Sometimes, the outer events of the world in which we live portray something larger that is occurring at the invisible levels of human experience. The recent power outage in Texas was such an event.
In Texas history, there was a brief shining moment of independent nationhood from 1836—shortly after the Battle of the Alamo—to 1846 when it became one of the United States of America. Texas’ independent spirit has persisted down to this current day. And hats off to independence! It can be a beautiful thing. But in the power outage, it did not serve them well.
Texas had decided to leave its power companies largely unregulated. Even after a 2011 winter storm caused rolling blackouts that left millions of Texans without power, the state did not require power companies to winterize their systems.
The state created a power grid that was separate from the rest of the country, and because of that, it lacked resilience. So while that grid served them well in unchallenging times, when a winter storm came, it failed. Just as the need for power was rising, freezing temperatures crushed the ability to generate it.
Grid operators deliberately implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure of the Texas grid that could have caused a power failure that lasted months. In fact, they were only minutes away from a total collapse of the system.
The self-induced blackouts caused more than 86 deaths and massive hardship as millions of Texans lost power and drinkable water for days.
El Paso is in western Texas, closer to Tucson, Arizona, than Dallas or Houston. El Paso had previously plugged into the Western Interconnection—a power grid that stretches through the western United States into western Canada. They had learned the lessons of the 2011 winter storm and hardened their power stations to withstand temperatures down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. When the February storm came, their grid was not as vulnerable as the rest of the state. And they relied on power from Arizona with minimal blackouts.
This is a story of the spirit of independence gone awry. The politics of this calamity are fascinating and worth understanding, particularly for Texans. But that is not my focus here. I’m interested in what this story might tell us about other levels of our human experience. Might the story of the Texas electrical grid’s failure reflect how this kind of independence might not be good for our health and well-being as individuals and as a culture?
Any electrical grid depends on generating stations. You can connect up households and factories with electric cable. But if there is not a generating station online, nothing is happening. And so it is in the human energy network we share. There have to be people in the network who are generating power for the human grid to light up. That is true in a family, a community, an organization, or an entire society. To put it crudely, if everyone is sucking energy off everyone else, the culture collapses. So there have to be individuals who generate and who offer their generation into the grid of culture. Ideally, that would be everyone.
In this time of global pandemic and isolation, we have learned even more deeply about the opportunity and necessity for personal generation. We have had to be self-reliant more than ever before. We have had to learn for ourselves, for real, what it means to be a generating station.
In our Australian Attunement conference, we explored three dimensions of Attunement, and they are all relevant. And the first one is tuning up. Just like you would tune up your Thunderbird, I suppose, or whatever car you have, except, in this case, we are talking about tuning up to the source of our own power, personally. Ultimately, that is the same energy that powers the universe. Tuning up is breathing in the Breath of Life so that it activates us, and therefore we are generating. We cannot be truly generative on a self-active basis. We have to tune in and let the activating energy enter our hearts.
Breathe in the Breath of Life.
Tuning between is activation and harmonization of the grid between us. We have gotten used to living like Texas, independently, and we think it is normal. It might be average, but it is not normal. The origin of the word normal has to do with the true design of something, not its current average condition.
We get used to living a life in which we are not connected to a generative human grid, and we are relying on our own personal generation for everything. And folks, that ain’t normal. We thrive when we are nourishing each other, when we are breathing out and breathing in together, activated and nourished not only from above but from each other.
There are all kinds of factors in human culture that cut that off: a desire for independence and for “deregulation” so we can just do our own thing; envy, jealousy and competition; and a myriad of factors in the emotional body and the subconscious mind. And plain old habit. We are just used to doing it that way. And the more we do it that way, the more we do it that way—not learning the softness of heart and the gentleness of spirit that lets us connect. I’m here to establish a new way of being—tuning up and tuning between. How about you?
You might say that is not always easy. There are things to learn and ways in which we have to grow, individually and then as a culture. It can be challenging. You are reaching out, and somebody else is not reaching back. That can be painful. So the question becomes, is the learning worth it? Are you up for the learning? Are you up for whatever pain is involved in that? Well, I would rather have that pain than the pain of the winter storm that closes everything down and creates a total blackout of the soul, which is ultimately what happens when we try to be like Texas.
Tuning between is a profound learning for us as human beings. It creates a new culture. Some of us are creating a new global culture, no less than that. If you are like most readers of the Pulse of Spirit, you had that dream at some point in your Life. Did you give up on that? Many of my generation had the vision of a new global culture in our youth and, in some way, have given up.
I haven’t. I’m here to tune up and then tune between with others, creating a culture with the people I am with that is connected in a grid. It is a grid of consciousness and heart within the human energy field. When we share that between us, we begin to radiate out, individually and collectively. Our collective grid is then radiating to the world.
These are the three directions of Attunement:
Scientific research documented by the HeartMath Institute shows what happens when you have a group of conscious people doing their personal work to stay conscious and raise their energy level. If somebody enters that group, they will tend to resonate with the group’s energy, even if they are not doing that same level of personal work consciously.
How unfair is that! And if you consider yourself one of the conscious people doing your personal work, you could look at the people you see around you who seem to be unconscious. And you might think, Wow, I am doing all the work, and they are along for the ride.
We might complain about the people around us who we judge are along for the ride. And people who are not consciously generating can indeed place an energetic burden on others. But how about the rest of the world? If we are giving up on the people we deem to be along for the ride around us, what are we doing about the global human population? Have we given up on them? Or are we creating a reverberation that is strong enough that others could be in its resonance and begin to resonate with it to have their energy levels rise? And maybe, in that rising, to become more conscious, because with higher levels of energy in the human field, consciousness comes with it.
The study from HeartMath indicates that this is how it works. And so, if we are here, changing the world, this is our work. And you can become active politically or ecologically. You can attempt to change the world socially, scientifically, or technologically. And if you are, I say go for it. Those can all be beautiful areas of work. But at the core of it all, there has to be this conscious change, this breathing in, this generation and tuning in to each other. And you can take all the rest of the change that people are attempting to make in the world today, and without that core change, it all goes poof! It goes no place. It is futile. And bet on it if you like. But without a change of heart, a shift of consciousness, a different generation, and a change of culture at this most core level, how do we change the world?
Look at our politics. Without a conscious energetic field, it is crazy. So we are here to create that field, are we not? To breathe in and breathe out, and breathe with each other.
Lynne McTaggart wrote this in the prologue to her epic book The Field:
A small band of scientists dotted around the globe…realized, the very underpinning of our universe was a heaving sea of energy—one vast quantum field. If this were true, everything would be connected to everything else like some invisible web…. Most fundamentally, they had provided evidence that all of us connect with each other and the world at the very undercoat of our being. Through scientific experiment, they’d demonstrated that there may be such a thing as a life force flowing through the universe—what has variously been called collective consciousness or, as theologians have termed it, the Holy Spirit.
The words Holy Spirit evoke all kinds of religious iconography, and perhaps doctrine and dogma. The name goes back to the very thing we are speaking of: this heaving sea of the universe, the Universal Breath.
Like that baby taking its first breath, our human breath is part of that Universal Breath. The baby’s first breath is a gasp, beginning with an inhale. It is the heaving of the universe breathing. We are the universe breathing together in this field of power and consciousness. I am breathing out consciousness right now. Are you breathing with me? Breathing in, breathing out consciousness in the grid? And with that consciousness comes energy. In this field, these two things—consciousness and energy—that have seemed separate are part of one thing. We are participating in collective consciousness and collective power. There is physicality associated with this field. But it is in the field of consciousness and energy where we have such tremendous freedom to create. We have the freedom to open up our consciousness, to breathe consciousness, and breathe the energy of consciousness.
This is what the ancients knew. When we hear the words that come down from them today, it seems like those words are addressing separate spiritual practices and beliefs. And yet, so many of the words for the essential nature of Reality come back to the same thing: breath.
What is the origin of that name, Holy Spirit? Where does it come from? The word translated as Spirit in the King James Version of the Bible came from a word used in the Greek New Testament: pneuma, meaning breath. So the name Holy Spirit could be translated as Holy Breath.
What is chi—breath. Prana? Breath. In Hawaiian, it is ha—the breath of Life that carries mana, spiritual energy.
The Hebrew Bible speaks of it this way, translated here in the King James Version:
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of Life; and man became a living soul.
We are here to share that livingness in this grid, breathing it in as an individual generating station to take personal responsibility for our own generation. And if there are freeloaders spiritually in the world, let me not be one of them. Let me be a generating station individually. I pray to the Lord my God that I am open to being entered by Holy Breath, that I may breathe in and breathe out with you.
Attunement practitioners work with what we call pneumaplasm. The word rolls off the lips easily sometimes, and perhaps it is possible to forget the meaning of it. We say that pneumaplasm is spirit substance. True enough. And if you go back to the root of the word, pneuma, it means breath. So pneumaplasm is breath substance. It is the universe breathing in our energy field.
When we share an Attunement, we enter that field consciously and then with our hands, that we may breathe together with the universe.
There is a song from the Gullah region along the Atlantic Coast of the southern United States. Its origin is likely from West Africa, perhaps Angola. The song invites Divine Presence to enter the human field. The song’s name is “Kumbaya.” Its original meaning is thought to be Come By Here.
Sadly, this song which invokes the Divine has come to be mocked.
The song invites us to tune up, welcoming Divine Presence. I am closing this Pulse of Spirit by quoting from two verses of this beautiful song.
Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya.
Oh Lord, kumbayah.
Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya.
Oh Lord, kumbayah.
Perhaps, with me, in these moments, you will think of the people you know who are in spiritual need for whatever reason, perhaps people suffering from physical illness. We speak those words of invocation, Come by here.
We think of people who are suffering from isolation and loneliness, not feeling part of the grid and the Breath of Life. Come by here.
Think of those we know who are suffering from tortured thought. We ask for the oil of Love to be smeared on the brow of these ones, and we speak the words of invocation: Come by here, my Lord. Come by here.
It is not that the very source of Love is unwilling or has to be called upon to be present. Our invitation invokes that presence for us.
So we open to Divine Presence: Come by here. We bring awareness of the nearness of the Divine. And then we bring the power of the Divine into our field and to each other, the power of the presence of Love, the power of the presence of Light, and the power of the Breath of Life that has been breathed into us. We breathe the heaving, pulsing breath, the ha, the chi, the prana, the Holy Spirit, into the pneumaplasm. So may it be.
David Karchere says in his blog this past week ‘Every human being is already a sun on the inside – a being of intense love and light. The difference is that some people have the vision and the courage to become a Sun on the outside. This difference is our human destiny’.
I am following the Move One Million group in South Africa today, as they showed up to make a difference in Hillbrow, Johannesburg (something like the Bronx, I imagine) cleaning up the streets and renovating a large building destined to become home for orphans. Here is a large group of people compelled to make a difference in their country as they have decided to stay present, alive and active, breathing Life into their larger community, no matter what.
I am grateful for all the ‘generating stations’ and all the large and small acts of kindness visible and invisible, for those with vision and courage to express the Truth they know and act on it.
I celebrate the Breath of Life and Companions of Honour becoming a Sun on the outside, leading the destiny of humanity into a New Consciousness and new energy. I am also here for this.
Pete Seeger who was known for his rendition of “Kumbaya”, also had a ‘hit’ with “If I Had a Hammer”. A hammer needs someone to weald it, whether it be the thunderous gods of the Norse, or an artisan doing a piece of work. This song repeats: “I’d hammer out the love between my brothers and my sisters, All over the land.”
So, I can weald my hammer (inbreath), I can hammer out the love between my brothers and sisters (breathe between), and then let it radiate all over the land. In this way the Qi or prana fills out in all dimensions; it is energetic, not static; it moves.
When I was in my teens, I was brought up in a Suffolk village (UK). First known in Saxon times, it had fallen into some dereliction in the Middle Ages due the Plague. So, the parish church, where I worshipped, was at some distance from the village – where the dead had been buried. In more recent eras, there was a provision of gas for lighting during services, but no electricity. The organ needed someone to pump the bellows and to stay awake for the hymns and litergical responses.
Like the organ, there is nothing much happening in the body unless air is being pumped. Once there is air, there is the possibility of sound or music, and this makes for an atmosphere of a worshipful song; a breathing in and out. Though generally a silent edifice, the church would resound on a Sunday morning as the bell rang for those who came to sing their praises to the Almighty.