In Revelation 17, John is shown how corrupt women organize spirit to prevent love from entering the world.
Jesus once said:
Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest.
I go many places, seeking to find a community that will recognize the opportunity that I represent. I’ve been in church meditating on the cross with my eyes closed, and when I open them the pastor said: “Every now and then the elders have to ask someone to stop coming to church, because they sexually harass everyone in the place.” At dance celebrations in five venues, people’s hearts have cried out for healing, and when I clear a space in which they can receive the love that is their right, organizers voice a similar complaint.
I try with the t-shirts. The one I dance in says “Danger: Angel gateways. Please play nicely. They just want to be friends.”
I used to put it this way: our society’s experience of masculine love is so impoverished that when people receive it, they go completely haywire. They have expectations, and project them onto the intentions of the lover. To me, it’s like being raped.
It is convention now to complain that the problems we face are due to “patriarchy,” but few recognize that the divine masculine is no more present in our culture than is the Divine Mother. That female spirituality has been driven out of the cultural limelight is actually an advantage in that regard: they practice their arts quietly in the background. But a man that dares to do the same is rejected and hounded.
Simpler forms of life have a certain clarity in that regard. Knowing that I seek nothing for myself, they flock around me. When a community gets it right, they press inwards, and then ask me to project the pattern outwards into the world. They want every fish, bird, animal, flower and tree to know what it feels like when people surrender their self-seeking and instead offer love. They want to know where it is safe to invest their strength, strength far beyond human strength, strength established from investiture in the earth over billions of years.
That is what I meant by “opportunity”: I am an amplifier pickup. Through that connection, people have the opportunity to make a serious dent in the problems we face. What most choose instead is to say “Go away.”
As I progress through the video series at Love Returns, I’m having more and more trouble keeping myself anchored. Time and space, life and death, nature and design: it all winds together more thickly around my mind.
At Dance Tribe on Sunday, I felt disconnected, as though some part of me was missing from the experience – or something else was in control. Half-way through, I focused intently, and found myself thinking about the phytoplankton whose shells are dissolving. While higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide warm the air, causing the most immediate threat to human civilization, they also increase carbolic acid in the oceans. This is bleaching coral reefs and impeding the maturation of phytoplankton.
Phytoplankton are the base of the oceanic food chain, and the greatest source of the oxygen gas that we breathe to fuel our metabolism.
Their message was simple: “We can’t do it any more.”
I fell into a deep-rooted grief that built until I was concerned that it would disrupt the celebration. Taking down my gear from the shelves, I headed for the exit, only to be stopped by these lyrics:
Black lives matter.
Children lives matter.
Police lives matter.
Judge lives matter.
The grief spilled over, then, and I started sobbing, face turned to the heavens. After a time, another man leaned his head into my shoulder. I finally pulled myself together, set my gear down, and went back out on the floor.
It was different. My muscle cells seemed to float as though on an ocean swell. Bones forgotten, it was all about the tissue rising and falling, until I tumbled over onto the floor.
And then the second phase: protective tissues. Lower extremities anchored firmly as though to the ocean floor, my arms and head swayed in the air, fluid, the currents of the air rolling along and around them.
The then the final phase: shells, the calcium accretions that became our bones. Joints and alignments came into focus.
In Psalms, this echo rolls back from the Messiah:
I am less than a worm.
Not less, in that moment, but of and from. They are still inside us, those simple things.
And they are dying.
In the closing circle, we were asked to state our names and offer a word that summarized our experience in the dance. I blurted out my name, but concealed that word that was presented to me.
A group of elderly women has been in my orbit for the last ten years, trying to manage my emergence into the world. Every now and then they surface in a concrete manifestation and claim privilege. I tend to sigh, but some of their pronouncements are prejudicial. I’ve decided to sound off against them.
I hate to have to say this, but when all is said and done, I’ll finally be able to do the work that I was meant to do only after the old ladies that seek to preserve order have presided over the complete collapse of human society and the global ecology.
Sometimes things have to change. It’s a delusion for either sex to believe that it can do without the other. Try to have some faith in the integrity of masculine love. You were meant to amplify it, but we can’t express it at all if you’re going to use it to amplify your fears.
And, yes, I do hear your convocations. My input to them is blocked by women that benefit from the status quo, and those of you that have direct access to me have not even begun to ask the right questions. I seem to have been categorized as just another man. What you don’t seem to understand is that my manifestation of those traits – to the degree that I do – is because the more powerful among your sisters have invested enormous energy in projecting such traits onto me.
You might take it as a measure of my strength that I am subduing them without your support.
That is why over the last fifteen years I haven’t pursued any of your romantic arrangements. I have given up on your generation, and my sisters’ generation. The future is closed to you, and I exist only to create that future. I see it – though dimly – through the trusting spirits of your female grandchildren. They do recognize me, and I am doing my best to teach them how to exercise the unique grace that love manifests in them.
My surrender to Christ began when I revisited a Catholic Church in 2001. Confronted with the image of Jesus’s suffering, I reflexively put my hand on my heart and held it out to him, offering “Use this for healing.” It culminated just after my forty-ninth birthday when, while commuting to work, I felt him reaching out from the cross to find a means of anchoring his will to the future. His conclusion, just before his death, was “our heart is beating still.”
Revelation 19 talks of a bride for Christ, a woman clothed in “fine linen, bright and clean (the linen being the righteous acts of God’s holy people).” That’s often seen as metaphorical – the woman is the Church. But my experiences lead me to other conclusions.
Out at Love Returns, I’ve been elaborating the nature of the Most High as love that seeks to heal. Healing requires two parts: change (which is masculine) coupled with preservation of that which is good (which is feminine). Jesus was the manifestation of the masculine impulse for healing. But he cannot manifest the feminine role.
So where is she?
When asked why I don’t have a lady in my life, I answered for a time that “I haven’t found a woman strong enough to stand up to her sisters.” The most godless book of the Bible is Esther. I mean that literally: God is never mentioned. The book of Esther is the story of a woman that uses her sexuality to secure political power for her people. It is the surrender of the virtue of Israel’s women in the same way that the men surrendered their virtue when ignoring Samuel’s warnings against raising up a king.
It is Esther’s compromise that John and others decry as “fornication” – intercourse for political and financial gain, rather than as an act of love.
The union of the masculine and feminine virtues – the celebration of sex as an act of love – is envisaged by John as the New Jerusalem. A river flows from the throne of the Most High down the street and enters the Tree of Life “growing on either side.” The leaves of the tree are given for “the healing of nations.”
Of course, those with political power seek to prevent this manifestation. They have corrupted our understanding of sex, advertising it as a carnal affair enjoyed most by people with rippling pectorals and bulging mammary glands. The conditioning is reinforced by religious hypocrisy that teaches us that those that succumb to sexual attraction are immoral.
The spirit of female corruption lurks in my psychic shadow. It comes on to me early in the morning, parading before me the women in whose hearts I find the most beauty. Some of them are uninterested, but when a lonely heart is found, the dreams turn to sex. Over the years, I have learned to respond in this way. “It is your heart I honor. Where is this passion coming from?” And behind them I see the females that guard political power, the culture that John describes as “Babylon” and “Mystery.”
And I make it clear that it is the bride of Christ that I seek – the woman in whose womb will be collected not corruption but rather virtue.
That didn’t work – none of the woman offered “Oh, OK. So how do I become that?” So I did something different last night. I sent light into my throbbing flesh, chasing away the corruption, and above and beyond the woman that Babylon had pushed upon me I found Her. The Sacred Mother. The White Lady. She looked down on me and smiled in favor.
Oh, ladies. Why are you so frightened by her?
I was returning from my Saturday walk down to the pier when I spotted a Hispanic man holding his granddaughter. He was smiling at me, so I walked over to say “Hello.” He didn’t answer, just smiling all the while, and I asked him if he was holding his granddaughter. He still didn’t answer, just giving a little nod, and I had the strong suspicion that he didn’t speak English.
But his hopeful smile compelled me somehow, so I reached out and placed my hand on her head, enjoying the softness of her hair while feeling that familiar tingle as energy passed from me to her.
He looked really happy as I walked away.
I had planned to spend a good portion of the summer down at the beach. I bought an awning and the shade enclosure for the three sides, but I never bought the banner to put across the front. I’ve been so busy with the videos out at love-returns.org.
The plan was to advertise “Free Blessings.” The night that came to mind, I had a dream about a newlywed couple, and then a young girl and her brother. Last night I had a dream about the beautiful daughter of a friend who is leaving work to support his lady while she attends school in Oklahoma. In each dream, the focus ended up being how to explain to people what a blessing was so that they could prepare themselves to receive it.
It goes something like this:
Think of your life as pages in a book. A blessing reaches through to those pages where you need extra strength to help you do something wonderful.
So a blessing connects this moment to the future. It is most powerful if you let it reach through the pages into your future, rather than trying to make it do something specific. That reaching through can be hard if you don’t think of it in the right way. You can open a book to any page you want to, but the pages of your life you share with other people. The future pages only open when everyone on the page agrees to open them. That usually happens only if everyone believes that love is waiting for them on that page.
So before you are blessed, open your heart to the future and imagine giving love to other people. The blessing will be the extra push that helps them receive it. When they do, they will give you the love you need in return. All that strength will add up to get you and the people you love through the difficult moments in your life.
I’m going to be 57 in a couple of months. I’ve tried to gather the wisdom I’ve been granted in this blog.
I say “granted” because I am conscious that it’s not mine. When I wrote the introduction to “Love Works” back in 2008, I remarked
I have benefited again and again from “private conversations” with people both living and dead. I am honored by the association with their company.
Sometimes that’s beneficial – even if a little later then I’d like. After I posted “Extinctions” last week out at Love Returns, I had a voice come in to observe that hemoglobin is red because it combines iron with oxygen. So when John spoke of the oceans becoming “blood,” he may have been seeing that bacteria that bound oxygen to iron bloomed in the ocean. That’s a stronger interpretation than the one that I offered – but I wasn’t about to go back and rework the clip.
Part of surrendering ownership of all of these ideas is that I am also conscious of interactions with personalities that work to push me down. When I posted Trial-by-“Fired” last week, I had also put a comment up on the Washington Post site. The Republican retirees that haunt cyberspace put pressure on my employer to try to discipline me.
Whatever. F’em if they can’t take a joke. Even if the joke IS true.
But more typical are these voices: when I post a comment on a pretty lady’s site, the thought “See. All he wants is sex.” Or when I check my blog stats at work “You’re just a click whore.” They used to be loud, but they’ve become quieter. They can’t help themselves, but they’re trying to avoid my attention.
I don’t give energy back to them, so when they broadcast into the space of my intentions, I heal them. They are dissipating.
Every now and then I hit a powerful reserve, though. These are things hidden deep in our subconscious, in our Freudian behaviors. When I finished taping this week’s video, they came at me hard last night. The ancient reptiles: “He’s telling them everything!”
Yes, I have been. For a long time. But they enjoy their fantasies more.
Everybody wants to be God of their own world. Nobody wants to contemplate how much effort it takes to clean up afterward.
Yeah. “Bruce, Almighty.”