Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
We are on a journey here this morning (and this evening if you’re in Africa.) We sometimes speak of it as a spiritual journey.
The founder of the Emissaries, Uranda, at one point was addressing people who were on his mailing list as “Fellow Wayfarers.” And the poem that Ted Black shared with us here two weeks ago posed that there was a journey to take: “…walk out with me toward the unknown region….” There’s something exciting about being on a journey, and maybe something perilous as well.
There are many good stories about journeys. I’m thinking now of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Many of the really good stories about journeys have the person taking the journey come to an understanding that they have already arrived, even before they began the journey, at the place to which they were seeking to go. Dorothy found out that she was already home. But there was a necessity of taking a journey to find out that that was true. In her case, there was a delusion involved from bumping her head. Maybe that, too, is a metaphor for what has happened to humanity: In some way we’ve lost consciousness of where we are, and so we go on a journey to find it.
That journey can look perilous. It looks like there’s an unknown region to go into. And there’s something fun about that—there’s something exciting about raising your courage to go there. Of course we may decide not to go into the unknown, though life has a way of taking us there anyway.
I was listening to a talk of Uranda’s recently that was recorded in 1953. He was talking about meditation and he was saying that, for most people, the process of meditation is something like a journey. It’s a going in—it’s a way of meditating on heaven, in an attempt to go there, to travel there. That can be a wonderful thing.
Uranda was suggesting that we have another opportunity in meditation, because if we really do go on a spiritual journey, all our journeying brings us to a point of realizing where we already are. From that place of being, from that place of love, as we have been speaking of it, the pattern of meditation changes. It is no longer about going in. We realize that we already are in. If you think about it, that must be true, because if who and what we are could ever reach that place of being in—whatever “in” is—some part of us must already be in, must already be there. Maybe the job is really to take the full body of our experience and bring it there. From that place, we have the opportunity to look out.
And as Uranda was saying in the recording I was listening to, then our meditations are of a different nature. They are out-going. We are then faced with another kind of challenge, which isn’t “How do I get in?” The challenge, we come to understand, is actually “How do I get out?”
How do I get out? Do you ever feel that in your own life? Many of us have probably taken the multitude of personality tests and astrological categorizations. There’s one of those, called the Myers-Briggs, which has about half of us being introverts. If you’ve ever experienced yourself as having some of the qualities of an introvert, maybe you know a little bit of what I’m talking about, and perhaps you’ve asked yourself, “How do I get out? How do I let what I know myself to be live in this world and be shared with other people?”
That’s a challenge of transparency of a different nature—not the kind of transparency that has us gazing up into the stars or up into the heavens, gazing in to see God and finally seeing the vision of the Almighty. This kind of transparency is the kind that lets us reveal who we are to our world. That’s one of the joys of being a musician—you get to show parts of yourself that would be hard to show any other way. You have the opportunity to show parts of your heart, parts of your spirit, and ultimately parts of who you are, because you can express it in music. But that’s only one way to do it. There are so many ways to get out, to be out.
We’ve said for a long time that this Emissary program was looking for leaders. Many of you, I’m sure, who have been around this program for a while are aware that there was a communication that we sent out around the world that said: “Leaders Wanted.” Behind that was the understanding that it wasn’t just any kind of leader that we were looking for. For instance, I don’t see before me an assemblage of political leaders. I don’t see before me particularly an assemblage of corporate leaders. While the kind of leadership we’re talking about doesn’t preclude any of those things, we’re really talking about something else in its essence.
The kind of leadership we’re talking about is from a person who is in, looking out. It’s from a person who has been on a spiritual journey, has traveled in, only to find that that’s where they were all the time. And being in, in that sense, there is a knowing of mastery that such a person brings. This kind of mastery brings an example of living from that place. But it’s also the mastery of assistance, because if I’ve been on a spiritual journey, and I know how that journey goes, I can be of understanding assistance to another person. That’s the kind of leader that we are looking for in this program.
So we invite people on a journey to that place of mastery. It’s a journey of learning and transformation. It is seemingly a perilous journey. There are many reasons not to travel that path. It is a journey that in some of its phases requires total selflessness, because the old sense of self that a person has, that they’re dragging along, will prevent them from the final destination, which is knowing who one is and revealing it. So how would it be possible to carry along an old sense of self that isn’t entirely true of you, if this journey is about being wholly and completely who you are? It’s not possible. So you cannot be serving that old sense of self in any way and complete this journey.
Another leader of this program had a pretty hard word for serving the old sense of self: it was “self-centeredness.” Self-centeredness. Of course, that’s a trap for the person, because what is thought of as being self-serving is actually self-destruction. Real liberation lies in selflessness.
A well-known saying came to mind this week. I looked it up and it’s attributed to a well-known source: “Anonymous.” It goes like this: “Time is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.” Time is about the journey, isn’t it? We journey through time and space; and, from one standpoint, that is very much the way this looks. We walk around on the earth, we go different places—we’re journeying through time and space.
There is another perspective to it all. I remember playing with this as a teenager. Maybe you’ve tried it. I would be driving in my car, particularly if it was a long trip, and pretend to myself that I was staying still and the road and all the scenery was passing me by. If you haven’t done it, try it sometime; it’s a lot of fun. You can pretend that when you turn the wheel, you’re turning all the scenery. There’s something true about that. In some way, the world comes to us, and we can experience it that way.
I’ve shared with some of you my own process of transformation in this regard. It was when Joyce and Helena and I were living in New York City. We’d lived there about a year and a half. We were right in the heart of Manhattan, and it was noisy. Not only was it physically noisy, it was vibrationally noisy. I was always thinking about where I would get away to on the weekend, or I would wonder, “Just how long do I need to live in this city?”
There came a time when, for me, I said to myself, “Dave, you might live the rest of your life in this place. Deal with it! Be here! Stop thinking about where you’re going next. Just be here.” I’d been told for a long time that there was no way to spiritual mastery without accepting your circumstance fully. I had tried, but I don’t think I had done it until that time. I can tell you, I felt myself as a powerful being when I did that. I knew that I could be there in the center of Manhattan and accept that place fully, and know that no matter where I went, it was the scenery around me. I was in one place, and I would never leave that one place. That’s a powerful way to be in your life.
People talk about “the eternal.” Usually after those words comes “resting place.” There is the place of eternality, when we stop trying to manipulate this space-time continuum to make us happy. We stop trying to change things around, and we stop trying to be someplace else. When we stop seeing ourselves as wandering around in the earth from one place to another, or journeying through time, when we begin to experience ourselves as simply being present, giving thanks for all that’s here, accepting it all, we’re beginning to touch into eternality.
You can’t find yourself anyplace else. True selfhood is in that place of eternality. You can try to find out what your life is about just by journeying, moving through space and time. Perhaps we will improve ourselves; maybe we will become enlightened. There’s a wonderful journey in life, and we need to be on the journey that comes to us, so that’s all part of it. Yet we don’t find ourselves until we find ourselves in the eternal, beyond the space-time continuum. And from that eternal place we can look out on our world, and we find, as this amusing quote says, that time is our way of keeping everything from happening at once. Space is a way to paint a picture. It’s a wonderful thing. But in a very important way, we are bigger than time and we are bigger than space. Knowing that, what a pleasure it is to move in time and space.
We had a spiritual meditation teleconference last night. Many of you know that Jerry Kvasnicka is an experienced astrologer. He was speaking about how we are moving through the galaxy; and in this phase of things, as we approach the year 2012, we are moving into a different part of galactic space. He was telling us that, while there is something of particular note in 2012 that’s happening, in fact we’re always moving into a different part of galactic space. There’s always a different configuration of planets and a different way our whole solar system relates to all that’s around.
So I thought I was being particularly witty, as we were considering some of the imponderables of what happens in 2012 and what might happen to us, when I said, “I eat galaxies for lunch.” Metaphorically speaking, that is true of each of us. We are bigger than galaxies. Who we are is bigger than galaxies, at least bigger than the physical makeup of galaxies. That’s in the space-time continuum. Who we are extends well beyond that. We obviously play in the continuum, but we play very differently when we know that who we are lives in a place that transcends it.
So, leaders wanted—those who have been on enough of a journey that they’ve come to a place of mastery. They know who they are in the eternal. And because they know that, they can play, first of all, in their own soul in a masterful way; and they can play in a masterful way in the world that we live in, which is a whole topic itself.