As many of you know, we’ve been in the midst of an Art of Living class here at Sunrise Ranch over this past week. As Maureen Waller has reminded us a couple of times, this class isn’t a dash but a marathon. And while we can see the finish line from here, we still have a few more things to do, a few more miles to run before that particular cycle closes.
Over the course of this class we, the faculty, provided the participants with tools and maps that could be used to navigate the territory that needs to be navigated in order to get to a place where one can begin to consciously apply this thing we call The Art of Living. The most important information we presented was the reality that, while we can give them the tools, the maps and the living example of what embodying Universal Love looks like, none of it has value—it’s just a boring, wasted exercise—unless they take those tools, maps and examples, and strike out on their own, having the experience for themselves. A basic premise of our Emissary program is that: proving the Truth out in your own living. No one in this program has ever, and I’ve been around a while, asked me to just accept what I was being taught. In fact, the times I’ve done that, tried to learn the concepts without proving their accuracy for myself, people have tapped me on the head and said no, you don’t get to do that. You prove it out, because you’re not really a whole lot of value, frankly, in the work you’re doing unless you know how to do it—unless it’s your experience.
So, in the class, we gave them not only permission but we required it of them: “Do not walk out of here and say, ‘Maureen said…’ or ‘Cliffe said…’ or ‘I think it’s true…’” Challenge what you are hearing, not by argument or debate but by applying the principles and looking at the results. Take what has been presented as the truth and make it your own by living it. There’s no other way. And not only is there no other way—which seems to sound a little desperate—but thankfully there’s no other way; because that’s where the victory is, that’s where the excitement is. That’s where the juice is: I own it. I know the truth of love for me, not because some teacher said it was so but because I experienced it. Now I can say…“This is mine!”
In the booklet The Art of Living, Martin Cecil references the 1964 World’s Fair. This was the time when countries (most predominantly the United States and the former Soviet Union) were starting to shoot rockets out beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Evidently, while giving a presentation at the World’s Fair, one of the leaders of the USA space program said, “Now the universe has meaning, because we give it meaning.”
How arrogant to think that the human mind can give anything meaning! That’s been the problem all along: the self-active, ego-driven human mind thinks that the Universe was created to serve it. The truth is, we get all meaning from Source. We get all meaning from God. Once we understand that, once that becomes our experience, we become the vehicle for Life’s meaning, Life’s purposes, expressed on earth.
In our considerations of the One Law, we talked about how we were created to be the crowning creation for this earth, and that the whole earth seems to be crying out, “When are you going to come home? When are you going to take your responsibility so we can take ours?” When I walk in stillness, that’s what I often hear. When I really walk in stillness, I hear the plants and the animals and the rocks and the rivers ask for me to take my responsibility so that the whole Garden can come into its own being, fully—that it can blossom, that it can provide the beauty it was designed to bring and, in bringing it, glorify God.
So what is the art of living? The art of living is the art of giving. It’s the art of giving that which we have been given, in its cleanest, clearest, purest sense. There was a sales guru named Zig Ziglar back along the way, and one of the quotes he was famous for was “Nothing happens till somebody sells something.” And there’s some truth in that, because when you’re selling something, what are you doing? You’re offering something. You’re radiating, you’re giving something out. Nothing happens until something is given, something is radiated.
The creative process doesn’t start with response or attraction or union. It starts with radiation, giving. The art of living is the art of giving…giving blessing in every moment, with every step, with every breath.
So, this is the range of consideration we’ve been in this past week—highlighting that this is the way we fulfill our mission: that we play our part in the great creation by giving first, by not withholding God’s love, Life’s energy, for ourselves, but giving it through us. In the giving, it is multiplied. And you can’t give it until you can say, “This is mine.” In the multiplication of giving the blessing, the earth is healed, humanity is healed. Eventually, we actually have the experience of being one body.