Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
This time this morning is a service of the Third Sacred School. That statement probably invites the question, what were the first two? Uranda, who founded this ministry, Emissaries of Divine Light, described how there had been a physical approach to spirituality, and there had been an essentially mental approach; and that in this day, the only approach that would work was a spiritual approach to spirituality—an approach that invited people to become conscious about what was happening for them in terms of the quality of spirit that they expressed in their world.
This range of work invites us to be perceptive about what is happening energetically. And not only perceptive, but conscious, because in fact most people perceive subconsciously what is happening energetically around them. If you walk into a room you can feel what is happening with other people in that room. But there is something, for most people, that doesn’t want to be fully conscious—that wants to look the other way, wants to pretend what’s happening isn’t happening, that doesn’t want to be fully aware of the quality of energy that the person, him- or herself, is bringing to the circumstance.
So the Third Sacred School is a practice that invites us to be conscious, to be willing to be aware, and to work consciously with what we’re bringing and how it impacts the space that we’re in. It invites us to be aware of the spiritual commons in which we’re functioning—the spiritual commons, not just the physical space held in common, although that’s part of the picture. Not just the mental commons, the commons of ideas, but the spiritual commons, where the quality of energy, the quality of spirit that people are bringing, is seen to be the ultimate currency, the real moving and shaking element for what is happening in our world.
We are called to be powerful people energetically in that commons. I want to talk about what it means to be a powerful person in our world. There’s an archetype we sometimes use to describe that: the archetype of the warrior. We know that, at the physical level, being a warrior can be translated into violence, and certainly it has been. We have a history on this planet that’s filled with conquering, domination, and all kinds of awful things. So we know full well where warrior energy can go.
We may know for ourselves where our own warrior energy can go. We may know the damage that we can do. Even if we haven’t conquered a nation, we may have dominated a person in an unhealthy and unkind way. If we’ve done that, there may be something in us that says, “I will never do that again. I hate myself for doing that.”
Still, it is natural for us to be strong people in our world. So in some way we have to deal with our strength. We can choose to be unconscious of it. We can try to be small. Have you ever tried to do that? Have you ever thought, “I’ll just go away and be small, and maybe things will work better”? How long can you keep that up?
It seems that to live in the world as a human being, our strength is going to be there. The choice isn’t really whether our strength is going to be in the picture in some way. The choice is whether we are going to be conscious of it and therefore be responsible for it.
So we know something of what it could look like to be a physical warrior, maybe even a mental warrior with dominating ideas. What would it mean to be a true spiritual warrior?
They say that there’s a feminine way to be a warrior and there’s a masculine way to be a warrior. I don’t mean that it’s only women who do it the feminine way, or just men who do it the masculine way, though the ways of being a warrior are probably emphasized in the respective sexes. The feminine way of being a spiritual warrior is about protecting sacred space. The feminine dynamic of the spiritual warrior says, “This space here—this space, my space, this home, this container, is for one thing. And anything that would come into this container that would spoil this one thing that needs to be happening here—anything that would come in and harm my children, my creation in my home, this sacred space, is not welcome.”
That is the spirit of the feminine warrior that protects and keeps sacred what ought to be protected and kept sacred. And why? So that the sacred process of creation may continue. So that the children of whatever kind, whether they are physical children, other people, even the “children” of ideas, the “children” of living spiritual form, are kept safe and have a place to thrive. So that is the dynamic of the feminine spiritual warrior.
How about the masculine spiritual warrior? We have a lot of reason to feel shame over this dynamic, because of the history of humanity. You can think about your own history and the history of your people. Just to ante up in the game, I’ll talk a little bit about my background in this regard. My father’s family is Jewish, and if I go back and I read the stories of the children of Israel, they were a warring people and a conquering people. I’ve been told there’s something shameful about that, and I certainly don’t want to be a warring and conquering person myself.
I live in America, and part of my family is from Kentucky, dating back to the early settlers. I feel shame for what we did as a people to the Native Americans who were present when my ancestors first came to this country. It was shameful. And I carry feelings of guilt for the fact that my country and my ancestors enslaved black people and brought them from Africa to our country and treated them horribly. It was a
shameful thing. You can think about what it is for your background. I can imagine, being of European background and living in South Africa, that there must be a burden to feel with that history. And if you’re from a European background, it isn’t just South Africa where injustice has been done; it’s around the world, in so many places. While there has been some noble character in all of that, there was also something awful about it, and awful things that were done, things that could make a person hide from their own strength, knowing what their strength could do and what the strength of their people could do.
So what would it be like for a person, coming from that kind of a background, to come into a consideration of spiritual things, into this Third Sacred School that is about bringing spiritual energy, and about being conscious of that? Coming to this dynamic of the masculine warrior, how would that be? How is it for you if you are invited to be conscious of that quality of spirit strength, which is natural to you? This is an energy that can be healthy and creative. It can bring a profound creative influence into the world that isn’t just in my space. It isn’t just for me and mine. This creative energy that we have to bring is to bring leadership to a larger and larger field. Who I am can’t just stay home. I am bigger than my home, and so it is with you. Our nature is to be expansive. Our nature is to bring the dominion of love into an ever-increasing world of influence—into the spiritual commons. I can’t help but want to do that.
In some way, it’s never enough. If I’ve extended my spirit this far, I want to go further. For all of us, there is something in our nature that wants to shout from the rooftops, that has a very large spiritual message to bring. If I have a personal background, or a background of history and culture that makes me aware that my inherent strength can go to destructive things, and if you are asking me to be conscious of my native ability to extend my spirit to an ever-increasing world, I may tell you, “Don’t make me think about that! Don’t make me be conscious of that.” And if you’re telling me that you are about that, you just might be a pretty dangerous person.
We could choose to stay small and let our strength leak out in unconscious ways. But unless you want to keel over, your strength is not an option. It isn’t an option for any of us. We are by nature strong people who want to be in the world in a strong way spiritually. Our choice isn’t our strength. Our choice is whether we will be conscious of our strength. Our choice is what we will do with our strength. Will we use it for the highest good? Will we choose to serve something beyond ourselves? What shall we serve? Will we allow our warrior spirits to serve the highest purpose available to us?
We have the opportunity to assume the stance expressed by the song Joyce sang. We can say for our warrior spirits, “One shall we worship, One shall we serve, One shall we love, in all things.” It is the only way to love all things: to serve the One. You can’t go around loving people and make it work on any other basis. I defy you to succeed at that. I defy you to go around trying to love people without loving the One first. Without that, we’re a pretty hard species to love, if you hadn’t noticed—but you probably have!
Where there is one love, all-consuming love, we can love all and hold all in that one all-consuming love. By loving that way, we are true to our being in the world, acknowledging our true stature as beings. How large are we? How large are you? Physically, somewhere between five and six feet, probably. Mentally speaking, are there any giants in the room? Mentally we do get a little bigger—we have a mental world that’s larger than the immediate physical world. So we have a mental stature that is somewhat bigger than the physical one. We’re aware of things that go out beyond the immediate, from a mental standpoint.
How large are you spiritually? How large am I? To explore this question, you might consider, what do you care about? How big is what you care about? At some point you may, if you haven’t already, become aware that you won’t be happy unless this whole world is healthy. You may become aware that your fate and your destiny, your well-being, aren’t separate from the well-being of this whole world. That’s an indication that you are at least as big as the whole world, spiritually speaking.
Your spirit is intrinsically tied in with what is happening all over this world. You can choose not to be aware of it, but it matters to you what is happening around this world. You will feel it. If there’s a hardship in Australia or in China, you feel it. When something happened on 9/11 in New York, I know people felt it around the world. Why? Because it was happening in their spiritual domain, because you are that large.
What would happen if there were a body of people that became aware that, from a spiritual standpoint, we are bigger than what’s happening in this world? It would change the whole game of human existence, wouldn’t it?
It’s hard to own that stature without owning the dimensions of our own spiritual warrior. If we don’t own that, we may be playing small. If we do own our own spiritual warriorhood, we come to see that we are people of great stature, and that extends at least to the four corners of the world.
We have done a piece of spiritual work here this morning—and I hope you didn’t feel worked on in the process! I hope you have the experience of being the one doing the work. We are doing important work for this nation here in South Africa, and for people around the world. Do you think there are people around the world who are trapped in this issue? Who are afraid of being true spiritual warriors? I know tons of them; I’ll bet you do too. By claiming our own stature and our own being in the world, our own strength in the world, we set them free.
I have two short biblical quotes, one for the feminine spiritual warrior, and one for the masculine. For the feminine: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.” (Isaiah 11:9) Isn’t that rightly our attitude toward our own being, and to all that we encompass in our immediate field? “This will be held safe in me.”
For the masculine warrior dynamic: “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)
O Lord of all, we love and serve Thee only. And in loving and in serving Thee, we love and serve all people, and love and serve our world in Thy name. Aum-en.