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The Pulse of Spirit

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



The Reality, Not the Story

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

A beautiful morning to you. I live here at Sunrise Ranch, and I am a participant in the Emissaries’ beautiful Full Self Emergence Program. So rightfully I am passionately engaged in exploring the fullness of possibility in myself, and the fullness of my purpose. And it includes many paradoxes. I value the experience of allowing myself to more fully know myself.

And I also want to say that I value the life-giving words that have come from this place in the Dome many times, and especially in the last couple of weeks. I have a quote that I would like to share from the service a couple of weeks ago, “Bless Your Humanity.” This is from David Karchere: “When we talk about a change in the sense of self, we’re talking about something that goes all the way through to the very core of who and what we are.” And, later on, David mentions the knowing of our divine self being a “supreme opportunity.” I agree! I feel that to be true.

It is also of supreme importance to me that I know God, and thereby myself, in a way beyond merely a story or a theory or a mental concept, and that I experience the reality of that source of life in a way that’s undeniably powerful and visible and tangible—in a way that I feel and touch into every moment of my life. The song we just sang, “A Song in the Wind,” has a line that says: “And I know that my love is here.” That is the way that I want to experience myself and God: by the kind of knowing that is felt and seen all the time.

I might say that I want to know God the way I know my breath. When I breathe in, it does something. My breath isn’t a story. I don’t think it would be very meaningful to read about it—okay, the chest expands and then it deflates, and I could even hear the sound. But my breath DOES something. My breath, when I breathe in, gives me life, and when I breathe out it gives life. That is the way that I want to know myself and the source of life.

There are a couple of reasons why I want to know God in more ways than a story, and one is that the story might not be accurate. This is very true for me personally, and I see it in many places. For most of my life, and until very recently, I had a very concise, clear picture and story of God and what life might mean. And it worked for me somewhat. Last night I wrote an abbreviated version of that story, which I will share with you, and then I’ll tell you how it worked in my life. So this is my story of God.

It goes something like this: “This mysterious masculine being made the sun, the moon and the stars. He made the earth, the sea and the animals, the birds, and he made man—in six days. And he rested. Everything was perfect then, until Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God cast them out of the perfect Garden of Eden and condemned them to struggle and strife. Man continually did evil until at last God repented himself, was sorry that he made man, and he drowned them all in the great flood, except for one special family. Later he established a chosen nation, but eventually that too fell to ruin. Finally he sent his only begotten son to restore his nation and die as a final sacrifice for our sins.”

Thank you for laughing—it’s good to laugh! And, you know, that was part of my story too—even to laugh about God or heaven or hell would send you to hell. And so one day I was speaking to a yoga teacher, a very dear friend of mine; I was telling her my story of God, and she began to laugh. She said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I just have to laugh!” And after a while I started laughing too! It was the first time that I laughed about something like that and I didn’t go to hell!

So what the story did for me was to keep me conscientious. (I never ate fruit from that tree! Well, I take that back—I only ate the best of the fruit!) My mental image of God was ever sharpened, and He was in a very small frame. Then at some point, because my heart was a little bigger than that, the story didn’t work for me.

I came to a place where my physical capacities collapsed to the devastation of illness, and I didn’t have energy anymore, not even with which to think. So I was completely helpless and I was in a cancer treatment clinic, far away from family or church or friends. But I was still able to feel, and I felt the strong, caring arms of doctors and nurses moving me around to where I needed to be. I saw beautiful faces of people, like faces of angels, flitting around, seeing who they could keep comfortable and what they could do to help. I cried with thankfulness when one of the clinic’s head doctors and his wife took me into their lovely home and treated me as a daughter.

My story, my theory of who God was, crumbled under the reality of feeling and seeing and experiencing life in a true way. I was feeling love and, though I didn’t know it at the time, I was experiencing God. So that is what I want in my life: to transcend that which may be theoretical and learned and mental, and experience life in a very real, true, creative, loving and fulfilled way.

At that point of devastation, the greatest miracle was that I surrendered thinking and feeling for experiencing truth; and a seed was planted that maybe I didn’t have the foggiest idea who God was! Just the planting of that seed in the last few years has spurred me on to heights of learning and great joy. And there’s more.

It is of supreme importance for me to know divine power, to know the infinite, loving, creative energy of self and God, and to be in it powerfully, in truth, as opposed to concept. Every day I move more deeply into that experience, and it’s great. And every day I forget, too. There’s an element of unknowingness there, as David spoke of a few weeks ago, unknowingness of that inherent connection that we have. That part of my experience doesn’t always please me too much.

I have two pieces of poetry here. One brings out the sadder aspect of some of our unknowing experiences, and one is a strong call for life. Both are true; both are real at times. I’m going to go with the call for life—I think we need that. It’s called “A Song of Life,” by Angela Morgan, and in it are the words “Say not, ‘I live!’” unless…. For me, that means “Say not, ‘I know God,’” unless….

Say not, “I live!”
Unless the morning’s trumpet brings
A shock of glory to your soul,
Unless the ecstasy that sings
Through rushing worlds and insects’ wings,
Sends you upspringing to your goal,
Glad of the need for toil and strife,
Eager to grapple hands with Life—
Say not, “I live!” [unless…]

Say not, “I live!”
Unless the energy that rings
Throughout this universe of fire
A challenge to your spirit flings,
Here in the world of men and things,
Thrilling you with a huge desire
To mate your purpose with the stars,
To shout with Jupiter and Mars—
Say not, “I live!” [unless…]

Say not, “I live!”
Such were a libel on the Plan
Blazing within the mind of God
Ere world or star or sun began.
Say rather, with your fellow man,
“I grub; I burrow in the sod.”
Life is not life that does not flame
With consciousness of whence it came—
Say not, “I live!” [unless…]

It is a supreme opportunity for me to be in this exploration and experiencing it along with my friends. And it thrills me. So I wish you thrills in your soul today. May you know that infinite, tangible, loving, powerful energy, and share it. Namaste.


Susan Lapp Noyes

August 3rd, 2008
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