Heaven Down Here
Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
We’ve been speaking recently about what it means to let spiritual consciousness emerge through oneself. While the word heaven can be thought of as a place to go after you die, we use that word to describe the invisible pattern of being, of which we are becoming aware. As our awareness increases, we bring the heavenly experience into our experience of earthly things. We bring heaven on earth.
It is actually common for human beings to try to bring something heavenly, and therefore pleasurable, into their life. There was a song that was popular a number of years ago, by Tuck and Patti: “Let’s Bring Heaven Down Here.” But how? My experience is that I have to go up, to a high place in consciousness, for heaven to be present through me and in my world. Heaven is present when I’m in the highest vibration I know. If I try to alter the fineness of heaven so that it fits in and doesn’t disturb the coarser levels of the usual pattern of my life, it is no longer heaven.
Last week was Easter, and I was speaking of the story of Mary in the garden after the crucifixion. She goes to the tomb and sees that the stone is moved, and she’s wondering where Jesus’ body is. She asks a man, that she believes to be the gardener, where they may have taken him. But in one of the most moving passages in the Bible, it turns out that the gardener is Jesus. He speaks her name. Though she did not initially recognize him when he spoke her name, there was a knowing, a remembering of the vibration within her that resonated so strongly with his presence. He spoke not to chastise her for her confusion but to remind her. When he said her name, she remembered again. I expect that in all the turbulence and distress in the events that led up to this occasion, it was difficult for her initially to hear that vibration and to sense what was happening. What’s revealed through the story is that she had listened so deeply to the vibration she knew through Jesus that she recognized it when it was present. She did enough living that way to know the sound of what was true. She knew the sound. And when it was spoken again, the very cells in her body remembered, and in her response of “Rabboni” was the message “Here am I.”
How often have we heard the words “Here am I”; “Yes, I will”; “Whatever it takes”? The experience of doing this collectively is symbolized by this teleconference service, having all in Western Canada and the Dome Chapel at Sunrise, in the central part of the United States, online at the same time. We are one body, standing in one place. It is now in both places, regardless of what the clock says. We are one body in this one moment. The only reason we share in services such as this on Sundays is to be of service, to bring the vibration out of the invisible heaven, the holy spirit on earth through our words. I could be gardening or doing some other enjoyable activity. But the reason we choose to be together this way is to magnify the spirit on earth and to do it together because we love it so. And we know that the experience of oneness as a body magnifies that spirit on the earth.
I was thinking of Barack Obama this week. He is already receiving a lot of criticism. He hasn’t been in office very long. It saddens me that the human experience is so self-interested that it attacks people that don’t seem to be satisfying what the person wants. Self-interest often leads to thinking and speaking that pursue what the person wants without respect to the invisible pattern of being. I don’t believe there is any way that heaven comes into a person’s experience on that basis.
I believe Barack Obama brought something in his campaign and leadership that stirred a lot of people in this country and around the world. It seemed that he cared about something more than himself, more than our country, and something more than our problems. He cared about the future of this planet as a whole. People have criticized him for touring around the world when, in their minds, he should be taking care of problems at home. Are our problems really strictly national? Have we lost sight of the impact of the issues at stake in our world that are global in nature?
It takes moving beyond a pattern of thinking that is driven by self-interest to see this larger picture. Self-interested thinking is ultimately self-active—driven by the concern from a very small sense of who a person is. A person whose thinking is driven on that basis isn’t opening themselves to a heavenly experience. They are simply trying to fix what they think is wrong with the world—and other people. That never allows heaven to be here on earth.
There is a time where we try harder, and do more to bring something creative into the world. But if the whole way of thinking is on a self-active basis, there’s a time where you have to say, “Let’s change the rules.” My heart tells me that we have to change the rules. We have to say that the way we’ve done it before does not work anymore. We need a new, higher vibration.
I have a friend who believes that everyone in the world wants to be like America. Everyone wants two cars, a big beautiful home, 2.5 children, and the abundance we know here. He believes that the whole world is acting the way they’re acting because of jealousy about that. I say that is not only self-active thinking; it is presumptuous! I know people even in this country who could care less about having a car. I know people in this country who care more about the well-being of their fellow man than they do about what they’re going to eat tonight or how big their house is. We have people stewarding the land of Sunrise Ranch who care about its sustainability, who care about its relationship to something far larger than whether or not we’re going to have enough apples in the fall.
The pattern of self-active thinking is born out of a person’s interest in serving themselves, and perhaps a few others. The truth is that we are, ultimately, one body of humanity around the world. And the heaven that is at hand is at hand for anyone who’s interested. You don’t have to live on Sunrise Ranch, you don’t have to live at Edenvale or in Western Canada, and you don’t have to be on the phone line this morning to participate. But you have to be willing to be interested in something more than what you want and what you believe would make you happy right now. When you are interested in something more than yourself, there is a new sense of happiness. There is an experience of being part of one body of people around the world, who are bringing one heaven to earth.
The Olympic Games represent this understanding at a national level. Athletes compete for their team and for their country, as well as their own victory. Observers of the games join in the sense of victory, even though they’re not the ones in the competition. There is something that happens that allows people to experience the oneness of a larger body. People are competing for their whole country. The list of medals is by country, not by person. They might get the gold medal, but often the experience of victory for something larger happens. When people run the victory lap, what do they carry? They carry their country’s flag, in symbol representing something larger than the victory of their own personal training.
I’m interested in rising to the place in consciousness where we know heaven together. I guess there are about two hundred people on this phone line this morning, and that all of us have something in our hearts and in our minds that could be considered extremely personal—someone we’re concerned about, something that’s not working the way we thought it would. And yet here we are in a place that says, “I will be present in heaven.” You didn’t have to show up this morning. You could have sat at home and thought about your personal world; you could have stayed home and journaled about it; you could have called the person you were concerned about or worked on the issues at hand. All those could also be effective. But where is the greatest power? Where’s the power that will change this planet? That’s what I’m interested in.
As my friend Nick Gordon says, “Holy Spirit is in and wants out.” I want the blessings of my living out, so that heaven may be on earth.
When we are in the place of bringing forth heaven, we are of generous spirit. We see seeds and beauty and possibility, and we don’t get stuck in the limitations of the people or the things or the forms. The forms are blessed and created by our spirit, with our capacities and with that which comes into our hands.
When we are interested in releasing holy spirit, in bringing heaven into the earth, earthly limitations are humorous. We see heavenly possibility, and that is very exciting!
May 15th, 2009
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