The Pope has called for a revolution of tenderness. The Dalai Lama, when asked about the remedy for the contempt that’s present in our politics across the globe, answered very simply: “Warm-heartedness.” It wasn’t a sophisticated answer, it wasn’t eloquent philosophizing, and it might not even sound like Buddhism. And yet both these spiritual leaders are offering a simple solution to the complex problems we face as humankind.
The word blessing is another name for the experience of the human heart when it opens to the influence of Universal Love. The creative process certainly requires intellectual brilliance and great intelligence. It requires the strength and endurance to see it through. From where do these virtues arise? Where does it all begin?
I am suspicious of philosophy and supposed intelligence that doesn’t come from a tender heart. There are so many very smart people with elaborate solutions for the human dilemma. In my experience, the creative process never comes together with other human beings if the heart isn’t open to Universal Love in the practical living of life.
This is the crucial factor for the initiation of the creative process in the human experience—the exposure of the human heart to that great power of love, which is the power of Creation within us. We have the ability as human beings to hold our heart away from that power. There can be an armoring of the heart that blocks out the fiery power within us. When that happens, the heart grows cold. The psychic structures that are in it become rock-solid.
It seems clear that there is a need for those structures to reshape and reform in human culture around the world. They must evolve into a new reality of culture and consciousness if our species is to endure.
We are on a wild ride of destiny as humankind. That’s true for each one of us in our human lives: we are each on that wild ride unless you got a very different life program than me. All together, we are hurtling through space. We think of the earth as revolving around the sun, but the sun itself is hurtling through the universe at 45 thousand miles an hour. We are orbiting around it, but not just circling in place. We are spiraling through space with changing vibrational factors in the new regions of space we encounter.
As a human race, we are certainly on our own wild ride in the middle of this universal context, multiplying our population almost three times over in my lifetime. That fact alone is fantastic. But it is indicative of so much else that is changing in our human experience.
There is certainly an evolution of thought for humanity, and with it an evolution of technology and science. In 1954, Lloyd Arthur Meeker gave a talk expressing his great concern about the possibility that the evolution of science and technology would outpace the evolution of consciousness in other areas of human experience. He was particularly concerned about the atomic bomb, and so he was urging people to allow their own function spiritually to evolve so that the power of love that was being known and shared could keep pace with the evolution of technology, and therefore allow the technology that’s being developed in the world to be used for good. Observing the development of technology in the world today, it is easy to wonder whether the development of our spiritual function is keeping pace with it.
Seeds for the evolution of conscious awareness for humanity were planted long ago. We are planting seeds today. So the call to tenderheartedness didn’t originate with the current Pope. The call for warm-heartedness didn’t originate with the Dalai Lama. The seeds of conscious evolution have been planted and are present within our awareness. They are not a sophisticated philosophy, but still an enlightened one. At its core are very simple ideas that, when replicated throughout humanity, become complex and beautiful. The very simple idea of being in loving, respectful relationship with another human being, if replicated around the world, brings peace.
Simple ideas within the individual become something beautifully complex in the variety of each one of us in our unique selfhood. And then there is the multiplicity of variety because between any two unique beings there is a unique relationship that has a creative quality all to itself.
The community where I live, Sunrise Ranch, has about 100 people living here. We have some kind of relationship with the other 99 community members. That’s 4,950 unique relationships!
The world contains 7.5 billion people. How many relationships is that?
The experience of blessing shared between people heals the primal bond that joins us together as human beings. With this basic building block, we could create a world. We already have the technology to allow this planet to blossom. But that’s not currently what’s happening: we’re witness to desertification and the decimation of forests and species. But we have the technology to do something else already.
Our use of the technology suffers because our conscious awareness and our spirituality are still trying to catch up to our science and technology. We have the external forms of technology growing at a geometric pace—computer chips that are shrinking, with increasing computing power. Moore’s Law states that computing power is doubling annually.
But how about the software? At one level, the software for information technology is computer code. But there is another level of software that is critical to the creative use of computing power—the human experience. The quality of relationship between us and the quality of enlightened thought that we share creates the software required to encompass the hardware dimension of our technology.
This software is composed of the power of relationship among us and the power of thought that begins to move among us. It is the power of Universal Love that moves through and between people. The phrase the power of love has become trite: “Oh, the power of love—how sweet, how romantic.” But the power of love is the power of the universe moving through a human being, and then moving through humanity—who knows what it would do if it moved through full throttle? Do we really know?
We know what it is like if you and I are reverberating in the power of love together. Between us as men and women, between men, between women, it rocks our Being and it rocks our world.
Love is a power and it is a software. It can guide what is happening in human experience when it is moving clearly and fully. When it is, it’s rocking our world. When that power is cut off, or used in a confronting, attacking kind of way, we bounce off each other. Then the software that ought to be present in the human experience before any computer software is in operation is not in play. The first software is in consciousness. If we don’t have that software, they tell us that all the other software is going to take over—chips in the brain, computer viruses, hacking into political campaigns, and androids taking over the world.
The Internet brings the possibility of bringing freedom of ideas and freedom of connection around the globe. But it isn’t necessarily used for those things because behind the software of the Internet is the software of the human heart and mind, which is controlling the Internet. How else would it be?
Do I think that we should spend our whole lives walking around, simply loving each other and radiating love ourselves? I have two answers to that. The first one is an unequivocal yes. But the second part of the answer is this: The resonance that is activated when the human heart connects to love naturally takes us into the creativity of the rest of our lives—truly wise, creative thought, and powerful action aligned with our loving intent.
Expressing Universal Love is the beginning of a new world. Being in that resonance, we are inheriting the power we have as the creators that we are, and the power of the Creator that we are together on this planet. And so we have wonderful things to manifest in physical form. But there’s a starting point for them all—blessing: the power of Universal Love entering the human heart. You can’t start anyplace else and come to something good. You can’t start a human life, you can’t start creation, from anyplace else but a tender heart and expect it to go to something good.
So I celebrate the message of the Pope and the Dalai Lama, and of anyone, anywhere who is bringing the wisdom of these things to the world. May you and I do our parts to create a new beginning for the world, right in the middle of all that doesn’t work when we, as human beings, don’t practice warm-heartedness and tenderness in our daily life.
Thank you, David, for this powerful invitation. And thanks, Anne-Lise, for your reference to the 4 stages of community. The software of Love refers not simply to the niceness that results in Pseudo-Community. It’s about holding Love in the heart all the way through to True Community – through the chaos in particular. It’s in the place of True Community that real power lies – the power of being in one place in one accord, aware of, and surrendered to, something higher, and allowing that Higher something to guide us as we take action together.
Keeping the Love software going even when we feel challenged, uncomfortable, angry, fearful etc is key in my life if I’m to really be of service in the world. Thank you for this potent reminder, David.
Thank you David, for your words in this pulse of spirit this week, which i feel is a call to tenderheartedness and engenders that virtue as a resilient faculty through which to pour Spirit of Love into our confused, fearful and angry worlds.
I have been relooking at Scott Peck’s 4 stages of community – pseudo-community; Chaos; Emptying; True Community.
Each one of us has the opportunity and privilege to upgrade our own software to let the Power of Universal Love pour through – and as Howard reminded us this morning, we start with Blessing.
I do this now in this moment towards you and your service, and anyone else doing this same work, of which i do believe there are plenty. I know of quite a few !
In So Many Words
(gently in water)
A petal-soft voice
and ample laughter;
of lingering sweets.