Blessing to all those around us in Northern Colorado who have been impacted by the High Park Fire. Many have lost their homes, and one woman has died. Our love goes out to all who have been affected.
I am so grateful for the wisdom and power of life moving in all the ways that it has to keep Sunrise Ranch safe during the fire. I’m grateful for the firefighters and all who are contributing to that effort; to the Red Cross, for whom we are providing housing at Sunrise Ranch as they aid people affected by the fire. I’m grateful for all who live at Sunrise Ranch who have prepared for doing what they can if the fire advances further south. And I am deeply grateful for the prayers of protection from so many people around the world. It was touching to hear all the good wishes that came our way. With the expressions of love and care came a deep, abiding faith in the power of presence and consciousness. As I write today, the fire is 55% contained.
Humanity has a pivotal influence on what transpires in the natural world. In very practical ways, that is becoming apparent when it comes to pollution, global warming and other ecological impacts from human civilization. Global warming is a factor in the pine beetle infestation in Colorado, and pines that have died from the beetle are a highly flammable fuel for the High Park Fire. But it is not only in the obvious and practical ways that can be measured with relative ease scientifically that humanity affects this planet. The human energy field makes a difference in what happens in the natural world. The control mechanism for our energy field is human consciousness. If human consciousness is in a reactive state, based in greed and fear, then we are in no position to offer a blessing energetically to the natural world. But where the spirit of love prevails in human experience, there is an opportunity for something different to happen, and for us as human beings to inherit that power and dominion that’s rightly ours as universal spirit incarnate in the flesh.
I’ve been thinking about the flesh of our own bodies and the physical forms in the world around us. Speaking about Sunrise Ranch, is this a special place? This fire has made me think deeply about my relationship to this land and to what is happening here. It has made me realize that, yes, it’s my home, and in a personal sense we have deep connection with the place we call our home. But there is something else happening here that transcends a personal home, for me or for anyone else. This land, this place, has been dedicated to a grand experiment in living, a grand experiment in human consciousness. It’s been dedicated to the proposition that there could be a transformation in human consciousness that would change our relationship to each other and to the very land on which we live.
Times like this make us face what would happen if the worst came. We may have to face the question “What would I do if my home burnt down?” Maybe it makes us get in touch with the spiritual resource that brings the capacity to start again. A natural disaster such as this helps us get in touch with the fact that what we are doing is firstly about what we are doing, and then secondly about the place where we’re doing it. But the place where we’re doing it becomes something we’ve invested in and, from a practical standpoint, of value to what we are creating. It becomes part of what we are creating, not just a convenience and not something separate.
Thinking about our attitudes toward our physical bodies, sometimes a close call makes us think about the preciousness of our own flesh. We may think about our mortality, too. It can make us aware that, one way or another, our time on this planet is limited and precious.
Realistically speaking, I don’t think any of us take the attitude that whether or not our physical body survives is a mere matter of convenience. I don’t think we take the attitude that whether we live or die doesn’t matter because we will just incarnate in another physical form somewhere down the line. No, there is a vital importance to the human body, our own in particular. It allows something to happen that wouldn’t happen without a physical body. We could imagine what it would be like to be a disincarnate spirit, without a physical form. But I don’t think any of us take the attitude that there is no great significance, to us personally, to having a physical form in which to live.
So how about the physical form of Sunrise Ranch? Is it just another place? Theoretically, what is happening at Sunrise Ranch could happen anyplace. Anyplace on earth, people could come together and treat the land with care and engage together in a new way to live, and experience breakthroughs in their own awareness of the spiritual reality within them, becoming fully aware and expressive of that reality in their life. I suppose any place could become a place where people from around the world are invited to transform, to renew, and to awaken spiritually. But it did happen here.
In 1945, a spiritual pioneer, Lloyd Arthur Meeker, came to this place, Sunrise Ranch, with a small band of friends and consecrated this land for that purpose. And since that time, there have been spiritual pioneers who have inhabited this land and undertaken this work together and made this opportunity available to the world. By now, there have been generations of people that have done that. And while people have come and gone, this vision has been held constant and has been made manifest in this place. So while we could start again, from a practical standpoint, this place matters.
I do believe that is what people around the world were telling us: this place matters. We don’t have just a casual attitude: “Oh, we’ll just see what happens with the fire.” No, this is consecrated land.
There’s such a tendency in human experience to believe that life is happening to us. The truth is that we are dreaming this world into existence. For many people that dream is a nightmare, and there are nightmarish aspects to the human experience collectively. But it is our dream that is manifesting, and if we don’t like what is manifesting, we could dream something else. We are Creator-beings.
I was recently at a sister community in Southern California, Glen Ivy. Glen Ivy is entering a new cycle of service to the world as a spiritual center. I had a woman ask me what the future held for Glen Ivy. She thought I knew! I told her the point really was that there were a few of us who had come together and had agreed that we would be dreaming the new Glen Ivy into being. That we were not agreeing to fit into what we thought would happen. We were creating what was happening. There is a very special relationship between people who have that kind of bond between them—the bond of dreaming a new world into existence.
This poem I wrote recently, Love in All Its Glory, captures my experience of this process.
Love, in all its glory
reveals itself to the
and thankful heart.
So draw near to the majesty,
embrace the peace within you,
and so be embraced by love itself
which is in your every breath.
This is the day
to let go of all old things,
and even if you have been born
many times before,
to enter this world now
as if for the first time.