Recently we’ve been considering the end of loneliness. I wrote a Pulse of Spirit on the theme and we have been talking about it at Sunrise Ranch. And then yesterday, we had a live-stream video call for all of the Creative Field participants where we considered it.
I’d like to read a recent report on loneliness:
Do you feel lonely? You are not alone.
One in 10 Americans say they feel isolated from those around them all or most of the time; half-a-million Japanese report suffering from social isolation and the United Kingdom appointed a minister for loneliness—the first of its kind—prompting leaders at the Davos World Economic Forum to discuss the growing global health concern last week….
Stephanie Cacioppo, director of the Brain Dynamics Lab at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, is researching a pill that she hopes will prevent at-risk individuals from experiencing chronic loneliness—an undertaking that has been met with both interest and criticism in the scientific world.
“Being lonely increases the risk of dying earlier by 26 percent, which is actually more than obesity,” Cacioppo told Fox News. “Loneliness is widespread and contagious….”
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published an article entitled “Alone in the Crowd: The Structure and Spread of Loneliness in a Large Social Network.” It reported the following:
Loneliness occurs in clusters, extends up to three degrees of separation, is disproportionately represented at the periphery of social networks, and spreads through a contagious process.
Researchers are saying that if you’re associating with lonely people, you’re apt to catch it, in the same way that if you associate with people who are full of life and connection, that’s contagious too. Happiness! Now, there’s an epidemic I’d like to spread.
The Trustees of Emissaries of Divine Light have been considering the root causes of loneliness, understanding that loneliness is only one face of a syndrome in human experience, and it’s a syndrome of separateness. Loneliness is the more introvertish, withdrawn phase. But there is a more active phase of separateness too. We can be very active in the world while having a sense of separation from others. World leaders do it all the time. Separateness is a source of widespread destruction. But it is not only in world leaders.
So what is the root cause of loneliness? There are many factors involved, but when we get right down to the root of it, it is disconnection from the source of love and wisdom available within all people. It is separation from Divine Source.
The antidote for loneliness is spiritual centering, because at its root, loneliness is a spiritual issue, and the beginning of the end of loneliness is found in spiritual centering. When we are spiritually centered, we are filled up from within. We are connected, first of all, to the source of all life within ourselves, and then we are connected to that same source in other people, and we feel connected.
On any credible spiritual path, spiritual centering, by whatever name, is one of the first things that we learn about. And so here we are, wayfarers all, and we are coming back around to this most foundational of disciplines: spiritual centering.
In 1936 a man at the ripe old age of twenty-nine wrote a volume that has had a profound impact on people down through the decades. His name was Lloyd Arthur Meeker and he wrote under the pen name Uranda. We have republished his book recently with illustrations. It’s called Seven Steps to the Temple of Light.
The book addresses spiritual centering. I read the following words for the first time as a seventeen-year-old, and they came to my mind as foundational for me personally. So as I reflect on spiritual centering in this cycle of my life and in our life together, the book came to mind. I ask for your understanding of the fact that he wrote using a masculine name for the human experience, intending to address both women and men.
This is from the first paragraph from the first chapter, entitled “Patience”:
Patience relates to the physical nature of the outer man. In it is a resignation to the Will of the Wonderful One within. In it is a perfect unconcern in regard to that which may take place in the outer world. In true Patience is the steadfast attitude toward the unreal, “IT MATTERS NOT TO ME.” Thus it is that the outer man is free from all attachments of the outer world and, being free, perfect Patience is maintained in Tranquility. Let Love Radiate without concern for results.
This is from the first paragraph of the second chapter, entitled “Tranquility”:
Tranquility relates to the mental nature of the outer man. In it is the perfect Peace of the Wonderful One within. In Tranquility is the everlasting attitude toward external events wherein one can truly say, “NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME.” Tranquility is the supreme virtue of the outer man, for therein is perfect freedom from all external turbulence—perfect freedom in the limitless Eternal. In Tranquility all unwanted characteristics are dissolved, for nothing of a destructive nature can abide therein. Tranquility springs forth from the Fountain of Realization. Let Love Radiate, without thought of results.
Here are two messages that point, essentially, to one spiritual discipline. He talks about facing the things of the world—perhaps the destructive tendencies of other people, which he refers to as “the unreal.” And he has two ways of describing the attitude that we can take in such situations: “IT MATTERS NOT TO ME” and “NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME.”
If we are of the necessity of making such statements, it might be because the unreal is moving us, at least a little bit. So here is a reminder to become so spiritually centered that we are not reacting to any negativity around us. It is a call to become the spiritual warrior who is unmoved in the face of the destructive tendencies of the world in which we live.
We are in a world where there are things that are happening that are difficult in many ways. (You can describe your own difficulty.) And yet our thriving as a human being has altogether to do with our own spiritual centering, because in spiritual centering we hear the music of Creation. We feel the Love within Creation, and we are bringing it on through. We feel the very urge of Creation, which is what Love is. It is what powers all things and holds all things together. It is the urge to create and to become what we are destined to be. It is that urge within us all that is compelling us to come together, out of loneliness, into synergy, co-creation and communion.
But there has to be a lack of distraction for us to feel and respond to that inner urge. There are no guarantees in the evolution of our own life or on the world scene. Our crisis is a birth, but only if the inner urge of Creation is being born through somebody—which takes conscious focus and a spiritual discipline to tune in to that urge.
So it is an act of spiritual warriorhood to stand in the face of all that tells you to react to the unreal, and stay spiritually centered. It takes spiritual warriorhood to accept that creative urge and act on it. It is possible to be so distracted that you’re not listening to the music, you’re not feeling the urge in your own heart. So the spiritual discipline is the conscious practice of tuning in, first of all, in special times of spiritual practice, such as meditation, prayer, journaling or yoga. But then it’s the developed spiritual practice in the living of life to face the difficult things—the difficult events and, dare we say, the difficult people—and then, in the face of those things, to have the courage to tune in while you’re expressing out.
Isn’t that the art of it? To walk in the world in which we live, just like everybody else, but in the middle of all that to attune inward? That is spiritual centering. I might be looking at you or looking around at the world, but inside there is part of me that is in constant prayer. I’m tuning in more and more deeply. And the more difficult the situation becomes, the deeper the spiritual centering has to become. It can’t be that when we face something difficult our spiritual centering fades. No, we face something difficult and our centering becomes more powerful. There is a vertical column of reality that we become in the face of unreality, or in the face of destructive forces around us.
This is relevant for us as individuals, but certainly this is what we are called upon to know as humanity now, in this day. In the face of all that is happening in the world, where do we go? To a retreat into loneliness and separation? Being at the mercy of what is happening in the world around us? Or do we simply tune in more and more deeply?
Think about this: Is it not true that in all kinds of ways, the people around you and the world around you seek to define you somehow? By some kind of reputation that you have in a certain sphere; by things people say? Even people closest to you can tend to define you and tell you what kind of a person you are. It can sometimes be very difficult to face. And sometimes it’s rather nice. People say good things about you. Ooh, I like that. But ultimately, what defines you or me? I’d be nervous about living a life where the world around me is defining who I am. It might go well on a given day, but it might not go so well on another day, and then what do I do?
I choose to be defined from above. Who I am and what I’m made of and what I am like—my character—isn’t what you tell me it is. It’s what I receive when I am spiritually centered. It isn’t even what I think about myself. I would have been a dead duck a long time ago, if that happened. I don’t let what I think about myself define me. I don’t let what I did yesterday define me.
I’m here now. I’m being defined by the inner reality of who I am, the one that Uranda called the Wonderful One within. It is an inner reality of Being, an inner reality of Love, and the very urge of Creation that is irrepressible. It’s irrepressible in all of us unless we turn our back on it, which we apparently have the ability to do as human beings. It’s called loneliness: turning our back on the creative urge that calls us into life, calls us into Creation, calls us into evolution, as an individual and as a species. That urge is here. But it takes spiritual centering to receive it.
This urge comes with the intelligence of Creation. The plan for our becoming is encoded in the urge. So within the urge is the intelligence of how to act upon it. If you don’t tune in to the urge you don’t get the code, and you are left to figure life out as a lonely person.
We are called upon to be spiritual warriors and to be spiritually centered. But that is not the end of the process. When we are spiritually centered, creativity flows from us, and all kinds of wonder. But it all begins with spiritual centering. When we are spiritually centered it sets us up for communion and co-creation with others.
The communion part of relationship is the being part. We get to be together. That’s cause for a party right there. What a joy to be with other people, to commune. That’s the feminine, being face of relationship, but there is an active, masculine face, which is co-creation. I not only get to be with you, I get to create with you. There’s the synergy of being together in Creation.
All this comes out of spiritual centering, because if I am tuned in to the reality of the Wonderful One within me, that reality is not separate from you. I am set up for communion with you if I am spiritually centered. And if we’re all doing that together, we are set up for collective communion.
We are in communion now, and so we can co-create, without everybody going in ten million different directions. We are receiving the pattern that is in the urge that comes out of spiritual centering.
When you are in communion and co-creation with other people, the outer evidence of it is pleasure and fun. There begins to be a field of conscious awareness and of energy, a field of presence and power. That is the auric substance that is generated by spiritual centering, communion and co-creation. We are filled with joy as an individual and filled with joy together.
This is the recipe for the end of loneliness. We are generative by our nature, but it takes spiritual centering to come to the point of generation. Loneliness is the lack of generation. It is a double negative to call for the end of something that is nothing. We are here for the joy of generation together, which comes through our spiritual centering.
Spiritual centering. Communion and co-creation. Generation. This is the recipe for the end of the epidemic of loneliness.