Last week, we heard of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-ruling British monarch. Her longevity was remarkable, yet through it she revealed something else we celebrate even more: a noble quality of character, a devotion to her people, and a devotion to the world.
Our love is with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth at this time of loss. For all of us around the world who felt an affinity with the spirit that this woman brought to the world, it is a time of mourning and of celebrating a human being who gave so much.
On her 21st birthday, then Princess Elizabeth spoke in a video to her people, saying that her whole life, however long or short, would be devoted to them. It was a monumental commitment to make. What is even more inspiring is that she made good on her words. For 70 years as Queen, she lived a life of constant devotion and service.
I have been to the United Kingdom many times. It is remarkable to me what can happen spiritually in that land. I have offered workshops and presentations of various kinds—on Attunement, Healing Chant, and more—and I have always found some kind of spiritual superconductivity in that land and the people of it, and I always wondered why. I could attribute it to many things. Perhaps it is the proximity of Great Britain to the storied ancient kingdom of Atlantis. Maybe it is its unique expression of Christianity. Or perhaps it is a result of the unique culture that developed in Great Britain.
Great Britain is a collective project of Europe. There was a native British people—the Britons. The Romans, from modern-day Italy, invaded in the first century A.D. While you might think of that in terms of military conquest, the Romans contributed their gifts of civil engineering, language, and government to the development of the British culture.
Beginning in about 450 A.D., Germanic tribes invaded Great Britain from modern-day Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark, and along with the native people, became the Anglo-Saxons. They brought their art and technology and contributed heavily to the English language and gene pool.
Following the invasion of the Germanic tribes, Vikings invaded from modern-day Norway and Denmark. They influenced the developing English language and commerce. They brought their prowess as shipbuilders to the emerging island nation.
In 1066 A.D., William the Conqueror invaded from Normandy in modern-day France. The Normans were Northmen of Viking descent who mingled with the French population of the day, who themselves had been heavily influenced by Roman culture. The Normans had a massive impact on the English language and government.
All these people, along with more recent immigrants, created British culture. But I realized, with the Queen’s passing, something else that I had not seen before now. The spirit of the United Kingdom I felt when I visited there was her spirit. I was feeling her presence with her people. I was feeling the high love from the people of the United Kingdom for her. Her spirit spread throughout the land over the past seventy years—one person making that difference, one person making a holy commitment, and then following through on it. Absolutely remarkable!
They say that in the United Kingdom, there are people who are for the monarchy and would like to see it continue, and there are people who are not in favor of it. And yet virtually all of them love the Queen. The power of her character and the expression of her spirit carried the day.
And so it is with all people in all lands—the expression of true character carries the day.
We, in the United States, have our own royalty. Sometimes we think it is the Hollywood stars. We do monarchy in an American way.
Monarchy has its ups and downs, according to who inherits the throne. In England, there have been great monarchs and poor ones. And likewise, in this country, we have had great presidents and awful ones. In this world in which we live, there are no guarantees in that regard, regardless of the system of government.
This past week, finally, the portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were hung in the White House. At the end of a long row of portraits of white American presidents, there is now the portrait of the first black man. When Barack and Michelle spoke, along with Joe and Jill Biden, I thought, Here is our royalty. I am not speaking about their politics. I am saying there is a nobility of character in them that is worthy of my support and upliftment.
We can have an inhibition in America when it comes to lauding our leaders. It seems more entertaining to throw rocks at them and tear them down. And yet I can praise those who have served, in whatever way—not with rose-colored glasses but with unrestrained love and support for them.
When we think of the Queen, it might be easy to be jealous of all the palaces, all the servants, all the clothes, and all the travel. What glamor! And yet, every day, she got up and made public appearances in lowly places. Every day, she took care of the business of her role and served her people. She was tireless. And she is known for her constancy and unerring attention to the duties she committed herself to.
On September 6, the Queen performed her last public act. She arose out of her bed to formally ask Liz Truss, the new prime minister, to form a new government. Two days later, the Queen died.
We cannot laud the service of others, and the fulfillment of mission by others, without the urge to reflect on ourselves and the service that we have to offer to the world, unique to each of us.
The meaning of our life comes back to the way we conduct our lives and the constancy of our gift in the middle of the conflicted world in which we live. There is conflict everywhere; it is trite to say but true. There is outright war in various places around the world. There are challenges to freedom right here in America and elsewhere. And for most people, that conflict in the outer world mirrors something happening within them. Who could say that it is all out there and nothing is going on in here? If nothing else, at an emotional level, we feel it, do we not? We feel what is happening out there, and there may be answering chords of conflict within ourselves.
You could wonder, Would Queen Elizabeth have felt any of those things? She was very aware of the world situation. Far more aware than most people, she knew of the conflict in the world. And it is hard to imagine that she would not have felt those things inside herself related to what was happening near and far in her own life, and even in her own family.
Great service such as she offered is not given in the world where we live, in the middle of peace, prosperity, and quietude. That is not what is happening in our world. That is not what was happening for her. That is not what is happening in this country for our leaders. They are not called upon to provide leadership in an unconflicted world. They are challenged to bring grace and peace through themselves and to create confidence and assurance for their people. They are challenged to bring a sense of love and care in the midst of conflict.
The disciple, John, speaks of a great wonder in heaven—not in some far-distant place. Not somewhere in the sky above the Earth. It was a great wonder transpiring within the consciousness of humankind. What he spoke of has a physical manifestation in our culture today, but he was speaking to a wonder transpiring in consciousness—in heaven.
He saw a woman, “clothed with the sun,” giving birth to a man-child.
This is a picture of our experience. We are the woman clothed with the sun. There is new life and a new awareness being born through us, pictured as a man-child who was to govern. What is being born through us brings the government of love, the government of peace, into a conflicted world.
Next, the great red dragon seeks to devour the man-child. There is war in heaven—in human consciousness.
Is that not us? You and me? Is it not Sunrise Ranch, Emissaries of Divine Light? Is it not anyone who brings the government of peace into the world? The great red dragon is right there, ready to swallow it up. There is something there, ready to devour what is being born if we let it if we do not hold the man-child safe. The dragon might be within ourselves. Or embodied in another person.
In America, the great red dragon seeks to devour democracy. The spirit of freedom was born in this country, and it will be consumed by the great red dragon if we, the people through whom it was born, do not keep it safe.
It is one thing for Queen Elizabeth to have made that statement, that commitment, seventy-five years ago, and it is another thing for her to have gotten up every morning in the face of the great red dragon. You did not feel the conflict from her. You felt the Prince of Peace, the spirit of peace, love and blessing, care, holding the spirit of her people safe.
These are trying times in the UK right now. They are suffering from the impact of Brexit, the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. In the midst of all that, they lost their Queen. So, we pray for King Charles III, that he may carry on valiantly and rise to the occasion. The world has not seen all of what he is capable of, nor has he. He has more to give. And so do the people of the United Kingdom. So, we wish the King well and wish his people well. We offer our spiritual support to the new prime minister, Liz Truss.
But good wishes from afar alone do not carry the day. What carries the day in our life is a recognition of the gift that has come to us and the commission that is ours to fulfill. How would you name the greatest gift that has come to you? And what is your commission in sharing that gift with your world? Yes, it was a gift to us, each of us, whatever it was. But not just for us. Whatever gifts we have received are ours to pass on.
For me, I cannot imagine having been given a greater gift. I could try to name it. The gift of life—yes, the gift of being born into this world as a human being. Without that, there is nothing else. But I am thinking now of the gift of being reborn, finding my life, finding who I am. The gift of the highest love I can imagine. The gift of witnessing people I loved and admired so intensely that I feel the immense urge to give my life in gratitude for who they were and the service they offered to the world. The gift of being shown an uncommon wisdom, like none I have come across before or since. A wisdom that I understand mentally but wisdom that goes far beyond that. It is wisdom that I feel and know in my bones, that rings true all the way through me. It is a wisdom of who we are as human beings. Wisdom of how we were made and what from. A wisdom of what our destiny is as humankind. It is a wisdom and a knowing of the one God that we serve—not the God of any religion, although any religion may acknowledge the one God. But ultimately, it is not a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim God, or the God of any other faith, even though all faiths have the opportunity to acknowledge the one God, the reality of the Creator, the God of Universal Love.
Why, having received such a gift, would a person not devote their life to giving that gift to the world? I have nothing better to do. I have no pressing appointments, no golf game I am waiting for, no travel or riches that are more important to me. I have nothing better to do than commit myself to my first love.
Why would any of us not use every last bit of human resource, all our strength, all the intelligence that we have available to us, to offer the gift we have received to the world?
Why would we not give all of our heart to this? I cannot imagine why not. And have the faith that, in doing this, all is taken care of. In an obvious, literal sense, Queen Elizabeth did have everything taken care of. She did one thing—being Queen—and everything else was taken care of.
We don’t offer the gift to people or to the world without conflict present. Conflict can disillusion and discourage people. Not me. It only impresses upon me the greatness of the need. Why should it convince us of anything else? If there is conflict, if there is disillusionment or discouragement, why should it motivate us in any other way than to see the greatness of the need of the people so that we show up ever more so and deliver the gift ever more?
It is a sad day when a person seeing conflict around them goes home. What if the Queen, halfway through her reign, said, “The people are getting discouraged and disillusioned, and there is conflict in the land—I am packing it in”? That is not what happened. She continued through any conflict. And that is not what should happen for anyone.
As Jesus says in the Gospels, “For this cause came I.” I am here for this. This, whatever it is—I am here for this.