The Breath of Life

    Joyce Krantz:  : The act of breathing comes to mind as we gather today—an in-breath of spirit has drawn us all together in this moment to provide a focus for the nature and purpose of Being. And the outbreath of spirit expands the truth moving through our consciousness for blessing to the whole.

    "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)

    The breath of Life is a wondrous thing. We don't consciously think of our breathing much as we move about our day, but without it we would cease to exist in human form. Try holding your breath for any length of time. It doesn't take long before the lungs give up and the outbreath happens, usually with great force and relief. The Guinness Book of World Records says the longest breath-holding record is a little over 24 minutes and that required an enormous amount of discipline and effort. The natural breath cycle is designed to be effortless.

    Of course, human respiration is dependent upon the planetary breath cycle. Through the process of photosynthesis, as we learned in grade school, plants and other organisms take in light and convert it into energy and part of that process releases the necessary oxygen that sustains us. Without this symbiotic relationship human beings couldn't live. It is quite a remarkable thing. Why would we intentionally disrupt this kinship, to our peril and that of our planet, as we seem to be doing?

    I think we know with increasing understanding that the answer to that question lies in human choice and will. "Wilt thou be made whole?" Will we come back into identity as the caretakers of this earth or continue with the self-serving wants that have nothing to do with the natural cycles of life?

    Human wanting has been the bane of our existence as a species. Somewhere along the line we thought we could improve on the natural order of life. And since then, we have chased after meaning and fulfillment through things and more things, losing our connection to what is most precious, the truth of ourselves and this planet. By disrupting cycles, we can barely recognize the true garden state.

    How magnificent is the reality of our Being, made in the image and likeness of God? What creative potential is there waiting to be released as we express the fineness of who we are? What impact can a simple act of kindness make?

    There was a YouTube moment that went viral over the recent Halloween weekend. An eight-year-old boy, dressed in costume with his big bag of candy in hand and cape flying, walked up to a home where a large plastic pumpkin had been set out with candy for the trick-or-treaters. When he got to the pumpkin he realized there was no candy left. It was empty. He turned around, looking at the line of children following behind him, and with little hesitation reached into his bag and took two fistfuls of his own candy and placed them in the pumpkin so the other children would have a treat. This act of pure-hearted givingness garnered millions of viewers. I am sure many watching reflected on their own childhood, how precious Halloween candy was to them and the bigness of heart this boy demonstrated to give it away. A simple, selfless act, but the ripple effect spread far and wide to touch the hearts of many.

    In Sweden, a 15-year girl named Greta Thunberg, distressed by the degrading changes happening to the planet went to the steps of the Swedish Parliament during her school days, holding a sign, "School Strike for Climate," to call for stronger action on global warming. Her protest was a solitary one for a while until others began to join her, which quickly triggered a global movement of millions of young people. A few months later she addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference and in 2019 was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In her address to the United Nations she said, "I don't want you to be hopeful ... I want you to act!"

    I can feel the cry of the earth through Greta's expression. The immediacy of it. And I hold her and all the young people in my heart who are concerned for this planet. Their voice is growing.

    There is a Rumi poem, "Make everything in you an ear, each atom of your being, and you will hear at every moment what the Source is whispering to you." The force for creative transformational change is here. Can we hear it?

    I don't have all the answers to the escalating global changes reported to us by climate scientists—loss of species, warming and acidifying of the oceans, air and water pollution, human dislocation, etc. But I do see one of the driving forces behind all these changes is the rising numbers of human beings on the planet. The planet's surface is finite and cannot support the ever-increasing numbers of people populating it. Why as human beings we don't want to address this issue emerges from a very deep-seated belief that we have a God-given right to have children, and sometimes many children, and no one should take that away from us! Of course religious beliefs and economic pressures to have more young people to support the aging population are factors in this trend. But from the perspective of life and the whole, is this sustainable? I think not. Human want separated from the purposes of the whole leads to disaster. Are we individually willing to "sacrifice" a want for the betterment of the whole? When one changes a habit it initially seems like a sacrifice—giving up that cup of coffee one craved or economizing on the number of car trips to the store. But considering the health of our bodies or the health of our planet's ecology, it is hardly a sacrifice.

    There are some very hard and personal choices to be made as we consciously wake up to what we have done and where we are going as a species. Control can come from within as we listen to the whispering of Source and perceive what the right thing is to do in the moment or ignore that voice and suffer the consequences. Human beings cannot hold their breath forever. Eventually, we must let go of human control. The natural state requires it. The breath of life must exhale.

    Larry Krantz:  We are on earth at a critical time. There are strains in the ecosystem, political and social systems, and a huge and growing population. So, why are we here? What is our purpose? Where do we come from?

    We just heard these words: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." One sentence, but conveys a world of meaning. Breath is symbolic of spirit. We cannot see air, but know it is there each time we take a breath or see wind rustle leaves.

    The cosmos could have been created as a giant ball of matter, but is composed of an infinite number of parts, from the smallest subatomic particles to the most massive stars and galaxies, which reveals something about the will of the Creator. The interaction of these pieces is endlessly fascinating to God. Further, as was pointed out by the Taoists in China about 2400 years ago, these parts tend to be either masculine or feminine, yin or yang. The yang, or male qualities, include a logical mind, assertiveness, direction, strength, and light. The feminine, or yin aspect, includes darkness, receptiveness, intuitiveness, feelings, beauty, and sense of home and setting. These forces are balanced and cyclical, with one or the other dominant, then recessive; each contains aspects of the other, so there is an overlapping. The attraction of male and female forces adds spice to the mixture, a creative tension, and when these aspects merge, new life forms, new combinations of the varied parts, appear. So, the cosmos is dynamic, forever changing, always new and interesting. It is a place of wonder and endless enjoyment.

    God is the ultimate source from which everything springs. A visible and invisible universe emerges from God, out of an un-dimensional realm. The extraordinary power of God is stepped down by an intermediate buffer, then into physical form. This in-between state is the invisible universe and its most intense part is Love. This is where our true identity resides, in a place beyond space and time, in Being. Our individual aspect of God is, before differentiation, "I AM." It is Being. The fiery intensity of Love is stepped down to Truth, and then to Life. These are levels of the inner universe, the place of spirit—which is a guiding force, humanly felt but not seen, like the wind.

    Extending from the level of Life is a bridge of fine substance, designed to connect with an ethereal substance rising up from the earth, to complete this connection between inner and outer realms. We call this inner plane heaven. It is the place where the design of God takes shape, which then is translated into forms on earth. Heaven, then earth. All living forms generate unseen, ethereal substance, each according to its kind. Humans release a quality of substance that carries the conscious understanding of the Creator. Our job, as eternal beings, is to extend order, or dominion, into the earthly level. This bridge should convey the essences of the invisible realm to the earth, so the earth reflects the intricate wonders of heaven. In turn, the earthly living experience should generate fine substance that rises up like incense, to reach the connection to inner realms. In this way, the consciousness of humankind may blend with divine understanding. When that bridge is complete and operational, oneness is known, heaven and earth, humankind and the magnificence of God.

    That is clearly not the state of things today.

    Think of a wide bridge on a freeway overpass, with trucks and cars and RV's traveling back and forth, operational. This invisible bridge, now, is more like a narrow footbridge over a chasm, one that sways when you walk across it. Enough substance from the inner realm comes through to maintain life on earth, but not much of divine understanding and purpose. Humankind, out of synch with this invisible heaven, does not generate the quality of substance to complete this living bridge. Consequently, God seems separate and apart from human experience. Many people question if the divine exists at all. Memory has been lost and humanity has forgotten its place and purpose in the cosmos. This world does not know itself. Without awareness of how things should work, or of our divine heritage, we have invented religions and spun out philosophies and argue about what is real or not—and the world is a chaotic mess.

    From God's point of view this human ignorance is as foolish as the story of two fish swimming around wondering about this thing called "ocean." Of course, it is in them and around them and everywhere. People look but do not see. A sliver of remembrance may come through, enough that some people have a sense of awe for the divine and seek understanding, but do not know where to look.

    It all makes sense when true memory is restored. When that happens, we may recall the design of the inner realm. The most intense part, the highest point, is Love, and within that, the greatest intensity resides with the one we think of as our King and Lord. Being in his presence engenders a response of love and awe so great it burns away everything else; we would do anything for that one—even incarnate into this crazy world. We realize that, in the present, rigid state on earth, human forms are not as fluid as they once were and that they age in peculiar ways. Add to that, the real possibility that by incarnating we may lose memory of who we are. Yet, we gladly come into this outer world. Any concerns pale by comparison to love for the one who leads us. Also, we understand the necessity to help uplift humanity's conscious awareness.

    The process of incarnation allows a projection of who we are in divine identity to extend into the earthly plane; it is a likeness—which these days is only a rough approximation of our individual spirits. It gives us the means to be on earth. We may forget why we have come—which should be to live noble lives and increase the generation of fine substance, which would help re-establish that bridge of communion, the oneness between the inner and outer realms. This is how the truth of heaven and divine memory of humankind may come into view. When we truly remember, it changes everything.

    In this digital age, some of us make avatars, cartoonish likenesses that that can be attached to emails or texts. They can be quite funny! The avatar is not us, only a projection. So it is with taking on human form. Our identity is at the highest point of the inner plane. We love and guide the human projection. It only becomes confusing when the outer person forgets true identity and thinks this transient human form is who they are. In time, the projected form will return to the dust of the ground, but we continue on, as we always have, for the outer appearance is not who we are.

    When the outer form forgets its divine connection, it looks to the earth for meaning. People act and react on that basis, with little regard for the guiding hand of spirit or an understanding of a larger purpose. It reminds me of the science experiments we did in high school when we applied an electrical probe to the muscle of a frog. The muscle contracted. Stimulus, response. A very primitive and predictable action. When humans judge their circumstances, they act or react, wanting some things and pushing away others. This severely limited vision leads to conflict and confusion. Selfish consciousness sees two-dimensionally. It does not see with deeper understanding, but is reflective, based on the surface appearance of objects and likes or dislikes.

    Radiant seeing and hearing arises when consciousness is turned to Source and takes direction from within. It sees things in context, with depth of understanding. All circumstances are used for the purposes of spirit, which will always be harmonious and find a path best for everyone, and beyond ourselves. In this way, the wondrous design of the Creator finds expression on earth, which should be a place of ease, in a garden-like setting of abundance, part of a meaningful cosmic whole—for the enjoyment of God, with which we share.

    The restoration of this bridge of substance between the outer world and the inner world allows the restoration of memory. Once that happens, the falseness of the current human state will be as nothing and fall away because we remember who we are and how the design of God works. Two things prevent this bridge of communion from being re-established. The first is a lack of fine substance generated by right living. It can be done individually to some extent, but needs a sufficient number of people to have an impact on human consciousness. The other hang up is the blockage caused by previous shame and trauma, from being far less than a divine expression in times past.

    This was clearly portrayed in a documentary we saw recently. It concerned a gentleman who was abused sexually for many years as a child. He finally put a stop to it when he was old enough, about the age of fourteen. He knew that what happened to him was not his fault, but the shame he felt was so great he could not talk about what had occurred, or even think about it. The only way he got on with his life was to wall it off in consciousness. Many decades later, after much prompting, he was finally able to speak about it, with great difficulty. The human psyche protects itself from what is too painful to face head on. I can relate. When I think about the way I once saw things and how I behaved, it makes me shudder at my stupidity and selfishness. But, I am not that person anymore. I take responsibility for my actions and the harm they caused, knowing that I have moved on in consciousness, and in my living.

    This is true for the collective humanity. We have failed ourselves and the Lord by not being who we are. It is reason for shame, and our poor behavior down through the ages has brought about a significant upheaval in the earth. Shame and trauma is painful to face, but by doing so, we can be free from the past. The Spirit of Truth brings all things to remembrance. We can take responsibility for humanity's actions, past and present, for we are part of that body of people—and we need not act the same way. We can move on. We can rise up and live as divine beings in human form.

    If we remember who we are, then we know the truth. We do not need to rely on what others have told us or what is written in books, or how society tell us we are supposed to live. There should be oneness between heaven and earth, and a bridge of connection between these realms. Divine memory carries with it wisdom and an understanding that surpasses any human philosophy. It is a big job, and we are just the ones to do it.

November 10, 2019

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