Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
I have a vision this morning. The vision is of a crystal. Crystals form in certain substances under certain conditions. It begins with just a few atoms or molecules. There is a three-dimensional pattern that shapes, as other atoms or molecules bond to the forming crystal.
Under some conditions, the crystal can grow to be at least several times the size of a person. There are caves in Mexico where the conditions are just right-there is enough heat and all the right materials for the crystals to grow, even though a person can’t actually survive very long in those conditions.
A crystal is a physical symbol for something that is not physical. For me, it is a symbol for how we could be relating to one another. There are bonds that form between the atoms or the molecules in a crystal. The type of bond varies according to the crystal. But obviously the crystal depends on some kind of bonding and a very particular pattern of relationship. Jane Anetrini was speaking about relationship, and particularly committed relationship. There are all kinds of committed relationships, sometimes spoken of as covenantal relationships. She mentioned our Leadership Program. The commitment in that case is to one another–we’re undertaking something together. But, more importantly, it’s a commitment to ourselves. It’s a commitment to our own purpose, to a common purpose, and therefore to each other.
All people, wherever they might be, share that level of commitment. It may have been forgotten; it may be buried deeply under layers of self-concern and fear. But all people who incarnate on this planet share a covenantal relationship that transcends their incarnation, that transcends their life, from birth to death. What I’m saying is that you and I incarnated on earth for a reason, unique to each of us. You had a reason for coming here. You had your reason, and I had mine. As we awaken to that reason, each one of us for ourselves, we find out that there are unique reasons that we each came here and that, at the most essential level, those reasons are the same. And as you know why you are here, there is something you understand deeply about why I am here.
Seeing these things, we understand how we relate in that pattern. What’s common in the world is that we have personality patterns, and the personality patterns overtake and overwhelm this larger reason for us being together. That’s what usually happens. So people are caught up in a world of self-concern and fear, and through those eyes look at the people around them, deciding who they like and who they don’t like, who they could get along with and who they couldn’t. And even with the people they think they can get along with, when the going gets tough it’s often easy to bail. So the person bails out of the relationship, deciding that they could go find somebody who’s a little easier to get along with. You might say, in the usual pattern of things, why not? Why not find somebody who would be easier to get along with when the going gets tough? It makes all the sense in the world when the covenantal relationship has been forgotten, when we don’t see the opportunity that’s before us to relate on a different basis and when we don’t see the larger vision of what we could be doing with the people in our world.
So I ask you this Easter morning, when you consider the world that you inhabit and the people who are with you, what would you like to have happen with those people and your relationship to them? What is the very best thing that could happen with those people? And considering that, how might you be called to shift and change how you are relating in that picture?
For me, as I ponder these things, I see this crystalline form that I’ve been speaking of, and I believe that I could initiate that form in my life. I love and appreciate the relationships I have and how they are, but I think I could take a giant step forward in how I relate, and initiate something new, starting today. I think that with one or two or three or four people I could share this vision, and we could decide together that we will hold the right conditions in heart and mind. We could hold the right temperature and bring the right heat, so that our relationships begin this new form, this new way of relating, this new design that is in truth not new at all.
It is not new at all because it invokes what is already true between us at an unseen and hitherto unknown level of our being. It brings forward the rather preposterous idea that we could be that way here, that there is a way that we could take these crazy personalities and feelings and allow them to be used for what we created them for; that we could discover that we are not slaves to these things but, in the most creative sense, masters of them, because we are the creators of them. And if we created them, we can re-create them. I believe we can change the world in this way, and have only to decide to do so for it to happen. But to decide, we must see the possibility.
So how is it for you? What is the possibility you see? And what will it take from you to be an initiator of that possibility? Or do you think that in some way it will just happen? There are things that just happen in a magical way, but I believe that they “just happen” because someone decides they will let it happen, with the magical idea that if I let it happen for me, maybe it will happen for somebody else; maybe somebody else will see a possibility they had not seen. Maybe letting it happen for me will prove to be an inspiration for someone else.
Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of the body of Jesus. For that to have real meaning for us, life has to be resurrected, reborn, in our own experience.
I’d like to read something from Andrew Cohen:
We begin to recognise the need for more and more of us to go beyond our pathological individualism in such a way that we are able to merge in the higher We, a non-dual creative unity…so that truly autonomous men and women and as-yet-unrealised cultural potentials can emerge on the leading edge.
So maybe there are people who share a vision that there is something to happen with people everywhere on this planet. I view us as a representational body. We are a body of people in this room, and I have a body right here–no question about that. But we are connected in wonderful and magical ways to people around the world. What do they say? Within six degrees of relationship, we are connected to everyone else in the world. If that’s true for one person, how about all of us here? What capacity do we have to engage with the larger body of humanity that is awakening to their reason for being here? I believe that our capacity to engage in this way is very large, and if there were a miracle here with us this morning, there would be a far-reaching miracle in this world.
The story of Easter is a very beautiful story, and I love beautiful stories. The larger meaning of the story for me is what’s before me, and what is before us today. What is to happen with us? There are some things we are able to do because they are taught to us-we learn how to do them. I think of the musicianship we’ve seen displayed this morning. Part of a person’s capacity to create beautiful music is taught and learned, and there is part of it that’s hard work. But there is part of being a musician, and in fact the larger part, that you cannot teach, and you cannot learn by being taught. We would probably call the larger part of music artistry, which probably won’t happen without teaching and learning. But artistry is ultimately about catching a vision of something that’s possible and going for it.
So I trust that in some way each of us, in our own unique way this morning, is catching a vision, our vision. For me, I’ll say my vision, and I hope you say the same for you–my vision of what could be happening in my world because of what I do, because of what I make possible, because of what I see that has not yet happened. Anybody can see what has happened. We have to have other eyes to see what hasn’t happened but what could happen if we initiated it. That takes a different pair of eyes, a different heart-a heart that can truly see.
So thank you for coming this morning. I celebrate what we do, each one of us. Because of what we each do individually, “we” collectively have meaning. The “we” is empty if it’s not backed by “I.” Where there is a body of people who each say “I”–I do it, I initiate it, I hold my vision and I act on it–then we can say “we” and the “we” has meaning. It is backed. Our collective meaning is like the currency of this country. They can print all the money they want, but it doesn’t mean anything except as there are individuals who back it in their living with their work and their vision. And so it is regarding anything meaningful. The collective endeavor, the collective currency, is backed by the individuals who make up the “we.”
Together, we create the pattern of the crystal, which is built on our own individual experience and the quality of relationship between us. In an earthly sense, we may not all be best buds. You can’t have morning coffee with everybody. But, in a spiritual way, there is something that we can hold between us that creates the crystal pattern.
Despite all the peculiarities of personality, there is a way to be that transcends all that and holds it, and maybe even enjoys it. But only if we invoke a level of relationship that is higher than personality, that acknowledges “I know you, and you know me.” How about relating there, and agreeing there, on what will be to come?
So it’s good to invoke that among us today, to affirm that this is why we’re together.