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The Pulse of Spirit

Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation



The Passion to Dissolve the Old

Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation

I think it’s a good thing when we come up to something that’s new, something that’s other than our well-known, well-worn expectations, something that surprises us.

What are the possibilities that are available to us in this moment, in this room, for creation, that might surprise us? Possibilities that we might miss if we weren’t open to what is actually present. I often wonder how much I miss because I’m so busy or because I’m so preoccupied with the way I’m feeling today, and numerous other distractions. There are all these opportunities that are just passing me by, wasted and lost forever.

In the song that initiated our service, there was an invitation to leave our cares at the window and leave our thoughts at the door. We should be so lucky if all it took to do that was to be given a pebble that represented the cares and thoughts and being offered a receptacle in which we could leave it at the door, as we were when we entered this room. And yet maybe it is as easy as that. Maybe life is always asking us to leave our cares, give some space to what is present now, because cares are normally about something that we think has happened in the past, or is going to happen in the future. But what’s the opportunity in this moment? It often takes deliberate action to clear a space so that we can be fully present, available to what’s happening now, what life is offering right now. What is that bird telling us if we would but listen? What that shaft of sunlight is pointing to? What are the more subtle levels of awareness saying to us?

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to enter sacred space and really experience the sacredness of that space if our consciousness is full of worries and thoughts. There is a level of mastery to be developed around the management of what goes on in heart and mind. Mastery is not just for the “masters,” whether they’re ascended or otherwise; it’s not just for a few special people. There is mastery around thoughts and feelings to be worked by all of us. Who’s in charge here? Because if the one I truly am is not in charge, then these energies run rampant, thoughts and feelings creating chaos all over the place, and I’m blinded to what it is that’s mine to see and do in the moment.

I have some sadness about how often there’s forgetfulness in myself of the fact that I am a creator-being, and denial of the fact that the world as I see it is the way it is because I’ve created it that way. If the capacities of heart and mind are not in masterful hands, then they will cloud and distort how I see things, and therefore how I do things. When I look out into my world, there is plenty of evidence of such a lack of such mastery.

So which do I choose, of all the available possibilities, to be the truth now? If there’s no space for a new possibility in a capacity crammed with old beliefs and habits, making a choice will be futile. How sad for us to maintain constraint on our perspectives and our vision for what is possible in this way. This is a serious consideration, because the future of our world rests on our ability to allow something fresh to emerge—what has been described as re-creation in consciousness.

There’s no need to fear the vacuum that might be left when mind and heart have been cleared—life will gladly and joyfully provide a trustworthy flow of what’s required in the moment, every moment. We can trust that there will be the right thing at the right time if we just create a space.

Many of us in this room have recently been engaged in a seminar called Journey into the Fire. When we get tired enough of the seemingly endless circuit of old habits and beliefs and they are clearly not serving us anymore, it takes some internal energy, some heat, to dissolve them. Nothing less than stepping into the fire of purification will really do the job! This is the symbolic experience that the seminar offers.

It can take considerable intensity and often it’s not that easy to do it by ourselves. Often the best of intentions need more energy from us to implement than we can find for ourselves. I believe there’s a passion required for that to happen and that there are people on hand to assist, and processes available to access that energy. If I’m tired enough of how it’s been, if I’m tired enough of how it keeps on going, there’s a way.

Here is a powerful poem by David Whyte, which speaks to the experience of the intensity of transformation. It’s called “Fire in the Earth:”


And we know, when Moses was told,
in the way he was told,
“Take off your shoes!” He grew pale from the simple

reminder of fire in the dusty earth.
He never recovered
his complicated way of loving again

and was free to love in the same way
he felt the fire licking at his heels loved him.
As if the lion earth could roar

and take him in one movement.
Every step he took
from there was carefully placed.

Everything he said mattered as if he knew
the constant witness of the ground
and remembered his own face in the dust

the moment before revelation.
Since then thousands have felt
the same immobile tongue with which he tried to speak.

Like the moment you too saw, for the first time,
your own house turned to ashes.
Everything consumed so the road could open again.

Your entire presence in your eyes
and the world turning slowly
into a single branch of flame.


It’s true for me, and I suspect it’s true for everyone else in this room: There is enough intensity in our lives that can be redirected to burn up what is blocking us from welcoming new and fresh possibility in our life. We have what it takes. We have the fuel to do the burning and there is Life’s imperative that the poem describes.

There’s only one question left: Will we? Do we desire newness and freshness enough to take that step into the fire?


Phil Richardson

April 27th, 2008
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