I recently had an unpleasant experience while attending the Global Community Communications Alliance-sponsored “Earth Sustainability Day” at Avalon Gardens. As I was signing some petitions in support of creating a Department of Peace within the U.S. government, another individual was next to me doing the same thing. Realizing that I was one of the spiritual leaders of Global Community Communications Alliance (GCCA), a religious-based intentional community and global change organization, this person threw down the pen and went on a tirade of how they hated “all that religious stuff” etc. etc. and then stormed off. Interestingly, this individual was “working” one of the guest tables representing an organization that supported peaceful and sustainable practices. Though I did not personally feel slighted, I did consider pointing out the inconsistencies of being a guest on GCCA property, participating in an event hosted by GCCA, and behaving in a manner that was disrespectful and did not contribute to the sustainability and peaceful ways that the individual advocated. I didn't; at the time I chose to let this all slide. But here I am writing about the incident.
This person represents to me many pro-active persons who are sincerely (or not so sincerely) concerned with the state of our world and who want to contribute in some way to sustainability (the new buzz word). I can understand people's “turn off” to religion in general, for look at the terrible things done in the name of religion! Look at the hypocrisy, the stupidity, the abominations done by so-called religious people and institutions. But also look at the wonderful, beneficial things that have been accomplished by religious people and institutions. It's a mixed bag, isn't it?
Taking into consideration the stereotyping and profiling that goes on about people who appear to be too different from the mainstream (including those of us in GCCA), I can also understand the disdain that this individual displayed towards me. I too feel disdain for and disappointment in fundamentalistic thinking, and I definitely don't approve of sheep-like people following charismatic, power-hungry leaders—whether in religion, science, politics, economics, entertainment, or any other area.
I am indeed very spiritually-minded, and have been since childhood, and I most certainly am a leader and teacher in a non-mainstream religious institution that has been maligned by the media and continually gossiped about locally, but I am none of that which I think this stranger presumed me to be.
We humans are a mass of inconsistencies and contradictions. It seems that we have within us the capacity to hate just as intensely and deeply as we can love, and we can be just as cowardly and compromising in our dishonesty and greed for power and materials as we can be courageous and noble in our willingness to put our lives, and egos, on the line for ethical and moral ideals.
Okakura Kakuzo, in his masterpiece, The Book of Tea, states:
“Sad as it is, we cannot conceal the fact that we have not risen very far above the brute. Scratch the sheepskin and the wolf within us will soon show his teeth. It has been said that man at ten is an animal, at twenty a lunatic, at thirty a failure, at forty a fraud, and at fifty a criminal. Perhaps he becomes a criminal because he has never ceased to be an animal. Nothing is real to us but hunger, nothing sacred except our own desires. Shrine after shrine has crumbled before our eyes; but one altar forever is preserved, that whereon we burn incense to the supreme idol—ourselves. Our god is great, and money is his Prophet! We devastate nature in order to make sacrifice to him. We boast that we have conquered Matter and forget that it is Matter that has enslaved us. What atrocities do we not perpetrate in the name of culture and refinement!”
These observations of humankind were made at the turn of the century, moving from the nineteenth into the twentieth. Unfortunately, the author's century-old observations could have been made yesterday!
I think Mr. Kakuzo was correct in his judgment of humankind if humans do not tap into the spiritual circuitry innate within. If an individual, or group, or culture does not build ideals and values on spiritual reality (not human religious doctrine), then most humans will show their teeth in a brutish manner when scratched or squeezed, as did the individual towards me at Avalon Gardens.
Today it's even more difficult to discern the numerous atrocities perpetrated, for many of them are couched in the subtleties and sophistries of acceptable language, buzz words, phrases, and concepts that have been stolen from genuine, grassroots- and soul-level movements by those in business, “society,” politics, and even religions to appear as if they too are part of a globally-changing movement. But, from a deeper perspective, nothing much has really changed worldwide, just the language for advertising, or socializing, or politicking, or proselytizing purposes. It's all merely a gesture in order to look socially or politically acceptable, in order to keep the bucks rolling in. A militaristic and economy-driven dominant culture still dominates the world governments and their citizens' consciousness, and, as a result, the intricate planetary web of life is unraveling.
I recently read about a local, newly-formed regional citizens' group here in the Verde Valley whose purpose is “to advocate for policies and initiate efforts to achieve a sustainable and diversified economy.” I applaud their ideals, as I do all individual and group efforts to move our civilization forward—evolving from the vestiges of the brute into some semblance of actual sanity, genuineness, and responsibility for the welfare of the whole.1 The term economy is usually used in relationship to materials and finances-matter. Can an economy be truly sustainable?2 I think not when based on principles that are materialistic and lack true spiritual depth. I think an economy can only be sustainable when based upon divine administration principles, principles which are in direct contradiction to most present policies and direction of the dominant culture that is attempting to rule the planet.3
Can we, regardless of Okakura Kakuzo's assessment of the human race, age in another way than his projected ten-year increments of movement from animal to lunatic to failure to fraud, and finally to criminal? Rather than being drugged into the dominant-culture-reality where Matter enslaves us and we idolize ourselves and hold sacred only our own desires, can we mature into a totally different creature? I think we can, but I don't think it will be easy, and it will be costly, and I'm talking about more than finances here. I wonder how many individuals will in actuality be willing to pay the price of making the major personal shifts within their hearts, minds, and lives to metamorphose into a new creature, what some have called “the pearl of great price”?
We Homo sapiens, like any life form on this world, must evolve from a lower state of being to a higher one if we are to survive as a species. And I think that we are to not only evolve but ascend, which makes us more than just Homo sapiens, more than just a higher animal form; it makes us ascending sons and daughters of God, the Universal Father/Mother. We indeed have the potential to become spiritized beings in material bodies. In a discourse on reality, Jesus indicated that no individual or group of individuals could begin to understand true reality from a mind that is not spiritized by epochal revelation.4
Without spiritization, cultures, religions, governments, and any other group eventually become ineffective and temporary or corrupt, for there is no depth of perspective and recognition of values and ideals that are of eternal value. That entity (culture, religion, government, or any other group) which starts out with good, even supreme, intentions and ideals usually is distorted by those one-eyed or blind individuals (metaphorically speaking) who fail to implement and/or maintain the worthy goals of the entity. (For example, examine the original intent and ideals of most of the founding fathers of the United States of America and compare them with the actual follow-through of implementing those ideals throughout the centuries up to today. Examine the actual teachings of most founders of a religion or any human-development organization and assess how those teachings have deviated from the original.) Jesus stated: “A one-eyed person can never hope to visualize depth of perspective. Neither can single-eyed material scientists nor single-eyed spiritual mystics and allegorists correctly visualize and adequately comprehend the true depths of universe reality. All true values of creature experience are concealed in depth of recognition.”5
The true depths of universe reality reveal a spiritual and mindal overcontrol, which some spiritually progressive and more open-minded scientists perceive in the systems on this world and in the cosmos, on microscopic and macrocosmic levels. Many individuals have tapped into some level of spiritual reality in their own personal evolution. The true meaning of the terms spiritual and mindal is not necessarily related to religion or intellect, though they possibly could be depending upon usage.
Epochal revelation reveals a spirit circuit and a mind circuit that come directly from the Source and Center of all creation and are available for us human beings on this world. Some individuals and groups are very religious but not at all connected to the spirit circuitry and, as a result, think, make decisions, and act outside of divine pattern—thus the self-serving, greed- and power-based policies that implement practices destructive to human beings and the world we live upon; wars; acts of terrorism; and attempted genocides—often done in the name of some religion, God, Allah, Jesus, or Jehovah when in fact the Universal Father/Mother God has nothing at all to do with these atrocities. There are persons who are very knowledgeable in certain areas but who are not connected to the mind circuit of divine pattern and have absolutely no understanding at deeper levels of recognition, including spirit reality and truths of eternal value—thus we have so-called experts and intellectuals pontificating from a very limited, flat perspective who influence others to evaluate and assess from shallow materialism and selfishness.
Regardless of certain ideals that individuals may hold, if they do not have something of eternal value, something of spiritual reality, those ideals will not allow for experiences that bring about much-needed personal change points that would transform them into more discerning, respectful human beings, and thus becoming more effective in bringing about positive and permanent change in the world.
As I look back on the various epiphanies that brought about major shifts in my own consciousness, I realize that my life has been, and continues to be, a series of unfolding realizations. Epiphanies are seemingly ordinary, small events that can lead us into a change point, if we are open to shift. I consider a change point a major shift in consciousness and behavior. It is not just becoming aware; it is acting on the new-found awareness. It is not just “talking the walk; it is walking the talk.”
There are so many opportunities that can turn into epiphanies and then possibly into a change point—encountering persons, literature, music, art, nature, Spirit, and many other situations that cause us to stop and consider. Most people don't even stop and consider, thus what could have become an epiphany does not. And many of those who do stop to consider don't mature beyond their epiphany into the level of permanent, deep shift and action, thus no change point really happens for them. They may rap a good rap; they may act the part, but they aren't the real thing, the genuine new creature.
It's too costly for most to really move on in their consciousness and continue to expand and ascend, to move out of their comfort zones, to wake up from their dreamy illusions of unbridled liberty and self-assertion, to graduate from ego to spirit, to go through the horrors of healing and rehabilitation, to humble themselves to look at their own “hearts of darkness,” to have the courage to face their “dark night of the soul.” Those prices have to be paid in order to unfold into the pearl of great price—a balanced, peaceful, spiritized human being with the nobility, courage, and wisdom to be an effective change agent. Sound a little challenging? It is, but definitely worth the effort.
In my own experience, when trying to bring about true change that will make a lasting difference, I have to continually go against the mainstream, which at times seems to be like trying to swim up Niagara Falls, against the current and against gravity —against, what seems to be at that moment in time and space, all of the forces of reality. I have to be disciplined, mindful of reality on spiritual levels, thoughtful of the epochal revelatory truths that bring me up out of the maze of madness that appears to dominate the minds of a vast number of human beings on this world. I have to constantly choose to be encircuited with the spirit and mind circuitry of Deity. I have to choose to allow the Threefold Spirit within me to adjust my thoughts and perceptions in order to bring them to a level of spiritization. And I have to continually sacrifice my lower self in order for my higher self to emerge, my true identity as an ascending daughter who is connected to the personality circuit of the First Source and Center, the Universal Father.
Though I struggle with the dichotomy that is within me, within others, and within the world, at the same time I celebrate and dance to the music of being alive; of unfolding; of loving and committing myself; of having adventures; of discovering over and over again the beauty and mystery of symmetry and asymmetry, of familiarity and newness, of synchronicity and paradox. I wonder at the divine pattern that I see throughout all levels of reality—material, mindal, and spiritual—in spite of the imperfections. And, from my higher self, I know within every fiber of my being that all evil is but like a small spot on a vast expanse of universal goodness and that each of us ascending sons and daughters is destined to be more fully in divine pattern. When and where is up to each one of us.
1 See the Honorary Planetary Citizen of the Month at gccalliance.org for more information on those who are attempting to make changes to improve the world.
2 In simple terms, sustainability encompasses values, decisions, and actions that have a proper regard for all living things and their place within the divine pattern of the First Source and Center, the Universal Father/Mother God.
3 Divine Administration principals are being learned about and implemented in moment-to-moment living in Global Community Communications Alliance. For introductory information about these principals, contact Global Community Communications Alliance (520) 603-9932.
4 The URANTIA Book states: “Truth is always a revelation: autorevelation when it emerges as a result of the work of the indwelling Adjuster [Spirit of God]; epochal revelation when it is presented by the function of some other celestial agency, group, or personality.” Facts by themselves do not necessarily constitute truth, and neither are conclusions drawn from a set of facts always truthful. I believe that The URANTIA Book is an epochal revelation, as well as information referred to as Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation that is transmitted from celestial personalities through Gabriel of Urantia.
5 The URANTIA Book, p. 1434
-Niánn Emerson Chase