Last night I had the opportunity to participate in a “sushi summit”—a dinner meeting with Tierro Lee and Paul Bassis, who produce the ARISE Festival, and Michael Costello from Sunrise Ranch. We agreed to extend the length of time that we will be co-creating the Arise Music and Camping Festival an additional two years, through 2022.
Seven years, through 2022—it seems like a long time!
In living day to day, we sometimes don’t take the opportunity to stand back from the immediate events of our life to see the big picture. We sometimes don’t appreciate what’s really transpiring and what’s at stake. It was so good to look forward to 2022 with these three friends and appreciate the larger creative cycle we are stewarding together.
It looks like there’s something like 10,000 people that will be coming this year to hear Ziggy Marley and others perform at Arise this August 5-7. I can tell you that it is truly a spiritual event, so those 10,000 people will have a magically creative experience. For myself, I walk onto the fields of Sunrise Ranch during the ARISE Festival and wonder where I am, because there’s just something so wonderful that is happening.
At the sushi summit, Tierro was talking about what it’s like to have a team of 700 people managing the festival, many of them connected by walkie-talkies. They are a hovering presence over the festival to coordinate the event, keeping everyone safe, and ensuring an optimal experience for all concerned. Tierro spoke about the delight of doing that, something that might be not apparent to the average festival goer.
All four of us were speaking about how we crave that kind experience of working synchronously with other people. We had each had it before, whether in sports or with a team of people who are working together on a project or in another context. For each of us, we seek to create synchronous flight in the thought and creativity of people working together.
There are people who’ve never had that kind of experience, or who have forgotten it if they have. They are not driven in the same way to know that kind of synchronous flight with other people—the delight of thinking together, acting together, being of one heart together, and then creating something magnificent.
This certainly isn’t just a male thing. My friend, Jane Anetrini, talks about her experience of drum corps—the excitement of marching and drumming in rhythmic precision. I see her urging the people around her to work together in that kind of rhythm—to create in a coordinated fashion together. Somewhere, deep in her soul, is the memory of the kind of synchronous flight with other people which she seeks to share. When I told Jane about Tierro’s experience at Arise, she let me know that it wasn’t only drum corps that has given her the experience of coordinated movement with others. She has known that experience in the context of Emissaries of Divine Light, coordinating closely with others to bring spiritual regeneration to people.
If you have tasted the ecstasy of synchronous flight in your life, you may be doing what you can to recreate it now. Whether it was in sports, through a choir, a musical band, or a work team… you may be inviting other people into that experience now without even realizing what you are doing.
This experience is in the psyche of humanity, so it’s available for all of us. But not everyone has tasted it. So the craving for it may not have been activated in all people. You may be calling a person to synchronous flight and they may be wondering what you are talking about.
There’s a tendency for most people to see the whole world through a self-referential lens; to see the whole world as how it affects me, and therefore to miss the larger picture of what is going on around me. Because of that, there is a deadly tendency for people to gravitate to what we think of as comfort.
There is so much that is missed by a person who functions on this basis. We are one cell in the body of humanity. We are one seven-billionth of what’s happening. What is really happening in that larger body? And for us, because we are a part of it?
The self-referential lens contains our individual life story—everything from our birth, through our childhood, and through our employment and middle age into our seniorhood. All those things are real and significant. But they are a relatively small part of what it means to be a human being.
Many years ago at Sunrise Ranch, Lloyd Arthur Meeker gave a remarkable talk entitled “The Level of the Cell.” He was speaking about the cells in our body. Within seven years, every cell in our body dies and new ones take their place. The cells come and go, but there’s something happening for us as a human being that continues—and, in the same way, for the body of humanity that we’re participating in. As it’s said, there are angels descending and ascending up the ladder, incarnating and leaving. But there’s something happening in the body of humanity that’s not about that, and it’s not about the individual life story of any human being. It is about the life story of us all together. We are participating in that larger life story now.
In that larger life story, something magnificent is happening. Yes, there are individual cells within the body of humanity that are passing away. There is destructive activity and there are patterns of government at all levels of the human experience that are unsustainable. But there is also magnificence.
The reality of what is possible for humanity is coming forth through the body of humanity. The as-yet-unmanifest reality of who we are as the human race is coming forth. It has been called Homo universalis. It has been called the universal Christ.
Up until about 30 years ago, it was acceptable to refer to the reality of humankind as man. That had the disadvantage of referring to humankind in a masculine way. I am not lobbying for a widespread use of the word in that way. But if we can set aside for a moment the downside of using the word, it’s worthwhile to notice what we lost when the use of the word man became largely obsolete.
The word man is singular. So it conveys a sense of oneness.
One definition of the word is the human race or any member or group of it. But the word can convey not only the current state of humankind as it is but also our inner truth—the essence of who we are as a race and therefore what is possible to us.
The teaching of Christian Science addresses the issue this way. It asserts that because the reality of God is spiritual, and man was made in the image and likeness of God, then the nature of man is spiritual and perfect. That’s a different use of the word man!
This excerpt is from an important Christian Science lecturer, Albert F. Gilmore:
Through divine revelation, there unfolds to us what Mrs. Eddy has described in the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 264), as “all the glories of earth and heaven and man;” the beauty of holiness, of being in its primal and everlasting grandeur. It is of this Life, the true Life; of this man, the real, the only man, that we are privileged to learn through reason and revelation, as set forth in Christian Science. Through the study of divine Science alone can we lay hold of the truth about man as he really is; of man as the veritable son of God, of the truth about ourselves. (Web link for this article, “The Revelation of the Perfect Man”)
These words are filled with Christian language. Yet if you think about them from a realistic standpoint, are they not pointing to something accurate? We, as human beings, have the ability to be a conscious, aware instrument of the power of Creation that is within us and all around us. We are designed to be the intelligent embodiment of the power that created this planet and everything that is in it. Is this not common sense use of the name, son of God.
Not that humanity is that currently. But we can be in our most enlightened state. We can be that individually and we can be that collectively. In truth, we are designed to be that, and if we aren’t that, then our conscious power is at odds with the intelligent design of the Creation, and we create disaster. Think of global warming and all that has created it. Think of nuclear weapons.
This is what is at issue in the body of humanity. This is the awareness that is breaking through. The Christ is breaking through. Homo Universalis is appearing.
There is a coming forth in the body of humanity today that is largely missed. It’s not seen by people because they’re looking at it all through the self-referential lens. And that has us living in fear. It has us seeking comfort. It has us looking for hiding places instead of reveling in creativity. There is something being born in the human experience that is magnificent.
You can’t see or know this reality through a self-referential lens. That lens is fear-based and you cannot see the new through a lens that if filled with fear.
You cannot see the new through eyes that are seeking comfort.
You cannot find creativity if you are hiding.
And at the same time, there’s something old that’s dying. There’s something old that isn’t working and therefore is passing away. Many of the control factors in the human world, in an outer sense, are in the hands of what’s dying. And so the news reports on it. The media is all about that.
But there’s something else that is happening, largely unreported: the magic of what’s happening in your life and mine is not on the evening news. The magic of Sunrise Ranch is not on the evening news. The amazing creativity that’s happening through people around the world is not on the news. Does that mean it’s not happening? No, not at all.
When we are transcending our own self-referential lens, we begin to have eyes on what’s happening truly in the human experience. And then we begin to participate in it, and then, coming back to our own individual life, it’s not about our fear and it’s not about our comfort and it’s not about finding a hiding place. Our individual life is about service to what is happening in the larger body of humanity. We are in service to what is waking up in humanity. That has real meaning because we are not only in service to that in the big picture but also in the little picture of our life, with the people we meet. We are in service to what’s coming forth in them. We’re cheering for it, we’re loving it, we’re inspiring it. Of course, we can’t do that if we’re living in fear, looking for comfort, and in hiding.
It’s sometimes said that the real choice in a human life is to either live in fear or in love, and I believe that’s true. But love can mean a lot of things to people. It can be simply a feeling. So another way to say the same thing is that we’re either living in fear or we’re living in creativity.
If you’re like me, you have the temptation of fear every day. You can feel it in your body, you can see the thoughts that are motivated by fear, and you can see the road that you could go down to live a life of reaction to what’s happening around you. But you can make a different choice, knowing that there’s the magnificence of Creation that’s happening for all of humanity, and that you have an opportunity to be a part of it—but not just in a passive way. You are called to actively, consciously participate. You bring your creativity, your zeal, to be of service.
Every word and everything we do can be that. It can be filled with the vibration of that and the consciousness of that. It can be filled with synchronous flight, because when we’re living in our creativity, we’re hooking up with every conscious person around the globe.
We are living a life of fear or we are living a life of creativity. Which will it be? It comes down to that. All the other choices that are present in our life are coming after that one big choice. If you’re walking down a path of fear, you’ll have all those choices about where to hide, how to find your comfort, how to protect yourself, how to blame other people for what’s happening in your life. You’ll have all those little, small choices to make after that one big bad one.
If you make the choice to create, you’ll have all those creative choices to make: Which flower shall I put in the arrangement? Who shall I see today? Who shall I uplift today? What song shall I sing today? What words could I speak that would bring upliftment and vision to this world?
Do seven years seem like a long time? It’s actually the blink of an eye in the process of Creation that’s happening on this planet. Obsessed with day to day, a person doesn’t see it. Creation evades the eye of someone who’s looking through a self-referential lens. I think of where I live, Sunrise Ranch. For many, when they come into this valley, they can feel the wonder of what’s happening here, and we hear about it all the time.
But just like the rest of the world, Sunrise Ranch is in its process of evolution and change. People are looking for a perfect place to be in their self-referential state—a perfect place to be in the world to find comfort. They’re looking for things to be perfect for them. The process of Creation is evolution. It is about what’s evolving, what’s becoming the completeness of what it’s meant to be.
Anything of any consequence doesn’t start out where it ends up. That happens in a human life; it happens in any project. Something has to be half-built before it can be wholly built. And so we as human beings tend not to see what is being built over the course of seven years, or twenty-five years, or a hundred years, or seven generations, and then fail to operate in that larger context, and fail to make our contribution, fail to perform our act of service. So some people who come to Sunrise Ranch miss the magic of Creation that is transpiring here.
Barbara Marx Hubbard speaks of how there is the emergence of conscious human beings on this planet. She is working to set up a Peace Room at the United Nations to track the creativity of what is emerging through people around the globe, and then to tell the world what is happening. As more and more people see what’s transpiring, there is a growing understanding that humanity is in a process of evolution and that we each have a part to play in that process. We each have an old way of being to let go of, and we each have a contribution to make and a new way of being to live into.
If you don’t see that larger picture and participate in it, you might feel lost and fearful. You might want to hide. You might be looking for comfort. So in every way we can, we are seeking to call attention to the creativity of what is emerging through humanity. We are calling attention to the option that all people have to change a choice that has been to live in fear to a choice of creativity and love.
So let’s do that! Let’s rise together in synchronous flight—in smaller, immediate ways with the team of people who we are with, and together with people around the planet who have caught that vision.
“Our individual life is about service to what is happening in the larger body of humanity.”
Author William Johnson Everett wrote some years ago a paper, “God’s Federal Republic”; the concept of ‘republic’ encapsulating God as a presence in the world of mankind rather than the notion of ‘the kingdom of God’ residing in a Heaven and separate from the world. Everett writes that “In the revolutions of our time, kingdom metaphors have lost their savour”. Everett writes about the individualism which is ruining our public life.
In South Africa, where I live, there are cries about the legacy of colonialism – of a pattern of inherited culture from which something new has to emerge. There are many structures and symbols in consciousness, everywhere. But, there is something in David’s invitation, beyond the notions of patriarchy, hierarchy, kingdom, which releases us into a domain or ‘republic’ where there is participation in, or public service to the whole; participation in the wholesomeness of Creation; to an awakening to what is already on the move. This is the emerging of Homo Universalis. The ‘republic’ of God, people in concert, synchronous, in flight. I can feel it.