We have the opportunity to open the door to another reality—to enter an experience that goes beyond the common experience in the world in which we live. To open a door to another reality for our world and the people in it, we have to open that door from another reality. As we embrace our knowing of a place of being that transcends the everyday experience of people, and even our own everyday experience, we have the opportunity to open a door from that place and let that reality express and deepen through ourselves and then into the world.
You may hope for or expect something wonderful, perhaps something spiritual, to happen in your life, ascending to greater and greater heights of spiritual awareness. But the spiritual journey is not just a journey of going up. It is not only a journey of ascension. It is also a journey of coming down—descension. To continue on your journey, you have to let the reality of your being come down from the highest place within yourself through you and out into the world.
The journey to that experience is full of so many things, and our humanity gets to experience them all. My own experience includes an embrace of solitude. I expect that is true for you too—that for you to enter into the joy of creation fully, to come to a place where you can allow the expression of who you are to deepen in and through you and to open a door from another reality, there does have to be an embracing of your own solitude. It is an experience of moving away from the crowd, moving away from the comfort of rubbing shoulders with buds and comrades.
For me, there is something reassuring about the jocularity I share with other men. I enjoy the familiarity of comradeship and friendship, and there is an assurance within all that that I am doing okay and it’s all all right and it’s all familiar. And all of that is wonderful.
But I know my own journey has called me to what seems initially like a place of loneliness, solitude, and singularity. Ultimately, I have to rely on my highest perception of what is true. And in that, I have to receive a confirmation that does not come from the pats on the back offered by people or the familiarity of being with other people. Real confirmation comes from the highest place within me. At the end of this cycle, whatever the cycle is and whatever an end looks like, as I face my own knowing of what is true, what will matter will be my ability to say yes, I’ve done what was mine to do, I’ve expressed what was mine to express, I’ve brought the gift that was mine to give, and I’ve lived the life that was mine to live; and most of all, I have served that reality that I came here to serve—that is the test of the fulfillment of a cycle.
This is also what allows me or anyone to bring what would be my greatest gift to my world and to other people. All the jocularity and need for familiarity and approval takes away from what we know when we walk through the door that initially looks like loneliness and solitude, but that ends up being a door into an experience of supreme focus within oneself. It is an experience of receiving, embracing and bringing into the world the greatest gift we have to give.
There is an expression about leadership that goes something like this: It’s lonely at the top. People who lead often have that experience, at least at times. Yet we are all born to lead, and we all belong at the top in our world, and we all have a calling to walk through a door that looks like loneliness and solitude. It does not actually end up that way, because if you embrace that for yourself, you find that there is presence in that solitude. There is not just loneliness. And one of the gifts of being alone is finding that you are not. You are never alone.
In one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most moving speeches, he talked about his experience of this. He was speaking about facing the great challenges during the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott:
I could hear an inner voice saying to me, “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And I will be with you, even until the end of the world.” …I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. Almost at once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared.
When we come to a place of serving the highest reality we know, that highest reality is with us; the presence of that reality is there and never, ever lets us down. It is always there to bring the gift of the moment; it’s always available to call on. And if there is a challenge in a circumstance, there is always a greater love in that presence for you to bring to that circumstance. And if there is something confounding in your life, there is always a greater wisdom available that sees more than you have yet seen.
In giving that greater love and wisdom expression in life, it is likely for anyone that they will turn a few people off and they will end up turning some people away. There are not too many who embrace their own solitude who have the same friends when they come out the other end as when they went in. You have to be ready to have a different kind of relationship with the people in your world when you wear the crown that is rightly yours to wear. Because whatever relationship you have had with the people in your world, you now have a different relationship. However your outer roles may appear, they are now in your kingdom if you accept that reality for yourself. They are now part of that reality that you are knowing for yourself, so they are now included in that reality. They have become one of your people. And whatever they do, however wonderful, however dramatic, however inscrutable, however nonsensical, neither they nor you can change that reality unless you are willing to take your crown off your head and live a different life.
My experience is that all the familiarity and comradeship of the familiar world that I knew does not begin to touch the love and friendship that I know with people who unabashedly wear their crown, with people who have unabashedly walked through a doorway into a different experience, and who therefore are themselves in position to open a door from another reality. There is a door to walk through to enter that experience. Biblically, the experience of another world was spoken of as the Garden of Eden, with an entrance guarded by cherubim who held flaming swords.
I have a simpler way of describing the door to another world of experience. The door is selflessness. And there is no real selflessness without selfless service to a higher reality. I am not talking about charitable works here, per se, as noble as charitable works may be. You could do many charitable works and not pass through this door. Walking through this door, you know the reality of love, which brings oneness. You know beauty unspeakable. You have the opportunity of reclaiming or, to use a religious term, redeeming your own humanity. You have the opportunity to redeem your own soul for the deepening expression of yourself and the reality you know.
If you are facing a door in your life that looks like solitude, these words may strike you as somber. Grave. Solitude can look like that. Yet within that solitude is freedom and joy. Embracing your own solitude, you are free. You find the source of your happiness and joy. You find the greatest gift you have to bring to the world.
I invite you to enter fully into that reality and, in so doing, inherit the magic of creation, the magical creative power of the truth of love, set free through the doorway that you are to your world.
I love the fact that we were all born with the faculties for listening to the Transcendent Voice of our Creator, and take up the invitation ( from Howard) at our Service this morning, to ‘cleanse the static’ so that the transmission may be pure and clear in our expression of the Divine in the worlds that we inhabit and birth anew – i wish to do just that. My deep appreciation for the invitation to consider solitude in the light of a transcendent perspective and birth the NEW. This morning has been a rich experience with friends here.
Solitude is not only freedom but also quite,rest,peace,joy,calm and still. I am reminded of 1Kings 19:11-12: “And behold the Lord passed by and a great and strong wind tore into the mountain and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not not in the wind and after the wind and earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake, a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire;and after the fire A STILL SMALL VOICE.” It matters not what caos is going on in our world today. We have so much power at the core of our being when we “be still and know”and let that magical creative power of truth and love, of which you made mention,flow from each of us into the world.
The place of solitude is the place where one’s core being resides.We go there to be more deeply aligned with our true self and true thoughts. It is a place of solace.
Petty human ambitions and the razzle-dazzle distractions of the daily round are not allowed in this place.
Most people avoid the place of solitude indeed are frightened of it but those who have even touched the periphery of this place know it’s deep contemplative pleasures and that it is there that their true being resides.
To reside in the place of solitude is to leave behind the world of behaviour and enter the world of deeds.
Best regards to all.
How tenderly & dearly I honor the sacred experience/journey you have so “Word-fully” & creatively portrayed here. A glimpse of Holy Communion with the Most High is a Holy of Holies treasure beyond “all” one’s beliefs. My radiant heart deeply thanks you for so simply and lovingly seeking to clothe and artistically reveal the steps -open to each one of us–> to gracefully BE PRESENT to this Awesome Legacy of
Great LOVING & CREATIVITY. Stepping into the silence, the seeming darkness/loneliness with necessary humility seems so worthy of the Eternal RADIANT GIFT awaiting us all.