SOMEONE UNTIED YOUR CAMEL
I cannot sit still with my countrymen in chains.
I cannot act mute
Hearing the world’s loneliness
Crying near the Beloved’s heart.
My love for God is such
That I could dance with Him tonight without you,
But I would rather have you there.
Is your caravan lost?
If you no longer weep from gratitude or happiness,
From being cut deep with the awareness
Of the extraordinary beauty
That emanates from the most simple act
And common object.
My dear, is your caravan lost?
It is if you can no longer be kind to yourself
And loving to those who must live
With the sometimes difficult task of loving you.
At least come to know
That someone untied your camel last night
For I hear its gentle voice
Calling for God in the desert.
At least come to know
That Hafiz will always hold a lantern
With galaxies blooming inside
I will always guide your soul to
The divine warmth and exhilaration
Of our Beloved’s
What a wonderful gift for the new year. Your camel is untied! And the caravan’s lost; that’s a wonderful thing. You’re no longer tied to the path that humankind has been treading, in struggle and sorrow and pain. You’re free to follow the dictates of a new cycle. That’s a wonderful gift.
We all have heard talk about a new cycle, new things in store for this world, for mankind, the solar system, the cosmos. It’s all true. Our only decision in this is if we will play a part in ushering in the new, or whether we will wander with an untethered camel, looking for a lost caravan.
There’s talk of the end of the Mayan calendar approaching, with a lot of speculation on what that means. It’s quite simple: the end of the world as we know it. As musical group REM says, “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.” All the finite things that Hugh Duff mentioned earlier indicate something is coming to an end. That could be judged as disaster, or it could be recognized as the opening of something new. The size of the change with us now, no longer impending, is huge, beyond my capacity to grasp mentally or analytically. Nevertheless it’s here. The caravan is lost in self-centeredness. And there’s a new way.
That is at the very core of the Emissary message and has been forever: There is another way. When we Emissaries step boldly, confidently and joyously on the glory road of the new way, we experience the new way. If we dither between two ways or if we choose self-centeredness, we do so at our own peril, and we take the risk that something important will be lost through this change of cycle.
One way to look at what’s new is based in numerology. One thing now concluded is the year 2007; numerologically that is a nine—the number of completion. Something large is completed and feeling quite different. I invite you to consider if that is true in you and in your world. Numerologically speaking, 2008 is a one, which is the number of beginning or, more potently, initiation. We in this world are being initiated into something completely new. It’s no longer coming—it’s here. The year 2008 and this cycle of beginning with one announce that clearly.
Our responsibility is to be new and to be in sync with the current cycle. If we attempt to live in the old way, we risk being completely out of sync with the new, wandering with the lost caravan.
How will we be in the new cycle? Will we be subject to it, reacting to it, pedaling furiously to keep up and struggling to survive? There is another way, and that is our message.
One way to drag the old way into the new cycle is to try to encompass it cognitively when our mental capacities cannot contain it all. In this cycle we are required to surrender to it completely and to integrate what is here now completely. As we do that, then our wonderful cognitive, analytical abilities are of use. If we try to get it all analytically, we will limit our own ability to be in sync with the cycle.
Hugh mentioned a giving heart. The heart, the feeling realm, is key now; it’s primary. Our responsibility is to integrate all that is coming to us through our perception and our feelings. I suggest a meditation on how we’ve been doing this might be useful; it has been useful for me.
Part of the Christmas story lingers with me, with new and profound meaning. It’s the story of the Posadas, or the seeking of shelter. As it goes, an undistinguished poor couple arrives in Bethlehem, with a very pregnant wife, and they seek shelter. The local innkeepers, in the middle of the busiest season of the year, don’t have the space for them or much time to consider the situation. Perhaps they said, “Sorry, there’s no room in the inn,” but the message was there’s no room in the inn. There was enough courtesy or mercy for a place to be made for them in a barn with a manger. We know how the story goes from there.
First hearing this story as a child, I thought, “If I was there, I wouldn’t have turned away this holy family. No, I would have let them in and made them comfortable and done all I could.” These days I realize those innkeepers didn’t know who was before them. They didn’t look any different from the other travelers arriving. They had no way of knowing. If they had used perception at another level, something else might have happened, but it didn’t.
In my meditation on the fact that as a boy I believed I wouldn’t turn away the Christ child, I realized that I have and I still do just that. Haven’t you, and don’t you? By that I mean ignoring or turning away your own perception, what’s been referred to as the still, small voice. It sounds like it speaks from within you and it is your direct connection with Source, your direct connection with the power that’s moves the great creative cycle. You’ve got a direct connection—each of us does. But so often we ignore it.
In the busyness of our busiest weekend of the year, do we stop, get still and listen? To listen and obey, to repent, as the people of Nineveh did? One definition of the word “repent” is simply “to turn.” Do we turn our attention to Source consistently, especially when we are very busy or under pressure? Or do we stay wrapped up in the churn to take care of ourselves? That could be sourced in fear of loss, which could be sourced in self-centeredness, which could be evidence of following the lost caravan. Why do that? There is no time for that anymore.
We each have an inner voice available that, when followed, gives us the opportunity of having the experience of being an everyday mystic. This voice is absolutely trustworthy. This is Source, which has a divine design inherent in it. It has the power to create and move everything in this grand creative cycle. This can be trusted! Even in the face of global warming, any sense of personal impending loss, this voice can and needs to be trusted. How are we doing, paying attention to that voice? Humankind generally relies on external verification of one’s own accuracy. I don’t know where one could get that these days.
I heard a report the other day on the walruses in the Bering Sea area. Their ice is gone. They live and feed from the ice. So there are tens of thousands of walruses on the shore in northern Alaska, and across the Bering Sea in Russia, starving because there’s no ice. What do stories like that bring up in you? Do they bring up fear? “We’ll all go the way of walruses! We’ve got to do something!” Whatever we may need to do cannot be based in fear. We’ve got to consistently, vigorously, passionately turn to hear and obey the inner voice, the voice of spirit that’s with us always.
One reason the innkeepers didn’t recognize the holy family and the presence of the Christ was that the whole setup seemed weird. They were already overcrowded, busy as heck, trying to feed and house all the people in town for the big tax-paying event. Then this couple arrives, and it’s too much; we simply can’t handle one more thing, especially something unusual and challenging. So we try to move it along.
What if what you encounter—when you cock your ear to hear the still, small voice of Source within you—looks, seems or feels weird? I don’t believe holding it up to past experience counts for anything these days. I don’t think holding it up to our own expectations is worth anything these days. Only integrating whatever experience is present with us, so our heart is opened and free, gives us the chance to be fully present with whatever’s there. So if you listen for that still, small voice for direction on the glory road, and it seems weird, pay close attention.
I’ll tell you this: If the voice you hear is using the word “should,” it’s probably the wrong voice. That’s likely the voice we use to judge our world, judge one another and, most significantly, beat ourselves up. The voice of Source is the voice of love. “Should” is a blaming, shaming word. A New Year’s resolution could be for each of us to eliminate that word from our vocabulary. We do not use it on one another, or on our circumstance, and we do not use it on ourselves. For our own good, let’s eliminate that word from the vocabulary.
How do we do that? It’s a powerful word with strong emotional charge attached to it from millennia of human use. It needs to be let go of by being displaced. In other words, put something in its place to assist it to pass away. The thing that can displace it is gratitude.
If you are sincerely grateful for whatever is with you, no matter how it looks, feels or seems, the “should” will go away. There are many circumstances internally and externally that try to tell me that this shouldn’t be, that shouldn’t be happening. That’s a completely useless sentiment, because it IS happening. Simple gratitude for what is keeps the creative cycle fluid, displaces the “should,” and opens our heart to the holy place. It is in the holy place where we access that voice that is trustworthy.
Michael Brown, the author of THE PRESENCE PROCESS, predicts a lot of weirdness. That’s not a prediction for me anymore—it’s my current experience. He says “weird” is the new normal. I say, expect the weird, expect the unexpected. Keep in mind that the word “weird” originally meant “having the power to control the fate of mankind.”
Expect the weird. Expect it in your circumstance. As you handle that and integrate it with a heart opened by gratitude, you have the ability to control the fate of mankind and this planet and its participation in a large cosmic cycle. Sounds pretty grand? It is, but it’s our mission.
In our everyday life, we could live like the innkeepers who can’t encompass one more customer, even a guy with a very pregnant wife. If there are things that equate to that in your experience, do you respond with, “Oh my god, I’m so busy, what am I going to do?” Is that ever the time to pay attention! What are you listening to? The voice that is self-centered, saying this is just going to be more work, this isn’t going to go well, this might get awkward? Or do you pay devout attention to the voice of the truth of being, with you now and always? You could say, “Well later, not now; I’m kind of busy; I want to get my ducks in a row first, so I can handle this thing really well.” I’m familiar with that justification. However poorly it has worked for me before, it’s worse than useless now. It’s dangerous.
“Later, not now; I’m too busy,” relative to the Source within you, is not a true response now. It never was true and never will be. You are NEVER too busy to be who you are in truth, aligned with Source, able to gracefully and gratefully steward the creative process that’s moving now. If the creative process is full of weird now, so be it! Who better to steward that than the everyday mystic you are?
When we will listen, hear and obey that still, small voice, we find ourselves walking the glory road. Amazingly, we find we’re not walking it alone. All those everywhere who are ready, willing and able to obey the voice of true being are on the same road. This is a different caravan and a wholly different camel. As David Washington’s song “Glory Road,” sung at the beginning of the hour, said, there’s joy in every stride. Often we avoid the weird and prevent ourselves the joy of being with whatever’s here.
These are the days prophesied by the prophets of old, longed for by spiritual leaders and holy people for millennia. We are the ones who are here now, and we can’t look to someone else to do what is needed for us. An important teaching of the Emissary program, which I’ve loved since my first connection, is absolute personal responsibility. We assume absolute personal responsibility in this new cycle, here now—no longer coming, no longer approaching. As we do take absolute personal responsibility, we act in accordance with the dictates of our own connection to Source and we are of service to mankind.
What a huge opportunity to allow to come to fulfillment all that has been prophesied of old, and to prophesy a new “now” coming directly from Source, through us in our living. I’m delighted to usher in this cycle together, with the invitation for us to be—individually, and together—stewards of Source, stewards of this grand and amazing new cycle. Together we create the vibrational ark whereby spirit may thrive—much more than survive. Spirit may thrive and have its way in the world once again.
Let’s let the tired old caravan wander off without us. Let’s take absolute personal responsibility for the job we’ve come to do. Let’s enjoy the glory road together, where there is joy in every stride—not because we want it but because it’s the nature of spirit and Source that it be so.