The experience of blessing is an experience of Universal Love to the human heart. The experience is profound and beautiful.
Would you agree with me that in the culture in which we live, there is a protected, defended heart? Because of that defense and protection, the spirit of Universal Love has a hard time coming in. What so often happens in a human life is that the armoring and protection of the heart becomes greater and greater as time goes on, without the person even being aware of what is happening. And so they find themselves living their life essentially low on fuel, sometimes running on fumes, because Universal Love is the fuel, and they are not allowing themselves to be filled with that fuel. What fuels us as human beings is the power of the universe, which we know as Universal Love.
Last week, we held a new course at Sunrise Ranch, Primal Spirituality 1: Blessing and Understanding. What we found was that where there is an opportunity to open the heart, that cracking open is monumental. It can be cathartic, accompanied by great tears, and profound melting. And why is it profound? It’s because something that ought to be open had shut down. And then in the reopening there is all the feeling of the pain that was there all along, but which the person was unconscious of. In the opening, you realize how deeply you were missing what you didn’t have. The influence of the fire of love upon the waters of the human heart is so profound in that cracking open.
And yet that cracking open, of itself, isn’t the end and aim of a human life. There are many things to do beyond that. There is much that the individual has to offer to the world, there are many things to create, people to meet, things to do. The question becomes whether we can sustain that cracked-open heart in the middle of all that. The reality is that we are made to be connected to the creative juice within us and the creative juice within all people and all things, through an open heart. We are made to have an intuitive connection with the Source of our life and the Source of all life. We’re meant to walk the land, being one with the land, and one with the circle of life upon it.
That sense of connection isn’t just an idea or a thought. You can’t get it just from reading a book. You have to open your heart to it to know that intuitive, innate connection that we have. And something is profoundly missing in the human experience when that intuitive connection isn’t present. And so there has to be a cracking open of the heart.
After that cracking open, there has to be a conscious practice to sustain the opening of the heart. After all, that was the issue when it closed down in the first place: we got unconscious. We weren’t aware of what was happening. We didn’t see that our heart was closing down. So there is this amazing part that the magician mind plays in keeping the heart open and watching over our human experience, taking it to good places, and noticing when it’s not going to good places, noticing when we’re falling prey to the unhealthy compulsions of the heart and mental habits that are taking us down.
At the core of these dysfunctional habits of the mind and heart is the great human tendency to see oneself as a victim. This is an interpretation of any discomfort in the heart as being caused by something outside the person experiencing it, and therefore to believe that something outside the individual is to blame for their unhappiness. And so the individual is compelled to take action against something outside themselves without realizing that the first order of business is that the heart should be open so that the individual can bring their blessing and understanding to the situation; so that they can be a creator and not a victim in it.
I’m a fan of the great legends of the King Arthur story. The characters in those legends are symbolically representative of what’s happening in our human experience. As you read them, it becomes quickly apparent that the magician, Merlin, is a lead character in the story, orchestrating so much of what happens. It was Merlin who orchestrated the conception of Arthur by Uther Pendragon and Igraine at Tintagel. When Arthur was born, it was Merlin who whisked him off into safety, to be raised by Sir Ector and his wife. It was Merlin who arranged for the sword in the stone, and for Arthur to withdraw that sword and thereby be recognized as the rightful king and heir to the throne. It was Merlin who led Arthur to the Lady of the Lake, and it was she who gave him the sword Excalibur and the sheath for that sword.
So who is your Merlin? And where is he? Merlin is our own magician mind, on hand to assist us to navigate the factors in our lives, watching over us and watching over our heart, and seeing where our heart is going. Is our inner magician leading us to the Lady of the Lake, who lives in the water regions of our heart, and hands us the power of our sovereignty?
I want to reference another writing. The disciple John said this, in the book of Revelation:
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
This course we just completed and these two virtues of blessing and understanding are about a new heaven in the human experience. I’m not talking about a heaven up in the sky or anyplace other than right here. And I don’t think that’s what John was speaking about. Yes, there is the celestial heaven and there is the invisible origin of Creation. But it is the heaven here that needs renewal. It’s the atmosphere here. It’s the intangibles of the human experience, which comes down to the quality of our presence.
The new heaven is about the fullness of blessing among us so that blessing is no longer just an act—I bless you. Yes, it is that, but it’s not just that. It is a state of being. It’s a way of being together in which there is a constant breathing of blessing, you to me, and me to you. It is a way of being. Understanding isn’t just the light bulb going on: I gained a new insight. Yes, it is that, but living in understanding is a pervasive seeing of one another for who we are, me seeing you for who you are, you seeing me for who I am.
Here is my prayer of understanding:
May I see their beauty as I see what has gone wrong for them.
So often we stop at what went wrong for somebody, and we don’t see past it into the heart and soul of the person. We don’t see them for who they are; we stop at what’s gone wrong. Have you been witness to somebody’s despair? What a blessing it is, when you are, to see past the despair and see the hope and the desire and the longing that’s present, and the possibility of the fulfillment of what that person’s life is about.
I do believe that that’s what John was talking about when he was talking about a new heaven. He was talking about what’s present among people in the heaven of their being, in the heaven of their conscious awareness.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The new earth is the form of life that emerges out of a new heaven. Primal Spirituality 2 is our next course in the series. It is about Taking Action and Fulfilling Mission. These are steps that we have to take when there is a new heaven to let it manifest in the earth.
Whether we are thinking of the world at large or own individual life, what takes form is clearly important. But what comes first? In the wonder of a human life, in the wonder of the process of Creation, it all begins with the new heaven.
In this course we just completed, we had a profound experience of Blessing and Understanding pervading the space we shared. When you create a rarefied environment, such as the one we shared in this 4-day course, and you do so with great care to the orchestration of what’s happening, you can move to a profound new level of awareness, and an emergence of a powerful individual and collective presence. There are hardly words to describe that experience.
Re-engaging with our lives at the end of such an experience, we may well have the thought: You mean it could be like this in my life? It could be like this all the time? I could be relating to people this way all the time. I could be with you in this way in the everyday occurrences of life. And maybe not only could I be that way with you, but we could all be that way together? Maybe we could create a culture where there is blessing and understanding all the time among us. Maybe we could.
There is a relationship between culture and education. The course we just offered is relevant for the individual. It was life-changing for those who took it. But I hope for more than that. I hope that the education that was present in the course is not only relevant to the individual but had relevant to our culture. First of all, relevant to the culture of the community of 38 people who took the course. But even beyond that there is the larger community of people who are aware of the course and the worldview upon which it is based. And then there is the world at large. Education can shift that culture.
Historically, education has not only been born out of culture, but also been used to create culture. For instance, the American educational system was developed to fuel the industrial revolution. We are interested in profound shift in world culture today, not to meet the needs of the industrial revolution or even the information age. The shift that is needed today is to a co-creative way of being with each other as human beings and with the planet. And so we need education that will fuel that shift.
We are each a culture of one. So we can each proclaim, I am the new culture. As such individuals gather together in a community or network, they can proclaim, We are the new culture. We are shifting our culture, our way of being together.
The first part of that process is the creation of the new heaven, the way we bless, and the way we bring understanding to the heart of others in the culture. We see others for who they are, and we stay in that state with them, no matter what’s happening. Yes, we see their mistakes, their limitations, their faults—but we don’t just see that. We see through that into who they are. And actually, what happens is, working with someone’s faults becomes a whole lot easier if you are in touch with who they are, if you’re not relating to them as a fault or a mistake. Hello, Mr. Mistake. How often do we do that? Or do we say, “I see you—and I think you made a mistake.” That’s different.
We desire a new culture in the world. And yet how is it going to come? So often, those of us who are interested in such things look at the outer factors. So we look at the form of the culture, the new earth that we’d like to see. Everybody should have health care. No one should go hungry. We should implement a new pattern of government.
Clearly, the new earth is vital. Unless the form of what is happening on the planet changes, we are head in a perilous direction. But still, culture begins with the heaven of that culture. It begins with what is happening in consciousness. And if we’re talking about a loving culture, an awake culture, a creative culture, a thriving culture that could move away from disaster and into a thriving future for humanity, that culture has to have an attunement in the heart with the very heartbeat of Creation. It begins with a compassionate understanding of other people and the planet. It begins with blessing and understanding.
For us as human beings, what is happening has a heart component that is so ignored in our culture. And what’s going wrong in our culture has so much to do with what’s going wrong in the hurting heart of the culture. It’s not hard to see that when you look around at what’s going on at every level – in individuals, families, communities and nations. So much of what goes wrong is rooted in the hurting, disconnected heart. Issue by issue, there it is.
So I celebrate the cracking open of the heart, and the staying open of it. It’s not enough to have a cathartic experience in a course or workshop. A cathartic experience can be a beginning, but that alone isn’t enough. Having cracked open, how do I stay open? How do I live my life that way? In every interchange, in everything I am doing? What would it mean in this circumstance here, with this person, where it just got a little rough? How do I stay in a powerful, strong, but loving place with this person? In this circumstance, how do I bring my presence and my understanding?
We did an interesting experiment in our course. We were sitting in a circle, and I presented the idea that while you may see yourself as one person who is a part of a circle of thirty-eight, in fact the whole circle is a part of you, present in your mind. And in that sense, our awareness was actually bigger than that circle. For each of us, our awareness could hold that circle in our mind.
In this moment, I invite you to think of all the people who might read this Pulse of Spirit. You don’t know all their names or where they are from. Nonetheless, you can hold the thought of them in your mind, wherever they may be—perhaps at their desk, on their couch, or on a park bench and reading this on their iPhone. In this moment, surround them with your thoughts and hold them in a good place there.
The new heaven is as simple as that. It is an act of magic, performed by an understanding mind and an open heart. Let us be instruments of that magic, and so create a new world.