O Sing a New Song

    Larry Krantz:  We use the word, "service," to describe our time together. Usually when people gather in conferences or religious establishments, the participants hope to get something useful out of it, a nugget perhaps, to help them. However, we are together this morning to give. That is service—to serve. Life flows outward freely; it is not looking to get anything. If we are in alignment with the current of life, we are interested in giving, in releasing what is within, out into our worlds.

    Let me share a story. Imagine, if you will, a very large orchestra that is vast and has every kind of instrument you could think of—not just violins and kettle drums, but balalaikas and sitars and harpsichords, and so on. Each musical instrument has a unique sound. Similar instruments are grouped together like the strings and brass; in this orchestra there are twelve groupings. They play beautiful, intricate music with wonderful harmonics. The conductor is very capable; he knows just what needs to be played and is much loved by all members of the orchestra. The musicians find their parts exciting and fulfilling and are thrilled at the music they make together. Those that hear the music, whether near or far away, are moved by the marvelous, ever-changing sounds of the orchestra.

    After a long period of excellence, one of the musicians wonders what it would be like to play a wrong note or to play the right note at the wrong time. Let's say it's a trumpet player. His wrong notes are jarring and disruptive. The conductor speaks to the off-tone trumpet player, as do other musicians, but the trumpet player thinks he is spicing things up and refuses to play the score as directed. He is stubborn. His wrong notes throw other musicians off a bit, enough to be out of sync. Finally, the conductor has the discordant musicians leave the orchestra and go to another part of the stage, but isolating them does not stop the discord, which spreads in the orchestra, which has devolved into disharmonic noise. Eventually, the conductor himself goes into the orchestra and plays the proper melody, refusing to be disrupted by the discordant noise around him, following the melody he knows from within. But there is so much clashing cacophony almost no one hears him. So, in time, he comes up with another plan. The conductor sends two proficient musicians into the orchestra who follow his direction, in hopes their playing will remind others what it sounds like to be on tone.

    Of course, this is a metaphorical story that briefly gives the spiritual history of the world, including the fall from grace and attempts to return to a state of harmony. We are part of a new plan to return humankind to a heavenly experience of oneness, as we pay attention to the conductor. If even a small collective can play the right music in the midst of the chaotic din, refusing to be pulled into the discord around them, it serve asa reminder to others that the grating racket they produce, which ignores the conductor, is empty and meaningless. Perhaps there will be enough people who hear the true rhythm of the music to stay on tone. That is how the orchestra can come back into harmony.

    Only a collective awakening will make a difference, with enough people accurately expressing spirit to inspire others to remember who they are. This world we live in is discordant and harsh. By contrast, beautiful, natural music stands out, to those with ears to hear. It reminds them of heavenly reality and of their true Selves. The rest of human history is largely irrelevant, all the kings and queens and emperors and civilizations that have come and gone are of no real consequence. It is useful to take a long view of where we came from and where we are going. Perspective vision allows us to intelligently cooperate with the pulsations of spirit and understand our part in the drama now unfolding.

    Let's take a different look at human history to get another perspective, by considering the events of the fall as outlined in Genesis 3. That record reveals a step-by-step process downward, a devolution. There was a disruption in the pattern of perfection, some wrong notes played, and that brought consequences, as do all actions. The fine spiritual substance that connected the earth with heaven was dissipated, only a little at first, but enough that something of an unbridgeable gap opened up. Divine functions on earth no longer had the means to manifest.

    It is written that the Lord expelled the man and woman from the Garden of Eden, when the earth was one with heaven, but it was the result of insufficient connecting substance for the full range of creative action. The Lord said to the woman, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children." To the man, he added, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." The implication is that previously there was a means of bringing new life into human form that was much easier. Childbirth, as we know it now, is difficult and potentially dangerous. This was a step down from God's design—not because he was mean or angry, but because there was no longer the fine substance to accommodate that holy transition into earthly form. Also, bringing forth sustenance became more difficult and tedious, harder work than what it had been, which we may surmise was working with essences at a level of cause, to set in motion what was needed to produce sustenance, since spirit precedes form. But the divine machinery to work at that level was no longer available.

    The next downward step in the fall from heavenly grace was the murder of Abel by Cain as told in Genesis 4. Such violence was unthinkable until that time. Nowadays, we can hardly picture a world without killing, including the mass murders we call war. How many millions have been killed over the ages? Again, actions have consequences. The Lord said, "What has thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." Things just got more difficult for humankind. There were other steps in the downward spiral, including great disruptions to our earthly home, which we won't look at today.

    If there is to be a restoration to the divine state on earth, it will likewise be a step-by-step reestablishment as finer substance is generated to enable other levels of function to be actionable. It is a re-creative process. Spiritual substance can only be produced through living in harmony with the pulsations of heaven. It won't happen simply because we wish it to be so.

    The key to the restoration is for people to undergo a significant shift in identity. Recently, there has been killing and destruction in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians and Hamas. Apparently, they have just hammered out a cease-fire. But, that does not change the basis of their conflict. This war has been going on for thousands of years. The names have changed; they are no longer the Hittites and Philistines and the Hebrew Nation, but those are only labels. As long as there is identification with externals— ethnicity and history and religious views—there will always be conflict. The other side will be seen as different and suspect. In modern times, killing may not be up close with swords but by dropping bombs on each other, but it is still killing.

    Repentance is necessary. Usually, repentance is seen in religious terms, when someone breaks a rule and sins. They are told to repent. They may do so, or end up doing the same thing again and again. It is a superficial thing. Real repentance is changing one's identity. That is the only repentance that matters. When a person rises above the externals in consciousness and sees him- or herself as a divine being in human form, it becomes apparent that all people are all on the same team, for we are one. Differences may be appreciated, just as two musicians can appreciate the unique sounds made by other instruments, each contributing to the composite sound of a symphony. It is what we have in common that carries the day, and in oneness of purpose there is no need for dispute or anger or violence. Change happens easily when we let go of our fixed views and are willing to admit how little we understand about anything that matters. When we release the false self, the true Self has a place to land.

    When the Master was on earth, the disciples came to him and asked, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" This is a question asked from a human nature ego identity. People always wants to judge who's better than somebody else. They want to be recognized as special and given medals and awards and have their backs patted and their egos stroked. Why is this? It is because everyone knows at the core that their humanly-devised self is a sham. So, they prop themselves up and imagine they have worth when they know within they do not in false identity. Someone can say, "I am a Colonel in the army and everywhere I go people salute me so I must really be valuable." Or, "I'm very successful with this company and made a lot of money." Or, "Look at the family I've produced; my sons will carry on my name, so I am important!"

    The other end of the same stick are the people who do not do so well in this illusory world. The human ego is propped up by them as well. "Look at me, how I suffer. How unfair life is. I have to live in this hovel while those rich people live in luxury. Pity me." It is another way to seek acknowledgement, to say one's life in false identity is important, when it is not. False people make a false world. It is not the reality of oneness between heaven and earth and does not reveal the true design. The Master knew this question was a false one but took advantage of the opportunity. He "called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter in the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." [Matthew 18:3]

    In other words, do not be arrogant and think you know when you do not. Children are teachable. They know that they do not know and are like sponges soaking up information. What is taught is often not very helpful, but adults who have rigidly set ways are not teachable. When we are open to learn, like a small child, we may be filled with the truth. If we apply truth out of right identity, substance is generated, which opens doors to what is possible. It is the subsequent radiance that gets the job done, that allows heavenly reality to be known again on earth.

    I am reminded of a dinner I went to after a few of us helped Bill Bahan, Sr., put on a seminar in Kansas City years ago. It was very successful and we carried the substance of it with us. My good friend Joe Houlton was there, who had a wonderful sense of humor. There were eight of us, including two women. We went to a nice restaurant and were having a good time, telling stories and jokes, laughing, enjoying each other's company. It turned out the kitchen was behind in filling their orders. It would have been sufficient if a waiter apologized, saying our dinners would be delayed. That would have been fine with us. Instead, the manager came over. I could tell by looking at him, with his kind of goofy grin and a light in his eyes that he was sensing something of our presence and was responsive to the radiance emanating from our group. I doubt he understood what he felt, but he told us our dinners and drinks were on the house, no charge, and he wished us a wonderful time. It was much more than was necessary. From radiation there is either response or resistance. In this case, it opened the way for us, and we were thankful. It is a small example, but shows how radiance can call forth something of reality, of giving.

    Spirit first touches the heart. The head follows. As substance is increased and there is adequate radiation, all sorts of things are possible. That is how change happens. Who is to say what magic and wonders await when there is sufficient substance to recreate the world as God designed it? It will be a step-by-step process rebuilding a new earth and we cannot jump ahead. Fine substance must be generated in the world as it is to have a foundation to let even finer substance come into form. There is never a time when there is not a creative field before us, when we do not have the opportunity to release the truth of ourselves. We each center our worlds, into which we can express something clear and fresh.

    As it is said: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." [1 Corinthians 2:9]

    So, let us be our true Selves that together we may play the always-new melody emanating from Source, each in our unique way. This is the mission we have signed up for, why we are here. We have a wonderful opportunity to play our part in uplifting the consciousness of humankind, to dispel the illusory state and restore reality on earth.

    I will close with some words, a portion of which is borrowed from the 96th psalm:

    O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord all the earth. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad. Let the atmosphere of holiness envelope our world that all may be bathed in the water of truth and filled with the fire of God's love.

May 23, 2021

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