For Us The Living
Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
It’s wonderful to be in the midst of this final face-to-face session of our yearlong Leadership Program. Last evening Howard Goodman spoke about the willingness to release the substance that has been concretized in whatever way in our own personal cultures, which has given us our current sense of self-respect. There are ways in which we have learned to love ourselves and our friends, “warts and all.” We have believed that the limited ways in which we function in our personal culture are something permanent, when in fact they are changeable. We are uniquely designed to bring aspects of the total prism of light that is needed. But there are ways people feel shame about how they are made, and they allow their own gifts to become a caricature of what they could be. Most people have been told, in some way, they aren’t good enough and have just accepted that as fact, as a wart they were born with. And it’s not true.
We can love each other as we’re discovering our warts and all, our limitations and our shames. Sometimes we say, “This is the way I am—deal with it,” or “This is the way I am—I’m fully evolved.” I don’t believe that’s the language of an emissary of divine light. Those who have said, “I will bring the light” shine the light upon themselves as well.
We have this incredible capacity to think. We have this incredible capacity to love. We have a capacity to be strong, we have a capacity to feel deeply, we have a capacity to shine. Do we think of those things as God-given capacities? Can we use them as God-given capacities, as opposed to human capacities that we put up with? Anybody here been told they were a little too shiny; they were showing off? Anybody been told they were too strong and they weren’t allowing other people to participate? Anybody been told they were a cold fish, hardhearted? Weakhearted? Do you have to cry at the drop of a hat? These capacities are actually designed perfectly, so let’s get over that part. They were designed to bring the light as only we can bring it. Now let’s play with them and see what’s really true.
Earlier this week I was working with the words of the Gettysburg Address, something that means a lot to me. For those of you who live in other countries and might not know, it was a speech that was given by President Abraham Lincoln, in the middle of the Civil War on the battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Something was happening in this country that was going to destroy it. President Lincoln faced the issue at hand, at times with very little support from others. From most accounts, his words were not particularly remarkable to the people who heard them at the time, and they were quickly criticized in the press as “silly, flat and dishwatery utterances.”
There’s a section of it I’d like to read that has relevance to what we do with the rest of our lives. This is the last paragraph of his speech:
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
He’s speaking on a battlefield in this speech:
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
These words, to me, are an angelic proclamation: that this nation, under God, that this world, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of His kingdom, by His glory, and for His work shall not perish. It is for us the living to finish this work. Not finish the work so that the planet can close up its bags and go home, but finish the work of returning the world to the spirit that created it, so that the glory of what this world was designed to be may be fulfilled. Who hasn’t had the inspiration of someone who is not here any longer, who has shown the way, that stands beside you in spirit, behind you, around you, and says, “Let’s do this work together”?
So let’s finish this work of not allowing human darkness to cover the face of the earth—to honor the cycles which give life; to let that which is being born be held by those who will keep it precious and blessed. If you don’t know how to do that, start out just by honoring those who have. Let your life be about giving thanks for those who have let this country, this world, still exist; who held the hand away from that which would destroy. Give thanks for that.
And then those who say yes to being an emissary of divine light, those who say, “Yes, I am that” have the opportunity to provide true leadership. We all get to lead in the creative process of life. That’s what we lead. People think that this is all about leading other people. That’s so small compared to shedding divine light into the world and assisting the process of creation with people.
I want to read from the Gettysburg Address one more time, and I invite you to think of yourself as that person standing on the field with someone who’s sharing a great vision of what is possible for us:
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
That the government of those who serve will not perish, for it is the only true government.
I give thanks for this aperture, this moment in time when we magnify the spirit of God. To whatever measure you say, “I will,” it is done. For those here in the Dome, those in Africa, all over the United States, England, Australia, Asia, Antarctica, Europe, South America, Mexico and Canada, we are all standing in the same aperture, the same opening between the wondrous possibility that is before us and this current reality, providing the same blessing now, in this present moment.
There are patterns in this country, in this world and in our consciousness that at times seem overwhelming. They can seem insurmountable. That’s one of the limitations of the culture that binds us. When magic, illumination, passion are loosed through the hands of those who bring it in the name of what’s holy, the unimaginable happens. But for it to happen, the current concretized culture, the current way of thinking, has to be released. It can’t work the old way. It has to work the real way. And we have the power and the ability to do that together
Abraham Lincoln spoke of a nation. This is a nation—not the United States of America, which is the country in which I am currently standing, but the nation of the living God. I’m aware of the spirit of patriotism that has rung in this country. Maureen Waller spoke earlier this week about the word patriot, which refers to the father. We all have the same one. We are here to be a light that illuminates what is true and possible. I believe we can all be about that, wherever we find our home. Let emissaries of divine light shine brightly, revealing the culture of heaven on earth.
September 28th, 2009