So how is your August going? At Sunrise Ranch, August is usually the most intense time of the year. We have had many wonderful people coming to visit us, and the Sunrise Ranch community has worked hard to host those people. A team of people are creating a fountain garden next to our sanctuary. In the middle of all that is going on, we have also been visited by a plague of grasshoppers.
My recent experience has been that the creative process is using me. How about you? It’s using what I have to give to it. It’s using my talents, it’s using my capacities: my strength, my intelligence, and my response to life itself. The creative process has been relying on my generosity of spirit, without which none of those things get brought into play, and it feels good to be relied upon in that way. In the process, I have found talents and abilities that I thought were put on the shelf and more or less retired for this lifetime. They have been reactivated by the creative process that shows itself in my life, and the need for me to contribute to it, and that feels good. I feel well used.
In the heat of August in the Northern Hemisphere, we are full throttle in the creative process. It does not seem to be a time for reflection and contemplation, such as it is in the deep of winter. And still, there is always an opportunity to pause and become more fully aware of what is transpiring in our life and in the spiritual work we are undertaking.
Generosity of spirit is vital to living a creative life. The word generosity comes from the same root as the word generation. Both words relate to an increase in energy. The word generation also refers to a people of similar age. The origin of all these words has to do with bringing forth.
Here are some comments from Martin Exeter as he spoke about generation and bringing forth in the context of the creative process in which we are involved:
I have emphasized the fact before that the change must come in one generation. It could be, presumably, any generation, as long as human beings exist on earth. If they leave it too long, of course, there will not be any generations left. But it must come in one generation, though human beings have a comfortable idea that somehow or other the next generation may be more successful.
From “This Generation,” 1987
It may be comforting to think that our generation can do our bit and contribute to a long, slow unbroken line in the evolution of human consciousness. The problem is that, taken as a spiritual path, this approach leads a person to project the fulfillment of their destiny to the future, even after their lifetime. While there is a future for humanity past our lifetime, we find ourselves here, now. And in this time, in this moment, a person either embraces their destiny or they do not. They bring forth what serves the creative process or they let other agendas overtake them.
I belong to the Baby Boomer generation. As a generation, perhaps we could do our bit and pass things off to the Indigo Children and the rest of their generation. We could take a few tentative steps on the path toward the evolution of consciousness, retreat two steps for every three we take forward, and then pass it off to the next generation, leading to a grand and glorious future for the human race. That might be a comfortable thought. Does anybody really believe it? I don’t.
There are many examples through history of individuals who let a change come in their own experience. In the Western world, Jesus’ life and teaching are familiar to most people. In the face of the entrenched culture around him, he brought forth a remarkable message of hope and love. He experienced victory.
But, in another way, what he brought forth personally failed. He couldn’t even get twelve men to participate with him in the creative process. He didn’t have even a small group of people do it in one generation. It was his aim to go through the creative process with those twelve men, and many more. That did not happen, and in that sense his life was a failure.
Nonetheless, he experienced fulfillment in one generation himself, personally. Any truly great spiritual leader has done the same. He didn’t hope that somebody else would complete the process after him. He didn’t take it halfway; he didn’t take a half measure. He did the whole thing. He accepted that if something meaningful was going to happen, that if there was going to be a victory established, he would have to see it all the way through. And he did. He handed the world his spiritual victory, with the possibility that there would, at some point, be a group of people who shared the same experience.
So how about us? If we are thinking in terms of generations, we could wonder who is going to carry on after we go. We could look at people of a younger generation today and wonder how we could “bring them along.” Of course, the younger generations are probably thinking about bringing the older generations along, hoping we get a clue.
There are generations in terms of how old we are—how long we’ve been here on earth, and how much time we’ve got left. There is also something that is closely tied to generations, when it comes to a group of people, and that is longevity of association. I’m talking about how long we’ve been associated with a group of people or in a community. Longevity might also relate to the length of time a person has been on a particular spiritual path.
Our age and our longevity of association in a given group, or the time we have walked a particular spiritual path, does distinguish us from other people. But how helpful is it to define people that way? For instance, if there is someone who has recently subscribed to this mailing list, or someone who just visited Sunrise Ranch for the first time, is it useful to think of that person as someone who is not really part of this one spiritual generation yet? They are learning, they’re being initiated, they’re in a growth process, they are beginning on their spiritual path, they are coming along. Aren’t those thoughts dreadful? They are dreadful to me. While there is something factual about it, that perspective certainly leaves plenty of room for spiritual arrogance. It seems to be easy to be condescending to someone younger or someone who is newly associated with a particular group, as if they have yet to learn the secret handshake, or the secret lingos or ritual.
Certainly there are experiences a person has as they mature, as they walk their spiritual path and as they associate with a given group of people. But isn’t all that really quite secondary? Doesn’t that view of them tend to get in the way more than it helps, particularly if that’s the primary lens through which we see things? How can there be one body of people, here to have a victory together, as long as the people involved are seeing the world that way?
The matter of age and longevity came to issue in my life when I became a Trustee of Emissaries of Divine Light in 1995. Martin Exeter, who had led the Emissaries for thirty-three years, had died seven years earlier. Friends told me of their concern that I, and the people with whom I was leading, were too young to be effective leaders. Martin was 78 when he died, and we were certainly much younger than that. I heard this refrain often in the coming years, until one day the tide turned. There was a new concern. We, who were leading, were getting old.
I remember thinking, wait a minute! Was there a peak time—an hour perhaps—when we were just the right age? Were our whole lives prior to that hour only in preparation for then? And how about after it? Were we over the hill? What a debilitating way to look at oneself or other people!
There are young children who are part of the community at Sunrise Ranch. Are they part of this one generation? Absolutely. They are bringing something of spiritual essence that’s part of this mix. In the most important ways, we are all the same, no matter what age we are. When it comes to this one generation, this one bringing forth of spiritual transformation, neither age nor longevity separate us. In that context, we are one; we are all the same. We all have a great opportunity. I don’t care how long you have been associated with this organization or how old you are.
In one generation…
What does it mean to see this spiritual process all the way through? And, for that matter, what are our chances to see it all the way through? And how are we doing? I believe those questions are mostly irrelevant. “So what does it mean to have complete victory, complete fulfillment, complete manifestation of divine being on Planet Earth through a body of people?” I don’t know, but I think I’d know it if it happened. Don’t you think you’d know if that really happened?
What are our chances of actually doing that? I really think they are as good as anybody’s chances have been down through the ages. But given that I have nothing better to do in my life than that, it doesn’t really matter. I could ask, as compared to what? Going out and earning a million dollars? I would rather fail at this, having given it everything I have, than succeed at anything less.
And how are we doing? Can you feel the arrogance of setting oneself up as judge and jury on that question? Do you really know? How would it look? Could you really know? However we are doing, I’m here for the victory. I’m here for the fulfillment of a radical change in human consciousness—to see it all the way through personally, and to invite a body of people, whoever they may be, to see it through with me; to give it everything we have, in every way, and to be totally used, all of who we are and what we have, in the process.
Probably, like you, I do a lot of things in my life that don’t, on the face of them, look so glorious. For me, in the last couple of weeks I have had my head buried in spreadsheets, doing financial planning, and talking to lawyers. It doesn’t seem so glorious to me on the face of it—not that spiritual. But it is. It is spiritual for me because this is what the creative process asked of me. Because I was asked, and because I said yes, it is spiritual to me. This is my way of serving, of honoring, what’s supreme to me. It is my victory.
August 29th, 2011