February 4, 2018
Move With the Integrative Cycle!
Larry Krantz: As a young person I wanted my life to have meaning. Many young people have idealism and want to make a difference in the world. Some tech companies even have as a recruiting slogan that their company will change the world, which may be true in a narrow sense. I moved toward the healthcare field, but soon realized that patients were like revolving doors, one coming after another. I never got to the heart of the matter, where I felt I was making changes at a deeper level. Fortunately, I found spiritually-oriented people to point me in the right direction and provide mentoring. It changed my life. This grouping attracted wonderful people from around the world, in ways that seemed magical. It grew organically and offered remarkable insights. I assumed it would continue to grow until it reached sufficient size to influence world consciousness in significant ways, to assist people awakening to their divine selves. That might have happened had things continued along the same trajectory, but it did not.
In retrospect it is a bit naïve to think things would follow a straight line so easily. After all, many great spiritual lights, known and unknown, throughout history have not been able to restore divine consciousness on a wide scale. The ego-centric, short-sighted human state is dug in. It is stubborn and resistant to change. Even the One we call the Master saw the magnitude of what He was up against. He said, "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." (Matt 13:15)
This emphasizes the challenge we are up against. Our world is messy and weird and dangerous. Perhaps from a cosmic viewpoint, humanity could simply be erased, the way we might delete a mistake on an email—correct it and move on. The human experience expunged. That is one possibility. But, we are still here, and I am hopeful for creative change. Expansion and ascension occur in mostly invisible ways.
When I was a youngster, my family took a vacation south of the Mason-Dixon Line and I was shocked to see water fountains and restrooms for white people only, with alternatives for those of color. Later, in suburban New York, I saw other less overt but just as real kinds of prejudice and rigidities of thought. People had views about who should not be allowed to move into our neighborhood, or that it was anathema to marry out of one's religion, or that an unwed pregnant mother should be shamed, or that unmarried couples should not be intimate or live together. Many of these rigid structures in consciousness have since dissolved, especially in the Western World. We have lived through remarkable social change. Young people see the world differently than I did. They accept others, regardless of color or who they love, for example. This opens space in consciousness. Judgments restrict the movement of spirit. It is said that whatever is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven. Now we have social media, where people once isolated see other possibilities. For example, I read that some young women in Iran had removed their headscarves in defiance of the religious police, encouraged by what they saw in other cultures. There is a growing sense of oneness in the world, of not judging and having restrictive views as much as before.
Space is also opening up internally. Those of us with some spiritual understanding have a particular responsibility in this regard. We can work with currents of thought or emotion as they come to us, in our daily circumstances or when we watch the news, along with millions of other people. If we are not caught in picking sides and becoming emotionally involved, we are free to open an inner path to see things from a higher perspective. The news as it is reported is mostly superficial anyway. What is really new emerges through one's own capacities in the current of this moment, and that is what matters.
Life should not be so complicated. Truth bubbles up continually from source and presents our minds with what we need to know now, that we may handle what is in front of us. It is not convoluted and tricked-up. It is efficient. We know what we need to know. Our hearts, if they are open to what is higher, already know love. Many well-meaning people try to prove their love for the Lord through endless prayers or by denying natural creative urges or fasting from food or water; I have even seen men and boys whip themselves in a religious fervor until they bled. This is unnecessary. We already love the Lord and love one another. It does not need to be manufactured—just uncovered, to let what is true in the heaven be revealed. It is who we are. We are Love and we are Truth.
Insights that pierce the veil pop up in unexpected places. For example, here are words from the comedian, Jim Carrey: "Einstein said that thoughts suffer from an optical illusion of consciousness. This illusion that there is a separate person inside an environment, when in reality it's just energy in motion everywhere.... Ego is very tricky... it's convinced us we need to find something we already have. And that's what it constantly is doing, it's trying to keep you from being you and me right now loving this life. Once you realize you're complete then this life and everything in it becomes a play of form. And yet the one thing that remains is this feeling of existence. 'I AM' remains. This feeling of 'I AM' Enlightenment is where you are, you're completely full and complete. And once you realize that, then there's nothing you need." (Jim Carrey, April 3, 2017)
So, why not let our minds and hearts come to rest and be our divine selves? The inner current of spirit provides all we need, and our living helps lift up human consciousness, that the Earth may once again be walked by divine men and women.
Volker Brendel: Thank you, Larry, for your words of wisdom. I always enjoy the cadence of your speaking. There is a beautiful calmness about your expression, a depth that goes to a rock of experience. I think this has been described as "speaking with authority." Your overwhelming sense that all is well comes through very clearly. I know that in your work as a practicing medical doctor, you have been in many situations that would be considered emergencies on the surface. Experience shows that the most effective and generative way to be in such situations is to be firmly anchored in the truth that ultimately all is well, life can be trusted.
I think the phrases "to speak with authority" or "to be a person of authority" are interesting ones that obviously relate to being an author, maybe the author of one's life experience, and invoke the notions of being authentic, being in charge, being confident. We use that description for someone who demonstrably and genuinely has the experience that comes with a lot of living, having lived and walked the talk. If someone is an authority on some technical topic (let's say machine-learning algorithms in computer science), that person will have studied the topic at great depth and thus have acquired the knowledge and expertise to be an authority on that topic. You can take any area of expertise and there will be such experts, authorities. But in addition to having put in the study time to become that expert, to be an authority also means to keep that expertise and knowledge alive and current. It is often a sad picture when we meet somebody who used to be an authority on something but has somehow missed what has been happening since their prime.
To be current, to be in movement, to be in the flow, is a characteristic of life. Life is constantly moving, be it moving molecules around or moving ideas. If we think of our physical bodies, when we stop moving we have taken a big step towards death. Obviously, sometimes parts of our bodies may be immobilized while internal organs and the brain are still functioning, but ultimately if all movement stops, the resulting experience is death. Our hearts must keep pumping oxygen toward other parts that desperately need that supply of energy, and other parts of our bodies need to keep moving to keep the heart happy. Recent studies have shown that muscles atrophy at a rapid pace if they are not being used. A great danger in falling ill and being bedridden for a while is that other parts of our functioning bodies are not being exercised and can atrophy. Athletes are constantly encouraged to keep moving even while they are recovering from injury, and the same is true for older citizens who may be less mobile and sometimes need to visit hospital beds. But on their way to recovery, they need to keep active as much as possible.
Similarly important is mental movement. When mental agility is lacking, we age rapidly. No doubt all of you have met (or I should say, some of you are probably in that category yourselves!) older people who are excited about life, about living now, who are mentally engaged, who are still learning new things and keep an interest in their surrounds and the younger generations. These folks are inspiring. I admire them, and I want to be counted in their company now and as long as I can move. Why? Because life itself is about movement, and if we want to be alive and lively it behooves us to be in the flow as much as possible.
Interestingly, this consideration does not stop with activities on the spiritual level. What becomes of spiritual teachings that are not kept alive in the current? While this may be provocative to some, I will state nonetheless that spiritual teachings that fail to live in the current of life now turn into what we call religions. I should say that many religious folks are spiritually alert and active and make wonderful contributions. So, my comments address more institutionalized religion. As human beings we tend to be able to see the validity of my statement more easily "over there," in religions that we did not grow up with and are less familiar with. Take for example the veiling of women that is advocated by institutionalized religion in some parts of the world. Larry referred to one recent event questioning this custom. Presumably we can trace this custom to something that somebody decreed in the seventh century, and it has been institutionalized in religious doctrine since. It could be that this gets reinterpreted at times, but it is something that was taught and deemed valuable by people in some historical context, be it faraway or more recent. Eventually it becomes institutionalized, and in some cases taken as an eternal truth, a command of God that must be followed.
We can examine this a little closer to home. Take an example like circumcising male babies at birth or soon after. This is a tradition that goes back a couple of thousand years and has been institutionalized and taken as godly doctrine that must be followed if you want to follow other parts of that particular religion. Then there is a question of homosexuality, which in many churches is considered unnatural and immoral behavior and not obeying the code of a particular church. It is often severely punished by excommunication and banishment. So we can see that wherever some of these traditions came from, in many cases initiated centuries or millennia ago, they have become doctrines that for the most part are not questioned now by those who are followers of particular religious.
To me these are examples of spiritual teachings failing to move in the current and that have become stuck. It is conceivable that some of these teachings had an origin for specific situations and circumstances at the time of those who taught in order to get across a teaching point. There is no need to speculate or pass judgment on those times. The question is, what is the truth, and how is the truth expressed now in my life and my circumstances, in our times? You might say, well it's certainly not appropriate to question everything; that would be anarchy; there are the great teachers of times past who were inspired by God who had wisdom beyond our understanding, and their insights should live on. I must agree with that! We are just saying that those people spoke with authority. We have records of what came through them at the time through their authentic living, and if we look at the complete records of these leaders, almost ubiquitously we will find the admonishment to their disciples to go beyond, to live their lives with their own authority. The reason why this is a recipe for peace on earth rather than anarchy is because true authority goes back to the rock of the truth of life underlying all of creation. There is just one life, one world, although we live in different ones—as the singer and poet of our pre-service music stated so beautifully in his antiwar song. There is one life, one world, and yet there are many different shades of experience of that one life. As we forgo our own tendency to form opinions and make judgments, and relax into the current of life, we enter into the experience that all is well and that life can be trusted. And as we stand on that rock of truth, our expression will be accordingly, and as such not be in conflict with anyone else seeking the truth as they speak with their own authority.
In many circumstances it is utterly appropriate to hark back to words of wisdom from the past. As John Gray said in his presentation two weeks ago, it is wonderful to have a store of beautiful words and expressions so generously given by those who went before, and we may pick a nugget of expression here and there and bring it to life now, in our experience. In that way, these words become our own. I think we recognize this beautifully when we think of classical music, for example. Centuries ago, Beethoven composed, out of his own authority, symphonies and other works, and clearly he created masterpieces for the ages that we still enjoy today. But whenever you talk to musicians or listen to interviews of conductors, what is characteristic of their work is that they own the score and they interpret the score anew for the current performances with their orchestras. There may be small nuances of interpretation, in tempo, and even in staging; and in that way this music for the ages becomes their own, and we as the audience participate as well in the re-creation of a beautiful moment that is current and alive now. And all that is done with gratitude for whoever went before and all their work.
Our job is to speak with authority now and be authentic expressions of Life in our circumstances. It is fascinating to see how rapid technological revolutions make this requirement of knowing the truth in yourself and speaking with your own authority increasingly prominent. For instance, in the realms of image recognition and rendering as well as artificial intelligence, enormous strides have been made in recent years to accurately recognize images and interpret them by computational techniques while being able to render them and insert them seamlessly into other scenarios. People have created programs that insert images of people of note into scenarios that in real life they never participated in, and it becomes increasingly difficult therefore to trust our senses and our impressions of what is real and what is fake, as the current fashionable word calls it. As this trend in science and technology continues, we increasingly are tasked to rely on ourselves, taking whatever comes to us, but relying on our inner sensing of how whatever comes needs to be interpreted and inform our thinking and doing and feeling in the now. We would fail the mark of our great mission and our purpose for existence and incarnation if we were to fail on this task of developing our own authority to interpret life currents in this moment now.
I would like to quote some words from a longtime friend and mentor of mine, Jean Hammond. She recently published a book called, Vistas from My Voyage. I have known Jean for many years. Jean has an absolutely fantastic capacity to see eternal wisdom in the unfolding stories in her own life and elsewhere, and to invoke imagery that conveys wisdom and lessons to those who are willing to see and listen. (If you don't have a copy of her book, let me know and I'll be very happy to send you one.) The following is from a page I randomly opened this morning:
"The elements that create the unprecedented intensity of our times make it clear that no former ways of operation based in fallen human nature will bring about the changes that really are needed now. Acknowledgment of our true identity and commission to express Spirit, the Tone, is the only viable starting point from which lines of force can emerge upon which true restoration can occur.
This provides an antidote to violence and all that would 'worketh abomination, or make a lie.' Antidote is defined as 'a medicine taken or given to counteract the particular poison; something that counteracts or neutralizes an unpleasant feeling or situation managing.' We each have unique ways in which to provide the true antidote via our spiritual expression relative to whatever is in our arena.
... In the midst of falling debris, the most important thing is to give attention and weight to the large integrative cycle that is moving concurrently with demolition. The forces bringing integration embody the true Spirit of Life that is on the move!"
You see that I am quoting somebody who quoted somebody else! And thus, the chain of insight continues and is alive now. Jean evokes an image of going through our lives and providing antidotes to the ills of the world. It is something that I vividly relate to. I can go about and do that as part of the integrative cycle, which is part of expressing the Tone. We all can do this in whatever way is appropriate; by word and action; by donation, by teaching, by mentoring, by giving a hug. There is no limit to the forms as we are firmly centered in the integrative cycle and in the creative spirit that really does take care of everything. We do our part by giving expression to that in each moment, vibrantly alive, moving, keeping the flow going. As each one who does that, there is a feeling of participation, a feeling of meaning, a feeling of aliveness and vitality, irrespective of our overall capacities for athleticism or mental ingenuity; whatever is appropriate in the moment, let the force of life flow into that expression, and as we do that fulfillment comes to us and the immediate creative field around us.
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