Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
(Previn Hudetz offered preservice music on piano. Carol Travis welcomed forty-three stations online. Previn sang, a cappella, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”)
It’s a pleasure to be with you this morning, those of you in the Dome and on the line. I don’t know about you, but I find that one of the most exciting and generative moments of our teleconference service times together is the roll call, hearing each one checking in from their worlds contained within this greater world. For me, to picture and sense the lines of connection as they’re named through this process is really quite touching.
This is the last of a series of four calls on the theme of attunement. What you may know, as well, is that during this time there have been a number of small groups meeting to discuss in a more personal way their particular experiences related to The Attunement Project, what is coming out through the international calls and their personal attunement experience. Some of what we’ve shared has been in response to the service offerings. We’ve had an opportunity to share, at least in the small group that I’ve participated in, some of our own attunement practices and how we see the world changing due to an increase both in the awareness and in the expression of attunement. The small group I’ve participated in included seven people from five states in the United States, and a Canadian province. This group spanned four time zones. And, for me, the overriding experience was one of being in the now and being here, with time zones and distances fading away.
I’d like to thank David Karchere and those who worked with him in creating and implementing this opportunity for us, for this broader engagement around the matter of attunement. I’m sure we all understand that this is not the end of the Project—it’s just the end of this cycle of it.
This past Wednesday, here in Madison, we finished a seven-session Transformation Group cycle, using the booklet Seven Steps to the Temple of Light as our discussion points each week. This last Wednesday was the last step—Love. And in the beginning of that section, Uranda quotes Mark 12:30: “The great commandment is, ‘Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul…and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.’”
Well, that got me to thinking a bit about the story of the Ten Commandments. I’m sure that biblical scholars could have a field day with what I’m about to say, but for the purpose of this discussion and to give you a little insight into the slightly askew workings of my own mind, I trust you’ll bear with me. It has always intrigued me that there are ten Commandments, when it seemed to me that there really only ever needed to be one, which is that First Great Commandment. Everything one needs to know and do is contained within that.
I was thinking about the Hollywood version of The Ten Commandments, that big epic movie with Charlton Heston playing the part of Moses. Moses goes up to Mount Sinai to meet God, and they have a discussion. At some point, as the story goes, with His finger God writes the Ten Commandments on a tablet, and Moses takes them down into the valley and delivers them to the Israelites.
For me, that doesn’t quite work, based on my earlier comment about this matter of the First Commandment. So here’s how I think it went. I think that Moses and God were talking, and God stuck out His finger (if we can use that scenario for a minute) and on a very small rock wrote one Commandment, which stated “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all.” He gave it to Moses. Moses looked at it and thought, “Wow, that does it for me.” And then God thought, “Well, you know what? We need to make sure that this thing is practical.” So He took the rock back and also wrote a second Commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This seems to make sense to me—the first one having to do with our primary relationship with God, and the second one being our primary relationship on the earth, with God as man.
So Moses takes this tablet with these two Commandments and heads down the mountain. He’s still pretty high up. He walks around the bend, and below him is the valley where all the Israelites are waiting. He stops for a minute, gazes across the scene, and starts to notice that it’s pretty chaotic. Over in this corner there’s idol-building going on, and in this corner there’s some adultery, and over here there’s some lying going on. He looks down at this tablet in his hand and he says, “Holy Moses!” Well, actually, I guess since he was Moses he probably just said, “Holy me! This isn’t going to fly. I need to get some kind of pattern of control here.” So he ran behind a bush or a rock, and he pulled out a little hammer and chisel and knocked out some pretty basic stuff—like not killing people and not lying and not stealing, because he understood that that’s where he needed to start.
That being the case, I thought about where we are in our evolution. It’s pretty standard operating procedure that we not go around killing and maiming and all this other stuff that those other eight Commandments were created to control. So at this time we have the luxury, in one sense, to focus on the one Commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all….”
I’ve been thinking about how this describes what I would call the identity of attunement. In the song that Previn beautifully sang are the words “Our holy King, Emmanuel / in us you live / in thee we dwell.” There are no qualifiers in that verse. There’s nothing—there’s no comma, there’s no semicolon—it’s just that: “In us you live / in thee we dwell.” How much more is required to describe oneness beyond that statement? It is perfect in its simplicity and it’s perfect in its absoluteness, the same way that the Commandment “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…thy soul…thy mind…” doesn’t come with any caveats to it. It’s absolute.
I have no doubt that each of us have had an experience of the assurance that that brings as it becomes our experience. In fact, we surrender into that, knowing that we don’t have to try to figure out all the ins and outs around that Commandment, all the variances or vagaries around oneness. It simply is. And, in that, there’s a certain sense of relief and a certain space made in which one can do the work to create the reality in the earthly sense.
As we talked about attunement over these past few weeks, I noticed certain phrases that would come up. The phrases themselves are perfectly fine, but they caused me to think about their meaning. The phrases would be something like “Here’s an opportunity for us to come into attunement” or “Let’s share in the attunement current.”
Those phrases pointed out to me how I’ve been caught in a subtle trap—I don’t know for how long, and I don’t think it’s all the time, but I find myself in this trap of identifying with that which is not in attunement. Naturally, then, I have to say, “Come into attunement.” Frankly, I was a little embarrassed by that, because it’s a lie. It’s simply a false statement. I never have to “come into attunement.” I never have to do anything to share attunement with another, because I am attunement. That is the divine identity. The identity of attunement is I Am.
In understanding that I Am That I Am, most of the time when we use the word I, particularly out in the world, or even with one another, we’re really talking about these capacities through which we express: my body, my heart and my mind. They aren’t who I am. And yet I understand that if I were in a meeting at work with the CEO of my company and he said, “So Cliffe, how are you?” and I said, “Well, I’m perfect, but my mental capacities are moving through a particularly difficult time,” I probably would be out on the street within the next twenty-four hours! And rightly so, because to do that would be nuts on my part.
So we understand that when in Rome, we do as Romans. But internally I’ve found that it’s very important, even though I may describe my capacities using the word I, to stop and acknowledge in the moment that really I Am; that the capacities that I have are not me; that it’s my capacities that need to come into attunement; that it’s my capacities that have an opportunity to share an attunement current with others, because I am already that. For me that’s a big distinction. And after all, it’s who I am; it’s who you are; it’s who we are together.
This matter of being attunement, being the love current, is something that I continue to reinforce in my own living, so that is my experience. And the quality of the identity of I Am is what? For me, I could say that it’s love. Love is the current upon which “I Am” is delivered into the world.
In a recent Attunement Guild newsletter, there’s a section entitled “Foundational Wisdom,” and in this particular one there is an excerpt having to do with love, from Uranda’s Steps to Mastership. It’s beautiful in its truthfulness and its poetry. I’d like to read the last section:
“Love—the same everywhere, just as God is always the same. Therefore hearken to the voice of love, as it is the Light of day. Listen to the music of love, as it is the Peace of eventide. Bask in the sunlight of love, for love is the hollow of God’s hand where is Life eternal.
“Though these words be simple, when you understand and live them, all the universe will obey you. The wind and rain will be your servants, and the elements of the earth shall hasten to do your bidding…. Love is the only power in the universe. Love is the only real power in you. And your capacity for service is limited only by your capacity to love. Therefore, O Lovers of God, become one with God by becoming one with love.”
So, for some it’s all about the economy; for others it’s all about the environment. It’s all about relationship; it’s all about this; it’s all about that. In truth, it’s all about love. Not “love and…,” “love if…,” “love but…” Just love.
To close my time, I’d like to read a poem written by Carol Robertson that came to her in response to our third phone hookup on attunement. It’s entitled “My Task.”
I come striding through the universe of energy
And step into form on the earth.
My task is to let the earth be a place of
I remember this.
I listen to this.
I create this!
No further excuses.
I stride on the earth as an iota
Of universal energy
Empowered by love,
Empowering love in all that I touch.
This is I Am. This is the identity of attunement. I appreciate the opportunity to be in this space with you, allowing the truth of that to be known in our bodies and minds and hearts—and, through that, into the world.
(Joyce Karchere sang, a cappella, “Wings of Protection,” by Carolyn Rhodes.)
They that dwell in the secret place,
the place of the Most High,
and go no more forth.
They shall be His shadow,
His wings of protection,
over His creation,
tender things of the earth.
So let it be.