Comet Neowise has been visiting us recently. A few of us at Sunrise Ranch were on the canal road here last week to view it. We also saw Saturn and Jupiter through Patrick Padden’s telescope, and of course the Big Dipper. When I returned home, I found photos online of those heavenly bodies, put them into a collage, and posted them on Facebook. I was surprised to find that over 18,000 people viewed it and close to 200 people shared it. This is probably as close as I’ve come to going viral online. Just from some photos of stars, really. Some people assumed I took them myself, which I didn’t. I think its popularity is a sign of how people want to relate to something vast.
We are very aware of that biosphere; and then, within it, we are very aware of human culture. Within that human culture, we are particularly aware of the part that is closest to us, and then our thoughts and feelings about ourselves. So often the field of view narrows. And at some point it can all become unworkable, because without the larger cosmic factors, a human life doesn’t really work. It doesn’t make sense.
So take these moments to deliberately open up to the vastness of Divine Presence.
We look up in the night sky, and almost all we see is right within this Milky Way galaxy. We see, first of all, our solar system, and then out beyond it, into the larger galaxy. But that galaxy itself, though almost immeasurably vast, is only a very small part of the known universe.
I invite you now to open to the vastness of Divine Presence in the universe. Know that just because you express this intention, it is possible. Open to feel the hum of it, the roar of it, the beauty of it, the grandeur of it all. And feel the tininess of this little corner of the universe, this solar system, this planet, and our human life in the midst of this vast sea of Divine Presence. This is the vastness of God.
I don’t know how it feels to you, but for me it is a relief to open up to the vastness and the majesty of Divine Presence. We could tell ourselves it is unavailable, out beyond our awareness. And yet there it is when we open to it. In the way that we work as conscious beings, as we open up consciously, we are also opening up vibrationally. We’re opening to the hum of it, the energy of it—the Great Spirit of the Universe, the vastness of God.
Certainly, we navigate our human life wisely only as we know ourselves in this vast context. And though our own existence seems to be almost microscopic in light of that vastness, nonetheless we are a part of it all. We are a holographic expression of the cosmos; a holographic expression of the vastness of Divine Presence, right here, as a human being, and as us together. We are part of the vastness of God.
Divine presence isn’t only vast. It is also near. It is so easy, it seems, in a human life, to lose track of the nearness of God; to believe that God is far away or doesn’t exist at all. I invite you to feel and welcome now the nearness of Divine Presence. When our heart opens to it, when we know that signature vibration of the nearness of God for this planet and for ourselves, and we open up to it, there it is. It never went anyplace. It is sacred. It is holy. It is pristine. It is available. It is loving. It is surrounding. This is the nearness of Divine Presence, named in so many ways. But however you name it, there it is.
It takes an open heart that releases all the infatuation with what is happening in the smallness of our lives to become aware and move in the awareness of the nearness of Divine Presence. We each know something of the nearness of Divine Presence. We know what it is to attune to it; to let it in, to let it shower down like rain. And then to let it reign in our lives, to let it be sovereign in our lives—realizing that it already is anyway. Knowing that the nearness of the Divine is the one thing that you can surrender to totally and receive totally and be liberated by. Any other surrender leads to defeat. This surrender leads to victory. It leads to empowerment and upliftment. And when we surrender and let the true ruler reign for us, which it already does anyway—life reigns, the Divine reigns. Then we, as life, we as an expression and embodiment of the Divine, reign in our world. And the love in us pours down like rain for the world. This is the nearness of Divine Presence that allows us to be present in our world.
It is easy to observe that people can lose track of the nearness of Divine Presence. Even though it’s there, even though it’s available, they somehow tune it out and tune in to their problems. They tune in to the anxiety, the fretting, the worry, the resentment, the reaction to the daily routine, and to the erratic nature of world culture.
Tuning in to the nearness of Divine Presence, there it is. And when we know it, we bring something else. We bring the immediacy of Divine Presence, and that can be a game-changer for people in our world. It’s one thing if it’s near, hovering in the Invisible and available, but with the person tuned out so that they are unaware of it. It’s another thing when it is immediate, embodied and expressed through another human being. What is that?! We’ve probably all had the experience of meeting someone who brought the immediacy of Divine Presence. Unique, outlandish perhaps, alive in a way we’d never known before, loving as we’d never felt before. This is the immediacy of Divine Presence, the immediacy of God. For someone who knows the vastness and the nearness of Divine Presence, they begin to become the immediacy of Divine Presence.
We have a chance to know that personally. We have a chance to share it amongst ourselves; and then, as a Beloved Community, we have the opportunity to allow the immediacy of Divine Presence to reverberate among us.
For a time, there are pockets of dead space. You might refer to dead space in an auditorium—places where the sound doesn’t resonate well. And so it is in the human community: there are dead spaces. But as the Beloved Community begins to form, and the immediacy of Divine Presence begins to reverberate, those dead spaces come alive.
It’s raining! The water table is rising in the Beloved Community. We are filling in the dead spaces with the rising tide and the signature vibration is sounding. In our collective sea—the substance that has risen in our community—there are vibrations that are natural to us. There are waves that roll across the sea and reach us, bringing healing and love, bringing the signature vibration of the Beloved Community, which is the signature vibration of humankind here on this planet.
When we begin to reverberate with that signature vibration, we begin to know things of the heart that we didn’t know before. We know we are loved and that we are loved no matter what. We know that forgiveness is an act of kindness toward somebody else. And yet, most profoundly, it is simply an act of embracing this signature vibration of love on the inside, which can’t be embraced as long as anything that ought to be forgiven is not. As John Lewis said: Hate is too heavy a burden to bear.
We’ve used another name for the immediacy of Divine Presence in the Beloved Community. We have spoken of it as the God Field. It’s the field of consciousness and energy. It is a field that conducts the vibration moving through the substance of consciousness, which we could refer to as pneumaplasm, or auric substance. When someone is standing in the God Field, aware and open to the vastness and the nearness of Divine Presence, they are bringing the immediacy of Divine Presence and the vibration of that at the God Center of the God Field. We are here to do that together.
Every God Field has a God Center. And in the holonic nature of reality, the God Center and the God Field replicate at various levels of scale. We are here to be an expression of the immediacy of God for the larger field of humankind, the larger God Field. And in this God Field, this Beloved Community, there is a God Center. It’s a vibrational core where the signature vibration lives and has its Being. We are all responsible for that core. The core of this field is also the core of the larger field. No one person is that core, though any one person could express and embody it. They could know it and be it and take responsibility for it.
In the services at Sunrise Ranch, these principles have been known and acknowledged for decades. Martin Cecil committed his life to expressing and embodying the immediacy of God and the God Center for this Beloved Community. He took great pains to make it clear to those who were with him that this was not an exclusive act, and everything about him invited others to be part of that expression and embodiment. And sometimes he said, in essence, he was not speaking only to those who were with him, so much as with them, if they would let it be so. He was speaking with them, as the God Center, to the world, to the larger God Field.
There is the game of speaking and listening, orating and hearing orators, or sermonizing and hearing sermons. It’s a game of performance, a game of doing well or poorly. It’s a game of agreeing or disagreeing, liking or not liking. In this written piece now, similar issues might be up. Do you like what I write? Do you agree? Have I said it well?
And at some level, all those things are relevant. And yet, we are playing a larger game if it is a game. That larger game involves speaking and listening. But more importantly, it involves one voice: the voice of the God Center, the voice of this signature vibration.
Jesus was an expression and an embodiment of that voice. And in agrarian society, he used the metaphor of sheep. We have sheep here at Sunrise Ranch, and lambs too. So shepherding hasn’t gone totally out of fashion, though it is unfamiliar to most of us. Jesus spoke of himself as the Good Shepherd and said, My sheep hear my voice.
Who are the sheep? We have some negative connotations of sheep—that they just follow mindlessly. But truly, the sheep are those who populate the God Field. They are the presence of the Divine in the God Field. The presence is there within every person. And when the signature vibration of the God Center reverberates through us, speaking for the Divine Presence, we could say, My sheep hear my voice. The Divine recognizes the Divine and the vibration of the Divine. It is familiar, not in a cultural way, and not because it comes out of our personal history.
It strikes a chord at the very depth of our soul that is familiar. And it’s familiar because it is the truth of who we are.
We are here to strike that chord for ourselves and for all humankind. Everything that human beings are waiting for on this planet depends on this. Justice depends on this, and without this, justice will never come. The longing that we have in our hearts for equality as humankind will never be fulfilled without this because this is our equality. The flourishing of all people depends on knowing this. World peace depends on this. And this is never known without those who open to the vastness of Divine Presence and the nearness of it, and then have the openness, the courage, the willingness to be the expression and the embodiment of the God Center; to be the activating voice and vibration of it in the world. Because without that, It ain’t on. The hopes and dreams of all humankind are not on without someone with the truthfulness and the courage to bring the vibration of Reality boldly, clearly, and strongly into the world, without wavering or ceasing.
Whatever remaining barriers there might be in heart and mind that might stop us from this, for you or for me, let them fall. And let this moment be the beginning of those walls coming crashing down.