Human Ego or Divine Expression?

    Larry Krantz:  Welcome everyone. As always, it's good to be together. We may be far apart geographically yet know closeness with each other in a place that transcends the material world. Wherever we are, and whatever we face in our personal lives, we know that all is well. It is always so. All is well.

    I would like to share highlights of an article written by an ecologist on the seven biggest environmental threats—challenges facing our earthly home. Number one is climate change, which is said to be increasing in frequency and intensity, and includes natural events like droughts, wildfires, heat waves, rainstorms, tropical cyclones, and hurricanes. Strange weather patterns abound these days, which could disrupt production and cause famines. Sea levels are rising, and if unchecked, threaten to wipe out cities like New York and Miami. NASA has noted that polar ice caps and glaciers are melting at an accelerated rate. (https://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Seven_Biggest_Environmental_Threats)

    There is also concern over species extinction and biodiversity loss, humanly induced, occurring at 1000 to 10,000 times the normal rate, due to unsustainable fishing, wildlife poaching, and loss of natural habitat due to acid rain and other threats. Recently, the newly installed Brazilian government decided to build roads through the Amazon Rain Forest and clear land for commercial development, which will lead to further species loss and increased carbon dioxide levels from fewer trees, and thus more rapid global warming. According to one study, 92% of the world population lives in areas with polluted air that cause 11.6 % of global recorded deaths. Micro plastics are found in 83% of water worldwide. According to a United Nations report, about 2 billion people in the world, most of whom live in developing nations, suffer from water shortage, largely due to misuse of water sources. Climate change will make this worse, as will the burgeoning population, predicted to be near ten billion within 30 years—putting further strain on our planet's natural resources. It now takes a year and a half to replenish what is extracted each year from the planet. Also of concern is the degradation of fertile soil due to erosion and agricultural chemicals, which will impact the food supply.

    I read this not to be a bearer of doom and gloom but to take an honest look at the results of the human state, which is a mess, and to emphasize the vital importance of spiritual leadership in these days. This is a critical time for humanity. Destruction is in the offing if we, as a species, do not change direction. Ecological threats are but one problem. There are wars and rumors of wars, and nuclear weapons and widespread divisiveness and disagreement. To avert a bad outcome will take a transformation from the selfish and short-sighted ways of human nature to divine function, from abuse of our world to loving care. Warning signs mostly go unheeded. We have incarnated to be available now, at this important juncture for humanity, and have had ample time to develop some degree of spiritual clarity in ourselves.

    Many people deny science and the warnings of experts, call it fake, or presume the clever human intellect will find a solution so that we can take what we want from the earth and bear no burden for our actions, which is foolishness. Sooner or later we will have to pay the piper. If we trash our earthly home, disaster should not come as a surprise. Thankfully, some people, including us, feel responsible for their actions and how they steward the earth. We, who have greater vision, can inspire further change to live responsibly.

    Earth has a feminine spirit, one that longs to provide for its children by creating a beautiful setting filled with abundance. The greatest joy of this planetary consciousness is to bring forth a remarkable variety of life forms, to nourish and nurture them, and provide a suitable place of habitation, a glorious home. The earth cries out to be heard, just as the female part of humanity shouts to be listened to, asks not to be abused or ignored, but respected and worked with, in partnership with the male part of humanity. Will that voice be heard?

    In Colorado, we had a ballot proposal recently to provide limits over the extensive oil fracking operations in our state—such as greater setbacks from schools, homes, and rivers. No one knows the long-term effects of this kind of drilling which creates caverns deep underground and uses an array of toxic chemicals. The proposal was voted down. Short-term goals trumped a longer, more considered view. In this divisive political climate, it is not easy to find a reasonable way forward, as there are too often knee-jerk responses and reactive disagreements. Real solutions are seen only from a higher perspective—the result of greater spiritual vision.

    Changing the existing state of human nature is not an easy task. If it was, it would have been done by now! We are immersed in this phony world and most people cannot imagine another state. It begins in our mother's womb. We are bathed in the atmosphere of a world separated from the reality of God. It permeates our childhood and educations. Institutions are based on the human ego and marketed that way; even religion—supposedly the link between man and the divine—dangles the reward of some imaginary afterlife where a person, the humanly-devised self, sits with God and chit-chats with Jesus, which puffs up one's supposed importance. And, as we know all too well, politics is rife with oversized human egos.

    Many people experience a period of rebellion during our teen years. Some of that is the natural separation from parents, the mind maturing and the individual personality emerging, but young people often realize, often subconsciously, that society is not genuine. It can be confusing for them and may cause acting out and roiled emotions. Usually that rebellion is short lived, submerged when a person moves on to career and family. Then, some years later, that person looks in the mirror and realizes he has become his or her parent, and little has changed. And, on it goes for most people, although some, including us, saw that another world was possible and broke free to find a new identity beyond the restricted human view.

    A poem I read as a youngster came to mind recently. It speaks of the ultimate emptiness and foolishness of the puffed-up ego. It is by Percy Bysshe Shelley and called "Ozymandias."

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

    The human ego is phony, a false front, like on a movie set, where from the street you see a building, perhaps a hotel, but when you go around it, there is nothing there. The ego is an attempt to prove one has worth, when we know at some level, we are not being our true selves, only a pale and distorted reflection of our divine nature. The ego state is all about "me." Even when one's life journey does not go well according to one's judgment, a person may speak about their hardships and how unfair life is—but it is still about "me," the center of all the drama, giving the impression of importance. Our true selves need no accolades. We don't need to be kings to convince ourselves that our lives have meaning. We are here to serve the Lord. The earth is His and we gratefully play our parts—whatever they are— knowing our value emerges from creative living now. True humility is being transparent and innocent, not allowing the swollen human self to get in the way and block the light from within; it does not matter if anyone acknowledges our contribution or not. We are here to serve.

    Our commission is to move beyond the destructive state of egotistical human nature. Mankind should shine in the glory of divine function. We can inspire change, a transformation to an identity of the divine within. We may wish this change could happen with a snap of the fingers, but that is not how it works. It is a process. Years ago, I taught swimming to youngsters and some adults. I did not throw them into the deep end and demand they swim. Learning to swim is a step-by-step process, building on each step along the way. We began on land and practiced basic arm and leg movements, supported by chairs. Then, we went into the shallow end of the pool, where they splashed around and played games. Another lesson involved putting their heads in the water and picking up objects from the bottom. Slowly they learned to kick and swim with floats. Finally, they swam on their own, but that was just the beginning. Over time I helped them refine their strokes and showed them other ways to swim. So, it was an incremental process.

    If we think about our own spiritual growth, it was similar—a gradual process. We may have wavered, even lost our way for a while, took missteps, but came back to the Central Way and refined our expression, so that we were more fully present. Most of us are still honing our abilities, learning to be spiritually steadfast regardless of the challenges before us.

    So, too, with mankind. The Lord does not expect this fallen state to transmute in the blink of an eye. It could happen more quickly, but the Lord has patience, up to a point, knowing how deeply dug in the human state is. An incremental process is fine, although we should not wait too long. The pressure building may be uncomfortable but can also hasten change—including the realization that actions have consequence. We are responsible people, here to care wisely for our worlds. All earthly problems resolve when there is oneness and harmony under the direction of spirit. Divisiveness and conflict are illusions that can pass away when consciousness ascends.

    We need to see beyond the mental framework that worships the human ego's clever mind. I admire the vision of Albert Einstein, a man with a great intellect who saw its limitations. He said, "The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God." (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein)

    Einstein recognized that there is an intelligence organizing and running the universe that the human mind—even his—could not begin to comprehend. The human mind thinks it can encompass Truth, comprehend its totality in mental terms. In that view, the Ten Commandments were a start, but surely there must be more than that. How many rules would it take to write down the Truth—twenty, fifty, seventy? And, how would that work? When a situation arose, a person could pull out the list and say, "I think number 57 applies here, so now I know what to do. No, wait. Maybe number 113 fits better." That is ridiculous, of course. Truth is a spirit. It cannot be encompassed by the tiny human mind. Yet, the mind can receive what is needed of Truth in each moment, sharing the wisdom of the cosmos. Truth turns the wheels of the mind, not the other way round. Truth and Love are transcendent but may be known if a person lets go of human beliefs and traditions and trusts spirit, which never fails. Love, which moves the cosmos, can surely mend our broken earth.

    Truth differentiates into our unique situations and brings understanding. It is not one view, but emerges as aspects of one spirit. Some of us get together via video conference regularly and in person at least once a year. This includes women, but I am thinking particularly of the men involved. True friendship is only possible when there are genuine people present, those who have moved past the human-ego state. We are beginning to see how that works. Men are good at superficial companionships, talking about sports or cars, being buddies, but rarely do they meet in an open-hearted, trusting way, vulnerable, to discuss things of substance. If unimpeded, spirit speaks through each one. Men in agreement at a deep level is rare indeed. Sometimes, in our gatherings, different views of a subject come up. If there was ego involved and a person was identified with their view and a different view was expressed, a person might feel slighted or rejected and want to assert his view as the right one, which can lead to dissention. However, we are learning to encompass differing perspectives, understanding they round out a picture, make it three-dimensional, so to speak, more complete. This kind of open communion requires a sacred space, a container free of judgment or attachment. In this way, a larger picture comes into view and a course of action appears, something new, the sum greater than the parts. This is how it should work and, to me, offers a glimpse of the oneness of mankind and the nature of harmonious function. Everyone contributes. It is an adventure that enlarges our view and generates substance from which right action can emerge.

    We change the world by revealing our divine selves. It is not complicated. Right living releases energy, a byproduct of the movement of life. That radiance finds vibrational resonance in the consciousness of others. It is one way we can inspire and uplift humanity and transform human consciousness.

    I looked up resonance, which mostly refers to stringed instruments and music. Here is what I found: "Strings or parts of strings may resonate at their fundamental or harmonic frequencies when other strings are sounded. In general, non-played strings respond in sympathy to other strings being played. Two tones of the same pitch will give maximum sympathetic resonance as all harmonics of both strings will overlap. Other harmonic combinations will cause sympathetic resonance at the fifth, fourth, and major third." (Wikipedia)

    This is an analogy from musical theory. I have heard singers miss a note, and it falls flat, just seems to die. But, when a note is hit right on, it penetrates and fills the listener with awe and wonder; it resonates. Expressions outside the Tone of Life are like a singer missing the note. The vibratory impact is negligible and unfocused. But when the essence of Love comes through fully, radiance is released far and wide, with power. To paraphrase a saying from the Bible, "The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters, and there was light." This kind of light is more than the kind we see with our eyes, but may be felt. It is at a finer level, moving out from each of us, according to the quality of our living. Creative action releases light, and something new comes into view. The greater the clarity, the stronger the radiation moving out. Divine Magic!

    When there is resonance, it will make some people uncomfortable, and they may reject what is sensed. A new perspective threatens the status quo. Others welcome it, and delight in new understanding; something is lifted up, a remembrance of divine identity, mostly at a level below the conscious mind. If embraced, the current is enhanced, which leads to unified radiation, and something further moves out.

    The world sorely needs spiritual leadership. We are here because we were meant to be, and we have a job to do. We accept the world as it is—with its instability and chaos, imperfections and challenges. Through us, the Lord comes into the world, to heal and make whole. There is no other way to avoid disaster. It is a privilege to share this understanding and play our part in transforming and uplifting human consciousness.

May 26, 2019

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