Speaking truth to power is the vocation of the mystic-activist... on the "way of a simpleton"...
There is within every person a divine core that is always true and present: regardless of any exterior circumstances, regardless of style of clothing, regardless of nation of residence, and political or religious opinions, regardless of economic status, or any other evident "difference": most especially, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
As human beings, we transcend every culture: we live and stand as always sacred. This is crucial to our understanding and awakening: we can't do anything to "earn" our sacred identity: it comes into the world with us, like our skin, like our soul: our sacred identity is who we are. "We were created by Love, for Love, to become Love", taught Simone Weil: perhaps never was there a truer statement uttered by human being! Since this is true: all religion, politics, and economics must therefore be oriented and structured to facilitate the full development and liberation of every person into the exploration of her fullest potential.
The illumination that was the gift of the prophets, including Yeshua the Poet, is precisely this truth: "Love the Holy One with your entire being, and love your neighbor as yourself". One cannot get anymore radical than this! Of course, religion gets caught up in the game of politics and money and so always loses its way -- sometimes for a very long time... but within the essence of each of the world religions: there is the "way of a simpleton"... oh, I know that in this day and age with technocracy feeding into the corporate Dominator Paradigm, our inclination is to "get on board" -- before we are completely left behind... but wisdom is the "pause" that stops to ask, "Where exactly is this train going?" Maybe the destination of this train is the loss of soul and the final devastation of this precious blue Planet: one really has to think before jumping onto this particular train!
The "way of a simpleton" is the gentle suggestion that we could, in fact, be choosing a different path: we could, in fact, choose a technology, a politics, and an economics with a human face: each one of us, and religion as well, could serve solidarity instead of domination! Since we have each been made to "swim" in Love, and to experience our lives within the marvels of Love, the "way of a simpleton" is the choosing to live a life of activated compassion and the intentional creation of beauty as the fullest expression of our sacred nature and our divine purpose.
The roots of this revolutionary insight lie deep in the Christian tradition: as it does in each of the world religions: as it also does, and not as an afterthought, in pagan, humanistic, shamanistic, and other insightful faiths and perspectives. Consider a few words from a few saints of the Christian tradition: "The rich take what belong to everyone, and claim they have the right to own it, to monopolize it." -- St. Basil
"The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man." -- St. Basil
"Property is theft." -- St. Basil
"The price of the kingdom is the food you give to those who need it." -- St. Leo the Great
"Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead." -- St. John Chrysostom
"Houses of hospitality must be built for the poor in every city of every diocese." -- Council of Nicaea
While these six quotations focus on wealth, poverty, and the service of justice (works of mercy), they capture and reveal a spirit that is unmistakable: we are each and all responsible for the well-being of one another! The "way of a simpleton" is the conscious decision to join in the rEvolutionary struggle of solidarity and liberation -- not in the pursuit of power, but in the knowing that every life is, first of all sacred, and secondly that in the person of the poor the fullest revelation of the Divine is to be found: "What I do to the poor, I do to Jesus." -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
"Love is the responsibility of an I for a you." -- Martin Buber
"You must build your life as if it were a work of art." -- Abraham Heschel
"The existence of all things derives from God's beauty." -- St. Thomas Aquinas
"With beauty before me, may I walk." -- Navajo Prayer
"We must learn to live in ways that reduce the world's suffering." -- Thich Nhat Hahn
"The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us." -- Dorothy Day
And here it begins: "I have made a footprint, a sacred one." -- Initiation Song for Osage Women
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.