(Note to new readers: This heartfelt expression is dedicated in the form of devotional prayer, the lower part of myself expressing towards the highest Self, the Divine One, and is offered in the prayer that it may touch and inspire connection with the Divine within you. The original recording can be heard by clicking the link below. Newsletter subscribers may hear the audio online by clicking on the title of this post.)
Heavenly Father, your presence in the midst of the lamb fills me with so much joy. My heart is opening again. My ability to love, to trust myself, and to trust people in the positions of leadership around me are being restored in this moment.
Heavenly Father, I am deeply meditating upon the insight that following a virtue is in many ways like being an artist and appreciating art.
When I was a teenager, I would spend my time on the weekend helping my Dad at his folk-dancing club as cash registrar, and I would pass the time by doing colored pencils drawings of usually of dolphins in ocean scenes or outer-space scenes. People would often comment, “Oh, you’re such a good artist.” At first, I was just gracious and said “thank you,” but as this pattern continued over and over I started thinking more about what this means that people were praising me for being an artist. And finally my reply came as “Everyone’s an artist. Everyone is beautiful in something that they do.”
On one of my drawings I put the words inspiring me at that moment, which were, “Look beyond to see that we are nothing.” Look beyond to see that we are nothing. This was poetry on my part, and yet they are words that, in the spirit of the song “Dust in the Wind,” convey something of our eternal nature when we let go of forms.
When I would write things like this people would often say “What does that mean?” And my reply was: “Whatever it means to you, is what it means,” even though I had my own idea. Similarly with things like the Rorschach ink blot test, every person sees something in the pattern of their own mind in response to their world, and in many ways it’s similar to the appreciation of and the creation of ART. And I’m seeing this in the realm of virtue also now.
Recently in the Sunrise Ranch Community, Emissaries of Divine Light Ministry, there is a leadership program and in this program there’s a huge emphasis on Eldership, learning how to be a leader. There is tremendous pressure to be a person who can accept bottom-line responsibility for our world. This is huge, and yet, what does it mean? It is being pushed so heavily and directly by the leaders of this program and it is opening this place up in me, Father, this place of trust of myself and of my leader. Yet, what does it mean? How do I apply it?
There are some direct steps that I can take in this moment, and yet, no specific guidance is given. How do I apply this? It is an art.
The art of application of virtue, is a matter of perception, action, perception, action. And yet the realm of applying virtue in daily life cannot be achieved without trust. We have to trust ourselves, and we have to trust the people in positions of leadership.
There is a way to see strong leadership as a gift of energy. No matter whether we agree with leadership or not, no matter how angry it makes us, no matter how unclear it is – there is a way to perceive it as energy. There was one time in a leadership session where I was rebuked for doing something creative, and afterwards we were presented with a teaching from Uranda regarding “Faith in People.” That theme really applies to this faith in leadership and earning the faith of others.
After hearing this teaching, Father, I cried and cried in repentance to thee – around my attitudes towards people and made the promise to you that I would never use the extended capacities of my potential to ever put someone else down or make them feel “less than.” And now, here I am on the opposite end of that promise, being presented with the opportunity to take bottom-line responsibility for my world and thus earn the faith of others. Earn their trust, earn their respect, but none of it is possible without trust: trust in myself and trust in those in a role of leadership. Those roles of leadership I have accepted into my life for very specific reasons. If I have accepted a person of leadership into my life and not trusting them, I am wasting my time.
One of my classmates who had seen the genuine flow of tears and sincere repentance following this teaching thought that I was crying because of the rebuke of the director of the program. My reply to her was: “Does a leaf cry when the wind blows?” It is such a great thought. It is such a great image for not taking things personally. It is such a great image for receiving fully the energy of leadership and being nurtured by it.
Yet when it is time to take bottom-line responsibility for our world, the verb “to take” is very appropriate, because no one is going to give it to you, no one can give you responsibility unless you take it. And whether someone gives it to you or not, it is yours to take.
In the book by Robert Bly, the story of Iron John, one of the key parts of that story is that the little boy who has been interacting with Iron John, his true power, his true sovereignty as a divine being – he has been interacting with him but yet Iron John has been in a cage. That cage has been imposed by his parents, by civilization, to keep order and the little boy wants his ball back, he wants his joy, he wants his love, he wants his life back. He may be a grownup little boy now, without any joy and Iron John, his true self, is in the cage, powerful, covered in hair.
Iron John says he will give the boy his ball if only he sets him free. The key that he needs is under his mother’s pillow, but he can’t ask them for it – he has to steal it. This is a necessary part of his becoming his true self and accepting his true power, to steal something out from underneath his mother’s pillow. His mother represents all the nice things about him, and there comes a time in one’s development of leadership where being nice just doesn’t work anymore.
We need to take bottom-line responsibility because it is ours to take. Those parts of ourselves that are nice can couch them for a while, but the joy in our life is gone unless we have the capacity to embrace all of ourselves.
We are very lucky to live in this physical world where communication can flow between people of very different consciousness, but in the invisible world, the realm of vibration that is not the case. When we no longer have this body as a tool, communicating with unlike minds is impossible just as different channels of a radio station are independent of each other.
Heavenly Father, I am very grateful for this physical body and for this world, that I may learn from enlightened thinkers who have left behind stories such as Iron John, who have left behind these clues to our development before departing into higher realms of enlightenment and wisdom. I am very thankful, Father, for these stories and for the wisdom of the saints and sages of the world, that they have left behind clues to their own development and thus nurturing the spiritual evolution of humanity before departing into their higher consciousness, into those places that I cannot reach. I am thankful for their stories, Father, I am thankful for Iron John and how that story has affected the men’s movement in the world.
Heavenly Father, in thy spirit I am moved. I am moved in trust of thee. I am so moved in trust of myself. I am so moved in trust of the leadership which I have accepted into my life, just as a leaf is moved by the wind. It is so joyful to receive energy in the form of guidance from those who I trust, and may it be so that I may take bottom-line responsibility and that I may have the same joy in applying the winds of spirit to reform this world.