Timshel: Thou Mayest

Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation

All that it takes to live a creative life is “Everything I am and everything I know.” It’s simple that way.

We have just completed the annual Attunement Guild gathering here at Glen Ivy, in Corona, California. This international grouping met for several days, preceded by a three-day meeting of the Guild Leadership Group. The theme for our time was “Consciousness and the Human Energy Field.” There were many excellent presentations and a new Guild Leadership Group was elected. This gathering has just concluded—now what? We have the rest of our lives that require everything we are and everything we know to bring forth what we’re here to bring forth. How will that be? What will the forms be?

I want to talk about what it takes to do things. When we’re sitting together in the substance that we’ve generated, we have great ideas. When the gathering dissolves back into separate worlds, each of us is left to take steps to bring what’s been created into manifestation. That’s a step I sometimes miss. Let’s talk about what can be done about that.

There’s a Hebrew word, timshel, which translates as “thou mayest.” It comes out of the fourth chapter of Genesis—the story of Cain and Abel. John Steinbeck works the meaning of the word in his great book East of Eden. Among other things, “thou mayest” can sound like permission, which it is. What it isn’t is a promise. Some places in the Bible, people are given promises and people make promises. This is not one of those times. Timshel is not a promise. It’s also not a command: “Go and conquer, you must…” It’s permission but, more than that, it’s the recognition and acknowledgment of ability, power, potential, possibility, the ability to do this thing that lies before one. If one wavers, not feeling that permission, one could hesitate. It has been said, “He who hesitates is lost.” That may not be absolutely true, but it’s been used enough to become cliché, so there’s something there.

The blessing from that which can bless you the best, most fully and most thoroughly, is timshel. Thou mayest. Go and do. The energy of timshel reminds me of a classic film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with Humphrey Bogart. In a memorable scene, American gold prospectors are encountered by banditos who want to take their gold under the guise of being official federales. When they challenge the banditos, asking, “Where are your badges?” they hear back: “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!” That’s the energy of empowerment: You don’t need no stinking badge to live. You don’t need any more authority than you already have, to do what you’ve come to do. You don’t need no stinking badges!

To get this blessing, this timshel, one must say “the big Yes.” You say the big Yes when you bend your knee and bow your head and surrender to that which is greater. You yield. You say an unqualified and unconditional “Yes!” To the human ego this is the ultimate disempowerment—“Me? I’m going to yield? How unreasonable!” But once you yield, timshel comes from the shimmering silence that you yield to: “Thou mayest. Thou mayest.”

Here’s another cultural reference that invokes what this love is like. It’s part of the lyrics to a song from Jewel. It comes disguised as a song about romantic love but I hear my romance with my Beloved in it.

Did you say it
Did you mean it
Did you lay it on the line
Did you make it count
Did you look ’em in the eye
Did they feel it
Did you say it in time
Did you say it out loud
’cause if you did hun
Then you lived some
That feeling inside
That’s called satisfied

Yielding to that which created me, and sources me in this moment, is satisfying. Nothing satisfies like this. In the satisfaction comes the empowerment, timshel, thou mayest. If you ever find yourself hesitant to do that which you feel called to do, think of these things. Have you surrendered completely? Did you say it, perhaps out loud? The big Yes is my vibrational upward anchor that holds me right here in the present moment, and I feel the empowering blessing, timshel, thou mayest. Go and do.

I’m curious about what is to come from this critical mass of spiritual substance that we have added to this week. It’s not right to say that we have created it all this week, but we have certainly, very specifically and very noticeably, added to it. What is to come from it?

This is an opportunity for you to bring forth what spirit calls you to bring forth now, from the invisible into the visible, with your presence, with your whole being, with all that you are. This is an opportunity. If you feel moved to express something or to do something inspired by this time, and there is any hesitation, remember, timshel: You may do this. Please do.


Rich Kenny (From a talk given at the 2011 Attunement Guild Membership Gathering)
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