You must begin to live in harmony with the laws governing the universe.
Emerging, and yet not completely emerging, from my recent sanctuary time, it seems I could spend the rest of my life exploring just this one sentence from just one meme. At some level, I probably will.
Living in alignment with the universal harmony. The Irish named this universal harmony Oran Mór, the Great Melody. A divine song that sings in and animates all life. A sacred force present in all things, both animate and inanimate. Our ancestors, from any cultural heritage, held and lived this knowing. For those who need more tangible proof, Kirlian photography captures these auric energy fields. As in this tulip image.
While our ancestors lived in alignment with a universal harmony, we have become estranged. Our fast paced and mechanized culture has drifted so far from this harmonic vibration that alignment now requires a recalibration. We must intentionally step away from the chaotic energetic soup we swim in and shift our consciousness to join and become one with the harmonic energy. Meditation, sanctuary, and silent retreat are all pathways for this journey. For me, that part is not so difficult. With practice – and it’s why they call it spiritual practice – this becomes a more natural and fluid movement.
What is difficult for me is re-entry. It can be jarring and brutal. Beyond re-entry is the challenge of sustaining that alignment. Holding and carrying that energy into the world without having it ravaged. There are tools. Shielding, deep breathing, mantra, visualization. And from my recent immersion here at MossTerra, I now have a deeper understanding that sanctuary is not just a place to go but an energy I carry with me. For me, this is huge. Because, to paraphrase a recent meme, my spiritual path is not just about aligning with the universal harmonic energy. It’s about sharing it in the world.
You must begin to live in harmony with the laws governing the universe. You can’t tame the spirit of someone who has magic in their veins. Stop looking for your soulmate. Start looking for your soul, mate. The songs of the Earth write the music of my soul. Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of their heart. You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
Ah, Facebook. These words, together with beautiful images, are just a few of the memes that have marched down my timeline and into oblivion in the last two days. So many meme moments. They fly by at the speed…well, it seems at the speed of our attention span. Which is fleeting.
All of these sentiments are wonderful gems of wisdom. Yet the light they shine is but a small fractal of the treasure they hold. We glimpse only the first of many layers and levels of profound significance. A mere title to a whole book. When I see them, something in me resonates a clear YES! At the same time I know, as do others who offer up these memes, that while glimpsing the gem is easy, mining the treasure is something else entirely.
A deeper exploration of these wisdom truths requires moving beyond the cerebral to the experiential. And that’s when the exploration becomes both profoundly meaningful and complex. For this exploration requires a shift in consciousness and a shift in energy. And that does not happen in a meme moment.
As we stepped through the doors of the large grocery, I told my friends that I needed to get some chapstick and would meet them back at the car. Some time later, and apparently quite some time later, Chalazon came to find me. I was standing in front of the shelves of lip balms barely able to comprehend why I was there, let alone navigate the many choices available and make a decision.
This might sound like an experience from the 60s. In fact, it happened only a few years ago. And there were no drugs involved. We had just returned from a prayer vigil in the high desert. Several days of singing, dancing, praying, and fasting. And we were altered. Prayer vigil events are pretty common in my spiritual community and I’ve grown accustomed to the massive shifts that occur when I move from an immersion in spiritual energy to the secular world. OK. Perhaps not entirely accustomed. But at least I can anticipate a major harmonic disruption.
However last week, as I stepped away from several days of spiritual focus and sanctuary here at MossTerra, I experienced the same thing. I hadn’t been completely away in the desert. Many of my daily rhythms were much the same. I just didn’t anticipate how altered I was. I didn’t realize how completely I had integrated with spiritual energy. Encountering the secular was brutal. As spiritual immersion had been my objective for the sanctuary time, I was delighted. I was also profoundly appreciative of new insights relative to moving between and integrating these energies. The challenge becomes holding onto a spiritual energy and moving through the world intact. Or, to paraphrase Kipling, keeping your spirit when all about you have lost theirs.
Touching the divine, tapping into our spiritual nature, is one of life’s most profound experiences. But it’s not always easy. And it’s not simple. Certainly not as simple as the Facebook memes would have us believe.
I knocked on the door until my knuckles were bleeding. Pounding with both fists. Open! Open! OPEN!
Ah. The energy of Summer. Of action and activity. Of doing. Of making things happen. Of life in full bloom. I love this energy. I’m good at it. It works for me. Just eight weeks after my double mastectomy last year, I was in Ireland for a month leading tours. Climbing, hiking, and driving. I felt fabulous. Yes, it was a consequence of spiritual surrender and of much prayer – mine and others. It was also a consequence of determination, of sheer will.
And so I strode through the rest of the year wearing the Summer mantle. I had things to do. Editing the second edition of my Legacy of Wisdom book, planning and publicizing this year’s Sacred Ireland journeys, launching an initiative to empower women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Most especially being with my Dad and my family as he made his transition from this world. And then there was the memorial service to plan.
I started getting the messages last fall. The messages to slow down. To stop so much ‘doing’ and to ‘be’. I heard them and promptly tucked them away for future consideration. But after Dad’s memorial, the messages kept coming. Persistent, strong, and clear. It was time to settle into the energy of Winter. Of being still and listening. Of contemplation. It was hard to step away from the persistent pushing to make things happen. But, of course, it was absolutely the right energy to be with. And sure enough, the Universe opened and is still opening. I just had to stop knocking.
So. If not Hillary, then who? Leaving aside the Republican candidates who have turned up the volume on hate rhetoric to unprecedented levels, that would suggest Sanders. But, can he win? Does he have the depth of expertise and experience necessary – especially in areas of foreign policy? Good questions. Important questions about the future possibility of Bernie as the Democratic candidate and President.
What will unfold in the future is yet to be seen. But what intrigues and heartens me is what is unfolding now. From the beginning of his campaign, Sanders has shifted the narrative. He is speaking of things that many say will not serve his election prospects. He is speaking of things at the core, at the very foundation, of our current and very broken political and governance system. This is a new narrative. A narrative that is engaging millions of people. In fact, he has garnered the unprecedented number of 3 million campaign contributions. Each averaging $27. His narrative is inspiring and energizing a grassroots movement. And a new conversation.
Whether Bernie will leave a legacy of being a Presidential candidate or even President is yet to be known. But with each day and each speech on the campaign trail, he is building and living a legacy that can last for generations. He is building the legacy of a new narrative.
I agree. Hillary Clinton is a bright, intelligent, influential, dedicated, and hard working woman. Those who support her for President argue that with her expertise and experience, she would know how to get things done. And they are correct. She absolutely knows her way around our current system of government and governance. And she would get things done – within the limits of paralyzing congressional gridlock.
The problem is it’s a broken system. My issue is that what would get done would, in all likelihood, be more of what is being done now. More of the same. And in so many ways the same is just not working for many Americans – or the planet. Well, it does seem to be working pretty well for the 1%. We have the political and governance system our founding fathers and subsequent Presidents warned us about. A system in which so much power is wielded by financially focused special interests. Eisenhower was strong, clear, and articulate about the dangers of the military-industrial complex. And yet here we are.
The Brehon Laws. I’ve written about them before, these ancient civil codes of Ireland. At the very foundation of these Laws is the concept and belief of Honor Price. That all people and every living thing have value and are to be held in honor. Actions and decisions were made from this knowing. What might be possible? What might shift were we to base our actions and decisions on this knowing?
Several women, friends whose opinion I regard highly, have said that I should support Hillary Clinton because it’s time to break through the glass ceiling. I’ve been a passionate advocate for women’s rights for more than 40 years. That passion has shaped many of my actions, decisions, and choices. But not this time. Yes, I am strongly rooted in feminist ideology. But I am also rooted deeply in my Irish heritage. And this time, it is my Irish heritage that guides my thinking.
There are several historical perspectives that speak a loud counsel to me. And they all emanate from the demands my Irish ancestors placed on leadership. Fundamental was the requirement that leaders be concerned first and foremost with the welfare of the land and the people. All the people. Not just a few. Not just the 1%. But all the people.
With a personal net worth reported to be $45M in 2016, combined with her husband’s $80M net worth for the same year, she is clearly one of the few. Considering her massive campaign contributions from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Time Warner, and others, Hillary holds vested membership in and is vetted by the 1%. Although she recently said that campaign contributions of this nature don’t influence legislation or policy, I find that hard to swallow.
There are other perspectives on her candidacy that I will explore, but for me, this one alone is a deal breaker. With all due respect to my sisters who advocate for breaking through the glass ceiling, I can’t drink the kool-aid on this one. That glass is shattered.
Ah, those crows. They convinced Dumbo and his friend Timothy Mouse that flight is only possible with a magic feather. One of their feathers. And, even though Dumbo is perfectly capable of flying on his own, he believes their story.
This tale comes to mind as my community is locked in a battle with those who would build the world’s largest methanol plant on our waterfront. Yet again, the crows and cronies of big business are wanting us to believe that we can only fly with their magic feather. And this feather is jobs. A feather they wave around to justify any commercial or industrial development – regardless of the social or environmental impact. And we believe them.
My Irish ancestors, and I would argue ancestors from any culture, knew that for a community to soar there are many vital factors and influences. Yes, commerce is one. But it’s not the only one…and certainly not the most important. They knew that a vibrant and sustainable social fabric is woven with the threads of respect and concern for all members of the community, not just a few. A deep faith in and relationship with the Sacred. And a profound knowing that any decision must honor the Earth and all life. These were the threads of truth they wove through any course of action. These threads were intrinsic.
We hold the legacy of our ancestors. We hold the power of collective wisdom and collaborative ingenuity. We don’t need anyone to give us false feathers. So let’s lose the feather. And fly.