Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
On the brink of battle, in Shakespeare’s Henry V, this is addressed to the king:
O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!
Have you ever had such a thought? “Sure do wish there were more people helping me!”
Here is the king’s reply, known as the St. Crispin’s Day speech:
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
The spiritual journey is often spoken of as a battle. I have no interest in shedding my blood or the blood of anyone else. But I do love the passion of this speech. And I have no idea what others will think in the days to come about what I am doing now. But I know that I am here to see something all the way through with those who will see it through with me. Perhaps you share that passion.
This is about taking total responsibility for doing what is ours to do in our life. It can be an awful thought to realize that what you do, or do not do, makes a great difference to the outcome of something that is important to you. People often dread that awareness and avoid it like the plague. It is far easier to think that what other people do will make the difference, or that what society at large is doing will make the difference. It is much more comfortable to think that, or at least it seems so. If we are associated with an organization of some kind, it is far easier, it seems, to think that what the leadership of that organization does is what is really going to make the difference in our life. Or that the culture of the organization, which is more nebulous than the leadership, is the most influential factor in what is important to us. It may be easy to think such things, but it is personally disempowering.
What you do or don’t do will make a great difference to the outcome of something that is important to you, and the process of spiritual evolution includes coming to terms with that realization. It includes taking on the apparent burden of responsibility for things you care about. It can seem like such a heavy burden. So the spiritual journey leads you to come to terms with your own tendency to shirk that responsibility and to project it on other people. It leads you to come to terms with your own dread of being a slave to what you care about— your dread that you could be woken up at any hour of the day or night in service to what you hold as important, or that you could be called upon to take some action—which, if you had not taken on the burden of what you care about, you might not otherwise have had to take. The spiritual journey is about taking on this, which appears to be a burden, and finding that it is the greatest joy and fulfillment of one’s life.
The spiritual journey takes a person to a higher and higher experience of Reality. But that experience does not come unless a person commits themselves to manifest all of what is possible in their world.
The sacred Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, speaks of the spiritual journey as a battle. It begins on the eve of war with this exhortation, spoken by Krishna to Arjuna:
How hath this weakness taken thee? Whence springs
The inglorious trouble, shameful to the brave,
Barring the path of virtue? Nay, Arjuna!
Forbid thyself to feebleness! it mars
Thy warrior-name! cast off the coward-fit!
Wake! Be thyself! Arise, Scourge of thy Foes!
The battle is a metaphor for a person’s willingness to fully enter their life, with all the confrontation, risk and opportunity it contains. A person enters the battle when they accept that they, themselves, are central to manifesting what they really care about.
The story of Gideon in the Old Testament of the Bible tells of another battle. In the story, Gideon is called upon to reduce the number of people who will join his army, until, like Henry V, he is greatly outnumbered. Nick Gordon wrote to me recently to share these thoughts about Gideon:
I have often thought of Emissaries of Divine Light in terms of Gideon’s army. His numbers were reduced until he had enough. It was not his idea to reduce his numbers. It was a requirement from God. The assignment was not to be accomplished by human might, a brilliant intellect or exceptional administration. It was to be done by the hand of God acting through them. This is the most excellent plan of victory.
While Gideon’s numbers were reduced until he had enough, it led to multiplication on the right basis. This is divine math.
When a person begins to come to terms with their own power to make a difference in their world, it is daunting. Often at first, they feel that they are all alone or greatly outnumbered as they take responsibility for manifesting what is important to them. Spiritual evolution is learning how to take on that responsibility. It is learning to participate in the process by which what is a potential actually manifests. It includes the realization that no one will ever join us in manifesting what we care about unless we engage in that process ourselves.
When you come to terms with these issues on your spiritual path, you have the opportunity to manifest the greatest potential for your world. And when you manifest in form the essence of what is precious to you, it is glorious. What greater pleasure and fulfillment is there than seeing what you love and treasure take form and thrive?
A person who commits themselves to what they love in this way has to face the risk that they may be unsuccessful in their efforts. They have to confront whatever it is that might stop them from carrying through on their efforts. But even if, for whatever reason, they fall short of what they have worked toward, they will live with the peace that comes from serving what is most important to them.
When you have done your best, when you have given all that is yours to give, when you have taken the action that is yours to take, how things turn out is how they turn out, and what other people do is what other people do, whatever it is. You have done your part in seeing something all the way through. You have done your part in manifesting what is potential for the world.