We Are Neighbors
Yellow Rays for petals
Oval shadows cast by sepals joining
Give you depth and dimension.
Tall and supple
You track the sun’s daily journey
Ready to catch the warmth and nourishment.
Today I wish to place you on my table
As an act of my care for my dinner guest.
Your spiny stem bristles in my hand.
I am not discouraged.
I know this about you,
Just as I know the time of year you bloom
And when your fruits are ripe,
For we are neighbors.
We live in the same valley,
Under the same rain.
Come to my table.
Bristles and Shadows,
Fruit and Suppleness
Will you help me honor my friends?
Your poem really touched me, Sara. That’s more intimacy than some people ever have with a person, let alone with a sunflower. I believe the invitation of your words is about staying with something. I’m not discouraged by the things I perceive and know about someone, if we want to hold the same heaven, if we’re more interested in that than the bristles.
Two years ago we had three big trees right across from the Pavilion slowly knocked down by the wind, all on the same day. Following that, the entire lawn was covered by seedlings. I remember standing there, looking at the seedlings with Michael Puharich, and he said, “This is the manifestation of the power of the sun.” It was a demonstration of the power of the sun unleashed because the trees were no longer blocking the grass from the sun’s rays. All those seeds were there, waiting for the right conditions. Remove the shade and voila!
In our own experience, the power of life can be denied by the way in which we are blocking it. There is the power to create all the seedlings within us that become a forest in no time if the life current is not blocked. In this instance, the trees themselves were blocking that energy.
There are ways we have learned to love that prevent us from experiencing what we are capable of sharing. We’ve grown trees that are in the way! Have you ever learned that about yourself? “I’ve been doing this all along and I actually don’t like the outcome, but I didn’t realize that I was choosing it. I thought I was made that way.”
Do not be discouraged if you find you are “this way” or “that way,” whatever way that is. And do not be discouraged if you find that about your friends. Let the sun of who you are shine on them and see what grows. See what actually happens when they feel the full impact of the sun’s love through you. Can you love somebody when they mess up and hurt you? When you feel rejected and neglected? Or do you have to walk away and say, “I don’t love you anymore”? Sometimes it feels like that is the only choice. This may be the time to realize there is more to see and understand about ourselves, see what may have been blocked.
This morning in the Sunday Loveland Reporter-Herald newspaper there was an article about the Hadron Collider in Switzerland: “The Race for the Secret of the Universe.” Yesterday one of my patients mentioned this to me and was himself fascinated by this Collider. He was wondering why they have it. To develop weapons? As a new source of power? Or to discover the secrets of the universe? I’d like to read some of this article:
“Last September at Fermilab—the legendary physics research facility just outside Chicago—several of the nation’s top scientists gathered at 1:30 a.m. to hold a somewhat bittersweet all-nighter. They wanted to be together when they, and America, fell behind in what many consider the most important and resonant competition in science: the search for the elusive Higgs boson, also known as ‘the God particle.’…
“That title, however, would be relinquished at 2 a.m. Chicago time, when scientists in Switzerland were scheduled to switch on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new $9 billion, 17-mile-round particle accelerator located near Geneva….
“In a Fermilab control room equipped with a satellite link to the LHC, the Americans watched together as science history was made half a world away. Eight days later, there was a very serious accident…. No one was hurt, but a catastrophic electrical failure led to a section of the underground ring being taken out, and pipes were vaporized by a lightning bolt of escaping energy. Repairing it would take at least a year and tens of millions of dollars.”
Now maybe that doesn’t fascinate you in the way it does me. They spent nine billion dollars, and then another ten million, looking for the God particle. The God particle is, supposedly, what will tell us how everything is made. It will explain the Big Bang theory and how human beings are created. I have a suggestion of another way in which that might happen:
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:5,6)
It doesn’t cost anything to find out how the universe works, to find the “God particle.” Stay still enough and quiet enough in your closet and pray. Hold the heaven long enough in your closet to perceive the connection between yourself and the divine. And guess what? You won’t blow up eight days after you start! Mankind, when it is separate from the divine, from the way the divine creates, does think it has a better idea. It thinks it can analyze the creative process of the universe while being separate from it. It’s amazing how much it costs to have a better idea and how much damage can be done as a result.
So I am not here to object to scientific endeavors but to say that we have an incredible capacity to use our minds to think creatively in other ways. I’m very thankful for that. The conscious capacity is best served when one is in the closet, paying attention to what is coming down from heaven, connected to the divine. I might call that the God particles of creative possibility.
After the verse I quoted from Matthew, this follows:
“After this manner therefore pray ye”—in your closet, listening—“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name….” (Matthew 6:9)
What are you paying attention to? When we face the Divine, we may say, “Holiness be Thy name. Let me birth something that is holy and blessed, in Thy name, and therefore in my name. Let me not leave my closet with vain imaginations of my mind, but let me birth something that is holy.” In that place, our prayer is all the same—all the same: Let us all birth something that is holy together, precious and blessed and life-giving, and magnifying of spirit and holiness and beauty and of the sun, and the seed and the tree and the fruit that will come upon the dry land because we stay in the closet long enough to ask, what is holy that I might bring? What is true? What would the sun birth now? I am that sun; I am the representation of holiness and blessing. And I am not separate from you.
I am not discouraged.
I know this about you.
Despite the parts that may sometimes bristle or sting, I know that this is the truth of all people. Can I listen long enough to hear it, so that I know that which is holy, that which is true and pure and of love? It takes courage to birth something. I will take a step; I will do it. I will pay attention to what comes to me in the closet of my praying, and to the sun that comes through my heart and my love. I will not say I want my own special little garden or that I will keep this little garden for myself. In the story of the Garden of Eden, that is what Eve was doing. “Go ahead, Lord, have this wonderful garden, but I want my own experience on my own terms. I’ll do it my way”—with one apple and nine billion dollars and seventeen miles of land dedicated to discovering the God particle. I see the God particle all over the place. I see it out there. I see it in here.
I spoke earlier about finding out that you are “this way “ or “that way.” Most people have unique qualities of character and, with that, attributes that they may view as limitations. In the midst of all that, anyone can choose to release themselves into a reality that is unlimited. And being open to the truth of yourself, you can accept yourself exactly as you are now and still bring a blessing, still bring the sun, still birth something sacred and beautiful, while feeling and thinking many different things.
Sara was saying to me this morning, I’ve learned to love this way, and I want to let the current move through clearly and cleanly now. If that is your desire, do you think you’re not going to be uncomfortable? Things are going to have to shift around a little bit to bring the fullness of the truth of yourself. I’m going to have to acknowledge that who I have been has not been the whole truth of me. I may have to stay in the closet long enough to realize I don’t like the way I do something. I may have to weep a bit about the fact that I’ve created my own little garden, based on loving this way, when in fact I want to love in a wholesome way and be part of the Garden, the holy Garden.
I’m incredibly thankful for the generation of this morning and look forward to what will actually come forth from the closet of my prayer, as I say, “My Father who art in heaven…” I am in heaven with you and the revelation of myself is holy. My words and your words—this is our prayer.