Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
Even though there is the appearance that you, and all the other people around the world, are leading separate lives, the truth is that we are connected to all people around the world. There is one body of consciousness for humanity, even though we each have our own piece of it. What we think and what we feel, and what moves in our spirit, is connected to what people think and feel and have happen for them spiritually all around the world. It didn’t take the mass media or the Internet to make that so, although sometimes these technologies remind us of what is already true, and facilitate the experience that there is one body of consciousness for all of humanity.
Some people in this world are called to play a very special role of positive influence in human consciousness. In the world that we live in, influence is usually associated with money. And the media has power to influence people, whether it’s the television or the print media or the Internet. But the ultimate power of influence is built into the very nature of humanity and the very nature of consciousness. Because, even though it seems like consciousness is separate, and you’ve got yours and I’ve got mine, we are all dipping into the same pool. All people are connected around the world. So what happens in my consciousness influences you, and what happens for you influences me.
In fact, there’s a shape to consciousness. There are layers of consciousness that function like a pyramid. And what happens at higher and higher levels tends to influence what happens below, and what happens at the apex of consciousness affects everything else in that pyramid. That’s certainly true for us individually. It’s said that if you want to have the maximum influence in someone’s life, change their relationship to God. Why? It is because that relationship takes place in this apex point of consciousness. If what is present at that apex point changes, it affects the rest of the body of consciousness. How you relate to the Unseen is a critical factor in your life—what you believe about God, what you understand God to be, shapes your human experience. If you live with an angry, vengeful God, you’re likely to live an angry, vengeful life. If you understand that God is a God of love, that the universe is a universe of love, and that the intent for your life and mine is born out of love, that changes your life.
The word we use for people who are called to that apex place in consciousness for humanity is priesthood. There are men and women who don’t necessarily know each other, around the world, who hear the call to play their part in that priesthood. They are probably not wearing special clothing, and they are not taking certain religious vows. But the issues that are configuring in their lives and in their thoughts and feelings relate to their calling. They are called to let what is present at the apex of the whole body of human consciousness change.
These men and women are called to spiritual mastery, by whatever name. They are called to be spiritual masters, not out of arrogance or of pretense, not out of human whim or determination. They are called to be masterful in letting what’s present in the Invisible pour through and transform consciousness. And if we are called in this way, it really doesn’t matter very much that there are many other people who do not hear the same call. We have the work that is ours to do.
So there is a need and a call to the spiritual maturity that is necessary for spiritual mastery. What I’ve found is there’s no such thing as spiritual mastery or spiritual maturity without there first being emotional maturity and emotional mastery. No matter how accurate what a person believes may be, it all goes to hell in a handbasket for them if there is not emotional maturity and emotional mastery. Because a person can believe what they will, but even the truest belief and the truest intention can come undone in the application. This is true in any area of life. But it is particularly so when it comes to spiritual mastery.
I have friends who object to the term emotional mastery. I think it’s because it evokes the idea that we’re going to mentally control our emotions. Has anybody in this room succeeded in controlling their emotions through mental willpower? I doubt it. You might be a master of repression, but usually that only works for so long. As human beings are out of touch with the unseen reality of Spirit, they can’t master their emotions.
Emotional mastery implies emotional surrender. It implies being mastered by what you’re surrendering to. And the only way that real emotional mastery comes is as the emotional body surrenders to the Unseen.
When it comes to physical things, you can draw concise and accurate diagrams of what it is you are describing. When it comes to building a house, you can draw up the architectural plans and get the carpenter and plumber and everybody else to follow the plans. When it comes to spiritual things, it’s not so easy. We can draw diagrams, but the diagrams are diagramming something that is unseen. We can use metaphors and parables and symbols and stories to say something about the Unseen; we can give it names. But a person has to find it for themselves.
And the only way to find it fully is through surrender. There is no other way. I don’t think any of us believe we’re going to be masters of Spirit. No, if there is mastery involved, it is because we surrender and let what’s in the Unseen master us. Never is that more true than when it comes to our emotions. While the mind has a part to play in emotional mastery, it’s not because the mind is going to master the emotions.
On the outer edge of the emotional body there are four primary human emotions: fear, anger, happiness and sadness. These four emotions relate to the longing of the human soul. A key factor is whether there is a conscious openness to the influence of Spirit that lets in what the soul is longing for.
The human soul cries out for a fuller experience of the unseen Spirit that is its source. And when it cries out, it seems like it’s crying out in anger and in sadness and in fear, and in happiness. When spiritual reality is present and available through a person and the emotions are opened up to that reality, the spiritual reality has the opportunity to answer the call of the emotional body, to step in and give the emotional body what it’s looking for—to say, in essence, “I know what you want.” When the spiritual reality of a person steps into that emotional body, the experience changes.
Most people are afraid of their own emotions and, for the most part, do their best to sideline them so they don’t interfere with their life. They feel threatened by their emotions, much as a parent might feel threatened by a crying, angry child. We have the opportunity to hear the calls of the emotional body and to step in and to bring the authority of Spirit. And, from the standpoint of our emotional body, we have a chance to release and be mastered by the reality of Spirit, which is our own ultimate reality.
So I’ll tell you what I think people are crying out for when they’re angry. I think they’re crying to find their own strength as a person. They’re crying out to find their own life force. They’re looking for that and having a hard time finding it. When, in immaturity, somebody cries out for their own strength, it comes out as anger. And when the fullness of their Spirit comes into their emotional body, it brings strength and centeredness, and it brings life, which is what the person was asking for. You can try it out yourself, when you feel what seems to you to be anger rising up in you. If your Spirit steps into that and lets the current of Spirit move in and through your emotional body, if you let your strength be present you’ll find that the call of your soul is answered.
Sadness, or grief, is another emotion that people often avoid. If you step into that emotion, you will find there is the longing for connection, ultimately the longing for connection with Spirit itself, a connection with love. That is the longing of the soul. What I find is that my sadness and grief won’t kill me. A person might think it will—that they will drown in it forever. If you fully step into it with your Spirit, you’ll find out what your soul is longing for. And on the other side of what seems to be sadness, there is the connection, union and oneness.
What is the soul looking for when it experiences fear? It is seeking awareness. Not just a knowing of the immediate facts but a knowing that sees current reality from a higher perspective.
What is the ultimate awareness? It is that the highest reality of who I am is not this person who seems to be the victim of circumstance. It’s the knowing that I am the creator of my world; I am the one who holds the creative process of my world. I am not what’s being created; I am not what is disintegrating and breaking down in the creative process. I am the one who is holding all of that. I am the creator of my world.
For people who have had a chance to face their own death, they have had a grand opportunity to know what’s on the other side of fear, which is that I am not what I’ve created—I am what created it. That brings a certain fearlessness in being in the world, if you know that about yourself. Moving through your own fear, there is what’s on the other side, which is altitude and perspective and the ability to hold the creative process. I don’t see how a person does that if they’re totally embedded in their successes and their failures, or with all the little births and deaths of their life—and there are plenty of them. On the other side of fear is the perspective that I hold it all.
On the other side of happiness, and the desire to be happy, is Love—Love with a big L, the ultimate of human experience. We find out that our love is boundless, it knows no end. Love is no respecter of persons. And while it may seem hard to try to love people you don’t like, on the other side of happiness is the experience that you really can’t help loving everybody. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t right distances between people in the outer flow of our life. But the biggest part of us is like that. We bring Divine Love.
So we are called to emotional maturity, not emotional repression or emotional recklessness. Where there is emotional maturity and emotional mastery, who and what we are can vibrate with Spirit, and we are in position to have a profound influence in the body of consciousness of humanity. For one thing, we are generating the substance of consciousness at the highest level. We’re filling in what’s been missing, which is real connection to the Invisible.
This is what it really takes for there to be an experience of the Invisible. As Hafiz said, when that really starts happening, “Most everyone I know quickly packs their bags and hightails it out of town.” It’s one thing to think about it, but ask a person to let something change in their emotional body? My experience is that the response often is: “Anything but that!” A person who seeks spiritual mastery has to turn that around and deliberately do something about the openness and clarity of their emotional experience.
The substance of the emotional body determines what happens in your life and in mine, and in the life of humanity. Do you think the advertisers of the world want that from you? The advertisers of the world want your emotional body, make no mistake. The politicians of the world want your emotional body. The businesspeople of the world, the financiers of the world, want your emotional body. The religious leaders of the world want it. And for most of humanity, they’ve got it. Make no mistake. Because if they’ve got your feelings, they’ve got your money, they’ve got your labor, they’ve got your thinking, they’ve got your way of living. They’ve got you.
So the gold standard for setting the direction of a person’s life, and the life of humanity, is the ability to capture the response of the emotional body. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. That is where he will go. If we find ourselves working with what is at the apex of consciousness, we are interested in letting the emotional body be set free so that spiritual reality can govern in human consciousness, and so that the reality of who we are as divine beings can be present in and through human consciousness. As we let it be so for ourselves, the capstone experience is present for us personally and for the body of humanity.