Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
(Previn Hudetz, accompanying himself on piano, sang “I Remember,” by David Karchere.)
It’s interesting to use the word “remember” in a spiritual context. In the usual use of the word, it relates to the past. But in the context that we’re speaking of this morning, the memory is of a reality that is constantly with us, though largely forgotten. Remembering is a good word for the process of allowing something to come into consciousness that has largely been out of consciousness for humanity as a whole, and perhaps for us individually. When we allow for something of this memory to be restored, the world looks different.
This has to be the primary issue for humanity these days. Recently there has been, in the scientific world, the human genome project. As part of the project, scientists have mapped out the entire human genetic structure. Maybe that is a mirror of something else that’s going on—a reflection of a yet greater mapping out. We have our physical heredity, our physical genetics. There are also our spiritual genetics. A great part of the human experience is dependent upon that. It’s dependent upon something that you can’t quite pin down to the physical DNA.
This relates to culture. People’s cultural experience is a large determinant in what they know. That culture isn’t just confined to a particular ethnic group that a person may happen to be a part of, or a particular country. The culture we live in is very personal. We have a culture of one as an individual. We also live in a human culture that involves all of humanity. And there are all kinds of smaller cultures in which we live—national cultures, religious cultures, ethnic cultures, etc.
Drawing on another scientific field, we could ascribe the way human beings behave to the morphogenetic field in which they live. The term “morphogenetic field” has that word “genetics” inside it. The word includes the idea that that human beings, and in fact, all of creation, may behave according to what might be best described as a habit. For human beings, we somehow develop a habit of doing something, and once we get into that habit, we just keep doing it. Perhaps that is a good description of culture.
According to the theory, morphogenetic fields apply to all kinds of matter. But given that our own matter is self-conscious, when we as human beings “just keep doing it,” we tend to believe that it is the only way it could be done, and that this way of doing it, whatever it is, is the only way to do it. It is permanent and unchangeable, when in fact, it’s just a habit. It’s just our habit, and, in the case of humanity today, a habit based in a loss of memory.
So we have great leaders in the world who have come over centuries and indeed millennia to do exactly what Carol Travis did for us this morning so beautifully, which was to say, in essence, “Remember!” Remember that your true spiritual genetics are not defined by your habits. Pay attention to your true spiritual genetics, your true character, as Carol spoke of it, the character of the angel, using that word to refer to our spiritual heredity.
Do we come with that message in our life? “Wake up! Remember!” And just saying those words probably doesn’t get us very far. But if we bring the culture of those words, the culture of awakening, of remembering, and the atmosphere that goes with that culture in the tone and vibration of what we bring and the atmosphere of what we bring, others may relax, put away the well-established habit patterns, and remember something of who they are and why they are here.
I want to speak of a man on earth today who is playing his part in a range of awakening that’s occurring on our planet. His name is Al Gore. He’s reminding people of a certain habit that the humanity has gotten into. It’s a habit that could well be described as an addiction. It is the addiction to fossil fuel. And that’s exactly what it is—an addiction. Having discovered a way of extracting this wonderful stuff a hundred and fifty years ago, it has become a well-established habit of living off it. It seemed like a good idea. It has literally fueled Western civilization over these last one hundred years, and it’s made all kinds of things possible that wouldn’t have been possible in the same way otherwise. But, like any narcotic, it has unintended consequences.
For one, as Al Gore is pointing out, the use of this particular substance fouls our earth and its atmosphere. It is not hard to figure out that you can’t foul the context in which you live without doing something similar to yourself, so there have been public health implications.
A little over a week ago Al Gore issued what he called “A Generational Challenge to Repower America.” In it, he quoted an OPEC oil minister rather humorously, saying, “The Stone Age didn’t end because of a shortage of stones.” His point is we shouldn’t be waiting till we’ve totally run out of oil to kick the habit. He suggests that there are renewable resources available to us.
“Scientists have confirmed that enough solar energy falls on the surface of the earth every 40 minutes to meet 100 percent of the entire world’s energy needs for a full year…. And enough wind power blows through the Midwest corridor every day to also meet 100 percent of US electricity demand. Geothermal energy, similarly, is capable of providing enormous supplies of electricity for America.”
We could easily recognize that solar power is already doing an amazing job of providing energy for our planet. It keeps us all warm, for starters, and it powers photosynthesis, without which there wouldn’t be life on this planet. Perhaps Gore’s statement is a reflection of another kind of awakening, an awakening to the fact that we have everything that we need without relying on substance abuse; that there actually is ample provision if we would learn to live within it and rely on it, and live according to the natural patterns of life that are established for us and for this planet.
Seemingly, we’re well beyond that established pattern, certainly in some of the obvious ways we’ve been considering this morning, but also in less obvious ways. Living within a larger design of being requires, first of all, a simple remembering of it, an acknowledgment of it; an acknowledgment that there is a larger pattern, first of all. Having acknowledged it, there also has to be a willingness to allow the shape of one’s life to conform to that pattern.
From the standpoint of identification with our earthly heredity, without remembering the heavenly heredity, that seems like a tough business, to conform to some larger pattern. It seems like an assault on liberty. If a person is identified with the habitual shape and pattern of their life, then it seems like a huge challenge, not just to something about them but to the very core of who they have become. If I’m identified with getting in my car and being able to drive wherever I want to drive, then if somebody tells me there’s a chance I won’t be able to do that, I am being challenged, not just something that is more or less peripheral to my life. And that’s one example. At every level of human experience, it’s the same thing.
With a little perspective, it’s awfully petty. From the standpoint of vertical memory, my selfhood is not at risk. Because it isn’t, I have the opportunity for fluidity, and with fluidity comes mastery. I don’t have to drive down the street. I don’t have to do whatever I do this way. I don’t have to be stuck in my morphogenetic field, either in terms of what I do or what I think or what I feel. I could do it differently.
If you just look at the field of human emotion and psychological patterns, how identified people can become with those things! There is the pattern itself, and the long story about my patterns. We’ve all got them, probably, to some degree or another: how I got this way, and why I can’t be different. That is what it comes down to. An exploration of those histories can be useful to a point. It can be useful to explore something of one’s past and how one got to where one is in terms of how one feels and expresses. But at some point, how about just saying it’s a bad habit? I got into a bad habit of acting this way emotionally. And if I got into that habit, I could establish a new pattern, a new habit.
I’ll tell you my belief: My belief is that I can wake up one morning and just decide to do things differently. And I believe that about you too. It might take a little work; we might have to go cold turkey. We might have to catch ourselves reverting to the old habit. But we could just decide to do it differently, particularly if the way we’re deciding to do it is based in our spiritual heredity, our spiritual genetics. Of course, the decision has to be a matter of the heart and not just a matter of thought.
You can’t change the greater part of your spiritual genetics, no matter what bad habits you got into. There is a range of our morphogenetic field we can mess with, apparently. There are habits we can establish, and then in establishing those habits it can seem like you can’t do anything different. But where there is an awakening to vertical memory, we find we can live into that.
I can share one of my addictive habits that I managed to deal with at one point along the way. I smoked off and on for a number of years. One day I just let go of the habit. It was as simple as that for me. I just decided I was going to let go of that habit. It proved to be a hallmark for me for a lot of other things. You know, a habit is really hard to break if you’re holding on to it, because as much as you’re trying to push it away, if in some way—even if it is unknown to yourself—you are holding on to your love for that cigarette, you keep pulling it back to yourself. But if you really let go, it just goes. Of course, it is a lot easier if your natural inclination to connect is connecting to something different than the object of the habit. It’s easy to let go of an old habit if you’re opening yourself to something new and wholesome.
I was thinking this morning of listing all the things that people think are impossible. I didn’t do that, but you might try to do it for yourself sometime. Then ask yourself, how much of that is habit? Even dying! Is dying maybe just a bad habit? Maybe it is. Maybe it’s just a bad habit we got into, and there’s a different way to do this.
GAIL DAWSON: David, there are times when I get really, really tired of the story I’m telling myself, and who I’m telling it to, the way I’m telling it, and how long I’ve been telling it. And at those points, it’s almost like you wake up—maybe it’s in the morning—you just wake up and you go, “You know, I don’t need this story!” And it’s not so much a memory for me, it’s more of an experience of that place where there is no story. And it’s like that’s it, and that’s what I will connect to and bring into the earth. Not the story, but beyond the story. Thank you.
JANE ANETRINI: David, I appreciate your mentioning of habits in the emotional and mental range, because there are things that people think habitually, “I can’t… You don’t see me… You won’t let me… The world doesn’t love me. I’m not good enough.” These are habits. The vertical energy you invoked brings the feeling of largeness, and with that comes a personal knowing that those phrases are just so habitual and such a lie.
DAVID KARCHERE: Thank you, Jane. I’m thinking of two words. The first one is “discipline,” and the other one is “mastery.” If you think about it, they’re about exactly the same thing, and it’s all a matter of perspective. If you are in the experience of one who is being disciplined, then you probably use that word. If you are in the place of offering exquisite grace and control to what you’re doing, that’s mastery.
So where do we want to be in all that? At every range of our experience, do we want to be in an experience of being disciplined and look at the world and our own experience that way? Or do we want to be in a place that’s above that and in a place of mastery? I know what the answer is for me. I want to be in a place of regal splendor, as the song spoke of. “I remember that regal splendor.” So good to remember that together and to be in that place.