There are real barriers -- even if only temporary. And then there are the "unreal barriers" under constant construction: mostly centered upon "How to Avoid God and Lose at Love": this we call Religion, Culture, Economics, and Politics, or "Progress in Civilization" or some such soul-masking advertisement... "Danger! Keep Out!" is the prescription offered by most of what passes for Religion, Culture, Economics, and Politics: "You should not desire more! You should accept our prescription for your happiness! And, our plan is The Plan!"
But for the aspiring mystic-activist, the conversation has to be about how to go around, over, under, or through the "unreal barriers" to get as close as we can to our own souls, to a soulful life, and to the soul-liberation of awakening into Oneness: you can be sure that if you are being told "Danger! Keep Out!" there is a cultural imperative to economic viability by means of power politics and religious super-fundamentalism... But what of the imperatives of your own soul?
Start by immersing yourself in as much beauty as possible (there is not one definition of beauty): surround yourself with as much earth as possible: plant a garden if you can: volunteer in a community garden: listen to Beethoven's Eighth Symphony: soak in hot water: read the poetry of Walt Whitman, Rumi, Hafiz, Adrienne Rich, and Mary Oliver: sunbathe naked: take a walk in the rain: sit and listen to falling snow: massage someone if you can... the first unreal barrier that needs to go is your isolated sense of self: you are one with the Universe -- this is true -- whether or not you can feel it...
Feed your soul by chanting the Divine Name: surrender to the "is-ness" of the One Within...
Become increasingly aware of the possibility of life without barriers: all of the artificial constructs that prevent us from our destiny as explorers of the Divine Life -- Here and Now -- must be identified and set aside: nothing short of a total cultural transformation will save this precious blue Planet: if religious constructs identify "God" as "male", realize that they are not serving your liberation -- there is much more to the story: as a matter of fact, you should write your own story! Study, reflect, conversate, and meditate... "Remember the Mother!" This sage advice from the modern mystic, Fr. Bede Griffiths, is as important a bit of counsel that we will ever receive: "remember the Mother!" Most of what passes for religion expressly flows from theologies of division: Spirit / Matter; Male / Female; Good / Bad; Pure / Impure; Heaven / Hell; Divine / Human... and on and on.... Dualism is the root barrier to awakening...
Until we confront the systems of domination and division, how will anything ever really change? Until we re-create -- re-imagine -- our essential spiritual insights and nature as already a practical manifestation of the Divine Life, we are acceding to the "Danger! Keep Out!" signs that are all around us. Immerse yourself in the music of Deva Premal and Miten and you will begin to recognize your divine nature as not something that settles on you "from above", but as something that wells up from within the blessedness that you already are. "Remember the Mother" is the essential awakening of the Divine Mother birthing every moment and every breath and every life and every part and particle of creation in every moment... as every moment passes into the birth of the next moment of One Now... This is Beauty: as this is a religion of Being Love; a culture of Being Kindness; an economics of Being Justice; and a politics of Being Solidarity: until all the barriers that have been erected to reign in our souls, constrict our hearts, shrink our minds, and eradicate our compassion have been creatively removed, we will never discover our real destiny.
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.