To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
~ Mary Oliver
Those who lived through the recent Thomas Fire at Meditation Mount and the ensuing deluge and mudslides visited upon Montecito in Santa Barbara County here in southern California describe the experience as apocalyptic in nature. It felt like the end times. In one respect, we could declare that these are both the end times and the beginning times. It all depends on which way you are facing.
If we stand and gaze backwards – looking upon the destruction of all that existed in the past – then these events definitely signal the end of a particular passage of time. If we turn our gaze to the future and what is seeking to emerge Phoenix-like out of the ashes, then these are most assuredly the beginning times.
Etched somewhere in the collective psyche is an iconic image of a person walking up and down a city street wearing a ‘sandwich’ or advertising board with the words, “Repent – the end is nigh.” In light of recent happenings, we may wish to create a new sign with bold text that emphatically states, “Renew – the beginning is nigh.”
So where do we begin?
In the quiet that has settled after this winter’s broiling storm we have a golden opportunity to start afresh and create a new life for ourselves and for our community. One of the missing elements in our existing social fabric is that of love – not the conditioned love that masquerades as emotional need but that fiery presence abiding deep in the human heart that, when ignited, warms and illumines the world around us. This is the eternal flame of Unconditional Love that pervades the whole of creation and causes us to care and inspires us to serve.
The soul has been described as a magnificent flower containing the sublime beauty and perfume of Divine Love that begins its journey of revelation with tightly closed petals. Whether this is envisioned as the lotus blossom featured in the spiritual teachings of the East or the rose that represents the soul within the Western mystery tradition, the process of unfolding is the same. With each lesson learned and quality embodied over the course of a life, or lifetimes, another petal opens.
The Ageless Wisdom informs us that three distinct types of petals need to be activated and unfurled for the full flowering of the human spirit to occur. They are referred to as the Knowledge, Love and Sacrifice petals and correspond to the spiritual energies of Intelligent Activity (Light), Love-Wisdom and Will. These are the primary colors of the Creator that make up the triune aspect of the One Life as it manifests in time and space.
In our recent history we have been on an intense quest for knowledge that has yielded many insights into how the universe operates – from the release of atomic energy to unlocking the secrets of DNA – and yet, we still do not understand the deeper reason for our existence. The mind has played a vital and necessary role in exploring this world of knowledge and in illumining our consciousness. Our mental faculties, however, need to be placed inside the chalice of the heart for the next set of petals to unfold.
Pondering the splitting of the atom that revealed the awesome power inherent in matter from a spiritual perspective, we might surmise that true nuclear energy is the Power of the Fire of Love residing in the heart – generated and released through a loving fusion with other hearts and with the Heart of the Universe. This unlimited source of universal energy is liberated by a synthetic action of love and not through fission – that violent act of breaking asunder the elements of life. We cannot analyze life and arrive at its purpose by cutting it open with the keen blade of the mind. It is the loving and wise heart that connects and binds the disparate elements into one cohesive field of meaning and belonging.
We have been journeying for several centuries at the speed of light into this wondrous realm of knowledge and are now being asked to open the heart and travel at the Speed of Love into a new field of human exploration and group endeavor. We are poised to enter the domain of love in which more of the mysteries of life will be unveiled.
The good news is that travelling at the speed of love takes absolutely no time at all. Connectivity and union with everything is instantaneous through the instrument of the heart as love unites all things. When we are in heart resonance with something or someone there is an immediate at-one-ment – time collapses and infinite Space enfolds us in complete coherency through her compassionate embrace.
Consciousness and self-awareness are born out of relationship – the deep relationship with our soul, with each other and with the subtle and sentient world around us. As offspring of the One Life we are related. You are my brother and my sister and therefore we are relatives. Perhaps we are discovering a new General Theory of Relativity: namely, that we are all related through Love. In the words of the Lennon and McCartney song, “Love is all you need” because LOVE IS ALL THERE IS.
It is the consistent daily practice of conscious and loving relationship with all of life that is key to understanding and embodying the Principle of Unanimity while the Principle of Goodwill seeks to be expressed as ‘love in action’ through everything that we think, say and do.
Standing at the threshold of a new day, we have been issued with an invitation to shift the locus of living from the head to the heart and rise in love together. By rising in love we embrace more of the world in our outstretched heart. By rising in love, we lift others with us on the wings of caring – as we ourselves are simultaneously being lifted by those Great Lives who embody a vaster capacity to Love than is presently possible with our partially opened petals.
Thus we participate in the great and endless Chain of Love that blesses and sub-stands all Creation – from the deep reaches of inter-stellar Space to the atoms comprising our blood and bones.
The injunction to “love one another”, is one of the most profound and prosaic scientific teachings ever given to humanity as all evolution proceeds upon the power of Love. Love is the progenitor of all that is good. Love is the new beginning.
Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
~ The Buddha