When the best of me is barely breathin’,
When I’m not somebody I believe in,
Hold on to me.
When I miss the light the night has stolen,
When I’m slammin’ all the doors you’ve opened,
Hold on to me,
Hold on to me.
Lauren Daigle, “Hold On To Me”
It is now over a year since the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States. Most of us are eager to be out in the world and associate more freely with others. And that is starting to become available to us. So good to feel that urge to be with each other, and at the same time to honor the way we have been through this pandemic: that we have done what we needed to do, and that we have carried on. And it has not been easy, has it? Some have borne the burden more than others, for sure, for all kinds of reasons. And here we are, faced with the question: How do we create something beautiful in a chaotic world?
There is so much about the world we live in that seems random. It seems random that there should be a global pandemic—beginning in Wuhan, China, we are told—with millions of people dying globally. And, of course, this is not the only randomness in our world today. There are random acts of violence, random weather events, and random irrationally from people reported in our news every night.
Closer to home, there are the random words and deeds by people we are in contact with day by day.
In this incarnation, we are called upon to be in the middle of all that randomness, all that chaos, and to know a graciousness with those closest to us. It is graciousness that brings divine Love and divine order to the disorder. If we share a graciousness with the people near us, there is a place where Love can live in the middle of the chaos.
And so, the qualities of graciousness become so important: our willingness to honor and acknowledge the place that others occupy; to honor it without demand, without pushing, but with appreciation. And then we have the opportunity to acknowledge the gift they are bringing. There may be things that are difficult for us to receive. And yet we are called upon to be tolerant, as much as possible, to dismiss the things that are not creative so that we can see and welcome their gifts and then bring gifts of our own. We, too, have our gifts to bring, and we have our place to stand.
Graciousness creates a beloved community that defies the randomness of the world in which we live. Graciousness creates a space for divine order and divine Love.
Beloved community is something that happens, not just because it somehow falls upon us. Yes, it does fall upon us, but not without us doing something consciously to create it. That is why we publish this Pulse of Spirit weekly. We seek to bring the Love and Light that generates and sustains the graciousness of beloved community. We affirm what is true in what we share—what is true of what we have to bring, how we must be together to generate beloved community.
If we do that amongst ourselves, we have the chance to project the essence of beloved community out into the chaos. We become a beacon that calls people to know beloved community. And perhaps, from the Light we shine, they can touch the graciousness that we know together, the joy that we know in what passes between us, which we allow to deepen and deepen so that we know ever-increasing levels of Love, ever-increasing dimensions of Love, ever-increasing illumination. That brings something else that we have the honor to know in beloved community: we have the opportunity to know each other.
Knowledge is a noun, but knowing is a verb. And knowing each other is a never-ending experience and a never-ending exploration. There is always more of another Being to know. There is always more of ourselves to reveal, express, and embody—more of our heart to share. The depths of the human heart are unending and ever unfolding. We have a chance to share our ever-unfolding heart with other people in beloved community; to say, in essence, Know me for who I am. Know how much I Love. Know my commitment. Know how much I care. Know my creativity. Know me.
This process of knowing and being known is a formula for never-ending wonder. On that basis, we never get tired of one another. When we are always revealing more of ourselves, it is never-ending. And the moment we stop revealing more of ourselves, and we stop knowing more of each other, it all breaks down. We move from being verbs to being nouns in each other’s eyes. We are left with supposed knowledge of others, which is most often judgment related to the past without knowing them. The reality is we have something to share, something to reveal, something to receive, and something to give back. And in that sharing, there is a generation of Love and Light, never-ending.
The Love within us takes the raw, unformed material of consciousness—the deep—and activates it. It creates a space of wonder, where divine order begins to be known. It is a space where the subtle messages of the stars can be received and shared. It is a space that partakes of cosmic creativity because we did not get walled off from the rest of the cosmos here on Planet Earth. We participate in something of cosmic proportion that shows up in beloved community—influences of creativity coming into consciousness and shared with one another, never-ending. A never-ending kaleidoscope of reality that we have the opportunity to know. Miraculous? Fanciful? In any experience of deep family, deep friendship, deep home shared with other people, isn’t this what it is like?
I am fascinated by the stories of Creation around the world. In Greek mythology, everything begins out of chaos:
In the beginning, there was nothing but Chaos—a formless emptiness. Chaos was a careless god who lived in a dark, chaotic void with no order whatsoever. When Chaos was in charge, there was no solid land as there is today. There was no sun, no moon, no flowing rivers, no freshwater, no seas, mountains, and no pure air to breathe.
The word chaos itself is a Greek word.
Many cultures have Creation stories that speak of something similar. This is how the story of Creation is told in the opening verses of the Bible:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void…
meaning there was no Earth yet. So we are not, right now, talking about the Earth.
As a society, we tend to be so preoccupied with all the forms of culture around us, pandemics and all the rest, and they deserve our attention in due course and right proportion. But in the beginning of things, it is not about the form. It is about what is happening in consciousness—“in the deep,” as it is about to say here.
…and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
Maybe that relates to the chaos—darkness, deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The Spirit of God. And what is that? That word Spirit was translated from a Hebrew word for breath, ruach. There was the breath of Spirit. The central aspect of that breath is Love. And so, the first thing that happens in this story of Creation is that Love comes into the picture—not just Love as a principle or an idea or as an attribute or a belief. This is Love as an active power, the urge of the Creator. The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters! It did not just sit there. And then something fascinating is said:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
I have always wondered about that. We are talking about the Spirit of God moving on the face of the waters, and all of a sudden, Light appears. It fascinates me that there was an Englishman, William Tyndale, who translated the original text that way. At the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, there was once an exhibit celebrating those who translated the Bible into English. They named it Let There Be Light to celebrate Tyndale’s genius.
What is being said in this Creation story that might be relevant to us? We could think about this as something transpiring eons of time ago. We could also think about it as relating to us and our own creatorship. I believe that is relevant. What is being portrayed here is that there are active forces of Creation, and there is no Creation without those active forces in play. Matter does not just all of a sudden become activated for no reason. Consciousness is not activated for no reason. Your neighbor does not feel your Love for no reason. They feel it because it is a power actively expressed.
In our world, we are that Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters. We are that impulse of Love coming into the world. And what are those waters? They are the waters of consciousness, and especially the waters of the heart. For the waters of consciousness, we are that urge of Love that cares, activates, and creates. We all have the opportunity to actively extend that Love to the hearts of other people, to our own heart that might be hurting, to that person who might be saying, Hold on to me. And when we hear that call, what shall our answer be?
Love is here. I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.
When our Love moves on the face of the waters, something else happens. There is Light. Let there be Light. The unformed substance of a human life is illuminated and ordered in a new way—not in a humanly determined form but out of the reverberation of Love in the depth of the human soul. Love establishes its order in the heart and in the entire field of consciousness. All the random factors of cause and effect that were there because there was chaos in consciousness begin to be reordered. The breath of Love comes to the heart, and there is Light.
And now we can see. The heart is revealed. We see what is happening in the waters in a way we did not see before. We now know our brother and our sister in a way we did not know them before. We know our brother and sister because we Love them. And when we Love them, there is that vibration of Love that is moving out into the waters of consciousness, creating illumination. We may see what is troubling them. And yet, we also see their truth and their beauty, which is the more significant matter. We ought to know if something is troubling our brother or sister, but we also see the truth of who they are.
The master teacher Jesus said this so simply:
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The truth of what? Well, the truth of everything, I suppose. In this case, the truth of another person. We are meant to know that truth. And how does it happen? Because we Love them, and that puts in motion a shining of the Light so that we can see them and know them. And the power of that knowing of each other goes deep into the heart, deep into the darkness—from the face of the deep, down to the depth of the human soul. And we get to know the depth of each other, not because we are prying, trying to uncover long-lost secrets—although such things sometimes get revealed—but simply because there is Light.
What is the origin of that shining of the Light? We do not get lost, rightly, in the chaos of the deep of another person or in the chaos of the deep of the world. There are so many cross-currents, so many factors, so much cause and effect that leads to the crumbling of culture and people. Let’s not jump into all that, getting lost in it. As a conscious Being, we know our relationship to Love. We let Love into our own heart. We know ourselves as a servant of that pulsation of Love that we are here to bring to our brother and our sister in beloved community. So let us bring it. Let us bring that vibration constantly. And then let us live in the knowing that comes from that. In practical experience, it is the depth of our Loving that creates illumination.
Our knowing is not just reflective, as if we just see what is there as an impartial observer. We see with eyes of Light—what Martin Cecil called radiant vision. We know that we have power as an observer, an honorable witness to the human experience. And that power is Light, unceasing, unfailing, unending, no matter what. In the middle of a person’s cry to hold on to them, there is the stability of Love and the absolute power of the Light that we have to bring—never-ending, never faltering. Is that not us? Is that not our calling?
Beloved community does not exist without those who are bringing Light to each other. It sounds airy-fairy, I suppose, or could: Oh, we are all about Love and Light. Yes, we are!
The Light has the pattern of Creation in it. It brings that pattern into the deep and to another person, reminding them of who they are when they have forgotten, or celebrating who they are if they remember. I see you. I know you. And in that knowing, there is a depth of communion. Knowing is not just an intellectual thing. I know who you are. I see you. I am with you.
That knowing in beloved community creates the structure of reality in the field of consciousness that we share. The randomness of the world subsides. And we are acting as Love, as Light, in that unformed substance of consciousness in ourselves, in one another, and in this entire field.
So there is no longer the randomness of the world, although, realistically speaking, it creeps in. But we know the dynamic that reorders our consciousness individually and then our consciousness together. We know that it happens because we bring in something active as creators. And then there is something actively received, allowing ourselves to be known, loving back, celebrating the knower, and celebrating the known. These are all active, conscious deeds that generate the field of beloved community.
So we turn away from the things that break down the graciousness of beloved community. We turn away from blame, to embrace compassion for one another. We turn away from a belief in the power of human darkness, that we may bring Light to the world. We turn away from regret, to embrace newfound courage to live and to Love more fully. We turn away from resentment, to embrace that great Love shown to us so profoundly by Jesus, the Christ, who taught us how to Love, how to Love absolutely and unfailingly. For indeed, as it is said, Love never faileth—not this Love, not our Love.
As a creator, we bring our powers of Love, given to us from the foundation of the world. We bring the vibration of Love into this field of consciousness and power. We open ourselves and let it move into the deep. We open the depths of our soul to be penetrated by the power of Love that comes from above and that is now vibrating through each one of us. I consciously open to your Love. I open my heart to the vibration of Love from you. May it enter me deeply. May it generate Light so that I might be seen, so that we might see each other, so that we might know the truth and be set free.
There is a Scottish proverb I was brought up with: “Fools and bairns (children) should not see half-finished work.”
If anyone were to compare a workshop or art studio with the finished, fine art product they would have plenty to say about chaos, or to prempt the process with judgements about untidiness. People want see creation as a perfect, finished product; no mess! They think there is a perfect formula for success; no room for trial and error and a few headaches!
Yet genius has persistence, a willingness to change and to surmount difficulties. I would suggest that genius also requires a different kind of listening and a tuning into deep soul; a going to depth.
There is deep soul and genius at work as we build the community of light; to listen to our calling, to recognise our collective participation and to move intelligently in these days.
Michael Rosen wrote a children’s book, “Going on a Bear Hunt”. On the adventure, there are many obstacles with no obvious way to circumvent the difficulty than to go through it, be it river, forest or swamp. ” We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we have to go through it.”
I think this is our course of action in these days of evident chaos and uncertainty. We can’t overlook it, we can’t get round or underneath it but we can go though it.
In this light, we have the resource of a gracious attitude bringing love and gratitude. It is the course of least resistance; a surrender to what is.
I have seen this in the last while, as I had to relinquish my job in December. There was no point to being upset or angry but a gracious attitude gave me fortitude and I left with good grace.
“These are days of miracle and wonder… “, in the words of a Paul Simon song. Let’s be part of that magic.