I recently received an article written by an individual expressing his deep concern over the calamitous state of our nation’s political and ideological affairs. The author‘s insights were comprehensive and, I believe, largely correct. In essence, a tremendous polarization has been occurring for decades, and has recently reached a crescendo, threatening our very way of life. The author believes much of this polarization has been purposely orchestrated by a “deep state cabal.” As the author wrote, the “bizarre is becoming the norm.” I think we can all sympathize with this axiom.
Each of us has experienced some degree of entropy in the midst of this turmoil. Family relations are fractured, friends jettisoned, with frequent social media ostracism, accompanied by ever increasing levels of anxiety, depression, addictions and an assortment of physical and emotional challenges.
As a poignant example, a close friend of mine confided to me recently that she punched her TV screen at the appearance of a person she ‘loathes’. She said she immediately felt terrible about it. If you knew this beautiful lady, you would never believe she had any loathing for anyone. But it is evidence of our escalating disenfranchisement.
My family and the families of many of this article’s readers grew up in the quintessential Mayberry. Aunt Bea lived next door. Doors went unlocked, we all had an Opei as a best friend, and our moms didn’t fret for our safety as we roamed the neighborhood playing. This neighborhood is history. I doubt it exists anywhere. Love you mom … we miss you dearly.
It is not my intention here to romanticize the past, nor to take a stand for or against any current ideological or religious position, or to assign blame for anything. This would only exacerbate the present situation.
Rather, I’d like to present a perspective on this reality that may help to disarm some of the toxic levels of anxiety impacting all of us. Let me begin with an ancient story. You may be familiar with some version of it.
Snakes As Illusions
A monk was traveling home on a narrow country path one evening. It was quickly becoming dark. Suddenly the monk spied something in his path ahead. Unable to make it out, he proceeded with caution. The thing was long, thin, slightly coiled. "Snake!", thought the monk and stopped dead in his tracks. Yet, this was his only path to get home before it was completely dark. The monk experienced a moment of fear and panic, "I must get home soon, before dark! But, the snake is perhaps poisonous. I’m stuck!" he bemoaned to himself. Having some fire making tools, the monk quickly fashioned a crude torch and proceeded carefully forward. Just as suddenly, ‘snake’ became ‘rope’. Some previous traveler had obviously dropped a portion of rope on the trail. And the monk could have easily passed by it without fear. With this realization, how quickly fear became humor, panic to peace and how he had deceived himself with illusion.
This story has an obvious teaching. It is saying that once we perceive things as they really are, such as perceiving the rope to be just a rope, our fear and suffering can cease. Once we are no longer ignorant and instead have a true knowledge of things, there is no need to be afraid and we can continue on our way. The reason for this fact is that true knowledge will tell us that all things are transitory. Things may appear real at the level of consciousness in which they are perceived, but they may be illusions at a higher level of awareness. The ancient Rig Veda states “Knowledge is structured in consciousness.”
I’m not suggesting that the current dire state of national and world affairs is an illusion. But the impact is equal to the degree that we allow the darkness to influence our consciousness.
With the greatest of respect to everyone reading this, many, many of us have been programmed and conditioned to believe that this is ‘how it is’. But it is only ‘how it is’ if one chooses to believe this is ‘how it is’ … and if this is what we believe, then this IS ‘how it is!’
If we continue to believe that the world around us is falling apart and is sinking further into the darkness … if we focus on that perception then our world will bring to us more of the same. For our soul’s thoughts on that reality is attracting more of the same because this is what we are feeding our mind. So, the Universe is designed to give us what we think about. It will bring to us that which we concentrate on. THIS IS LAW. Like attracts like.
The energy we choose to be emits a vibration from us … out into the ethers. And I do know beyond doubt that we are all connected through subtle yet powerful currents of consciousness that continue to fundamentally alter our relationship to and connection with consciousness, with each other. Physicists refer to this collective connection as ‘quantum entanglement.’ There is a magnificent force far greater than we realize that is working here. And we can use this force to our benefit.
Is this a Star Wars moment? Who or what is this force? Listen closely … are you ready … this force is US! We are the Light that can dispel the darkness.
I believe one of the most beautiful and powerful Biblical verses is Genesis 1:26, where God said: “I made you in my image and likeness.” (Italics mine.) Most of us are familiar with this verse, but do we truly believe it? Probably not. Most of us have been programmed and conditioned to believe otherwise. To some, it’s almost sacrilegious to believe “made in the image and likeness” of God?
Consider trying this exercise sometime when you’re alone and standing in front of a mirror. Look at yourself and say: “I am made in the image and likeness of God.” If it makes you uncomfortable, say it again … and again … until your heart begins to warm to the possibility of its truth. (Of course, we are not talking about “imagine and likeness” as physical attributes but rather the essence of God’s Divine nature.)
My brother Steve is a big fan of the book The Biggest Lie In The History of Christianity. What is the lie? That Holiness is not possible. I wholeheartedly agree this lie is a whopper! How could we be made in God’s image and likeness and not be endowed with Divine Holiness? (It doesn’t mean we are perfect, just that we have the capacity for perfection and we are indeed called to perfection by our Divine nature. Matthew 5:48 states: “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”)
Accepting the reality of our Divine nature is a profound change from what most of us were taught and conditioned to believe. And what is the significance of this beautiful, celestial reality? We are immensely powerful Beings of Light. Matthew 5:14 tells us: “You are the Light of the world.” And our future is so much brighter than the one that is painted from within the energy that most of us reside in and are overwhelmed by.
Focus and think about the Light from within us that can change everything in our world for the greater good. When we choose to set our focus only on such things, our Light shines so much brighter.
When we choose to set our focus only on such things, our energy of Light be-comes us. It cannot be contained within us. It cannot remain within us just to keep for ourselves. It simply is not of that design.
Our life’s purpose is to emit this celestial energy of Light that we choose to be!
Whichever way we choose to express this, it doesn’t matter. It is the energy that we ‘produce’ from doing whatever gives us joy … whatever makes us laugh … whatever brings us peace … that changes the energy of the world into that which we are allowing ourselves to feel.
And if we are doing something that is not of happiness to us or is less than honest, then don’t do it. That energy does not serve us or the world. THIS IS TRUTH.
This is why we are fed, via all forms of media, the downside of life, so we can focus on nothing else and keep the level of vibration of the whole at a low ebb. This is how those we call ‘in power’ have manipulated circumstances and situations in order to keep the level of vibration in our world at its lowest ebb on a continual flow.
The dark ones are not in power. By thinking they are, we feed that truth!
WE are in power. Each one. Each individual soul comes from the Light. Even those of lesser Light come from the Light. Everything that is ... is of the Light. Therefore, the dark ones cannot be in power. We are the power.
I believe this is what Creator is trying to tell us in Genesis 1:26. This is what Christ came to remind us. It is by grasping this in its fullness of truth that changes the way things are.
It is not that we are ignoring chaos. There is nothing naive or pollyannaish about this. But when certain news comes our way, do not fall into the energy of it. Lift the energy by doing what you know to do. Send your Light to it. And extend this approach to those who want to pull you into these conversations.
I understand that these energies can be debilitating. I’m only suggesting that we not succumb to them. In our truth, do you believe these lower energies are more powerful than the higher ones? Think about that. I don’t think anyone reading this question would agree that they are.
Light will ALWAYS overcome darkness … light a candle in a darkened room. And if someone blows it out, then re-light it ... again and again ... until those darker forces realize that we will not give up.
I realize this is easier said than done. But I truly believe all of us were born during this turbulent period for a reason. This particular period in history has long been prophesised by many cultures. But more importantly, in the midst of this turmoil, while we are waiting for the inevitable transmutation of the disorders, we remain steadfast in our understanding of who we really are and what our sacred mission is.
I believe Creator has all of us destined for a mission and has endowed us with the strength to accomplish it. And lifting the Earth and those of us living on it into the higher vibrational stance is the next stage of the Divine Plan. As the author of the referenced article wrote: “One may see a great hope and encouragement that the Lord has a plan, with an agenda for believers to not fall into anxiety or despair.” (Italics mine.)
Spiritual teacher Matthew Kahn offers this perceptive insight: “We are awakening out of a reality where spirituality is perceived as a problem-solving paradigm to one where spirituality becomes a way of exploring the never-ending ecstasy of our own true Divine nature.”
When my son Derrick was growing up, I’d tell him that life is like looking through a keyhole. What we see is what we perceive life to be, and it usually doesn’t make sense. But if we could open the door, we’d quickly see how the limited keyhole vision merges into a much more beautiful mosaic that makes sense. By the way, this is the same message given to us by people who experience near-death experiences. They tell us that we can’t possibly comprehend the full magnitude of our actions and how they merge with God’s ultimate agenda. (That’s also why they tell us in no uncertain terms that God’s directive not to judge others is so imperative.)
Nourishing the Light
We need to nourish and expand our capacity for holding our Light. How? Here is a case in point.
As a hospice volunteer, I am occasionally asked to assist with teaching new volunteers. Most hospice volunteers are women. Surprise, surprise! They are natural caregivers. I think their DNA is programmed to be caregivers. And that is the first thing I tell them. And I say they are conditioned to go to the end of the line when they are disbursing their love and care to their children, spouses, parents, people at work, and the community at large. They volunteered for hospice work because of their high degree of compassion. But if they wait at the end of the line to give themselves the care and compassion they give to others, what is left? Not much. I ask them to be first in line, that this is the most unselfish thing they can do to help others and themselves. Fill their cup first so there is more to give others.
One way to do this is to honor ourselves as made in God’s imagine and likeness. Our body is God’s temple, and we have a responsibility to take care of it. And one way to do so is to create a sacred space for ourselves that we go to everyday to experience silence, meditate, listen to soft inspiring music, whatever. This is compassionate self-nurturing. And let it be clearly known to anyone who tries to disrupt your daily sacred time and space that they are not welcome. And they will come to respect your wishes, while reaping the benefits of your softer and kinder disposition, as will everyone who encounters you, especially the dying. Saint Mother Teresa understood this value of balance clearly. She had a strict rule for her nuns. Regardless of what they were doing to assist others, when the bell rang to go to chapel, you drop everything and go to chapel!
But why is it so difficult for many of us to nourish ourselves with inner silence? I think the answer is the fear of silence. We refuse to turn off our computers, our phones, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are. Silence can be terrifying.
Yes. Let me share with you the following insightful story.
A few years ago, the friars of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Northeast Washington, D.C. built a hermitage to allow visitors to experience the friars introspective, spiritual lifestyle. They facilitated the project as a means to allow a visitor to escape for a weekend the tyranny of constant stimulation in the D.C. region.
The grounds of the Monastery are spacious and conducive to creating silence. The friars wanted to design a small hermitage to accommodate a single person only. And they wanted the design of the building to reflect the sacrosanct environ of the Monastery and their expansive rose gardens.
So the friars enlisted 12 Catholic University of America architecture students to volunteer to design the hermitage, envisioning the needs and rhythms of the retreatents destined to be unplugged. And to create a fertile imagination for their design work, each student was asked to sit silently and alone on the Monastery grounds for just one hour. They all agreed. But of the 12, only three were able to do it. Nine students could not sit in silence for one hour. “Everyone tried, but it started to seem like a waste of time” said the professor who oversaw the project.
Is this experience just a microcosm of society at large? We all complain about the demands of life, yet when presented with an opportunity to temporarily escape them, a panic attack ensues. The renowned mystic and poet Rumi wrote: “Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation.”
By the way, it is important to be clear about something. I am not proposing that we enter into a monastic state and sit in silence for the rest of our lives. Active engagement in society is crucial to counteracting the negative forces. But simply meeting these forces head-on is usually destructive, like the illusion of the snake. Rather, we turn on the Light … our Light. By filling our cup with Light, it is so much easier to nullify the darkness as we engage in activities to change the atmosphere.
Consider These Questions
So I ask all of us to consider these questions: How are we honoring our legacy as a Child of God? Do stories of “fear of silence” resonate with us? How do we respond to Matthew’s message that we are “The Light of the world”? Are we looking for opportunities to create inner stillness, to learn what it means to possess the Kingdom of Heaven within? Light is the antidote to the snake on the dark path.
Thus, even if you find it difficult to accept the possibility that we are all intimately connected or ‘entangled’ within a collective consciousness, at least consider the merits of seeking ways to extricate yourself from the bonds of fear caused by the daily news. Try creating a sacred space and honor your inner dignity that intuitively ‘knows’ you have a Divine right to inner exploration and discovery.
Remember, silence is not just the absence of noise. Deep silence cultured within our nervous system by silent meditation can be one of life’s greatest gifts. It truly is the antidote to fear. My wife Linda and I have practiced Transcendental Meditation for almost 50 years and we know first-hand this truth.
I have no illusions that my thoughts presented here have completely resonated with you. To some of you, I’ve been preaching to the choir. Others will outright question my common sense, and still others will perceive my insights as amateurish, short-sighted and utterly wrong.
But it wasn’t my mission to convince you of anything. I’ve written only whispers, whispers that I believe herald a paradigm shift that is underway in the very foundation of our knowledge about the outer world that we think we inhabit and the inner world that has largely escaped our notice. And this shift will continue to take place over the next few generations. There is no hurry. It is only my hope that some of these whispers might speak to you at a level that will eventually sprout on the fertile fields of experience, that you will experience the beautiful Light that you are.
We will transcend this grim period of time. I know without question that our dance together is not complete … and it never will be. I believe … I know at the deepest level of my Being … that we are destined to continue this dance of life with each other for eternity. I look forward to discovering the myriad of occasions to be woven into Creator’s tapestry of life to bring us together again … and again … and again … forever. So until we connect again …
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Michael’s writings and hospice work are a part of his journey to awaken us to the reality that we are all beautiful, sacred souls, loved beyond measure by Creator, and that life is full of opportunities to share this profound love with others. He believes everyone has an important mission while we’re here. He deems that life is inherently sacred and must be lived with blessed intensity and purpose.
Michael Quinn is the co-author with his wife Linda of The Journey Home: Inspiring Passages From Near-Death Experiences to Comfort the Dying, and author of Whispers From the New Paradigm; Chop Wood, Carry Water: Listening for the Whispers; and Suffering From Acatalepsy? Learning to Love the Questions.