The seven supporting attitudes as an active part in someone’s life create a person who has mastered him or herself. No longer can such a one be pulled out of the center of his or her circle by the occurrences of daily life. Such a master welcomes pain as well as joy, and sees in pain but another opportunity to triumph over resistance to life; to relinquish the desires of the ego upon the altar of indwelling life while affirming: “Thy will be done.”
Running throughout these supporting attitudes is the golden thread of deep, abiding respect for the divinity within all life. They harbor respect for our own inner guidance, for time, for the mixture of folly and wisdom that belies the greater destiny of our fellow man. They bring a respect for the process of life unfolding that demands that we live life well.
The largest draw-bridge imaginable still rotates on the smallest fulcrum point. The tapestry of illusion spanning the vastness of the denser realms of Creation begins to unravel when a single thread is cut. The difference a single life can make in the grand scheme of Creation is incalculably immense.
Our lives themselves hinge on the moment. One key event or insight can alter the course of a life forever, pivoting destiny in an entirely different direction. With this, the outcome of events in the cosmos could also pivot. Only the most profane and shallow-minded person can treat the importance of the moment as anything less than sacred.
If, for just this moment, we can see ourselves as being the center of the cosmos; as having the ability to influence with the quality of our thoughts the very fabric of existence, what would we contribute? Would it be enthusiasm and passion for the myriad of life forms that flow forth in a river of change, unstoppable in their quest to explore the unknown? Would we radiate awe and reverence for the courage of our fellow man to descend into realms of forgetfulness where pain is often our only source of guidance?
If we can see ourselves as this central point of influence, affecting all of existence, for even one second, then we can do so for the next and the next. Then suddenly without even realizing, at some point we’ll discover that we have transfigured ourselves into a being of great light through the power of our thoughts; a being that has power over death and a love so great that through grace it melts the illusion of others.
The future is being written this moment, malleable to our intent. The past, too, loses its painful tyranny over the present as we transmute its heartache to wisdom. If neither the fear of the future nor the pain of the past any longer rules our lives, we have become a free sovereign being. No longer do we seek truth here or there, but instead create it moment by moment in mastery and in light. There is only this moment. Let us seize it with determination and pivot our lives from victimhood to skillful mastery and by some chance we may discover that all the cosmos pivots with us.
A day without failure is a day without growth. Our battle in life is not against outside circumstances. After all, one strengthens that which one opposes. The true battle of a light promoter is against illusion. Every encounter with opposition is a chance to pierce the illusion and find the hidden perception. In that case, how can we really ever fail?
To put it more clearly, the man in the street who tries to triumph without learning a thing has everything to lose and nothing to gain. If he ends up being ‘right’, in his mind he has triumphed. All he has really managed to do as he tries to force his belief systems onto others or circumstances is to thicken the prison bars that keep him locked in his world view.
Because the light promoter knows that his being is his sustenance, he is unconcerned by others’ opinion of him; thus he has nothing to prove and everything to learn. Because his nurturer parents and nurtures his inner child, his warrior protects his inner family and the sage guides those inner pieces, he does not ever have to live up to the expectations of others. He has ceased to need. Being self-referring for approval, he can sit back and enjoy the success of learning from his mistakes, becoming more and more filled with light.
The most common mistake made when confronted with a challenge is to measure it against past experience. This leads us to believe we have it identified and labeled. To avoid this there are four steps we use in order to avoid strengthening old belief systems and failing to grasp the insights.
1. We don’t back away from a challenge if it is ours to tackle. We remind ourselves of the covenant we made with the Infinite to find understanding through our experiences. Firstly, the challenge is ours to fight if there is still a knee–jerk reaction (which means un-yielded insights) versus just a feeling of tedium signaling that we have already learned this lesson and don’t need to play the old game again.
The challenge needs to be backed away from until another day if your skill level is not up to tackling it and it could be dangerous. Secondly, the destiny we have undertaken requires many insights to successfully complete. We cannot skip pieces of the puzzle. Therefore, we embrace a challenge if it is ours.
2. We know that there is far more to this challenge than just its initial appearance. We take time to see behind the appearances because we are ever mindful that what we have undertaken to solve is uniquely ours. It can not be compared to anything anyone else has ever experienced.
3. We remind ourselves that we are really working on our destiny. Our destiny is to solve that portion of the mystery of the Infinite’s being for which we took sole responsibility. When we do this, failure versus success becomes meaningless. The only failure in the true meaning of the word is failure to learn.
4. We realize that we created this challenge. We did so by carefully manifesting outside circumstances to learn our next insight. We further remember that the solution has to benefit the indwelling life of all involved. If we fail to learn our lessons, others who have contracted to mirror certain things to us get trapped on the treadmill with us. Living our highest truth always benefits all.
Once again the key to successfully living these principles depends on inclusiveness; seeing the large picture. The following words by President Woodrow Wilson summarize this principle: “I would rather fail in a cause I know one day will triumph, than triumph in a cause that I know one day will fail.”
The Attitude of Grace
As the surfer becomes the wave and the skier becomes the mountain, as a dancer becomes the drum, so the master becomes one with the currents and flow of the river of life. Flowing fluidly around the rocks in the river, cooperating with the whirls and eddies along the way, the master becomes a skillful epitome of ultimate grace.
The attitude of living with grace is a composite of various factors that blend into one admirable quality, inspiring to observe and imperative to cultivate, for higher consciousness awaits the one who does. But higher consciousness always goes hand in hand with increased energy; therefore grace must in some way yield more energy.
Living life with grace conserves energy, for the sensitive cooperation with life does not allow for frivolous squandering of energy through fighting battles that aren’t ours or through attempting to control either outcomes or others. Energy further is conserved by mastering the element of timing, one of the factors that create a life of grace.
There is a moment to act and a moment to cease. There is a moment to advance and another to retreat. In order for us to give each moment its proper due, we have to be in a state of stillness to hear the promptings of the voice of God. We also have to be in a state of heightened awareness to watch for the indicating signs in our environment.
The other key component of grace is fluidity. The fluid being does not bring the last moment into the present. Though the last may have been a catastrophe, life spins on a dime and if we enter the next moment without expectation, the ability to salvage the day may yet present itself. The past becomes a ball and chain if we drag it into the future:
“The moving finger writes:
And having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety
Nor wit shall lure it back to cancel
Half a line, Nor all thy tears wash out
A word of it.”
~ Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Persian poet, 11th century)
The fluid grace we bring to our lives has no hint of rigid resistance. Grace is not ashamed to cry nor afraid to grieve, for having opened up to the torrential outpouring of life moving through us we weep when it weeps and dance when it dances. We have entered the impersonal life of mastery.
The final component of grace is excellence–that gilding of the fruits of our labor as they are offered up to the glory of God. My life is dedicated to excellence. My soul withers in the face of mediocrity. I want to think only the loftiest thoughts possible and dream only dreams of unsurpassed beauty. I want to celebrate the ordinary moments of each day and leave blessings with each footprint. I want to walk a path of grace upon the earth.
The Majesty of Poise
The calm poise detected in masters of power is the culmination of a lifetime of discipline and the unconditional surrender to the unfolding of life. It is the crowning glory of a life well lived; a life in which the larger vision was the determining factor rather than a focus on the vicissitudes of every day life.
When we observe from a mountain top the journey of a bicycle in the valley below, it may appear as a straight course, but nothing can be further from the truth. The bicycle moves slightly left then right and back again constantly. If we hold the larger vision in our lives, the daily to’s appear inconsequential. Calmness replaces attempts to control the inevitable instabilities that are inherent in the journey.
If there are times when the rageful onslaught of another can easily throw off the balance we have worked so hard to achieve, then we have already conceded defeat. The eagle is the mortal enemy of the heron, but naturalists have seen attacks by an eagle on the heron in which the heron stood in perfect stillness and poise, beak pointed at the sky. The eagle in a dive of ferocious speed and focused intent, in these instances, impaled himself on the heron’s beak.
Should we still be the target of another’s rage, let us stand just like the heron in the majesty of calmness, never leaving the center of our circle. It may become clear that universal energy conspires to assist the one who stands in strength and poise far more readily than the one who plays the part of helpless victim.
The essence of calmness is to not anticipate or control life, but instead, to let life come to us. So too with those who are our teachers disguised as our enemies. By all means prepare for the worst, for to be taken by surprise drains energy, but having done so we have earned the right to expect the best. Under the gaze of calmness the absence of luster in the lives of our opponents becomes apparent. The only power they find they can muster is a destructive one and thus they can only peck at the object of their discomfort in an attempt to reduce him to their level.
Calmness and poise are tested by interaction and adversity, but it is fed by solitude. If solitude is the price of greatness, I would gladly pay, and should I chafe under the burden of it, I would remind myself of the alternative: a life lived in the half-light, enslaved by approval and condemned to beg for alms of wellbeing from another.
We study and quote the great ones of history, but instead, if we value the inspiration of the divine within, we shall join those great ones.
Great gains in self–reliance have been made during the last 25 to 30 years, in large part as the result of an escalating de-structuring of family life. For every loss there is a gain, and in this instance both men and women have been plunged into single parent units where they have had to play many roles and often find at the end of a weary day that the only nurturing afforded them will have to be self-nurturing.
Furthermore, there is no one to fight their battles and after bitter lessons they may also be fortunate enough to stumble onto the great truth that has separated genius from mediocrity; that no one can advise us on a course of action–not even the angels themselves. They can only illuminate eternal truths as guiding lights upon our way. Our paths, unique only to us, lie on an uncharted course and the compass is found in the higher wisdom whispered through the promptings of our hearts. Then suddenly one day, a starkly revealed truth emerges and we realize that our being is our sustenance.
Such a realization is indeed the very foundation of self-reliance. It is only the beginning, however, for the edifice to be built upon it takes the painstaking effort of casting off the enslavement of social conditioning and laying the bricks of original thought moment by luminous moment.
Original thought does not ask whether the world can understand it, for its origin is the heart of God and to enter there, linear and superficial thought must be left at the gate. The world wallows in conformity and society favors mediocrity over greatness. To ask for either its understanding or its approval is to sound the death knell to originality. The eagle that has seen the whole valley from the higher thermals above, attempting to mingle with the flocks of birds on the ground would find only rejection. For the pigeons know that in the presence of the eagle, their own lack of sight is made all the more apparent.
Relinquishing either the need to please or the need to have others conform to our expectations creates a sovereignty and peace of mind. It would be as though, instead of walking around with an umbilical cord that we are trying to plug into another, we were to plug it back into ourselves. We would find ourselves then as our own source of strength and nurturing, self-supporting and self-referring for approval. To such a one, life may bring what it will, for nothing can rob or erode their greatest treasure… the peace of mind inner sovereignty brings.
Reverence stems from the ability to glimpse the divine within form and it also enhances that ability. In that moment when the heavens reveal themselves through the eyes of a child or unfurl with the dew-soft petals of a rose, a reverent response arises in our hearts. To the eyes of profanity the doors concealing the divine remain closed; whereas the more we approach life prepared to be awe-inspired, the more we shall be.
If there are parts of Creation we exclude from our reverence, let us look a little deeper and there, too, we can find abundant reasons for seeing the perfection of indwelling life. Some revere the beauty of the flowers in their garden, but shun the weeds. The virulence of life and the determination to survive found in the weeds is a true testimony to the universal law that we strengthen that which we oppose.
It is often easier to feel reverence for nature or the genius reflected in the works of man’s hands, than for our fellow man. The reverence may not appear at all unless we learn at last to embrace the value of folly. The grandest of souls assigned the task of solving the most ambitious part of the mystery of beingness, might appear at times more foolish than the complacent person who stays in the safety of the known.
Perhaps we sanctimoniously think it is our duty as a light promoter to withhold our recognition of the value of Lucifer and his hosts of darkness. Without them there would be no material life. If they had not loved us enough to enter into the deep forgetfulness to play this role, we would have had to do so, for everything the plan of Creation was designed to accomplish hinges on the opposite pole of Creation being embodied by one third of individuated beings.
Reverence leaves the mark of refinement upon the one who makes it a way of life. Refinement is often misunderstood as belonging to one who is educated or steeped in culture, but it belongs as much to the farmer who kneels in the mud cradling the newborn lamb tenderly with work worn hands. It is the hallmark of one who recognizes the infinite value of life as the embodiment of the Divine.
I can no more spit on the ground than I can in the face of another. For while in states of expanded awareness I have seen the true glory of the Earth. I have seen that the very dirt upon which we stand glows with a light more beautiful than the most breath-taking sunset. I know that every blade of grass shares my reverence for life. Scientists have measured a response that can only be described as a silent scream in plants when a fly is killed in their vicinity.
The answer to pollution, poverty and homelessness is not more technology, it is reverence for the purposes of indwelling life in order to co-operate with it. Light promoters tend to want to save and fix–this still judges and divides whereas acknowledging wholeness heals.
If there is one thing that characterizes nature perhaps more than anything else, it is abundance. Spring does not just bring one flower, the pine tree does not produce just one seed and everywhere we look, teeming life speaks of the generous abundance within the natural world.
Generosity is the allowing of this natural abundance to use us as a vehicle. It is therefore simply life giving to itself. The person of vision will realize that to withhold is not an option. For the minute we close ourselves to the flow of life, we not only close ourselves to giving but also to receiving and stagnation and atrophy occur. To illustrate this:
Two little ponds nestled side by side on the mountain top. “I wonder what’s over the edge”, said one little pond. “Perhaps I ought to take a look.” “Don’t do it!”, said the other little pond in alarm. “Save your water in case you dry up.”
But the first little pond edged towards the cliff and seeing the wonderful world below poured itself over the side of the mountain. He tumbled down as a waterfall and flowed into a small stream where cows drank and children played and where flowers grew along the banks. He went all the way to the ocean and saw whales, dolphins and boats. He evaporated into the clouds where seagulls flew and saw even more. Finally, when the clouds swept up the side of the mountain, he rained down next to the second little pond. “Whee!” he said. “That was fun! I’m going again!” As he got ready to tumble over the edge again, he looked back and saw that a thin layer of slime had formed on his friend.
Generosity is life-affirming and inclusive. It helps others build rather than keeping them on the treadmill. To give and give again but find that instead of advancing, we have just perpetuated the status quo, does not serve the evolution of awareness. The gift must be proportionate to the need, however. We cannot give a homeless, jobless, hungry man $1 and not expect him to need again the following day. At the same time, supplying all his needs but not assisting him to remedy the lack of perception that caused his dilemma, is not really meeting his needs at all.
Can one really thrust perception onto another just because his hunger needs to be assuaged? Is there any assurance that this is not exactly the life he desires or was destined for? The answer to both questions must be “No”. Generosity means giving at the level another is prepared to receive.
Generosity requires sensitivity; not only the sensitivity to gauge our fellow man’s readiness (not worthiness, for everyone who lives and breathes is but a part of us) to receive, but also the sensitivity to assess the level at which he is capable of receiving.
Giving that is done to compensate for our own inadequacies (e.g., we do not feel lovable, so we settle for feeling needed), is a barren gift devoid of spirit. Let us therefore give like nature, “For to withhold is to perish”, asking neither for recognition nor gratitude or even self-satisfaction to sanction the deed, but because we are heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven and all that the Father has is ours.
“There are those who give little of the much
which they have–and they give it for recognition and
their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life,
and their coffer is never empty…”
Giving, by Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Excerpted from Journey to the Heart of God