A New Story

    Joyce Krantz:  We are in the midst of a world in transition. The old story of "I am a separate individual living my own life apart from other individuals in a universe that is separate from me" is not true. Our actions based on this false identity for generations upon generations have created a world of division and strife and degradation that is unsustainable at every level now. The systems are breaking down because they do not serve the natural order of wholeness.

    The new story coming into view is our true identity in Being. We are one. What we do to another we do to ourselves. Our actions have significance and consequences relative to our immediate world and beyond into the cosmos. Each one of us has been blessed with unique and necessary gifts to be realized in the world, in order to serve all living forms on earth for which we are responsible.

    I have been reading a book by Charles Eisenstein, entitled, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible. Implicit in the title is the wonderful acknowledgement that we do know what is possible. We do know what is right and beautiful, otherwise we wouldn't have this longing for it. The challenge is to bring it into the earth. Charles explores in a thought-provoking and descriptive way how the separation from one's true Self has created the tangled world we find ourselves in today but leads the reader into the new story of connection and our true voice, which says, "I know you. You are a magnificent divine being who thirsts to express that divinity in service. You, like me, want to apply your gifts toward the creation of a more beautiful world." He offers these landmarks of the new story:

- When one is aligned with the purpose of service, acts that seem exceptionally courageous to others are a matter of course.
- When one experiences the world as abundant, then acts of generosity are natural, since there is no doubt about continued supply.
- When one sees other people as reflections of oneself, forgiveness becomes a second nature, as one realizes, "But for the grace of God, so go I."
- When one appreciates the order, beauty, mystery, and connectedness of the universe, a deep joy and cheerfulness arises that nothing can shake.
- When one sees time as abundant and life as infinite, one develops superhuman patience.

    I know we can attest to all of these things and perhaps more.

    Yesterday I came across a story that didn't claim the headline news but one that inspires quality of character. Integrity is part of the new story and "acts that seem exceptionally courageous to others are a matter of course."

    The article by Joel Beall from Golf Digest reads: "...Christopher Crawford...was competing at this week's Amateur [Golf Tournament], and on pace to qualify out of stroke play into the 64-man match-play tournament. However, during his second round on Tuesday at Bel-Air Country Club, the 23-year-old Crawford heard his caddie use slope when discussing an upcoming shot. This caught Crawford's attention; while measuring instruments are allowed in amateur tournaments, the slope-reading component [a distance scanner which records a change in elevation] is prohibited. Because Crawford's caddie—a last-second fill-in, according to EPSN's Bob Harig, after Crawford's intended looper [caddy] got sick—had it on for the entire round, [so] he disqualified himself for 'multiple uses of a distance-measuring device with the slope feature activated by his caddie.'

    "'This is the biggest amateur tournament, and it's a commitment financially,' Crawford told Harig. 'To have it end in such a disappointing way is pretty crushing.' However, when asked if anyone would have really known if the device was on, Crawford was steadfast in his decision. 'I didn't gain an advantage but I know the rules,' he said. '...I knew what the rule was and I didn't have a choice. I know nobody else would have known. But I knew. I knew what the rule was. It's just the way it is.'"

    Here is someone doing the right thing for the right thing's sake. What a wonderful thing! He took responsibility for the situation at hand without blaming his caddy or trying to cover up the mistake. He was true to his integrity and that sets him on a clear course. And as the interviewer closed, "Though missing out on the Riviera proceedings is a psychological blow, tournament finishes ultimately get lost to history. A player's character, however, withstands the test of time."

    Another story I would like to relate is of a group of young people who were tired and frustrated by all the divisiveness they were witnessing in the country, particularly on the political scene. So they organized a dinner and invited friends and random connections from different ethnic, social, and political backgrounds to come and converse together. A young, African-American woman sat across from a young, white, female police officer and talked about her initial feelings of fear and vulnerability opening up to someone in law enforcement—considering the history that this institution has represented in the black culture. But as they got to know each other as people, the tendency to objectify one another, or to see each other as enemies, or a force to defend oneself against, or to set straight, fell away. The success of this gathering inspired others to have their own gatherings around the country and a mini-movement ensued, thanks to the power of social media. Here is a story of connection and the forces compelling us to know union in love.

    There are prejudices and beliefs, pain and injustices which litter the landscape of our old story of separateness. We, as a species, have done unspeakable things to each other and to our beautiful home planet that do not represent our true selves, nor the beauty of the world we know to be possible. Yet, the one force animating all things is continually seeking to bring wholeness. It is only our entrenched judgements, criticisms and fears that have blocked the natural revelation of the beautiful, integrative, intelligent, abundant, wondrous expression of life in its myriad forms which we as humans have a privileged opportunity to know and to express. Discovering the truth that we are one, makes our responsibility for each other that much greater and more precious, if we are to create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.

    Larry Krantz:  Joyce mentioned a new story. It could be said that each of us is writing our own story in the Book of Life, moment by moment. That story is either the same tired story of strife, or it is creative and uplifting—a new story. Our living expression tells the tale.

    I was impressed with the piece about the golfer. It described someone who acted with integrity when no one was looking, which says a lot about his character. It is the same for us. How do we act when no one sees, even in the secret places of our minds and hearts? Things may come up that are sullied—for we are part of this corrupt world—but how we handle such things is what matters, whether we rise above the usual human nonsense and transform it into something alive and genuine, which reveals the truth of who we are. We see many disturbing things in the world, which could divide us, pull us apart and draw us into conflict, but it is only on the surface of things, the appearance of the false state, promulgated by those who are lost in the illusion. Underneath the appearance of things is the reality of oneness. We are one body of mankind; we have one planetary home, live in one solar system, and are part of one cosmos.

    There have been recent acts of terrorism in various countries and an apparent act of domestic terrorism in the United States. Such acts lift up intense feelings and can send the mind spinning. In such cases, it is customary to feel fear and condemn the offenders. The goal of acts of violence is to tear us apart and cause chaos. Howard Schultz, who runs Starbucks, called for a town meeting of his employees in Seattle, saying, "I could sense the anxiety…. I felt a need to create a safe and loving environment." Many other voices, known and unknown, have responded with nobility of spirit and the lifting up of true character, to emphasize our inherent unity and kindness.

    The hatred and intolerance rising to the surface and thrown in our faces by the world-wide media makes it difficult for people to sit on the fence. It is heartening to hear calm voices and sensible reason arise in the face of destructive emotions, lifting up rather than descending into hatred. For most of us, we may not need public proclamations, but simply to deal with the currents we feel or observe and offer a healing vibration, along with a call to rise up in consciousness, to move away from blame and anger, to remember to be our true Selves. We can embody the essences of love and oneness and see others as brothers and sisters, even when they have gone astray. I am not advocating that we ignore what is going on or pretend it is otherwise, but we can handle our worlds wisely and carefully, not be moved by all the destruction and nonsense, and be true to our eternal nature.

    The old story is false; it promotes separation and divisiveness. Yet, these days especially, we see many people resisting the urge to get involved in finger pointing and polarization into "us" and "them." In this country, it may go back to the essential American spirit, as envisioned by the founders, where people are free to think and act in new ways, not bound by centuries of tradition and forced sameness. Now, in this time of globalization, a new vision of what is possible is emerging in many places and in surprising ways, many voices, many people beginning to see with new eyes, coming up to higher ground. We may sense kindred spirits far and wide. We can appreciate their courage to step up, and we may feel a resonance with their words and actions.

    Along these lines, I read that a few U.S. Senators from different parties now want to work together to solve the country's problem of health coverage. It seems like such a simple thing, a small thing, and common sense, but when contrasted to the recent polarization in politics, which accomplishes little, this stands out as a sensible and brave move. We need to work together.

    If a new state is to come, it may get messy and uncomfortable. The entrenched state needs to be shaken up if it is going to change. And, not everyone wants people to get along and work together, for they like the chaos, which they think gives them a chance to impose their views on others. Yet, even though the headlines are taken up with what is wrong in the world, it is actually on the surface of things. Something much greater is moving at deeper levels.

    Recently, I have been watching sunsets. They are quite dramatic in Colorado, as the sun sets behind the Rocky Mountains and glorious colors light up clouds. I understand something of how light refracts in the atmosphere and elicits different colors. Each sunset is unique and changes moment by moment as the sun moves in its arc. It is as if a great artist uses the sky as a canvas to create a spectacular show each evening. But, what I find most inspiring, and leaves me in awe, is the sensing of great forces moving behind this celestial show. There is the visible and there is the magnificence of spirit guiding and creating what appears in form. Of course, this is not just at sunsets, but all the time, in all of our moments, each day. There is form, and there is what is behind the form at a more basic level.

    Looking back over my life, I can see so many times when I was guided and helped, despite my personal desires and thoughts which could have gotten in the way. A much greater force has always been in the background. I have been humbled enough to acknowledge my human limitations and have become more open to move with spirit as it comes to focus in my world, and trust in that. The inner voice knows better than me! I suppose it is something of a paradox. On the one hand, I am this limited human being, with a certain life span and a few gifts, yet at the same time I am beyond all that, part of an infinite source, all-that-is. It boggles the human mind, but at another level is perfectly sensible and understandable, a partnership, human, and being.

    The finite and the infinite—all part of one whole. When we are our true Selves, we can write a new story, based in love and oneness. We can be fully present, even in this strange world, and reveal a transcendent message. The veil between the outer world and the inner reality is thinning, and many people are emerging more fully into their own reality. They are awakening, each in their own way, and we may be thankful to see sparks of the light of comprehension emerging in many places.

    I sometimes muse about the potential for humanity if oneness were actually known. I doubt we could imagine with any accuracy what that would be like. A hint might have been a gathering said to have taken place in an upper room, after the departure of Jesus, which included the disciples and others. Apparently, it was a magical experience. Those present experienced a depth of oneness and the release of great power, as if the illusion of this world had been momentarily suspended and great forces were unleashed. It was a sacred moment, filled with transcendent understanding and possibility. It could have been a stepping stone to something even greater, but disagreements and divisions soon arose among them. They fell back into the old story and regressed into contention. They lost sight of their combined purpose, and as they fragmented, it did not end well for most of them.

    But, this is a new day. A transcendent understanding is building slowly and surely, guided by the unseen hand and spirit. The realization is dawning that we are one human family, which is, in turn, part of a much larger family—a living universe. We can live wisely in this strange, false world, yet keep our eyes on what is really important, without being distracted by the trivial deficiencies and endless conflicts of mankind. Something fresh and wonderful is seeking to be born in every moment and we, among others, are the means to let that happen. So, let us write a new story, based in love and oneness, for that is the true shape of reality, and what really matters. It is good to be together and know that all is well.

August 20, 2017

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