The Dream of Paradise Gives Rise to the Possibilitarian Spirit
Looking into the future, what do you see? I see a human community that has embraced the Earth as Mother, as "inter-being"... I see this balance tending all of us to a re-organization of our lives: where the divide between the rich and poor is reduced to no more than four to one... where there is a spiritual, economic, and political classlessness... where solidarity, each one with every other, is the social norm... where equality has become a "garment" of partnership... where the "paradise values" of compassion, kindness, justice, mercy, and reverence are, again, the social norm... where we no longer have anything to fear because we actually believe and practice the fully human "spiritual" life...
The dream of paradise is willing to suppose it is true that the One is both transcendent and immanent: especially immanent in absolutely everything and everyone... A practiced spirituality of immanence will free us of the theological, political, racial, sexual, and national baggage that prevents us from loving one another: as we are loved. The dream of paradise is the freedom from time: there will be time for giving time to one another, for deep conversation and listening, for playing, for imagining, for delving deep into everything, for meaningful work, for passionate pursuits, for mentoring children and youth, and for loving our relationships....
Perhaps the gypsies, beats, and hippies had an inkling of these divine possibilities! Perhaps Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolence and intentional communities had it right... and Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin with their emphasis on the Works of Mercy and Justice and, again, intentional communities... and maybe Martin Luther King, Jr. really meant it when he said that our work was to be about building the "beloved community"... It really seems to be true that the ultimate nature of the Universe is as indicated by quantum physics: one thought expressed as light and energy... but what good is this "one thought" if we don't think and practice IT?
The petty politicians and profiteers and preachers and pundits are all in service to power. It is clear -- for all who have eyes with which to see and minds with which to think -- that the Dominator Paradigm is not working (except for the very privileged few). So what to do? We have to cultivate a consciousness of bold exploration: it is not yet too late to transform either ourselves or this precious blue Planet! Spirituality and science both must come to the service of a Planetary regeneration and a rEvolution of the human person and all of our divine possibilities. And finally, with nothing to fear, we can return to a paradise whose door was never really closed...
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.