On a global level, it’s becoming more and more apparent that we as human beings are very powerful. Even a hundred years ago, the extent of that power wasn’t as obvious. Today we know that we, the human race, not only have the power to go to the moon, the power to create the Internet, and the power to create artificial intelligence from silicone chips, but also the power to raise the temperature on the planet; the power to create desertification and the decimation of species; the power to blow ourselves up in a nuclear holocaust. We have tremendous power as human beings, even though we, as a species, sometimes pretend that we don’t. The human race has pretended that it is not us who is raising the temperature of the planet, and it tries to forget the risk that we could end life as we know it on Planet Earth through nuclear war.
We hold much of this global power collectively. There is no one person who caused desertification or global warming. It was us, all together, as a species. We are involved in a use of power that is not only planet-wide but species-wide. We’re participating in it. Those things that I mentioned, all of them, give evidence that we have tremendous creative power, and perhaps more creative power than we have understood.
Something similar happens on the micro level of a family or a community. We have tremendous power with other people. We are affecting other people profoundly all the time, sometimes in a way that we can be blissfully unconscious of. I believe that we can use that power for good when we own it and use it consciously. It would be responsible for us as a race to own our power and, with that, to own the impact that we’re having. The same is true for us individually. The intelligent question to ask is not whether we have great power. The intelligent question is how we use our power for good.
In this era, technology is expanding our power all the time. We have problems, but the problems aren’t that we don’t have enough technology. In fact, many of our problems are a result of technology that we have created. Actually, our problem is our use of technology.
Today any of the problems that I have named, and more, are solvable by us on a technological basis. We have technology to feed ourselves; we know how to reverse desertification on the planet. The problem isn’t really a problem of scientific or technological knowledge. That has exploded in our lifetime, and we have no reason to believe that won’t continue. But we have a spiritual problem. We have a consciousness problem that prevents us, as a race, from making wise use of technology.
At the root of the spiritual problem is a home problem. Why is it that we are using the power we have the way we are as a species? Is it not that we’re trying to create home? A secure home, a happy home, a thriving home? At every level of our human experience, I believe that is what’s going on. At the level of nations, Russia is having an increasing impact on the world. I don’t believe that the Russian government is doing anything other than trying to secure a happy, thriving home for the Russian people. And so are all the other nations of the world, often in conflict with each other.
That urge to create a home that doesn’t seem to exist is a cause of trouble at every level. That urge is global and it is individual. I noticed in myself this week a wistful longing for home—an almost grieving, mourning longing. Do you ever have those feelings? What’s that all about? I know for myself where those feelings could go if I let them—and it isn’t a pretty picture.
When you don’t feel at home but desire it, and you are trying to secure home in an outer sense by what you’re doing in the world, based on a heart that doesn’t feel it’s at home—that can go to bad places. At an individual level it breeds substance abuse, crime, depression and plain old unhappiness. It might lead to trying to build home in the world. But you cannot build a big enough house to create home.
For me, I sat with my feelings and pondered what was going on. I had this thought: What if what I am interpreting as a desire for home, as a longing for it, is actually home itself that’s looking to come through me, to be acknowledged and celebrated by me? What if I’ve just misinterpreted that urge, thinking that home was not present, and then feeling sad that it wasn’t? Maybe the urge that is trying to surface in my consciousness is gratitude for the home that is already present. Maybe it is an urge to celebrate home with other people; an urge to know home and to share it with other people.
This has to do with the intimate spaces of consciousness, because home isn’t really about a house per se. Home is the context for self. And what is that context? At every level, a self has a context, a home to live in. At a physical level, a home might be a house. But we don’t live only at a physical level. We live in the intimate spaces of who we are.
For so many people, there is only a vestigial home in their experience. This is a shadow of the home that is there within a person, but perhaps hidden from sight and awareness.
This is how Merriam-Webster defines the word vestigial:
- of a body part or organ: remaining in a form that is small or imperfectly developed and not able to function
- remaining as the last small part of something that existed before
If a person loses an arm or a leg, they might still have the phantom sensation of the limb that is no longer there. I think we sometimes relate to home that way. We feel the ghost of its presence, and yet the real flesh of it in daily experience seems elusive. And so we long for it as if it wasn’t there.
We are present at so many levels of our being, beginning with the physical. We are present also at the highest levels, in the intimate spaces of consciousness. Intimacy is a word that refers to the inmost place in ourselves. When we are in that place, it’s not just us who are there. We find other human beings who have awoken to that place. There is home in those intimate spaces.
The intimate space of consciousness has been called the secret place of the Most High, and it’s not called secret for nothing. It’s called secret because, generally speaking, people don’t visit there; they don’t go to that place in themselves, they don’t live from that place in their life. It is a home that is present but not made real in the person’s experience, like a vestigial organ or a lost limb. But when a person moves, in their awareness, into that place, they know the reality of home for the highest experiences of self.
Celebrate that home! Share it with others. That celebration and sharing transforms what has been a sense of loss and longing to an awareness of a home that is not just physical. It is the home that is an intimate space for the highest reality of who we are. In that space, we begin to discover the power we have to create. Owning our creative power, we begin to discover how to use it for good.