Have you ever been witness to something that someone else said or did, and just felt shame about how we can get as human beings? I have. There have been times I was ashamed of being a member of the human race as I witnessed another person’s behavior.
Or have you ever, in your own experience, said or done something and thought, Ooh, that wasn’t good…? Knowing that somehow, in what you had put forward, you hadn’t expressed what is true of yourself. It’s not so much an intellectual thing as it is an intuitive understanding and innate knowing of what is true of oneself.
In the world in which we live, there are all kinds of character displayed by human beings, through the media and then in our personal lives, some of which make you cringe. It makes me cringe, I can say. For me, as a man, I see what I would describe as ersatz masculinity, passed off as masculinity, with a certain amount of strength and vehemence, perhaps, and some kind of assurance that actually looks more like arrogance. And I think, Wow, that’s not what I know to be what a man really is—certainly not the kind of man I want to be.
I look out at the world today and I see what is passed off as masculinity. And I try to understand how it could attain the degree of popularity that it does. There is a great yearning in the human heart to see the reality of masculinity, and in fact the world and the culture that we live in has a void of masculinity. And therefore, even some kind of ersatz masculinity that comes along is embraced. The root desire is for the real thing, but our culture seems to have a hard time embracing the real thing. And on the public scene, there is not much of the real thing to go around. And so we latch on to some kind of false masculinity.
Here we are, in the midst of things in our own life. And we are in the middle of the world as it is. When I look around, I see people, some of whom are pretending that there is nothing urgent transpiring in our world today. They are just looking to get ahead personally; to make some kind of personal advancement without any sense of the importance and significance of what’s happening on the larger scene. Or perhaps they are just looking to survive.
And then you have some who do see that there is some issue to be addressed and are seeking their best way to address it. Yet so many who see that there is a profound issue facing humankind are, nonetheless, only nibbling away at the edges of the human experience, shifting and changing this or that, but so often not getting right down to the real core of what the issue is in this day for us as human beings.
It seems clear to me, and perhaps to you too, that with all the issues we face as humanity, and all the issues we face in our own personal lives, there is something at the heart of it all that is “the big one.” It’s something right at the heart and soul of who I am as a human being. It is what is happening at my core. It is what I am embracing as myself and what I am choosing to share with the world. And I don’t mean just all the details of it, though the details are important. I am speaking of the very heart and soul, the core intent, the core vibration, the tone and the feeling of what I am expressing into my world—what I am committing myself to, and on what basis; what I am serving and what I am valuing. What I am worshiping in life.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting people who were a reflection to me of the truth at my core. They reflected what is right and true about me. Have you had someone like that in your life? What a gift!
I do believe that for any of us, to the degree that we have touched what is true of ourselves, no one can ever take it away from us, except us. In any moment, we have a chance to affirm it, to be it, to value it.
How do we value what we have touched as true through our own life journey? How do you hold it as precious?
One obvious way is simply that we give it attention. We listen to it, we tune in to it. We also have an opportunity in our life to value what we have touched that is of significance to us by giving it expression ourselves in the living of our life.
I heard the Ohio governor, John Kasich, speak this morning. I am glad there’s a man like that on the political scene in America. I don’t necessarily agree with all his politics, but I agree with his character. He is talking about the possibility of running for president, and he was asked what chance he had for success. Governor Kasich is a Republican, and it was brought to his attention that the current president has a 90 percent favorability rating among Republicans. His answer was this question: “At what point does somebody work and stand on principle? You want to be able to make a statement. What can I do to help my country?”
He had obviously touched a truth in his life that is compelling to him. And when you hear him speak, you feel the resonance of that truth.
In my own way, that is how it is for me. I value the truth that I know, in the words that I speak and the actions that I take in the world. That is how I worship truth. What I am writing to you now is my form of worship. You are witnessing me worship. This is me valuing what is supreme to me in my life. I hope it’s valuable to you, and I hope it’s valuable to the larger field in which I live. But actually, that’s not my primary purpose for writing these words. These words are my worship.
I believe that all our lives are like that. All our lives are an opportunity for worship, every day and every moment, in what we express, what we exude, and what we embody. Our life can be a form of worship. It’s a declaration of our valuing of the qualities of Being.
We could put names on those qualities. One of them is courage. Courage is the virtue of facing a situation, facing the unknown, and yet expressing what is in us and putting it out into the world. Courage is being ourselves unflinchingly. If we’ve been introduced to courage by how another person demonstrates it, and we value that quality, we have the opportunity to embrace it within ourselves. We worship that quality by being it.
And then there is the quality of truthfulness. Truthfulness comes with integrity. When we witness that in another person, we see the opportunity for truthfulness ourselves. We worship the quality of truthfulness in our own truthing, as Charles Eisenstein put it a few weeks ago. We worship truth by embodying the unfolding truth of Being and by speaking accurately in the current of that expression, saying and speaking what we know to be true, significant and important, what we know to be the basic structure of our own Being—what is true of all people.
Being truthful means that whether I consider someone my closest friend or distant from me, I am truthful. And no matter how untrue someone else is, I will see the truth of them. My way of valuing the truth of that person is to see it, to call to it, to relate to it, and not to accept what is false, no matter how many times it is put forward.
We could speak about many qualities of Being. All together, they add up to the wholeness of Being.
In the cycles of our growth and unfoldment, at some point we may realize we haven’t been true to who we are—that in some ways we’ve been distracted and off the mark, and living a life that’s been dictated by fear or by reaction to other people. Realizing that, we may open ourselves to something that is larger than who we have experienced ourselves to be. We crack open to the Divine, as we might think of it. That reality seems to be something other than what we are. And how else would it be if we have been identified with an experience of reaction and fear? It seems like this thing that we’ve touched that is so beautiful and so vast is something different from us, and it’s a beautiful part of the spiritual path to open up to that and let it in. And yet, opening up to it, we have a different experience of ourselves to embrace. We experience who we are in a cosmic context. And before long, we have a changed sense of who we are.
At some point, we know it is self-betrayal to say that what we have touched is something different from who we are. It is a betrayal of who we are to identify ourselves as that reactionary person, that fearful person, that timid person, that withdrawn person. In fact, we are that person who has come alive, who has opened up to that larger reality. We are not a timid person; we are not a fearful person trying to be good. That’s a recipe for constant reversion, it seems to me.
If you identify yourself as a timid, fearful person, trying to open up to the Divine, you keep reverting back to being the timid, fearful person. At some point you open up to the reality that I am that person that I experience myself to be when I am open to the Divine. I worship the Divine, I value it, I praise the Divine, when I am that, when I acknowledge, in all humility: This is me. Acknowledging that I am the Divine, I am acknowledging that you are too.
Here is the crux issue in human experience. I’ve known people who identified the crux issue for a person as a painful experience from their past. Daddy left home when they were seven, or Mother was emotionally distant, or Older Brother hit them when they were young. And therefore, according to this view, all the rest of a person’s life is defined by that original wound, and if they want to go ahead and live a fulfilling life they have to deal with that crux issue. It’s an intriguing idea. But a wound from out of the past isn’t the crux issue in anyone’s life. The crux is this: Who are you now? Because you can try to fix a wound that you believe is that crux issue, but if you don’t fix who you experience yourself to be at your core, nothing else will make you happy or fulfilled. And either that crux issue that you thought you had won’t go away, or if you think you have fixed it, you’re liable to find another one.
What a person values, they worship. And what a person worships determines who they experience themselves to be. So the key question is, What am I worshiping? Not just when I show up at a synagogue or a church or a temple of some kind. What am I valuing in my expression every day? Am I worshiping the timid, reactive, fearful person?
We are all worshiping something—giving it credibility and substantiality. In the process, we are identifying ourselves with the object of our worship.
I choose to worship the ordering power of Love and its ability to create order in my own life, and in what I say and do. I worship the ordering power of Love by letting it move, no longer walking in the paths of futility, nibbling at the edges of reality. It’s too late for that. It’s too urgent, in your life and mine and in the world in which we live, to be nibbling at the edges. We need to go right to the heart of the matter and address the crux issue at the core of the human soul: What we are worshiping and who we are being.
The Angel’s Call
This blue green orb turns and turns,
making another trip around the sun
on her path through the celestial sea;
finding her destiny,
teaming with voyagers on board,
Going ’round and ’round her source of warmth and light.
She sails through the deep
to explore territory unknown
of stars, of nebula and night.
And now, the curtains of heaven open,
just as she enters a new space
resonating with the frequency
of distant stars.
The face of the angel appears
through the parting of the telluric mist,
shimmering in heavenly light,
the hum of wings beating slowly, barely heard,
his presence felt more than seen,
his voice heard before he speaks,
we hear the angel’s call.
All is well,
Your journey has just begun.
And while earth’s fever
shall continue for a while,
peace is coming to the land,
entering you even now
as your human flesh transmutes
into robes of light.
Fly, angel of earth,
on this great journey
through the galaxy.
Keep coming, blessed one,
for you are becoming fully
what you already are,
a luminous star
in human form.
And so we continue
our precious earthly lives
now seen in the celestial setting
in which they take place.
And remember the angel’s call
in all things,
large and small.
Aum-en. Aum-en. Aum-en.