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Spiritual Activism

David Karchere

This week’s Pulse of Spirit is from the global teleconference service held at Sunrise Ranch during the Arise Festival. The service began with comments from Tierro Lee, co-producer of Arise.

Tierro Lee: What I want to share with you is that over the years so many of the staff and attendees have come to me and said, You know, this event has changed my life. I was going one way, and it helped me go the way I really wanted to go. This has really made a massive difference. They all say, The Arise Festival changed my life.

What I wanted to say to you is that Sunrise Ranch has changed my life. I could speak for Paul (Bassis), and I could speak for the entire staff, in saying that the connection and the space that the Ranch holds, and the intention that’s been here for so long, are felt by our staff, and it has changed our staff.

And I think, moving forward, when anybody asks me or tells me, as they often do, The Arise Festival changed my life, I will remind them that Sunrise Ranch has changed their life. Thank you.

David Karchere: I want to unashamedly enroll you as a spiritual activist today. I decided for myself a long time ago that while political activism is an honorable thing to be about, the greatest impact we can have in the world is through spiritual activism. I believe that is what’s happening here.

When something changes profoundly in me, I have the ability to invite a profound change in another person. When we change together, and when we create something like what we are creating at the Arise Festival, there is something profound that is rippling out into our world. So when we hear about the mass murders that just happened in El Paso and in Dayton, this is our answer. We look up. We rise.

It is said we tend to go in the direction that we look. If you look down at all the awful things that are happening in our world, and you stare at it too long, you’ll be diving down into it. Of course we all know it is there. But we have an answer. We’re going to look up, and because we look up we go up.

What does it mean to look up? It means to be really clear about what we hold as precious. It means we revere what is precious—we love it, we give it our all. It’s the people around us, it’s the planet itself, it’s the nature of our own Being. And then we have profound, awesome gratitude that there is the whole pattern of Creation that we get to be a part of. There is an order to the universe, and we’re part of that order. We are star fire for sure—not just random energy—constellated in a very specific and beautiful pattern as human beings.

Most people don’t even see that. They see the differences and think there is something wrong. There’s nothing wrong. We are beautiful the way we are. We are the beauty of all the universe made human flesh and human consciousness. The more we love and honor that, the more we rise up. And then we rise up together.

Have you seen anybody over the course of the last two or three days who was getting into trouble in their life? What was missing? If you see a friend in trouble, tell them to look up. Look up, please—look up! Don’t just look down and fall into the pit of whatever you’re diving into. Look up! And when you look up and open up, you find the ordering power of the universe. That ordering power is meant to descend down into the human psyche to make the human psyche strong. Our brothers and sisters are meant to be strong, sound and whole. And how do we become whole as an individual? We look up and allow the ordering power of the universe to come in, and it orders the human psyche. It makes us loving and truthful, radiant, and full of light.

So I say to my brothers and sisters, “Look up. Look up, please!” If we are up, and someone is looking at us, maybe they’re looking up, just by looking at us. And then they feel the urge to Arise! That’s what every individual on the face of this planet needs to do—to look up and become strong and become loving; become not less of who they are but more of who they are, and become someone they didn’t even know themselves to be.

In spiritual traditions around the world there is a teaching. You have to become nobody. It seems threatening. But I don’t care where you look, east or west, in whatever tradition you find that teaching, there it is in one form or another: you have to become nobody—no-body. Think about what that means.

We have a physical body. Does our physical body define who we are? If you are not feeling so well, if you are feeling sick—whatever is happening in your physical body—does that make you who you are? Are you going to dive into that sickness? Open to who you are before you think about the body you have.

How about your emotional body? Feeling some things that are hurtful? Is it bringing you down? Or perhaps something you are thinking about is bothering you. People worry about themselves or about other people. They have a body of thought.

You have to become no-body. Stop identifying with all that. Become no-body to become somebody. Become no-body to become who you are. Who you are is living in the universe. We have to become no-body to let who we are come in. We have to lose ourselves to find ourselves.

If you see somebody in trouble, that’s good advice: Become nobody. Leave behind all that that has defined you from your body of experience. You’ve got something much more than that to be about. Open up to the loving, ordering power of the universe. Let it come in and order your human psyche. Become strong.

If we can do that individually, we can do it together. That’s the joy of Arise. That’s the joy of Sunrise Ranch. We are here to look up together and let what is “up” come in so that we can find out who we are meant to be to one another. We are meant to be a friend, a co-creator and a healer, and so much more.

We each have healing power within us. I was in a group of people yesterday over in Wisdom Village. A young man was speaking about what was happening in his life and what he wanted to happen. I looked to the circle of people around him and said, “I believe you heard exactly what is happening for this man. And I believe that you know exactly what to do, because we are all healers.” When we hear the troubles of another person, I believe we know exactly the spiritual medicine that they need from us. And will we give it? Will we access it in ourselves and offer it to them? We can’t give it unless we are up. Then we have it to give.

Who are we meant to be to one another? Somebody who is a friend, somebody who heals, somebody who inspires, somebody who helps, somebody who co-creates? Maybe we need that most of all—somebody to create with. That has been one of the joys of Arise: we found people to create with, and we created all this magic.

This is our answer to what is happening in the world today. I want what we are doing here to grow, to rise even more, to become stronger and stronger and more and more loving. I want this answer to the world to be undeniable, not invisible; impossible to ignore. I believe we have the power to do that as an individual, but most of all together when, as individuals, we are strong and then we’re strong together.

We are only beginning. This is a bit of Brigadoon here. Year by year, the Festival awakens and happens. But it’s not just once a year. There is something being sustained throughout the year because we are bringing what we experience here to our individual families and communities.

This movement is growing. How big is it meant to be? There are only so many acres at Sunrise Ranch. But there is no limit to spiritual activism. It has to shine brighter and brighter and stronger and stronger. I want to be a part of that. I am a part of that, and I want to do that with you, each and every one of you here this morning, and with everybody here at Arise.


One thought on “Spiritual Activism

  1. To become a nobody, to become a somebody; this is the Arise.

    This is the transition from the personal to the trans-personal; to embody, to live, to share the star-fire of our cosmic inheritance. This is the mission of spiritual activism.

    I’m up, I’m in; this is the dance.

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