Blessed, to Have Been There

In the Vedic tradition, maturity is a journey through progressive activation of the seven chakras. Our life energy arises through the first chakra, progressing upwards through the center of procreation before entering the realms of will, healing, truth, self-awareness, and unity.

Youth are drawn to those higher levels of activation in their elders. They struggle, however, with mismatched sensibilities. In approaching a healer, they experience the rise of energy through the lower chakras in their hearts. Their confusion is to interpret the gift as a sexual overture.

A someone working in the experience of unity, I have experienced this again and again in dance celebrations. I invite people into the space of unity, and they come on to me. Recognizing that, I drop down into that space and clarify it. But most youth are hedonists – few of them get the point.

On Democracy, Now! today, Amy Goodman highlighted clips of Joe Biden standing behind a young woman. He placed his hands on her shoulders and she blushed. He whispered into her ear. These are things that I do as well. They are gestures of blessing.

I have suffered greatly from those that interpret them as sexual overtures. They are not. Those that see them as sexual should grow up, because blessings – a gift of love offered without expectation of reciprocation – are essential to the construction of a moral society.

Faith

We are learning to love
We are each other’s teachers
Mistakes are inevitable, and ancient patterns are hard to break
Joy and sorrow are the only signposts, and
The biggest, most painful lie is that we need to be perfect to get to heaven
For love is constantly guiding us to new experiences, and
We cannot learn without making mistakes
Heaven is a place where we don’t have to hide our wounds
But reveal them so that others can have the grace of healing us
For a wound is an opening in the self
A possibility demanding our attention
The hunger of another for love.

Q.E.D.

Those of you who have followed my blog will have noticed that I have gone silent. In part this reflects a shift in focus: I’m still producing creative material out at Hypnosis Rising. But the work that I began here continues, it’s just shifted into another phase.

So why not continue writing here?

It’s not that there’s no point to the writing.

So what was the point?

Around sixteen, I placed love at the center of my intellectual universe. Listening to the confused public discourse of the ’70s, as splintering demographics set out to stake out their rights and privileges, I realized that the word had become degraded. So I set out to reclaim it.

What I realize now is how critical that decision was to my intellectual growth. We can either wrestle ideas into our service or we can facilitate their interaction. Any serious attempt to assess the material here will confront its astonishing breadth and depth. I know, because when I have free time and go back and look at it, I am flummoxed. Where did all of this come from?

Well, it came from ideas that were allowed to seek their natural place in the service of love. To understand that statement, I guess I should clarify that I see ideas as little angels. I don’t try to force them into my possession, I allow them to use my brain as a means of reorganizing themselves. They seem to enjoy working with me.

So to explain my silence: I don’t write because I can no longer see the borders of the universe that they have formed around me. They seem satisfied with what we have accomplished. No, “satisfied” is too weak. They are joyous.

Unfortunately, we live in an era that uses mass communication to suborn ideas to the end of self-promotion. That practice chews away at the periphery of my intellect. Most of my energy is spent holding the chaos at bay.

For those familiar with the phrase, “the center will hold.” The events will probably surprise you as they unfold. I point you to Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech. I’m not about to allow those that control the mechanism of exchange to pollute my intellect, nor will I cede our power to them. Instead I pity them, for in attempting to do either (as proven in “Love Works”) they destroy themselves.

They subscribe to the prerogatives of selfishness and the outcomes of Death. I have chosen Love and Life.

It Happened

When I dance, I project emotion. Often the expression is of joy or compassion. But over the last two years at Dance Tribe in Santa Barbara, I have been dancing around a woman to whom my heart is compelled to open, and I fall off the cliff into sorrow and grief.

She is graceful and very pretty, and used to being pursued by men on her terms. The benefits of her charms are obvious to her, and she is generous with them in turn. So this grief was alarming to her, and drove her into the arms of a man that she understood.

But we come into orbit when she is there – often she is not, for reasons that I don’t understand. The last time, I projected to her: “You are powerful enough that every motion you make should be a metaphor for healing.” Then two weeks ago I encountered her at a meditation on climate change, and when the masculine rejection came up again, advised her to cultivate serenity.

Yesterday she came in again, and I chose to respond to the negativity that our proximity generates by standing still, or walking out to stand in the sunshine. I projected the thought that I would try to be gentle so that she could find her way to me. She danced with others, but didn’t surrender herself to them. Eventually, we danced slowly around each other, arms and legs tangentially clearing the space, she backing closer and closer to me until she turned and pressed her arm against mine.

Her focus was incredible, a sense of awe in every movement. Twice I teetered again on that abyss, inhaling to hold my breath against the pain. Both times I found her there ahead of me, assuring me “It’s ok. You don’t have to enter through that door. Go this way instead.”

I lifted her up on my shoulders twice, that sweet slide of skin against skin as she descended toward the floor. When the dance was over, she posed in Namaste and looked up at me gently from under her eyelids. I stepped forward to shield her from doubt, and found myself saying:

I’ve missed you so very much.

Not the dancing, though that was wonderful. No, it was a reference to that woman of authority over my heart, the woman I lost so many lives ago, and whose strength and serenity she has inherited as a mantle.

Puncturing the Cynicism of Our Age

The motivations of any professional include supporting themselves and their family. In being drawn to a new career in hypnotherapy, I am somewhat unique at HMI in that I have no dependents, and no expectations that I will have a comfortable retirement. In contrast, many of my peers-in-training are openly concerned about financial success, and some among the instructors project aspirations of personal wealth.

The conversation I walked into during workshop break went a little farther than that. Three students and the facilitator were agreeing that “you can talk about love, but ultimately everything is about money.” I guess that my reaction was incongruous, for they all turned to look at me. I tried to soften the pregnant silence with a jocular “Speak for yourself!”

The retort came from the man lazing in the recliner on the stage. I had to turn to see the subtle smirk on his face after he said “It’s all about money to you, too.” I tilted my head to the side in a manner that I am certain appeared calculating, and he reiterated his assertion. Stepping closer to him, I firmly asserted “You don’t tell me what I think.”

Turning back to the astonished triad, I explained:

“It’s all about power. There are two kinds of power: some power you can store – that’s what money is, in fact, a way of storing power. And there’s another kind – the kind that has to be about the world doing work. In my experience of life, there’s far more of the second kind of power than there is of the first.

“And that is why I love unconditionally: because I like to see power at work.”

The other students opened their mouths, but the facilitator closed the conversation with “Very well put, Brian.”

The Answer is Right in Front of You

In my last post, I took a long view of the process through which we as a nation have struggled against the forces of Mammon – the tendency to reduce all human relations to currency.

There are two positive paths forward from the crisis we are now in. The first is to trust in historical trends and human steadfastness. The second is to mature in our relationship with God.

History is on the Side of Justice

Hope is found in this simple historical fact: this pattern of oppression has been experienced again and again through human history. When wealth and production become decoupled (as we see with outsourcing from America since 1970), financiers eventually control politics because debtors must continue to pay interest on their obligations in order to maintain access to additional financing.

This is a fun game for the financiers until tangible goods begin to decay. This was first evident in the Rust Belt, but is now visible in America’s degraded infrastructure. Initially the cost of living rises as the population attempts to preserve its lifestyle, but in Detroit and Flint we see the end point: a dramatic decrease in the standard of living that drives down the value of property.

When there isn’t anything worth buying any more, what’s the value of money?

Ultimately this leads to the collapse of currency and the dissolution of nation states (such as during the American Revolution, driven primarily by taxation issues, and in current events as California and New York actively rebel against federal myopia on climate change, trade, human rights and taxation). In that liquidation, regulations are established to prevent recurrence.

Those regulations must cover the reach of the financial system, and so we see that government always expands in the aftermath of collapse. This happened not long after the Revolution of 1776 when the original Confederation of States was reorganized as a Federal system under the US Constitution. It occurred again after the Great Depression, when the bureaucracy was expanded to regulate interstate corporations. After World War II, the shell of global financial regulatory systems was set up in the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Union.

We should be encourage now that we are faced with the final stage of harmonization of financial regulation. Commerce is now global, and English is established as the language of business. All we have to do is organize the political will to establish that framework.

And, despite resistance, the financiers have always been unable to prevent that step – largely because they eventually discover that there’s nothing left to cheat out of the impoverished masses, and turn on each other. The financial game is no longer worth playing, and those that want to make money return to the problem of trying to create value.

Maturation in God

When asked about the age that we are in now, Jesus made vague remarks about “wars, and rumors of wars,” foul weather and disease. When I first read that material, I thought “Well, when has this ever NOT been true.”

But there was a reason, for Jesus had already told them the answer. The age ends when we learn to love God and our neighbor.

When I make this point to people, I follow it up with the observation that “there’s a conspicuous omission there.” Most of them recognize that it’s “myself.”

Loving unconditionally, as God loves us, has the problem that the beloved can abuse our trust. We see this arising again and again in the Old Testament. The Fall, the Flood, the silence in Egypt, the punishments for the Golden Calf, the rules regarding access to the Holy of Holies, and the Fall of Jerusalem are all motivated by the pain suffered by the Most High due to the infidelity of the Chosen People.

So love is metered out to us in the measure that we are trusted to use it. If we don’t respect God, we lose his love.

That shouldn’t surprise us.

In recasting faith as a process for regulating the flow of power from the Most High to our neighbors, Jesus was offering this wisdom: we are the instruments that God has placed on this earth to regulate the flow of power to others. God seeks to empower us, and when we empower others, their witness is a testament to our worthiness to receive power.

On the road to Jerusalem, the Apostles argued over the rights of each in the realm to come. Jesus rebuked them with the parable of the talents. Two beneficial paths are identified: if you have skills that will allow you to help others, God will give you power when you exercise them. If you do not have skills but invest your strength in support of those that do, God will give you power to facilitate that work.

But if you hide your power because you fear to lose it, you will be lost, because to enter the kingdom of heaven requires far more power than you can hold in your self. You can only enter in relationship with others that hold you in loving regard, preserving your spirit from the enormous forces that swirl around the Most High as he seeks to fulfill his compact with us.

How does this work against criminality in business? Because when we hold someone in our loving regard, we know when they are endangered. We can feel it even from a distance, and that knowledge forms a cyst around those that would do ill to us and others.

Of course, in that knowledge, we have two choices: we can choose to do unto the criminal as they did to us, or we can ignore them and focus on constructing functional relationships. When we get wrapped around the axle by management wrangling at work, this is what I tell my peers: “Forget them. We are here for each other, and every day that I am here I will do my best to help you succeed.”

This is what Jesus meant we he said “pick up your cross and carry it.” When we devote ourselves to that task, there is no weakness to exploit in the bonds of good will.

Conversely, we do create a culture that justifies financial fraud in that passive investments are merely an attempt to profit from the labor of others. If we are seeking to get more than we deserve, why shouldn’t our financial advisers do the same?

So this is the bottom line: stop worrying about yourself, and focus on caring for others. And as you do, remember this: there is a billion times as much energy leaving the sun than warms the earth. That’s enough energy for every eight people to have a planet of their own. There is nothing that we can’t do once we have earned the right to it, and nothing that we need fear from those that have.

Because we will rest secure in the knowledge that, as God, they exist only to love us.

Womanhood Risen

I’ve been following a blogger here at WordPress for a while, and I wanted to send her a private message, so I’m putting this up so that I can link to it from a comment on her blog.

Her blog is a personal journey of recovery and self-affirmation. When I encountered the work, it had transformed from a powerful, moving written account of what it is like to stand at the edge of the abyss of self-destruction. From that place, the creator turned to visual memes that characterized the virtues revealed within her by Christ: courage, determination, sensitivity, patience, joy, fertility, and so many others. She has achieved what I have not: finding a means to cast the kaleidoscope of Divine Love’s influence on our lives into delicious morsels that her readers can assimilate one at a time.

As she marshalled those virtues within herself, she occasionally reflected on the turning point in her struggle: the hearing of “Here I am to Worship” while at a recovery center. The first time she wrote of that, I was cast back into that moment with her, and felt love establish a beach-head.

Her self-expression was always playfully deprecating; her concerns often that she was not making progress on the life-path that society has allocated to women. As a counter, I told her once that eventually her work would turn outwards. That is coming to pass: now she writes often of the dynamic of her interaction with the world. The terms are more and more confident of her womanly spirituality – the powerful, graceful affirmation of virtue that anchors it firmly to the future, possible only because she possesses a womb in which potentiality can take root and flower.

I cannot express how much I am in awe of that capacity. It awakens powerfully in me the urge to protect, to shield her from the corrupting influences that swirl all around us. But I am also beginning to sense the same certainty that was characteristic of Jacqueline Onassis: that her virtue will call to her protectors at the time and place of her need.

The exclamation that arises in me in the presence of such a woman has always been “Oh Woman! Oh Beauty! Oh Life!” I struggle with desire, even from the separation of a continent, understanding that distance is necessary to the end goal: that such women not become wrapped up in a relationship, but stand as shining stars to inspire their sisters.

I know that doesn’t seem fair, but we are here on Earth to create conditions in which the Divine Feminine will allow itself to be seduced. Laying down what seems to be our natural rights is to open the door to the virtues of the spirit that she tenders. It is time, dear sister, to see her as an equal to Christ, and yourself as one among her priestesses – not for the purpose of displacing Christ, but for the purpose of healing him.