Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
How is the substance of our consciousness? How much of it is solid, how much of it is fluid, and how much of it is available for pure spirit?
This substance of consciousness relates to whatever pattern of understanding we have about life and ourselves. Are you, for instance, content with what you know? I think it is much better to be greatly dissatisfied with what we know, believing it’s enough for now, but that there’s something more to open up in consciousness.
There are ceilings of understanding and experience that people tend to hit on their spiritual path. People tend to bounce off those ceilings and then find someplace to rest in the mass of substance under the ceiling. When that happens, the attempt is usually made to get comfortable in the mass consciousness of humanity. But that never really is comfortable, at least not for very long.
It takes a change of state in our own consciousness, so that the ceiling is no longer impenetrable but an opening into another experience. First of all, it takes a release of the belief that we know how life should be. It takes a careful letting go of the understanding that we have had thus far—our solid beliefs about ourselves and the world and the way things ought to be—to move into another range, to accept something greater.
It also takes some heat—a passion for pure spirit—so that the substance of consciousness can change state and penetrate what has been a ceiling. If thoughts and feelings keep hitting a ceiling, it may be that there are solid objects in the content of consciousness that have yet to turn to liquid or vapor. Without heat, that transformation will never occur.
The familiar story of Noah’s ark is a parable for the transition into a different range of consciousness. Speaking in the symbology of the story, not everything can come into the ark. According to the story, the whole reason for the Flood and the ark was to submerge the evil imagination of the heart and to preserve what was represented by Noah, his family, and the living things that came into the ark. In real life, you can’t have the experience of being in the ark while holding on to what keeps you down at the bottom of the ocean. That’s just the way it works, not because anybody in particular makes up those rules. It’s just that life works that way.
So how about for us? What is our next step, particularly if there is a ceiling in our life? If we are willing to let go of whatever is submerging us, we have an opportunity to move into what is represented by the ark. The ark is a safe place, a place of wholesomeness, a place that protects essences. That’s what is symbolized by all the animals that enter the ark, two by two. The ark is a place where the essences of a new world can be held safe and can grow. It is a place in which the genetic material of a new world, from a spiritual standpoint, is held safe. So are we ready to take a step toward moving into the ark?
If we find ourselves in the ark, we can be a voice that invites what rightly belongs in the ark to be there. We can hold the essence of what is precious and sacred for others and for our world, if in fact we ourselves take that step of moving into the ark.
Earlier this week at Sunrise Ranch we were speaking about spiritual pioneering. A friend of mine speaks of the creative process as a snowplow. A snowplow pushes snow up into a pile, and when it’s gotten as far as it can get, it backs up and starts again and takes another run at it. Perhaps that is a fairly crude metaphor for the creative process, but there is something about it that is very true.
We move along in a pattern, and our forward-moving energy takes us so far. We do some pioneering and we get to a point where, for whatever reason, we run out of gas. Perhaps we hit a ceiling. We might believe that we should have gone all the way through the pile in one run, but for whatever reason we didn’t go all the way to where we ultimately needed to be.
If we have that experience, what should we do? We could fall back in the mass of human consciousness. But there is another alternative. We could back up the snowplow. In other words, we could go back to the beginning points of truth in our spiritual journey and ask ourselves: What am I doing? Why did I start on this pioneering venture in the first place? How do I get whatever is off track back on track and continue?
Humanity has taken a lot of tries with that snowplow. There have been many attempts to let an ark be built, so that the destructive tendencies of humanity could be left behind and the essence of a new world could be preserved. Perhaps the snow pile has been moved in the process, but there is still spiritual pioneering for us to do in this day.
We probably know a lot of reasons not to build an ark. It could be cultish, with all the tendencies that are attendant to that. Perhaps a person thinks they could lose their own individual freedom. That belief—and the reality of the experience of a lack of freedom—represents a ceiling. It’s a way of looking at the world, a way of understanding the world, and a way of being in the world—to be afraid of cultic experience and to be subject to it personally. If a person has that fear, and has an experience of not being free, it is very difficult to talk them out of it, because the only way a person can come out of the cultic experience—whether one lives at Sunrise Ranch or anyplace else—is to have a change of consciousness. It doesn’t matter if you are in a corporation, the armed services, a religion, or by yourself in a remote part of the world. If there is not a transformation of the common state of consciousness, you are participating in the cultic human state.
There is the ark to be built. There is the deliberate creation of a container—that’s one way to describe an ark. Bobbing on the water, it’s a container that holds substance and brings safety. As a symbol, the ark represents the deliberate creation of a space in consciousness where the things of pure spirit can live. There is a step to take personally to let that happen, and there is a step to take collectively.
The creation of this kind of ark is spiritual pioneering. How is that pioneering going for us? Can the things of pure spirit live for you, in your awareness? Is there a safe place in your heart and mind, and in mine? And how about here in this Sunrise Ranch community? Can the things of pure spirit live here? Is there a quality and a texture of consciousness that’s truly on the leading edge in the world, that allows the vision of pure spirit to be present, that allows the world to be transformed in consciousness because of the quality of that container that we share together?
Realistically speaking, we’re not all the way there yet. As someone described it to me recently, as fast as something can be created on the one hand, people have an ability to take it away with the other, whether that’s happening individually or collectively in a group of people. In other words, when something less than an attitude of gratitude is present there is evil imagination that eats away at a heart level. You can’t have an ark with that present. You won’t have an experience of bobbing up with that present.
Where there are those who enter the ark, the invitation sounds loud and clear in the spiritual nature of humanity: Come into the ark. That is the invitation of Emissaries of Divine Light. The ark is not a physical place. This Dome is symbolic of the ark, but this Dome is not the ark. The ark is a quality of consciousness that is held by those who know what it means to hold it and who say for themselves that that which does not belong in the ark will not be present in me. To the extent that there are people who know what that’s about, and who associate together, there is a collective ark. Where there is such an ark, the message that invites others to enter the ark is given into the world.
Here is a very plain-speaking way of saying what I believe the invitation is: “Do you want to join with other people in a pattern of friendship and love, in which the things of pure spirit may show themselves?” If so, implicit in that is the understanding that there are specific requirements if you want to build the kind of container that allows that to happen.
Speaking personally, that’s the kind of container I am building with anybody else who wants to build it. If you don’t want to build it, that’s okay with me. That’s what I want to build. And if we want to build that kind of container, let’s get real about what it takes to do it—what it will take from you and from me.
So let’s see this journey all the way through to wherever it goes. Let’s be those spiritual pioneers who traverse uncharted territory, who know that there are ceilings and who say yes, I will find a way to move past those ceilings. I expect there to be ceilings for myself and for other people. Okay—I will change. I will transform, I will allow the substance of my consciousness to transmute from solid to liquid to vapor, so that the things of pure spirit may live.