Spirituality can be an inspiration. It can be something we’re looking for. It can be intriguing and uplifting when we encounter it. All that is wonderful. And yet, at some point, for spirituality to become real for us and to truly have a creative impact in our life, it has to become something more than that. It has to be something to which we apply the discipline of living, which is the discipline of creative expression. It has to become something embodied, not haphazardly but with conscious understanding. So often for people, the spiritual remains a mystery. And if it is only a mystery, it’s pretty hard to become a discipline. You really can’t practice something reliably that is only a mystery.
The sun cross represents the structure of Reality. It is not a symbol to live into. It is a symbol that is a reminder for what we experience every moment of our life, but which we may not be paying attention to. Very simply, we are thinking, we are feeling something, and we are having a physical experience. I don’t really think I need to convince you of that; that’s just what is. The sun cross points to these things.
But it is also pointing to the fact that there is somebody present in that situation. It’s not just your thoughts and your feelings and your physical experience. It’s you who is having those experiences—the reality of who you are and the spiritual dimensions of your Being. And with that, there is your connection to the Infinite and the Eternal, because somehow, in the very essence of who we are, we are connected to the source of something boundless.
Here are four dimensions of the human experience. The sun cross portrays that those four dimensions are in right relationship to each other. That is represented by the cross itself with its vertical and horizontal axis, and by the circle surrounding the cross. If you will think of this as a structural engineer for a moment, if you were to come across just the cross as a physical object, it might be relatively easy to move the ends of that cross. Structurally, it’s not sound. You wouldn’t want to build a building or a bridge out of it. But once you add the circle and fasten all the points at which it is connected, you have a structure that is strong.
And so it is in our human experience, generally speaking. Somehow the elements of human experience—how we think and how we feel, what’s happening for us physically, and our spiritual nature that holds our sovereign identity—have become disconnected and out of relationship with each other. Sometimes our thoughts and our feelings are fighting with each other. We feel like doing one thing while we believe we should not be doing it. Because of the disconnection, we can become a house divided. Our physical bodies can end up out of connection with the life-giving quality of our spiritual nature. And so we can end up dragging our bodies around the planet without the animation that comes when we are connected with heart and mind to the Source of All. Science is finding out more and more about the impact of consciousness. Consciousness is the medium that connects the life-giving quality that’s within us to our physical experience.
All the relationships between the various aspects of our human capacity are not just static structural things. They are dynamic. Certainly, between heart and mind there is so much interplay. How we think is affecting how we are feeling. And if you start thinking negative thoughts about yourself, you are going to feel negative things about yourself. Everything is in dynamic relationship, with energy flowing back and forth.
It is like a game of catch; there is reciprocity involved. In a game of catch you throw the ball and somebody catches it. If they don’t throw it back, game over. They have to throw the ball back for the game to continue. That’s reciprocity. If you throw a toy for a dog, the dog runs after it, and having taken it into his mouth he then just runs off, game over! Unless you chase down the dog and the toy. It is the same within the human experience. All the dimensions of our Being have to be in dynamic interplay for the system to work.
The sun cross is a wonderful symbol because it helps us to be in touch with something that is mostly invisible. We can’t actually see thought or feeling; we can’t see the spiritual. Nonetheless, we have an awareness and experience of all these things. We have another kind of eyes. Sometimes we overlook what we’re seeing with those eyes. We lose track of what we’re feeling or what we’re thinking just under the surface.
This same dynamic is working out between us as human beings all the time. What I’m thinking may affect how you are feeling, and vice versa. I could be sharing a wonderful thought with you, but if you don’t have anything to say back, you are not throwing the ball back, there is no reciprocity. We have just fallen out of relationship to that degree.
There is a natural reciprocity between us as human beings. That reciprocity creates the structure of Reality in our own human experience. And as I began with, spirituality has to become a discipline and a practice if it’s to become real. How do we make it real for us so that individually, inside ourselves, the structure of Reality begins to be well formed and all the parts of us are online, available for our self-expression? To use another metaphor, if we are a six-cylinder engine, all those cylinders need to be working. The structure of the engine needs to be intact, and the reciprocity within those cylinders needs to be at work for us to be functional and generative.
Sometimes the structure of the human psyche breaks down. In fact, in most people it breaks down at least a little bit. When that gets extreme we notice it and we give it the name of some kind of psychological problem. But for all of us, that structure has to be allowed to form and strengthen, and the dynamic within us has to become vital and vigorous, in all the dimensions of it, for us to thrive.
That’s true not only within us but among us in the culture in which we live—in our family culture, relationship culture, organizational culture, community culture, national culture, and then eventually in the world. There is a structure of Reality to be known in all those cultures, and yet we all have experience of that structure of Reality breaking down. And just as it can break down for an individual, it can break down among us. Look at the nation. There is certainly some kind of breakdown of Reality there in human experience. Where is our spirituality as a nation? The spiritual has to be operative in all the dimensions of culture if the culture is to thrive. Without it, we forget who we are as a culture.
Spirituality is not just something up there. It is something that becomes real when we practice it, so that what is up there comes down here. The energy and power of our spirituality—the power of Universal Love, the wisdom of the Divine—have to come into the structure of the psyche of the individual and of the culture for us to thrive. That’s true salvation.
Generally speaking, in Western culture we tend to live in the fiction that how the human psyche works or how culture works is a great mystery, forgetting what is actually very simple. What is human experience made of? It’s made of what people are thinking and feeling, and how they are relating to the spiritual nature within them, and then how that’s manifesting in the physical—how they are expressing and embodying that in the actions they take and in what they create in the world. Human experience is made of those four elements—thought, feeling, our spiritual nature, and the physical embodiment of who we are. What else is there to create the individual experience? What else is there out of which we could make culture?
We speak about sacred geometry. You have your dodecahedrons and your tetrahedrons and your everything-else-ahedrons. There is all this complicated structure, which is all wonderful and beautiful—artists sometimes portray it in colorful diagrams and digital art. But can we put all that aside for a moment and get down to the foundational structure of Reality that we could actually understand and do something with? This is the obviology of our life. There are these four elements of human experience that are meant to be in dynamic relationship. And within them each is an aspect of the one Holy Spirit that is meant to come through us. There is the one holy wisdom and the power of Creation that is meant to come through all four of these dimensions. For most people, there is an intelligent power in all these four dimensions that is largely untapped. We are here to tap into that power and then find the reciprocity that naturally occurs when those energies come out to play in our own human experience—when the heart breaks open, when love crashes in, and when the mind opens up and thinks a new thought instead of the tired old ones that are leading to failure, depression, redundancy. There are energies to break through in the four capacities of our human experience, so that they can come out to play in us and so we can live.
I’ve become intensely interested in the art and science by which that happens in the human experience. I’m interested in it for myself, and then I’ve come across the ability we have as human beings to play with others and to know the structure of Reality in community, and also to assist another person to activate those energies in themself so that they can become a whole person.
The circle in the sun cross not only portrays something that is the connection between all those four points that it touches. It also is portraying that when we power up in this way, the wholeness of who we are as a human being becomes filled with the energy of the Creator. There is a field of radiant energy that a person carries with them. We call that pneumaplasm. It is the auric substance of an awake human being. In that field there is the radiance of the Creator.
The same is true in a community of people when there is integrity in the relationships of the people in that community. The sun cross represents that field where there can be generation, and then that community can become a sun. The coming together of the elements of community—the thinking of a community, the feeling of a community, the spiritual nature of a community, and the physical nature of a community—is the coming together of the structure of Reality in human experience. We could say a community may be becoming a sun, but for a community to become a sun, the people in the community have to build a sun. It’s not just going to happen magically without thought and deliberation. It happens because we are consciously building a sun. We are letting all the elements of thinking and feeling and our physical nature as a community, and our spiritual nature, become activated in right relationship with each other, with reciprocity, so that when you throw the ball to me I catch it and I throw it back.
That clearly takes something beyond the personal. It includes the personal, because we are all people and we can’t do this without the personal. But it takes the transpersonal. It takes someone asking the question, What part am I playing in the structure of Reality here, now, with this person, in this circumstance? What’s called forth from me? What is the inner urge I feel in me now to bring my gift? Who am I meant to be to you, and who are you to me, now, in this circumstance? Not yesterday, not a year before. And it’s not about the person who’s not here. No, it’s about you and me. Who are you to me, and who am I to you? Who do I need to be? What’s being called forth from me? What is my reciprocity with you? What is my gift to you? I’m interested in that.
Otherwise, we have community by happenstance. That’s unconscious community. That’s community going down the tubes. Sometimes nations go there. And in the individual community of one, when there is nothing transpersonal going on and no awareness of the structure of Reality, the person begins to drown.
As for me, I’m building a sun. Do you want to build a sun with me? (People said “Yes!” or cheered.) I appreciate the verbal answers, and even more, I appreciate the answers in living. I get curious about who you are to me and who I’m meant to be to you. I get curious about what we have to do together; what we could do together, knowing that in the transpersonal there is magic. And yes, our personal comes along. I’m sorry, I wish I didn’t have to be myself in all this—the personal part of me—but I do. I cannot do this without bringing along the personhood of who I am. And I will be a sun through my personhood. I am not imprisoned inside my personhood. I am set free, and my personhood comes along.
I believe that’s how it needs to be for us if we are to create the magic that we are meant to create with each other—the magic that transpires within the structure of Reality. We are here to build a sun and to have the magic that comes into that structure come in, because it’s a living structure, and it’s meant to hold the Infinite and the Eternal.