To Build the Temple of the Living God
I want to start at the big picture of what it is that we are doing here. You may have just stepped on the property today, and you may have been here for forty years, and it really doesn’t matter. I would speak to anybody who was interested about essentially the same thing. I might say it differently, depending on who it was, but this is what I’m about and what we’re about here. Understanding that there is the risk of all kinds of misunderstandings about language, I am nonetheless going to speak in the clearest terms I know how about why we are here.
What we are here to do is to build a temple of the living God. We are here to do that personally and individually. So our bodies, our minds, and our feeling realms are here to be a temple for the living God, and for really no other reason. We are here so that the living God can live through us and be in expression through us as a person. That is the point of human life. By the way, I will make assertions in what I have to say, which you have the opportunity to either accept and understand to be true or to dismiss as something that is not true for you. I acknowledge that is your choice. And that’s the last time I will say that, because it is implicit in all this that you can do what you would like with what I say. But I am going to assert what I know to be true.
So we are here to build the temple of the living God individually. Most people have felt the urge to do that in one way or another. Almost everybody, in the early stages of their life—in adolescence and coming into their teenage years—feels the spirit of the living God within them, begging to come out. They feel the sacredness of that spirit in one way or another. Sadly, the opportunity to fulfill those urges is largely discouraged in the world in which we live. A young person most often attempts to express the energy within them here or there, and then at some point realizes that all the boxes around them in the human world aren’t big enough to be filled with their energy. So a young person who is really worth their salt has a certain amount of rebellion in that whole process.
But when it comes right down to it, where is the understanding for that young person of how they could do it differently? How could they be in this world and allow their own capacity to become a temple of the living God? How could they allow their own experience to be filled with that, and how could they let that experience be sustained in the living of their life? Not just in some peak time, not just when they took a drug, but how could it be sustained in the living of life? And how could they share that with other people?
Most often, at some point, the person is faced with living in the world and sees little other option than to plow the beauty of the spirit that’s moving through them into all the human forms of the world in which we live, whether it’s making money, raising a family, having a career, and all those other things which there is nothing wrong with, but of themselves they are not the end and aim of a human life. Because the end and aim of a human life is to be a temple of the living God.
That’s true individually, but we’re not made simply individually. We are one body of humanity. We are not all conjoined twins, so we’re not all connected that way physically, but we are connected in so many other ways—at the level of the heart, in the ideas that we share, in the kinds of interchanges we have with other people, and in our dependency on one another. We are truly one body.
So the work of this place, and my work, is the work of the development and creation of the body of the living God. How could we be that together? Not the body of some religious practice, particularly. Not merely one of the many religious faiths of the world but a body for that spirit that’s within every one of us, so that that spirit could really live and breathe and be alive in our experience and in everything that we do and how we relate to one another. So we are seeking, particularly here at Sunrise Ranch, to create an energy field, because spirit lives not just in thinking and not just in actions, but it lives in an energy field that we have the opportunity to hold and develop as a group of people. So we are all about developing that energy field by the way we are in this place.
Because we are interested in this work in earnest, we cannot accept any cheap and easy answers as to how it is to be done. We cannot accept any false beliefs about how that work is done, because you don’t create an energy field by cheap and easy answers, by doing the easy thing, by accommodating the restrictions of the human world that were the problem in the first place. You don’t create a temple of the living God if anything else comes before that. There are many things that can come after it, but if anything comes before it you can’t do this work. And we have to tell people, “I’m sorry, we love you, but if the first priority in your life is not to create a temple of the living God, you cannot do this work. You will not know how to do this work; you will not know where to begin.”
People have attempted this work in various ways over the millennia. There are people in the world today who we may know of, and I’m sure many we don’t know of, some of whom we have connection with, who are attempting this work. This work has been attempted in this place since it was founded in 1945. And I say attempted, not in any way to demean or underestimate the accomplishments of those who have gone before us—or our own efforts in the past. But there are ceilings that have been hit in the past as this work was undertaken. We have hit ceilings, and other people we know are hitting ceilings in this work around the world.
So there is a ceiling to go through. That ceiling is, in essence, the muddied heart, because you cannot think your way into creating this energy field. You have to be able to think, so you can’t go unconscious and do this work. But you cannot think your way into it. You have to do something about your feeling realm. And that has been the ceiling.
A person has to find a way to do something about how the spirit of the living God enters their own capacity and moves in them, because it brings up ages-old emotional unclarity. At some point in our lives, an honest person figures out that the ways of the world that are so inadequate for the work that we have to do and for the life we have to live is not just out there—it’s in here. It would be easy to deal with if it was just out there. I’d still be protesting, trying to make right all the wrongs of the world at large. But it’s not just out there; it’s in here, in our own emotional body. And if we can deal with it in here, we have an opportunity to help other people deal with their “in here.” But we have to deal with ours if we have any hope of being of assistance to another.
So our work here is all designed to assist a person to take personal responsibility for what is in here. We can help another. We can be of support to one another, we can love one another in the process, we can do some teaching; we hope to inspire. We hope that when someone comes into this energy field at Sunrise Ranch, it will resonate so deeply in them that it will move them in feeling and make them open up and release layers of the hardness that is in their heart, that it will warm their heart and soften them and make it easier for them to do their work. But you know what? In the end, you’ve got to do your work. You’ve got to take personal responsibility for the way you experience and express your feelings.
In one way, it’s all the same work, whoever we are. So, in one sense, we all have the same issues. I do think different people get a different mix of ingredients, which runs in patterns, by the way. It is said that there is nothing new under the sun. That is something we find out, doing this work. If we have a horrible issue that is eating us alive—you know what? The whole world’s got it. Everybody is dealing with the same stuff, and it is not actually new. It may seem new to you, but it’s not new.
The magic of it all is that there is a self-purifying mechanism in the human being. It is present in virtually everyone, something that the founder of this place discovered. The self-purifying mechanism requires this: Just run the energy. Run life energy. Allow the spirit of the living God to move through you to the greatest height, depth and clarity you can allow, and keep doing it consistently in the living of your life. And day to day, when you’re faced with a choice of whether you will express from your hurt feelings, your prejudices, your anger, and all the other mixed-up things that we feel as human beings—when you have a choice of expressing from that or expressing that current that would be creative in the situation, that would really give life, that would really be of service to your fellow human beings and to your reason for being on earth, choose to express the spirit of the living God. Then the self-purifying mechanism is in place for us, and the heart becomes pure.
That has become an almost archaic way to talk about a clear emotional body, a “pure heart.” But whatever you call it, the emotional body is meant to be transparent, so that the reality of the spirit within us, that made us, can come through clearly with all its intelligence and all its love. And so that love and that intelligence can be shared clearly and powerfully in our world.
We also have the opportunity to do in-depth work to bring a release from emotional bondage. We can ask, what is happening for me? What is that feeling that I’m having? I can take personal responsibility for my feeling realm in private in a different way than I can in public. When I’m in public, I don’t really want to explore my anger. I wouldn’t want to do that here with you tonight. But there is a time when I ought to get to the root of it, if there is anger in me. I ought to ask myself, “David, what is that about?” and be willing to listen and to hear the answer. What happened? Was it something in childhood? Was it something that happened in your life? Is this a repetitive pattern? Why? What are you feeling? Get honest! How do I feel about this? Whether it is a fear or an anger or sadness, whatever it is, get honest, get to the bottom of it and take responsibility for it. Find out, and get honest if you have blamed everybody else in your life for making you feel that way. That is the default pattern for humanity—blame other people for making us feel the way we feel. People even say: “You made me feel…” and finish that sentence by naming whatever emotion they are experiencing.
Taking personal responsibility, I say “the expression of my feelings is a choice.” I am the creator of my life. I am that creative spirit that is coming through me. That is who I am. The intelligence and the love, the power, the life force that’s moving through me—that is who I am. And I have a choice how I express that energy.
We are in the middle of a significant cycle here at Sunrise Ranch. We could speak about it as the evolution of consciousness. We have an essential choice. The essential choice is to go forward or to go back. I don’t think we could tread water for very long. The very process of life is calling us to another level of function. That happens for all of us personally and for humanity as a whole, and what was working no longer works. And people wonder, “It worked yesterday—why doesn’t it work now?”
There is a higher calling and a greater level of personal responsibility. Somewhere along the line, in the evolution of humanity, we’ve got to deal with all the unclarity that is in human consciousness, beginning with our own. Life is telling us, and all humanity: You’ve got to deal with this, because it’s killing you and it’s killing our planet.
So what we need is a meltdown of the heart at Sunrise Ranch in the very best way. Because we cannot be a temple of the living God without a meltdown of the heart—a meltdown for which we take personal responsibility, so that our insides, the part of us that interacts with the universal energy that is at our core, softens. So that it opens. But for that to happen, you’ve got to do your work. We’ve all got to do our work. We cannot be put together as the temple of the living God, either individually or together, unless we do our work and there is a melting of the heart.
(From a talk given at Sunrise Ranch on Wednesday, February 15, 2012)
February 27th, 2012