Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1,2)
So according to this story in Genesis, darkness had quite a part to play in the creative process. It has quite a part to play. The unformed darkness and deep of our own consciousness is vital to the unfoldment of our lives.
I’d like also to read from the beginning of the Book of John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)
Essentially the same thing is being portrayed as was portrayed in that opening verse of Genesis. The word “Word” is used here. Another word we could use for “Word” is “vibration.” Vibration comes out of a range that is past the human senses and is brought to focus through human beings. Vibration moves in the darkness, moves on the face of the waters, and there is creation. It is all one vibration, whether it is resonating at the level of human sound, human sight, or at another range that is vibrating my capacity right now. It is activating my mind and heart, and yours too. “In the beginning was the Word.” In the beginning is vibration that stimulates the waters of consciousness, the darkness that’s present.
Welcome the darkness. I hope we have a lot of darkness here this morning. As we bring our darkness and let it be available to the vibration, it all works great. In a state of shame we hide our darkness, or attempt to do so. That attempt does not work very well—it’s rather hard to get out of the cosmic vibration. But we can try, and all that happens is that the wonder of creation doesn’t appear in its fullness through you or through me when we do that. When we bring our darkness and let it be available to the vibration of spirit, there is creation.
There’s a very beautiful class that Uranda gave in the early fifties, in which he read the opening verses from the Book of John, and he used another word for “the Word.” His word was “Shekinah,” a sacred word that traditionally is thought to signify the presence of God on earth. Uranda spoke of it as the evidence of the presence of the One who dwells. I will read these verses from John again, using the word “Shekinah”:
In the beginning was Shekinah, and Shekinah was with God, and Shekinah was God….
All things were made by Shekinah; and without Shekinah was not any thing made that was made.
In Shekinah is life; and the life was the light of men.
Shekinah is a threefold pattern. It is the threefold pattern by which everything that is made is made. Very simply, it is the vibration brought into the deep. It is vibration brought into the darkness that creates life, and that is Shekinah. When we bring our darkness to the vibration, there is life. The whole universe operates on that principle. Humanity was created on that principle. And everything that is wonderful and beautiful and worthwhile is created that way.
Individually, we’re meant to do it all. We are meant to both be the darkness and the deep, and we are meant to be the vibration, to bring the vibration through our darkness, that there might be illumination. In Shekinah is life, so that we might live, and so that our world might live.
We live in a very large world, much bigger, we’re told, than our immediate circumstance. We hear about it on TV, and we’ve had astronauts go up into space and look back and tell us yes, there’s one world here, and it does look round. We can look up into the sky and see the sun and know that it’s out there someplace, some distance away. We can look at the night sky and see stars and planets. It’s all created out of one vibration, and it’s all one body of substance.
It’s all created out of one vibration, and it’s all one body of substance. It is worth repeating because, as a human being, each of us is responsible for knowing that and harmonizing with that one vibration, and for doing our part to let there be one body of substance, to acknowledge that there is one earth, and that one earth belongs to that one vibration. We’re here to know that, while it might be useful for some purpose to draw little lines on a map that create nations, that is a very passing kind of reality. The truth is that this is one body of substance that was created by one vibration. Our work is to acknowledge that it is one vibration and to act in a way that honors that it is one body of substance.
I want to use other words for “vibration” and “the deep.” Those words are “Father and Mother God.” God isn’t really a “Father.” Fatherhood is a symbol or a metaphor taken from our lives, and, depending on how we got along with our dad, we may have feelings about that metaphor; and likewise with the symbology of Mother God. But those metaphors say something about how this world is; how it was created, and the part that we have to play in it.
What I notice is that, for men, we have a responsibility of knowing that we bring one vibration. We have our individual parts to play, and we bring them in our unique ways as men. We have our unique talents, and there is in some ways a unique world that we create as men, each of us, because of the vibration we bring. And yet, for any man, our creation turns to stone—it is lifeless—if we don’t acknowledge that there is one vibration that we bring with all other men, in the name of something much higher, something of much larger scope than any men on earth. As men, we have one vibration to bring. We are set free and our world is set free when we acknowledge it.
When the tendency to competitiveness, to wanting to make a name for ourselves, overtakes a man, what’s possible for him and his world diminishes greatly. Ultimately his world turns to stone. It’s no longer a living world. There’s a choral piece that we’ve sung here that talks about “fashioning the sleeping darkness into the living world.” The sleeping darkness is fashioned into the living world when there is somebody around who brings the one vibration. No other way.
This issue, as I see it, focuses in men, particularly, but not solely, because both men and women have responsibility for bringing the one vibration. But this issue tends to surface with men, and when there’s a lack of acknowledgment of the one vibration, little warring kingdoms are set up by men. That is, in large measure, the state of the human world.
And as I see it, women have issues that come to focus for them. The spiritual issues that come up for women are shared by men, too. But, as I see it, there are some issues that are emphasized with women. There is one body of substance, and there’s a great female tendency to keep a body of substance to herself; to act like the purpose in life is to set up this little territory here—this house, this home, this family, or whatever it is, this queendom in whatever way—and hold out this substance from the larger world. There is something wonderful about having a home and a house and a family, even a nation, which we could say is “mine.” But when parts of what is supposed to be a living body of substance are lopped off—at least in the consciousness of the person involved—those lopped-off parts do not live.
Truthfully, we are all responsible to weave a broken world into a whole world; to let the body of substance for which we are responsible live and breathe with the one body of substance. Ultimately it’s not enough to have your own little backyard, your own family, your own group, however you define it, as wonderful as those things are. It is the responsibility of all people to take deliberate steps in their life—and I mean every day and in everything that we do—to weave the body of substance together. It’s not enough to say, “This is my tribe,” and we all kind of look alike or we all know how we do it, “and you’re not part of it, and that’s how the world is.” To bring life it takes people who deliberately and purposefully take steps in their life every day to do the work of mending a broken world.
We have “act as if.” We know that we, in some ways, don’t live in a whole world. We know that there are nations pitted against each other, and peoples and races that are the same way. But in some way, we have to act as if, if we are to let there be one body of substance, one body of people.
So how about these two spiritual practices for all of us? I’ve suggested that one comes to focus more in men and one in women, but I think both men and women share in each of them. How about, as a spiritual practice, finding ways to bring a creative impetus together, and looking to acknowledge that it is one creative impetus? How about acknowledging and affirming that there is much more to our work on earth than what you are doing as separate and distinct from what I am doing? There is one creative impetus that we have to bring, which ultimately is the creative impetus of love. If we acknowledge that together, then we can find out how we do it differently. We can see the parts that we each have to play in it, and stop playing all the games about who does it better. We can stop playing the game that says you bring the impetus and I’ll follow—or not, if I don’t feel like it.
There is one creative spirit, one vibration that we bring. And I am with you in bringing that one vibration. We are already together. We don’t have to try to be together—we are together. As a person sees and experiences that, they naturally love and support others because they too are bringing the one vibration.
It is out of that acknowledgment that there is love and agreement between people. On any other basis, relationships look more like treaties. For men, when there is an acknowledgment that there’s one vibration that we’re bringing, there is an experience of brotherhood that’s born very easily and naturally out of that.
All of this gets back to the matter of selfhood. Some of us have been considering the creative process and the fact that it begins with selfhood. That’s how it’s said in the Bible here. “The Word was God.” God is presumably a being. In the beginning, the spirit of God, the spirit of being, the spirit of the One who dwells. Life is a celebration of self and, if we function creatively, it is a celebration of our selves. Isn’t that what it’s like to live life victoriously? There is an experience that says what a joy and a pleasure it is to be me. In some sense, how wonderful I am! That is the joy of life, which is the joy of being a human being. How wonderful I am, and how wonderful you are.
But to have that experience, there has to be the humility of knowing that we live in a sentient universe that is far larger than us. This universe is alive. It has being. It is not just stuff out there. The universe is not inanimate. It is alive. For this planet to be alive it must have beingness, it must have selfhood. That selfhood is far larger than you or me. We get to participate in it, but if we forget the larger selfhood and it becomes all about me—my initiative, my vibration, my effort, my energy, my world, my camp, my family, without honoring and acknowledging that there is one vibration on this planet, there is one body of substance, there’s one Father, there is one Mother—our lives turn to stone.
For me, on the solstice, there is an almost excruciating honesty that I find coming into my experience. I feel the impulse of spirit saying, “Fess up! Be honest, be truthful.” To me, the solstice is no time for politeness and trivial things. It is a time for coming face to face with the largest truth that we know and letting go of whatever it is in me that has not been true to that truth.
So I appreciate the time to share that spirit here together this morning, to know that we have the one universal vibration to bring. We become powerful because we align with that one vibration that is doing everything already. So we understand that who and what we are is doing everything already. We honor the great Mother, who holds the darkness and the deep and receives the vibration into Herself and brings forth life. We honor the Father, who brings the one vibration into the deep.