Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
(Carol Travis welcomed all on the phone line. Donald Ford sang, a cappella, “Speak to My Heart.” Then members of the Deepening Spiritual Expression Class spoke: Susan Schmickle, Donald Ford, Tisha Hudetz and Patrick Padden.)
It is good to feel that deeper, more real, divine communion level of communication that Tisha and Patrick touched with us—something inside of the words. So much more is happening than we see on the surface. Our most important connection is being-to-being, where we share communion with truth and love, with God; a connection not just in what we exchange consciously but subconscious-to-subconscious because things in your experience correlate with things in mine and in this moment we evoke that together.
How alive is what we transmit on this inner level? Something can happen because of you and me that is in a certain way radioactive, that awakens aspects of being in those around us.
The participants in these Deepening sessions have awakened things in me, just from the way you expressed yourselves and showed me the context from which you come. Among many other things, I was reminded that the twentieth century has passed on and, although the current of the spirit is ageless, we needed to find the appropriate clothing that would activate awareness, healing and deepening in the year 2008. As a person awakens, he or she becomes increasingly aware of what has always been. But we don’t get to be radioactive by trying to repeat what’s always been. We get to be radioactive by being here now. Only then do we find out that the way it’s working now was actually the same way it worked for our elders and their elders and for the great pioneers and spiritual leaders through history.
I have been honored in this week to have been given the respect of an elder. I thank the participants for that. This too has activated something in me—a hope, actually. As there are younger, spiritually aware people who are ready to be held in a container by others—who may or may not be physically older but who hold open a current of love and truth—then something radioactive occurs. When I see people allowing themselves to be held by elders, that gives me hope. And it gives me responsibility. I expect it gives you responsibility too. There are people who need you and me to create containers so they can be held and move and deepen and open and commune with the truth of themselves and with the current of the spirit.
What does it take to live a radioactive life? To allow things to move, to be activated, to be deepened, healed, opened, accessed, in our presence? What does it take to build an electrically charged container among teams and groupings of people and communities and collectives? What does it take to have a radioactive ministry, something that activates people near and far in the way that we’re speaking?
I want to use, as a metaphor, the Ark of the Covenant from the days of the children of Israel, who, among others in many other places and from many other races, are our spiritual predecessors. The Ark tells us something about what it takes to build an electrically charged, radioactive container.
The first thing is it’s basically a box made of wood. I think that the wood part is often underestimated. Easy to forget with all that gold on the outside. The wood is the shape and the structure and the substance of the box. Shittim wood, or acacia, is a rather dense and pungent wood that grows in the desert. The wood of the Ark represents the raw living of people, real experience. There is no way to build a radioactive, electrically charged container without people who are willing to face, to own, to be self-aware with respect to their own experience of what it is to be human, what it is to be present in the flesh, with all the factors, the wounds, the information and the conditioning that are present in our “earth suits” —in our personalities. Fully present in the flesh. It’s the real experience of living that is the foundation for whatever degree of electricity or radioactivity we might be capable of transmitting.
I’m remembering when I did Emissary class. I did a class here at Sunrise and I did a class at 100 Mile House in British Columbia. Two men inspired me tremendously. I’m going to mention their names because some of you will know them. Peter Kafka here at Sunrise Ranch—digging a ditch with Peter, where we put in the sewers to some of the buildings on the Ranch here. Michael Donck at 100 Mile House—painting window frames with Michael. That’s how I learned about spiritual expression, actually. That’s how I learned what was inside of the words.
Some of you online live in communities. Most of you engage in activities where there is little conscious exchange about spiritual things with those with whom you work. Few do that much teaching in an up-front way necessarily, and even those who do that spend most of our time in the setup and behind-the-scenes activities. You don’t have to be the overt conduit of illumination or healing in order to carry the current of inspiration. This is the wood of the Ark. If we are to develop radioactive containers, there has to be this kind of realness.
Maybe this is particularly so for men—but for me, thinking of Peter Kafka and Michael Donck, the absence of glitter was impressive to me. This was also true of some of my mentors: Rupert Maskell and Martin Exeter, for example. The unadorned truth in living doesn’t have much to do with trying to get it right or trying to prove something or trying to perform. These guys didn’t adjust their behavior to inspire me. They were just themselves.
It is not just individuals that inspire but also relationship. Agreement and governance. How it all fits together is very important. I know the people in our sessions were watching how those putting on the program related together, and what it was like to relate to us. Here was something that was put together in a way that worked.
So that’s the box, the wood of the container.
Clothing the wood of the Ark is gold. Those who lead transformative programs, such as The Deepening, understand that there are times when we take the current down in the sense of connecting with and challenging people’s raw experience. And there is a quality of inspiration that comes from taking the current up, creating a fineness of atmosphere in which priestly substance can be felt, in which essences of God, the finest essences of who we are, can come forward safely. The upward current is the gold. The real experience of living is clothed with an atmosphere that is felt to be in some way remarkable, in a certain way delicate, beautiful, magical. Our radioactive container will be clothed with that. When you come into contact with it, you know that there’s something beautiful, something remarkable here. The wood is clad in gold.
Inside the Ark are three elements of radioactive power, representing the three essential components of true faith. First the tablets—which were apparently records left by ancient sages to be translated by the priests and prophets of the days ahead. Here is the wisdom of the ages. They represent faith in our original worth; that we are made of good stock and inherit a legacy of remarkable understanding and power. The second element is the rod that budded, representing faith in life. Even that which looks dead will come to life. “Yes we can.” The third element is the manna, representing abundance: faith in the unexpected provision, the recognition that there is always more going on than we can see. As we have these three components of true faith in our box, we find we have the confidence to give people room; they start to relax around us, see that they are trusted and feel safe. And this electrifies the container. Remarkable transformations unfold before our eyes.
On the top of the Ark, of course, there are the wings of two cherubim forming what was called the mercy seat. Wings of enfoldment that hold creative tension. Can whatever may come in be met in your encompassing wings? What arises doesn’t have to be a certain way. Tension can be held. Movement can happen. There’s space for the unexpected. These encompassing wings that gather the energies of all the sides hold open the space of creation. As it was put, the spirit of God says, “There will I meet you.” When this kind of facility is present, it activates whatever is around. Whether personally in you, in a group or larger field, our container becomes radioactive. People touch the presence of it and their lives are changed.
Wood, gold, content and wings. Integrity, fineness, confidence and current. The Ark is found now in us. We each have a part to play in developing and holding a radioactive, electrically charged container that brings the energy needed to steward the movements happening on our planet today.