Death of the Old World; Birth of the New

From a Sermon given Autumn Equinox Worship Service on September 25, 2022.

Here we are at the autumn equinox, a time harvesting and storing the summer’s fruits and vegetables, beginning to feel the seasonal Halloween effects as the intersection between the spiritual and the physical world gets thinner, for many of us transitioning into having more time at home when there are often longer periods of rest and recuperation from the days behind us and opportunities for dreams of the days ahead.

This year is a particularly poignant time for reflection, for the review of what we have individually harvested in our lives in 2022, as well as the hopes and the fears and the curiosity of what we may be sowing for the seasons in 2023. 

There is more to be examined and discussed because collectively there is more going on than ever before in the collective space. The ending-old-cycles and creating-of-new-ones that individuals always go through at this time of the year, is currently being massively magnified by this also being played out in the world-at-large.

Human beings may arguably be in the middle of the most important transition we have experienced for at least 2,000 years. Endless discussion and debate are happening in the astral plane right now about what we want to be creating as a whole for human animals and other life on Planet Earth.  More controversies are at play, some are at war. More of our mutual past is being reviewed, cleared or updated and/or resisted than most of us have previously experienced processing.  And of course, our weary physical bodies feel the effects of all this on top of meeting our everyday challenges.  The consensus reality these days is very busy trying to make sense of a physical world it no longer recognizes.

It is human animals who are the most at risk as a form of life, when we denigrate and destroy Mother Earth. Image used in accordance with Fair Use Principals.

In this community of healers most of you know that the tricky part of growth periods is almost always that intense final rush right before the completion of the cycle. This is the point where we start to really understand that the patterns that have carried us here no longer work and cannot and will not continue. Regrettably though, this is also the point in which we cannot see our way forward, since it’s all a new game. As Albert Einstein is said to have put it:  We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Additionally, it’s at this point in the growth period that things can get particularly dangerous. Many human beings do not do well with fear, with uncertainty. Their resistance to change makes the changes much worse. Thus, they seek to escape a world they do not understand through substances, destructive relationships, illnesses, accidents, delusional ideation or impulsive actions. Many who are unwilling or cannot tolerate the changes human civilization is currently undergoing have already left.  Many more will do so in the coming months.

We are truly at the tipping point. But not the tipping point about which climate activists talk. The tipping point we are experiencing right now is infinitely more profound. It is a spiritual tipping point. It is being felt and experienced by every individual on the planet, recognized by few. It is a preordained shift in human consciousness, taking many forms, leading us as the species on Mother Earth that currently determines the quality of life, to a place of decisions.

Photo used in accordance with Fair Use Principals.

You can frame this point in human evolution a number of different ways.  I’m fond of talking about it as the shift from the toxic male to the sacred female that has been happening in people no matter the gender of their body. Worldwide society has been rapidly transitioning from the wars and competition for greed and power and exploitation of all life on Earth that is sick version of the male aspect in every person. . .to the cooperative, creative, nurturing version of the healthy female aspect in every person.  

There are other viewpoints that are equally valid and useful in talking about this shift in human evolution.  Some of those differing perspectives were mentioned in the invocation from the Gospel of Thomas, multiple examples of which can be seen any day one tunes into the news. 

When Jesus was talking in this passage about the two being made into one, the reference here was from the shift in human consciousness of seeing others as outsiders to simultaneously seeing others as a different version of oneself.  When Jesus talked about making the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, he was validating our apocalyptic digital age environment in which everything that has been hidden becomes revealed, whether it be the genocide of indigenous populations in Canadian and North American boarding schools, or the theft aka “storage dispute” of top-secret governmental documents at Mar-A-Lago.

To understand Jesus’s reference to the upper like the lower, you need look no further than the culture wars that have blown up recently in the United States in regards to state rights versus versus federal rights; or the dictators around the world who are struggling to maintain their grip on the people beneath them as the energy moves downward.

We are tipping over into a new world.

Every quarter when it is time for another worship service, I usually tune into what this community says about what it sees as its next step, what theme people want to explore in our joint healing adventure. This equinox though, something happened that has only happened once before. The universe told me the theme:  Death of the Old World, Birth of the New.

The Old World is dying but it still can offer solace to those who are attempting spiritual rebirth. Art by Alexandria Dvornikova used in accordance with Fair Use Principals.

It was a gift from the universe to this powerful group of healers. The universe wants us to prepare, not in the way of preppers who address their fears by building bomb shelters or storing dehydrated food.  Not preparation in the form of surrendering to comforting but false belief systems like QAnon or other conspiracy theorists, or even belief in the rapture like those who participated in my dissertation study, bless their hearts, who were trying to manage their fear by assuming Jesus would whisk them away from a dying planet at some final hour.

The universe wants this community to prepare as we always do, by grounding, working in our individual space with our own energy system, healing our way to more completeness, growing closer individually to the God of our Heart, one step at a time. . .and thereby helping others as we go.

We are to get even more ready for a future we cannot yet see, get stronger, clearer, more integrated within ourselves, more physically and mentally healthy, and more able to work with each other in harmony and ease.

You see, the final battle being played out, Armageddon if you will, is within each one of us, the energy of which gets magnified and radiated externally into shared space. But as always, it starts with each one of us. 

So how exactly does any one individual work through Armageddon?  What do you need to know?  What do you need to keep in mind?

The roadmap for each is different, although there will be common themes among us. I can’t tell you specifically what you are going to experience as you explore your own space, what keeps you still in conflict with yourself, unable to be aware of the dictates of the indwelling God, struggling to understand why others around you are reflecting back strife and unhappiness. But I can perhaps offer some clues by sharing one exploration of an Armageddon process that has begun to unfold in my life.

When I asked the universe how I needed to prepare, what came back was a handful of words from an obscure sentence in the Sermon of the Mount. What I mean by “obscure” is that I had personally had no interest in this teaching previously. I have had a minimum of interest in the Sermon on the Mount in general, and no interest in truly understanding this particular phrase.  However, lately this phase has been ringing in my mind like the church bells on Sunday I used to hear when I lived in Europe.  Loud, reverberating through every fiber of my body, seemingly never-ending until I heed the call. The phrase? The meek shall inherit the earth.

The thing is, Eashoa was a master of everything energetic. He knew how to transcend time and space completely, as well as how to dwell in it with others who were unaware of the spiritual realm.  And so, he knew how to encode spirit into words on so many levels that people from various levels of consciousness in wildly divergent cultures existing in different time periods could get his meaning to the extent their individual embodied life experience allowed.  It was and is of no great concern to him if a few individuals actually heard what he said at the actual occurrence of the Sermon of the Mount in real time, or if he was just planting the seeds for the people who would be able to receive his message two thousand years later.  

Time is a universal social construct only in the physical world. Even then, it can be experienced by individuals in vastly unique ways. In the spiritual realm, time is an illusion. Successfully negotiating time everywhere is an advanced skill open to all but mastered by few. Image used in accordance with Fair Use Principals.

Have you ever had those moments–we often label them epiphanies–when something you’ve heard numerous times suddenly makes sense to you? This is simply when your consciousness has grown enough that it can finally contain the meaning of the words or the event. 

Let me tell you my epiphany about how I personally need to prepare for the Armageddon of my soul. I want to read the words to which I am referencing in context.  I’m going to repeat an expanded version here from Matthew, Chapter 5, Verses 3 to 8, translated from the Aramaic by George Lamsa:

            Blessed are the unassuming, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

            Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted

            Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth

            Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice for they shall be well satisfied.

            Blessed are the merciful, for they shall have mercy.

            Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 

I have heard many things in these words lately that I did not hear before. I hear the echoes of the Black Lives Matter, the Me-Too Movement and other waves of recent social protest.  I hear the anguished cries of Ukraine, Sandy Hook and other mass shooting events, the flooding of Pakistan and Puerto Rico, the frightening despair of those who are working through ancestral memories of the internment of Japanese citizens during World War 2, the murders of forgotten Native American women and the Holocaust. I hear The Christ advising us to look these wrongs straight on, shed the seemingly endless tears, and work diligently to make our heart space big enough to contain it all.

In regards to those pesky words that have been haunting me recently, that stuff about the meek inheriting the earth–mostly, I had to clear some energy from folks who did not want me to learn from within my body what it REALLY means to turn the other cheek.  I had to get beyond how triggered I was by the word “meek.”

Turns out meek is not about being passive. . .or silent. A translation of the concept that resonated with me that I eventually uncovered is that a meek person is one who endures injury with patience and without resentment, as in a mild-tempered child who does not respond to bullies by passing the hurt onto others but rather by taking on the hurt in their own space in a time-honoring pace. In other words, the meek are those who may respond to wrongdoing a number of ways over time from a place of neutrality, not revenge.  This is certainly an area where I have more to learn.

Finally, the inherit the earth part. The reverberations here were easier for me to discern. Jesus talked about the upper and lower becoming one. The American Franciscan priest Richard Rohr talks about our need in the present time frame to “grow down.” Rohr uses the words Yin (down) with the Yang (up). He encourages us to be more human, to be embodied in a community of others who are working with the deeper levels of pain and confusion; and embrace the paradoxes.  

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As Rohr tells it: “Human consciousness does not emerge at any depth except through struggling with our shadow. It is in facing our conflicts, criticisms, and contradictions that we grow. It is in the struggle with our shadow self, with failure, or with wounding that we break into higher levels of consciousness.”

We have to grow down towards Mother Earth, enveloping whatever is a necessary correlation showing up in our physical body in the process. . .and then, and only then, the world around us becomes truly ours. 

So, brethren, Happy Autumn Equinox. I am going to leave you with more words. These are from Henry David Thoreau.

Live each season as it passes. Breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the Earth.

In doing so as you work through whatever it is you are working through, you will surely inherit the Earth; and help all of us birth the New World.

Copyrighted 2022 by Rev. Dr. Resa Eileen Raven