The Opportunity in the Middle of Spiritual Crisis
I’d like to take this opportunity to do something unusual. I’d like to dedicate this service to offering an answer to the spiritual crisis facing America today. It is a spiritual crisis when a candidate for the presidency of the United States engages in hate speech and lies; when, with the wink of an eye, he implies that if the other candidate is elected, that a remedy could be assassination. If you haven’t been following the news, this is what’s been going on. It’s a spiritual crisis when a candidate for the presidency of the United States 1) claims that our president is the founder of ISIS; 2) that the person he’s running against—someone who could well be our future president—is a co-founder of ISIS, both of which are outright lies; 3) says that if he doesn’t win, that it will be because the election is rigged; and 4) implies that assassination might be a remedy if his opponent is elected.
At a practical level, I believe this is dangerous. Many of us remember all too well the assassination of an American president. Many of us remember all too well the assassination of noble people, like Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X, and John Lennon.
Words matter. This is not a partisan speech I’m giving here. This is not about politics. This is about what is right and true and fitting on our national scene, and indeed on the world scene. This is about people, regardless of party, standing up and saying, “No, this is not acceptable to me. This is not what my country is about!”
TV veteran Dan Rather said this:
By any objective analysis, this is a new low and unprecedented in the history of American presidential politics. This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival…. If any other citizen had said this about a Presidential candidate, would the Secret Service be investigating?
So we are in the middle of a spiritual crisis. A crisis is a time of both risk and opportunity. I am so happy to see that, beyond party, people have stood up and said, “No, this is unacceptable to me. It’s unacceptable in our public discourse.” I join those people and invite you to join with me in saying, “No, this is unacceptable to me.” Democratic, Republican—it’s not about that anymore. This is about something else: what belongs in our public discourse, and in our private lives.
May our voice be heard. My voice will be heard. So I would like to dedicate this time of service to providing the spiritual answer to this crisis, and use it as an opportunity. I believe that since those awful words were uttered at the beginning of the week, already there’s an outflow of pure spirit that has broken the dam that’s been present in consciousness. Already there are spiritual victories that are appearing because of the steady spiritual expression of people who are awake and conscious and who are shining the light. Thank you for being one of those.
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(Seven singers led the congregation in the singing of “Enter the Deeper Temple.”)
Leave your cares at the window
Leave your thoughts at the door
Enter the deeper temple
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(David Karchere and Jane Anetrini presented “A Spiritual Call.”)
We call to all Americans, all Canadians, all Russian, Chinese and all Australians; people of all nations, come together as one chorus of voices to answer the spiritual call of this day.
All white people, all brown, all black, red and yellow; all people of mixed race, we call you to leave behind division to embrace your equality in the family of humankind.
We call to all Hindus, all Catholics, all Jews, all Muslims and Protestants, all Emissaries of Divine Light—people of all faiths and people of no faith at all;
All humanists, atheists and agnostics, embrace that love that is in all our hearts from wherever it comes, and speak it into the world. Act on it in your life.
We call upon the very rich and the very poor, and all in between. Be that creator that you are destined to be. Together, let us bring the creativity that we are destined to bring to this dear planet. Let us take our place in the circle of life.
Today, let our awareness shine with the light of understanding and sight. Let us see through the lies that we have told ourselves and each other. Let us transcend suspicion and distrust to embrace the truth of our common destiny.
Let hatred cease now, overwhelmed by the power of love within us, so that we may truly live…
As a race, as an individual, as one people around the world, as a planet.
May the strength of our resolve be stronger than the lies and hatred around us.
May our solidarity as awake people be as strong as a mountain.
May our voices be like thunder.
Our thoughts like lightning.
May our love fall down like rain, watering the world.
Good to be together in this vibration. Good to bring this vibration together into the world. Good to use our words to give voice to this vibration. As has been said recently, our words matter. And certainly we need more than words, but words can initiate something. And then, when we follow through in action and we are people of our word, there’s something powerful moving in the world.
This week has called me to think about the very nature of truth. Truth—a word sometimes used as a bludgeon—is sometimes cheapened when people talk about “my truth” and “your truth.”
There are many levels to what truth is. There is the most common understanding of the word, which is about facts. What is the truth of the facts? And that’s important. Here is a first threshold, if a person is to know the truth and live the truth: honesty about the facts.
I’ve noticed that it’s hard to lie to other people about facts without lying to yourself. And we’ve probably all run across those who cannot even keep straight for themselves what the facts are because they’re so eager to mold their report of the facts in a way that conforms to what they’d like the facts to be or what they’d like you to think they are, as opposed to what they really are.
And so, as children, we’re told not to tell a lie. We’re challenged to come to terms with what the facts are and name what the facts are accurately. It’s a threshold in anybody’s life to learn that it just doesn’t pay to tell a lie about the facts, and that the way to go is to be as truthful about the facts as we can be. Not that we have to report every last fact to every person we meet, but it is important that the facts we reference are true.
When Donald Trump says that President Obama is the founder of ISIS, he’s playing with our minds around the facts. It’s not the fact. And the same when he says Hillary Clinton is a co-founder of ISIS. Not in the furthest stretch of imagination. Facts are important, and being accurate about the facts is important. And if, in our private or public discourse, facts become unimportant, we’re in deep trouble.
Here’s a second level of truth: logic. Logic—A plus B equals C. In some cases, if this is true, that can’t be true. There’s the logic of our own thinking process, which we need to be truthful about because we need to be able to rely upon our thinking. How unreliable our thinking becomes if we become illogical—if our thinking is creating a story as we want it to be, instead of logically thinking through from what we know to be true to what we don’t yet understand, but could understand with some logic. Logic is important.
If you put those two things together, a clear understanding and truthfulness about fact and clear logic in one’s thinking, you’re on your road to truth. But that’s only the beginning of the road. You could have a very logical and factual person, at least at some levels, who is not really being truthful, because to be truthful there are other levels of our being for which these things that I’ve spoken of are only entry points. They can be disqualifiers too, because I don’t know how you become clear and truthful about the realm of vibration if you’re not being truthful about the realm of fact and logic.
There is something more to truth than simply what is and our thinking about what is. There is what could be. We could bury what could be if we’re not truthful; if we’re not open to it, we don’t see that truth. If all we see is fact and logic, we may not be seeing opportunity. We may not be seeing the truth of a circumstance, what is not only present in the circumstance itself but in the truth of what’s waiting to happen, what’s in the process of being born. That takes a different kind of eyes.
And then there’s the truth of another person. Yes, there’s a fact there; the fact may be that the person just did something you don’t like. Logically, you may be thinking about how you avoid the consequences of that in the future. But there’s another realm of truth, which is the truth of that person. Do you see that? Some people get very self-righteous; oh, they have the facts and they have the logic. And yet they don’t see the truth of the people around them, they don’t know that truth, and they’re not speaking the truth, really.
What is truth at a higher level? It comes down to this: Behind everything is Being. Behind everything is God, by whatever name. Behind everything is the Divine. Behind everything is the Beloved. And from the reality of Being and from every person, there is an emanation of love. In many cases it doesn’t get very far; it doesn’t find truthful expression. But it’s there. It’s there in you and it’s there in me. Whatever truth there is is the truth of that. Truth has no meaning other than the truth of Being. And the nature of Being is love. There’s no truth of hatred, except in some bizarre, distorted way. A person speaking words that are true to hate is not speaking the truth.
The truth is an expression of who we are at our core. And at our core, I can guarantee you, you and everybody else in this room and everybody else in this world is a being of love. You are a being of love, and that person you’re next to is a being of love. I don’t care what they’ve done, they can’t stop that. It’s true of them. It’s unalterably true of all people. This is the travesty of the world in which we’re living, because we don’t always know it and we don’t always act upon it. But whatever we say or do, we can’t change that unalterable truth that is at the core of all people.
I invite you to come into the knowing that no matter what anybody else is doing, no matter what is happening in your life, no matter what is coming to you, no matter how hateful or lying somebody else is, that who you are is, by your nature—not because you’re trying to be, but by your nature—a being of love. And if you are a being of love, do you really think the person next to you was made so differently?
There are two ways that the untruthfulness can end in the human experience. It can die off—that’s one possibility. Of course, at an individual level, that’s what happens; it dies off for anybody. It could happen for us as a species. But untruthfulness ends because of that, or it ends because the seemingly endless round of lies and hatred ends for a person or for humanity at the collective level. The accusation and the pointing of fingers and the expression of ill will and suspicion ends, and what is true at our core is given expression in the living of life, and the creative power of love is engaged. I submit to you that every person we’ve ever truly admired in the deepest and highest way has been a person like that. Martin Luther King was a man like that. Gandhi was a man like that. John Lennon came to be a man like that. Jesus was a man like that. We find such people evocative and inspiring because they’re reminding us of not just who we want to be but who we are, by our very nature.
Sometimes life is a walk in the park. Sometimes it’s the Arise Festival and there are bands playing and people cheering. And sometimes challenging things happen for each of us. And you know, we make the big money in those times—we earn our keep. At times like that, we either embrace the truth of who we are at our core or we fall into something less than that. We fall into reaction. We become people of lies and hatred. We lie about who we are. We lie about who others are. When we react instead of entering the circle of life, we’re entering into a circle of death—a death dance.
I think we see that in American politics today, cheered on by the media—a death dance. I’m not interested. How about you? If you are into that, have fun—not my game. I’m interested in something else. I’m interested in the circle of life. I participate when I take my place in that circle. And my way of taking my place, and I believe that the way that we each, as human beings, take our place, is to own the Being that I am, which is the creator that I am. By our nature, we are creators.
In a course that Ruud West and I taught some years ago, we used to say that you are by your nature a creator. It’s just a question of what you’ll create. You can create a death dance. Or you can create out of the one thing that allows you to enter the circle of life, which is the power of love within you; something very simple. And then give expression to that power accurately. That is being truthful. Who can say, “I reveal who I am in my living”? I know people like that. How about you? You see it on their face, you hear it in their words, you see it in their workplace and in their home. They’re a creator, they’re a being of love. They’ve entered the circle of life and they’re bringing life.
That’s for me. This is the expression of Christ consciousness. If there’s evil in the world, it’s the death dance. Evil is human beings who have gotten wrapped up in that and then who are seeding it in the world, who are trying to make the death dance work out to their own advantage. That’s never had a lot of appeal for me. No, I’m interested in bringing the dance of life, participating in that with all else who will.
There is an energy to evil. That energy is drawn off the one energy that there is, which is the energy of love. Evil can be fed by reaction. While I believe that it’s important to meet a spiritual crisis and to speak up when words need to be spoken, very quickly it’s about the water coming over the dam that has broken, and the water just keeps pouring. I’ve noticed, through the course of this week, that’s what has been happening in the face of this spiritual crisis: the goodwill and truthfulness of people around the planet are coming forth; and then, even closer to home in my own life, it has been pouring over the broken dam, so more and more love is falling down, more and more love, more and more love. And where did all the power of that hate go? I don’t know. More and more love, more loving, more loving, more truthfulness, more light, more creativity, more reaching out, more doing this together, more embracing each other. Where did all the hatred and lies go? I don’t know.
We’re in love. We’re here for love. And we’re bringing the truth of that love into the world and declaring it loudly and clearly. We’re living in the waterfall of that. Here’s what changes the world.
Some of us were part of a chain of love, walking this land yesterday afternoon following the Arise Festival, to be sure nothing was left behind. This is all part of the outpouring. We are here to be that waterfall here at Sunrise Ranch and with people of goodwill connected to us vibrationally at many levels around the world.
It does seem like things are coming to a head. I’ve been grateful to see, in the middle of this spiritual crisis and the expression of something evil, people of great character and vision transcending politics, standing up to be counted and speaking the truth. Let us be among those who courageously speak the truth and confront what needs to be confronted when it needs to be confronted. And even more importantly, let us live a life of constant expression of the waterfall of love. Here is our opportunity.
So good to be here in this with you, in this time.
August 17th, 2016
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