The True Renewable Resource

Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation

Angels in the Sleeping Darkness

The whirr of angel wings
Hovers in the sleeping darkness
To surround a restless planet.

Ice flows rumble,
Tsunamis tumble,
The rivers of Turtle Island
Overflow their banks.
Buildings crumble,
Markets stumble,
And leaders bumble,
With little oil
To fill their lamps.

And still the angel voices,
Whisper in the night,
To tell a different story,
Filled with tales of love and glory,
And the coming of new light.

Each illumined face appears
Shining from the deep,
Their brilliant eyes,
Like burning stars,
Watch a world asleep.

As they draw near,
Their voices raised,
They sing their song
Of celestial praise.
“Wake up, world!
Wake up, man!
Wake up, woman!
Wake up, land!”

In far-flung places,
In open spaces
Of yielded heart and mind,
Like deserts winds
Through canyon walls,
They speak to humankind
Their presence felt
As much as heard,

Their joy a breath away,
Come listen now,
Hear their song,
And all they have to say.

—David Karchere

There was reference in that poem to oil. It so happens that when David was in the process of composing that poem I was in the process of contemplating the parable of the ten virgins—one of those pieces of synchronicity that happens when you’re connected. Those lines in David’s poem—“Buildings crumble, / Markets stumble, / And leaders bumble, / With little oil / To fill their lamps”—is a very accurate description of where the world is at the moment.

In considering the parable, I was following what for me is a current discipline. It’s all very well having fine words, fine images, fine concepts and fine theories to draw upon, but what does this mean in my life? What does it mean to me? So of the ten virgins going forward to meet the bridegroom, as it is put, five had lamps with oil and with vessels with a supply of oil, and five had lamps presumably with some oil but with no supply vessels. There was the matter of the trimming of the wick.

Symbolically, for me, the lamp is consciousness, the oil is love and the trimming of the wick is a continuous pruning of what has burned, what doesn’t serve any longer. It’s dead; it’s gone. I find it interesting that the world is experiencing an oil shortage, given the way I’m interpreting that. It’s not that there really IS an oil shortage, in real terms; it’s that the world is experiencing that.

There’s a renewable resource that humankind as a whole has yet to wake up to, and that renewable resource is love. As I’m fond of saying, it’s not love as some kind of fluffy emotion. I’m talking about love as a power. We also talk about our fuel sources as powers, and we’re depleting those rapidly. But, no matter how we try, we’re not going to deplete love. We can’t stand in the way of it. Love will have its way.

I’m not too interested in engaging in what’s falling apart. I have other things to do with my time and my energy. I have an abiding interest in maintaining my true fuel levels. And this is not some kind of abstraction. It could be and has been in the past. But, for me, the only value is in where the rubber hits the road, as we say: “How does this play out in my life?”

How it plays out in my life is that I am refusing to accept judgments of my own human capacities, as a prelude to refusing to engage in judgments of other people’s capacities. What am I doing if I’m sitting in judgment of my own every move? Jane Anetrini recently referred to paradigm paralysis. One of the paradigms, I believe, is what it means to be spiritual. And in order to accomplish that concept of what it is to be spiritual, I feel I have to monitor my every move, I have to monitor everything I say, and I have to be very careful that I toe the line, spiritually speaking. That’s a form of paralysis.

I’m more interested in being on the leading edge of my own experience, to find out what it is to be looking into the unknown in a very real way. Because when it comes right down to it, the only place that I can know anything is on that leading edge. And the “leading edge,” for me, is another term for the present moment. In the present moment, the future and the past go into their respective places, which is actually nowhere. So I’m left here, hanging out on the leading edge of my experience, facing the unknown with this huge confidence that the grace that brought me safely this far is going to lead me on. All I need to do is use the lamp of my own consciousness to see what the next step is—not way down the road but just the next step. The other part is to stay open to the inexhaustible supply of the real fuel.

Life, Love, God, has done that for me every step of the way, as I’ve paid attention. I haven’t realized it all the time, but in retrospect I know that’s true. Here I am, in position to be of service to my own capacities, first of all, and then to anybody with whom I come in contact. That, to me, is a life of service.

It’s humbling for this bright intellect to have to face the fact that it doesn’t know. I claim that the most mature thing I ever said was, “I don’t know.” There was a switch in my own consciousness, because there’s the truth. I know what I need to know as I need to know it. God operates on a need-to-know basis through these capacities.

The difference in this approach is the vantage point. What is my identity aligned with? If it’s aligned with the chaos that’s going on in the world around—and it’s a fair bet it is going to increase—then all I would see is chaos and probably all I would experience is despair, because even the limited human mind knows that it can’t think its way out of this one. It’s tried that, and the “thinking its way out” has created more problems.

I choose to be aligned with Source, from which comes my own strength, and to be aligned with something that is tried and true for me, which has kept me sane for decades now, and that I can trust. Given that the job is very simple—it’s to stay in the present moment and keep my capacities open for the fuel supply that cannot be depleted, that is available to everybody—then the job is very simple. Often the simple is easy to overlook, again because the mind would like to have complexity. I believe in God, and in reality there’s all the complexity we could ever desire; but we aren’t going to know it all in one go. So it’s a matter of aligning and assuming the vantage point that I am one with the Creator, I am one with God; I am one with my own divinity. And that’s where I plan to stay.

The power of love, for me, is a very real matter. It’s not just a good idea. I believe it IS a good idea but it’s not JUST a good idea. Those who know that have the responsibility of living it. And that’s where I would like to stand.

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