When I first came to Sunrise Ranch in 2000, it was in the middle of some turmoil. What I noticed was that people were having a hard time distinguishing between what should change and what shouldn’t. I came to understand that this distinction is an important part of anyone’s life. At that time, there was an attempt to change eternal realities that were behind what Sunrise Ranch is. That didn’t seem like a good idea! And yet there were things that rightly should change and were changing. It is easy to see how a spiritual community can become challenged as it is called upon to evolve while being true to its core essence.
In the Unitarian Church where I grew up, in Westport, Connecticut, there came a time (after I had moved on) when the question of whether to leave the pipe organ in the church became a great issue. I was no longer involved in the church, but I knew the minister, Frank Hall, and my parents were still active. There were those who argued that if there were no organ, you wouldn’t have to hire an organist. And then you could bring in other musicians and play a greater variety of music. Also, the organ was in front of a glass wall at the rear of the church. So, if the organ were removed, you would be able to see the beautiful woodland environment behind the church.
On the other side of the argument were those who said that the organ was a vital part of the life of the church, and if the organ went away, the church would go away. The organ discussion nearly ripped the church apart. But it didn’t. The Unitarian Church in Westport has a thriving music program today.
Making the distinction between what is eternally important and what is transitory is vital for us as human beings. Our happiness and fulfillment depend on finding what has eternal value in ourselves, in others, and in what we worship—what we give our hearts to.
What is eternal empowers us. We can open up to it, we can surrender to it, and it sets us free. It brings love into our heart. If we end up worshiping something that’s transitory, we are torn apart by it as it changes. It causes turmoil in our heart. It is understandable that we feel the changing tides of life and the comings and goings of people, including all the births and deaths. So, I’m not suggesting that we should somehow be aloof from the events of our life. We feel them. But feeling them and then offering something creative is different from worshiping them.
There is something in every person that never goes away and never dies. I was appreciating the beautiful teaching of Jesus, when he instructed those with him to treasure what is in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt and where no one can steal. What a beautiful, simple way to talk about spiritual values!
The Eternal is not only up there where some might picture heaven to be. It is also in here—within oneself. And if the Eternal is within oneself, it is also within all others and within all things. This is the inner dimension of all people and all Creation that is beautiful and lovable, and loving it doesn’t tear you apart.
We refer to the most foundational teaching of Emissaries of Divine Light as the One Law. It is otherwise known as the Law of Creation, the Law of Karma and the Law of Attraction. This is what I am talking about. I know the word Law might sound imperious and imposing. But we are not talking about human law that is imposed from the outside. The One Law is simply a description of how we are made to live on the inside.
When a person isn’t harmonizing with the creative working of the One Law, they are pursuing the sweet things in life and perhaps attempting to avoid the bitter things. They are attracted to the transitory without fully acknowledging the Eternal, which is present in all the forms of life. Chasing after that, they are not simply appreciating and enjoying what has shown up in their life. They are living in a consciousness of wanting and not having. That person doesn’t have their values in heaven, as Jesus put it, but in form. What they don’t realize is that they are being torn apart in the process. They are being bent out of shape. When the Law of Attraction is not working in our experience creatively, that’s how it goes—it works destructively.
When a person truly has spiritual values, they are loving what brings them more and more to their own spiritual center, what brings them more and more to their own wholeness. The form of their own human experience is drawn into one place. The One Law determines the working of an attractive power. If we end up being attracted to the forms of our life, we’re attracted in many different directions and torn apart. When we are attracted to the One Reality that we call God, which is in all things, we are brought into wholeness, and all the forms of our immediate human experience are brought together into one place. And then all the forms around us that are meant to be with us in the dance of Creation play their part, attracted to the central flame within us. Then it’s all coming together. Instead of being bent out of shape by the forms in the space-time continuum, we find ourselves in the role of the Creator, who is bending space and time so that what is meant to come to us does.
Even now as I write these words, and for you as you read them, I have invoked the presence, seemingly from out of the past, of that great teacher we know as Jesus. We have bent time to bring his wisdom to us. We are also bending space. As I write these words, I am inviting your presence to be with me where I am. You might take the same attitude toward me. Because we know something about being spiritually centered and opening to the Eternal, we inherit the power to bend space to bring our friends to be with us. The attractive power of Creation is working.
We are meant to come to a place of stillness as human beings and to know stillness. We are called to be at home in ourselves and not to leave that place. That’s what happens when we harmonize with the One Law. We are not torn apart, which is what happens when we are subject to our reaction to what is happening in the world around us.
You have probably heard the reports of the recent events in Iraq. In some way it’s just heartbreaking. The cycle of violence never stops! Tit for tat, revenge follows revenge. And how far back does it go? We call them Iranians, but they were Persian before that, and who knows what before that? And what were the Iraqis called before today? The people of Babylon? And then there are the Christians, Jews, and the Children of Israel and the Philistines before them. And the story of revenge goes on and on and on. It’s heartbreaking.
And yet we have an answer: Let it be. Let it be. We have to let it be. That doesn’t mean we like it. It doesn’t mean we condone it or approve of it in any way. But we have to let it be, and then in letting it be, we are at a place of stillness and a place of power relative to it. We bring a blessing, offering the arms of Mother Mary. Come to your senses, come to love. May we all come to love in the arms of the Great Mother. And even though we perhaps have different names for the gods we worship, different patterns of worship, and different ways of describing what it is we love and what we value, I believe that the Eternal is all ultimately one thing, because there is only one thing that is truly lovable, that brings us to wholeness personally, and gathers us together with other people, then lifts us up and moves us forward to a new tomorrow. And that One Reality is known in the stillness of spiritual centering.
From that place we call, with the attractive power of spirit, to all form—all the forms of feeling and emotion in human hearts, all the thoughts of the human mind, and all the forms of Creation. We call to the human spirit with the power of the Creator that has been released through us: Let Love radiate without concern for results—pointing to this working of the One Law. Don’t be taken off your center.
This isn’t just a teaching for good times; a teaching for a relatively well-to-do American society that has grown soft in so many ways. This is a teaching for today, for all days, and for all people. It is a teaching for good times and bad times. Whatever is happening, spiritual centering is always relevant. In desperation and despair, spiritual centering is relevant—in fact, it is the most significant factor for any human being. Out of our spiritual centering comes all things that are good. The world comes together, the world evolves and moves on to what is next for it. Without spiritual centering, the world is torn apart by the very Law of Creation that creates wholeness when it is operating creatively in the human experience.
So, we know the significance, certainly for us personally and individually, of finding the spiritual axis of our own experience, amidst all that is turning and moving and changing. And knowing that spiritual axis, we call to each other, Come to this place. Let us come together to the one place of centering for all humanity, whatever race, belief, color or culture. Let us come to this place that bends space and time, that shapes space and time in the way that it’s meant to be shaped, with the fantastic powers of consciousness that we have.
We’ve barely explored what those powers of consciousness are. Perhaps we could use them to invent so many wonderful technological things. But let us begin by using the fantastic powers of consciousness to simply love one another. Would that not be a feat? To find what is eternally lovable and beautiful in each other? You can love that about another person, unhesitatingly, without reservation, radiantly, without being torn apart. Let Love radiate to what is truly lovable, which is the Eternal, which is present in all people. There it is. And then the power of attraction is at work, and we will see what we have to create together. We will see what forms emerge.
And so, we lift up our eyes from the world of division, which is the world that is tearing itself apart. We lift up our eyes to what is eternal and unchanging in the world in which we live, and we call to that in each other.
Something is purifying and transforming in all our lives and in our world. Something is changing. I say, Of course! That’s our job. That’s what we’re here to do: to allow the power of Love to be present through the forms of consciousness. As that happens, there are many states of mind and emotion that drift through us as human beings. There’s no sin in them drifting through. I would bet that in the past twenty-four hours, if you inventoried what you have been thinking and feeling, there are all kinds of things that drifted through you. The question becomes, What did you latch on to? Did it just drift through, or did you embrace it and get taken away by it? That becomes the question. Or is the transforming power of Spirit moving through mind and emotion and creating something that is a capacity for the expression of the Eternal, so that the Eternal can truly live and be here, so that it can reach out to other people and bring the activating, attractive power of Creation into play in the human world?