This Shining Now
Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
In the song that was just sung, there were words about jumping on a train when you don’t necessarily know where it’s going. I’ve gotten on a lot of trains that I didn’t know where they were going. As I’ve gotten older, I decided I was going to be a little more conscious about what trains I jumped on. That’s one of the wonderful things about growing up. You can be more conscious about your choices. Not everyone chooses to be, but you can learn from the experiences of getting on trains that took you where you really didn’t want to go. Oren Heart Powers also sang about knowing what’s true. I’ve experienced touching something that was true. In that experience I decided I’m jumping on, even though I don’t know where this might take me. I knew something—I felt a vibration I could resonate with before I said, “I’m going.” And I went. And so far, this is the station I’m at, this morning, here with you. And I haven’t jumped off yet!
In this week’s Pulse of Spirit, “New World or a Nightmare,” Rich Kenny spoke about re-labeling. He said, “To ‘re-label,’ we simply remove inaccurate labels and recognize, in any way we can, the truth of being in the person.”
You may have had to re-label Oren’s song. Does a blues song about a train belong in service? Do you hold in your consciousness that only certain kinds of music can be labeled “sacred” or “spiritual”? If so, you will limit the possibilities of what can be used in your life. If you know Oren, you can usually trust what he creates. You can be in heaven together and watch what manifests through his guitar and his voice. And, by the way, that’s true of all of you. You can manifest something new that you may have labeled “unsacred” or “unfitting” and fill it with the truth of yourself.
There is something about being responsible for perceiving what’s new and fresh that’s yours to do. How about re-labeling yourself? How about re-labeling yourself from someone who would never do that, never write a song, never sing in the Dome, never do something that would be a little awkward, a little unfinished, to an adventurer? If you have parts of your expression that you stay with, that you’ve decided were perfect and upright, and you were never going to make a mistake, we’re already bored! We know those parts and they’re wonderful, but they are based on something that has passed away. What are you birthing now?
Last night we were having a conversation about memory and forgiveness. If you are present in this moment, things that have already happened are almost impossible to forgive because they’re not present anymore in this moment. There are times when you have interchanges with people with whom you are holding something significant, something intimate, something important, where someone tripped, or even perhaps did something consciously that was off. It is important to address what that created. But the forgiveness happens because one continues to move forward in their living. I don’t live there anymore. It’s already done. I’m here with you now. What are we doing now? The light moving through me right now is what is true now. And that’s true for you. So what’s new? What’s alive? What’s true?
One of the reasons we carry some of that stuff around is because we’ve forgotten along the way that the things that were happening, were not happening to us. We are creator beings. Life is not happening “to us”; we are an active participant and creator. What am I manifesting; what am I doing; what is the light around me revealing now? It is impossible to remember all the factors of the past. We were engaging in life then and are engaging now in this moment.
Earlier I used the word “re-labeling.” If we weren’t labelers, we wouldn’t have to learn how to RE-label. If we didn’t name stuff and hold on to stuff, we wouldn’t have to undo some of that. People name things. If you remember the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible, there’s a section where Adam named every living thing as it was brought to him. He participated in that process. There are a lot of things being born, being created. Things conceived, things loved, things held, things grown, things for which we’re responsible. And there are trains upon which we will decide if we are jumping aboard. What are we going to conceive? What are we going to birth? What are we going to name and love and hold and manifest, so that the world is seen anew? How about this ministry—this place, Sunrise Ranch? This is the headquarters of Emissaries of Divine Light, whose name comes from the quote “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) It’s about the revelation of your good works. It’s not a past-tense experience. “Let your light so shine”—is that a past-tense experience?
I’d like to invoke a discipline for myself: to go an entire week without referring to the past—the good past, the bad past, how I thought it was, what others have to say about it—so that what’s being born is so full of my life and your life now that it is juicy and attractive beyond belief. And it needs to be named and it needs to be lived, and it needs to reveal my Father that is in heaven, which is where I know myself.
Sometimes the past gets revealed just by our self-judgment: “I used to be…” “I used to be thin. I used to be a great ball player.” At times, as we get older, it’s also “I used to know possibility. I used to have a life unspent, with which I could do anything. I used to have dreams.” And it’s all a lie. That sounds pretty harsh, but it’s all not true, because it’s all gone. It’s not present anymore. It’s a fantasy. Who you are right now, gloriously radiant, is what’s true. And I don’t care what you used to be, because honestly, if you were to ask all the people who were with you, they’d probably have a different opinion anyway. “You weren’t that great of a ball player.”
This is how bad it can get for people—I have a friend who still has a pair of jeans she wore in high school, and she shows them to people: “I used to be this thin.” And I just tell her, “But you’re not now! It only makes you look bad. Put them away, for god’s sake!” She’s fifty-five years old, so it’s not likely she’s heading down the thin path.
What I am interested in is riding the current of life that is me, that is the light of this place, the light of this world. You get to be the conductor as well as the passenger, and you get to ride with people who are on that train. And when you have decided to stay on that train, you have responsibility.
I was thinking the other day about the number of people who come here to visit and are drawn here because people have decided to be on this train together. It’s a whole different experience to be attracted and responsive to the train, or to the spirit of the train, the spirit that’s here, than it is to have said, “I’m on this train. I will make sure the train stays on the track, and I will make it safe for the people who want to do this with me.” The people who say they want to do it with you then have that responsibility too. But it’s a different thing than the first stage of saying, “Hey, there’s an exciting train.” That’s a very different place to be in than “This is my train; I own it! I’m taking this train into this present moment.”
There’s another line in the song—“No more knees knockin’ and their tears have run dry.” I love that line. There is an experience of stepping into the unknown, where your knees are knocking and there is uncertainty; there is what feels like fear. But mostly there is juice. I once had to stand up unexpectedly to represent an opposing view to a state amendment that was being proposed. They were trying to make it legal to fire people if they found out they were homosexuals, in the state of Colorado. These people came in and did a presentation: “This is just a nice little law and, you know, it’s to protect workers’ compensation; it’s not violating anyone’s rights.” I didn’t know the presentation was happening, and no one in the room had any information except me about the inaccuracy of their information. I felt I had to stand up and defend the wrongness of this statute, and my knees were knocking. The end result was Colorado passed it and then the Supreme Court said it was against the Constitution.
My experience after I did that was people who I knew casually came up to me and said, “I am so proud to know someone who will stand up and speak when they don’t even have the support of a group, and say what’s true.” Sometimes, when you say yes to doing that, your knees are going to knock, because you’re going to have impact on everything that the mind has created that’s a lie—in yourself and in your friends and in this world. You have the joy of birthing something every minute because it’s new and it’s you, and that’s what you’re saying yes to. That’s the train—the destination on my train says “The revelation of the reality of mankind on earth,” and I’m riding this train. I came to do it and I’m glad I climbed aboard. I’m glad to be on it with you.
I find the truth spoken by my friends changes everything in me every day. I need my friends to speak the truth to me, to the world, and together with me. It is a glorious thing to see and do.
May 25th, 2008