Monday, June 29, 2009

Five Minutes of Truth

A dear friend invited me to participate in a gathering wherein each participant would have five minutes to share their spiritual truth. No other guidelines were given, and each was to be listened to with respect and appreciation and without discussion. Unfortunately, through a communications snafu I missed the event, and I hope we follow through on plans to do it again.

I spent quite a bit of time preparing, thinking about my personal spiritual truth. The most difficult part was narrowing down something so broad to a five minute sharing. Perhaps not surprisingly, when I finally narrowed my focus to what I consider to the be the biggest "chunks" of truth, all the parts I would like to have included are really already covered by the big chunks.

I'm sharing my truth with you here. I think it's important for each of us to speak our truth, and for each of us to hear. We all know more than we give ourselves credit for. Knowing is our birthright. We've been deluded into believing that spiritual truth is given to us...by a priest, in a book, by rule and regulation...so much so that we've stopped listening to ourselves and to each other, listening to our intuitive, connected, knowing selves.

Thank you for hearing my truth. Now I want to know yours.

Five Minutes of Spiritual Truth

“God the Father” is a concept that was always just beyond my grasp. I tried so hard to pray, to turn my eyes heavenward, and was always left with the feeling that no one was home.

It wasn’t until I leveled my gaze, looking at eye level at everything around and inside me, that I met the Divine. I can’t remember who said it (wish it was me), but these are the words that best sum up my definition of the Divine: “Write on the face of everything, I Am the Living God.”

Meeting the Divine in everyone and everything, I have become aware of the dualistic nature of the universe…male and female, light and dark, rest and activity, active creation and passive receptivity.

Everything I need to know can be learned from the world around me. Nature teaches cycles of birth, life, and death every day. I watch the world reborn each year in spring, tiny life emerging from every piece of earth, every branch, every nest, cave, and burrow. I watch it grow strong and multiply, reproducing in the timeless dance of pollination, germination, and lusty, uninhibited sex. I watch everything around me grow into the mature lushness of June, the abundance of July, the fatigue of August, the slowing of September, and the dying process, beautiful in its own right, of October and November. I see the world, dead again at last, cold and seemingly barren through winter, resting, only to be reborn again in spring. Nature never tries to artificially prolong life. Trees don’t appear the least bit unhappy about autumn. The know when it’s time to rest. Walk through a grove of trees in late august and you can feel the exhaustion, hear the chorus of, “I’m still working but, Lord, ain’t I tired!”

When my father died on a December day a few years ago, he had seen his spring. He had grown into a strong, productive summer, spread seed, set fruit. He had pressed on through fall, growing more tired every day. When his winter came, he looked like a winter tree, bare of all the youthful green abundance, graceful bare branches ready for a well-deserved rest.

I don’t know what form his next spring will take (or has taken), but I know there will be a spring. Maybe it will be another physical manifestation, or maybe his second spring is in me and my brothers who sprang from and carry his seed. I don’t have to have all the details right now. I just know spring comes around every year. Nature’s lessons and the living god are visible in both micro and macro all the time.

I don’t like to speak of the Divine by personal name. I prefer “The All.” When I put a human name on the Divine, I automatically think in human terms. It’s too easy to end up with a gender and specific personality traits – jealous, vengeful, loving, angry, forgiving, exacting – effectively creating god in my image.

I believe there is “a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts,” a collective consciousness and transcendent aspect of the All. I do not owe obedience, fear, or allegiance to this consciousness. It’s not the Four-O god of my youth – omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and out-there somewhere. I am part of it. I don’t really know or need to know if I’m a cell or an organ or a whole system. It’s enough to know that I’m an integral part of the body of god. I am not god, but god doesn’t exist without me, just as my heart is not me, but I’m not much without my heart – or my liver, lungs, vagina, brain, colon, eyes, arms, legs.

I am sacred. Every part of me is sacred. Every loving human act is sacred. And my purpose in life as a part of the body of god is to discover and be the best me I can be. Whatever gifts I have, they fill a need in the larger body. If there is a mandate in my spiritual truth it is this: Do good. Increase love. Grow peace. Promote truth. Act with kindness. Do what you were born to do. Be the best you can be and promote the health of the larger body. Period. That’s enough.

I can affect change in the world. I am as intimately connected to the rest of my god body as my heart and mind are connected to the rest of my physical body. My thoughts affect my physical body in ways science is still learning and marveling over. My thoughts and actions also affect the larger body, the collective. Every act and thought creates ripples. Directed thought and action backed by will and intent can have concentrated effect, make stronger ripples. That’s magic, and I am magical. Knowing that power, I am accountable for how I use it. Every action, every thought counts.

Awareness and Gratitude are doorways to ecstatic union with the transcendent, collective aspect of the All. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." In my world, it’s everything. Awareness of the miraculous nature of All that Is raises gratitude in me greater than any “be ye thankful” admonition could possibly generate.

Gratitude and thanks are not the same. Thanks is an expression, a response. Gratitude is the daughter of Awareness and together they create a sense of humble wonder, a way of walking through the world with one word on my lips – yes – open to receive, to know, to experience.

Former U. N. Secretary Dag Hammerskjold penned words that have become my celebratory prayer and life affirmation, and pretty well sum up my chosen approach to life. “For all that has been – thanks. For all that will be – yes.”

2 comments:

  1. I did my own Five Minutes of Truth thingie on my blog thanks to your inspirational nudge. What a wonderful exercise!

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  2. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Thank you for sharing! I recall our conversation about the purpose of a tree and the comparison we made to ourselves. The purpose of a tree is to be the best tree it can be. So it is with us....
    That conversation, like a great many other's that we've had, was pivital to my own recognition of spiritual truths. It's amazing how simple those truths really are, once you slow down and take a look at what's right in front of you!! ~Zephyr

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