TIME TO BE AWAKE AND AWARE
Unity is a wonderful teaching which, when practiced to its fullest extent, leads to a life rich in meaning, love, peace, joy and harmony. But there is both an art and a science to that practice. During this entire month, we will explore applying both the art and the science of spiritual living to what is going on in our lives today.
And in order to fully engage in spiritual living, we must:
First be awake -- I don't just mean be physically awake, although that helps! - but rather, I mean being spiritually awake, awake to the Higher Truth of any experience we may be having, and
Second, be aware of whatever changes may need to be made to current conditions, systems, ways of thinking, doing, being etc. and be willing to make them or stand for those changes!
Being both awake to Higher Truth and aware of what needs to change in our physical world can sometimes feel like we are walking a delicate line, I know. And to walk it effectively, there is an art and a science to it.
Today we begin the walk by . . .
1. . . . looking at what it means to be awake,
2. . . . looking at what it means to be aware, and
3. . . . putting them together to see how that leads us to fully engage in spiritual living.
1. BEING AWAKE
Millennia ago, there was a man who had a powerful message for the world. Kings bowed down to him and people couldn't comprehend, couldn't get their heads around, this being. So they came to him, and asked not "Who are you," but rather "What are you?" "Are you a god?" they asked. He answered, "No."
"Are you an angel?" they asked. "No." he replied.
"Well, then, what you are?" To this question, he simply said, "I am awake."
His answer became the name by which he would be known throughout time -- for "awake" is what the word "Buddha" literally means. Buddhism, a religion practiced by millions of people across our globe, began with a man who woke up.
The shift that is wanting to take place in humankind, that is needing to take place in humankind, can only happen when we, and as we, also wake up. We need to awaken to Higher Truth. Awaken to the Higher Truth of any experience we may be having - we must awaken to the fact that there is so much more going on than meets the eye. We must be awake to the idea that whatever is going on, whatever the experience is - God's Infinite Presence is right in the middle of it.
A modern New Thought mystic, who made his transition into the next dimension only a few years ago, Walter Starcke, wrote a book entitled It's All God. He addressed the issue of being spiritually awake to the Higher Truths beautifully in that book. He wrote: "As long as we judge in terms of good and bad, we have to perform some pretty fancy mental footwork when we try to make what we see with our eyes conform to a belief that God or Spirit is always loving, Omnipotence, the only Power. God or Spirit is indeed the only Power, because Spirit is the only Cause, but just as the dark only exists in the absence of light, Spirit can appear to be destructive or creative depending on how we judge appearances. In order to understand God as the Spirit of Love, we have to . . . believe that there is a Divine plan at work that is beyond human intellectual understanding. No matter how appearances seem to be, Love is the only Spirit or Presence.
"This . . . is where double thinking is required. It is insulting to our intellect to see our inhumanity to one another or the unequal circumstances we are born into and say there is no wrong. At the level of appearances, wrong does exist and needs to be dealt with . . . However, . . . we must simultaneously realize there is another level at which God or Spirit is the first and only cause. When that level is realized, the hypnotism of duality is broken and appearances are healed in seemingly miraculous ways."a
He goes on to write: "Personally, I remember the exact moment when this metaphysical or mystical truth broke into my consciousness. I had been studying with the mystic Joel Goldsmith for some years when one day I finally confronted him. I said, 'Joel, if you tell me that sickness, poverty, and such are not powers at some spiritual level, all right, but to me as a human being they are powers.' He answered, 'Precisely, and if you want to stay a human being under those laws, help yourself, but you don't have to.' At that moment I saw that it was up to me. If I allow my spirit to be negative and destructive, that is the law I am creating for myself, but it doesn't have to be. I do not have to be a victim of either ignorance or the spirit of negativity. I can wake up. It is my choice."b
I can wake up. It is my choice. It is our choice to wake up to the Higher Truth that it really is ALL God at any moment.
In Rabbi David Cooper's book, God is a Verb, he writes: "One of the primary texts of the Kabbalah cries out to humankind, saying, 'You beings on earth who are in deep slumber, awaken!' It pleads with us, 'Stop sleeping! Wake up! What are you waiting for?'"c
Ernest Holmes writes in The Science of Mind: "We can sit in the shadow or move into the sunshine. Sitting in the shadow, we may not really believe that there is any sunshine. But the sun would be there all the time, and all the time we are in bondage, the real freedom exists. It is there but we must awaken to it."d
Waking up to this Truth is definitely an art, because in our world ruled by our five senses, this doesn't make any sense. But when does art have to make sense? That's the beauty of it, it doesn't! So today let us WAKE UP to this truth!
2. BEING AWARE
Millennia ago, a rich, pampered, sheltered, wealthy young man by the name of Siddhartha Gautama AWOKE and became the Buddha because he became AWARE of suffering, of poverty and of sickness, and he wanted to do something to alleviate these human conditions.
It is now our time to become AWARE of conditions that must be alleviated.
I love Edwene Gaines' wisdom on this topic. She says in order to live on purpose, we must become AWARE of an issue/problem/concern that we are absolutely passionate about fixing/solving/rectifying and then get about doing that, while, at exactly the same time realizing there is absolutely nothing that needs to be fixed, solved or rectified! That is being AWARE of the condition while being AWAKE to the Truth!e
It seems paradoxical, even inconsistent and those steeped in the Law of Attraction may even say that if we focus on what needs to be changed, we created more that needs to be changed. And I get that. But, I believe we have a responsibility as fellow travelers on this planet to support one another, to care for one another.
So we become aware of something that needs to be changed at the human level and then stand in the Truth about it and work toward the Truth, not wallow in the mire of the condition. I think that is where we can get into spiritual trouble, if you will. It is fairly easy to get mesmerized by the condition and want to stay there rather than using the condition simply to identify what our work is to be.
Abrahamf talks about the importance of contrast: "it" vs. "not it". Sometimes we need to experience the "not it" so we can get really clear about the "it."
3. PUT INTO ACTION BEING AWAKE AND AWARE
And now, we are going to put into action being awake and aware.
So I want you to pause for a moment and I ask you to think about your life right now. Is there a circumstance, a condition, an experience in your life or in the world at large that you are aware of is a "not it", that is causing you concern? Is there something happening that may be keeping you up at night or that takes up a lot of space between your ears with concern, worry, fear? If so, just know that it is part of our human experience. Just, in this moment, be AWARE of it.
And now bring to that situation an AWAKENED state; awake to the realization of a Higher Truth going on right in the middle of it. What Higher Truths are you awake to right now in the situation that you've become aware of?
And we know that as we became AWAKE to these Higher Truths and bring them to the situations we are AWARE of, then the situations must change. That's the science of our work, or as Mary Morrissey likes to say, "it's physics not philosophy!"
And when we awaken to these Higher Truths, we not only support our transformation, but my friends, we support the transformation of the human collective consciousness. I love these words from Dennis Merritt Jones in The Art of Being: "Life really is a stream into which we pour our beliefs, and all of those who come after us will be the direct beneficiaries of what we believe. The great thing is that with this awareness comes choice! As we awaken to the fact that we don't necessarily have to pass on beliefs that have not served us or others well, we can choose to eliminate them from the legacy we pass on. The real question is, who is it that lies downstream from you from this moment forward? It's never too late to change your legacy and gifts to future generations."g
But here's a really, really cool thing! We don't have to be fully and completely awake and aware ourselves in order to help humanity awaken. Think about this. How many of you went to summer camp as a kid and slept in a room with a bunch of other kids? Many of us had that experience, right? Well, imagine that you were in charge of getting everyone up at 6:00 in the morning, so you set your alarm. It rings at 6:00 and you (being a pretty sound sleeper) awaken - BARELY! - but enough to roust your bunkmates out of bed. You weren't completely awake . . . but you were just a little more awake than they were! And that's all it takes to have a huge impact on the consciousness of humanity -- Being just a little more awake!
Or you can consider it like this. What happens when you strike a match? There is a critical point when just enough friction occurs to cause a spark to spring forth and a fire that wasn't there a moment before to burn brightly in front of you.
It's the same with humankind as we move into a new era of consciousness. It doesn't take all of us to bring about the change; it just takes enough of us to wake up and be aware of the innate desire to live in a world of peace and freedom and joy. It will happen in an instant. One moment we may still be shuffling through the shadows, and then, suddenly, in the next moment, one inspired person breaks a lifelong pattern and opens up to Higher Truths - and with this simple act, the entire human race reaches a critical point. A spark of light flickers, then bursts into flame heralding a life that we all deserve to live. That person could be you.
How many of you are familiar with the Vision Alignment Project (www.visionalignmentproject.com)? It's a powerful tool for people to come together to awaken to Higher Truths in the context of an awareness of current circumstances of our world. They have almost 2,000,000 people who align with their daily visions. If you are not a part of it, I urge you to sign up to receive their emails!
I want to close our time together and have as our closing prayer an offering from the Vision Alignment Project entitled "A Vision for the Human Spirit."
Take a deep breath, close your eyes and become awake to these words: "We see a world where the Human Spirit is blossoming in every land, in every relationship, in every business, in every home, in every heart and mind. We see a world where people have rediscovered the joys of life; where life itself has become easier, more playful; and where we flock to help one another when help is needed. We see smiles in every direction because all humanity's burdens and debts have been lifted and put away forever. We see people excited about life, excited about their work and projects, excited about their homes, families and communities, excited about the bright future that comes to those who really help and care for their fellowmen and women. And, above all, we see something happening that hasn't happened here for ages. Our Spirits are shining - just the way they were meant to shine from the time we set foot in this beautiful, blessed realm.
"We see a world where humanity, as a whole, has risen above all of the mundane dramas, scenarios and realities that no longer serve us; where we have "seen the light" of a new day wherein we now know that our wisest, most productive, most joyful course of action in all situations is to love each other, to serve one another, and to see everyone in their highest light. Thus, by this new course of action we have, en masse, created peace, happiness, comfort and safety for ourselves and for all living things who inhabit this Earth. We all go there together. That is our Intention, for the Highest Good of All! And so it is!"h Amen
aWalter Starcke It's All God p. 80
bWalter Starcke It's All God
cRabbi David Cooper God is a Verb
dErnest Holmes The Science of Mind p. 411
fAbraham, Esther Hicks
gDennis Merritt Jones The Art of Being p. 16