From a Sermon given Winter Solstice Worship Service December 2017
At these services recently, I’ve been talking a lot about climate change and the extreme weather events we have been experiencing nationally and internationally. It has seemed important to look at these occurrences from a spiritual perspective so we might be prepared as much as we can as individuals, and help things move in the right direction where possible.
This morning I want to take a step backwards and look at what is even the bigger picture from a spiritual perspective. I want to talk about energy, pure and simple. I want to talk about how the energy that we work with on Planet Earth is shifting. And in some surprising ways that you may or may not have noticed.
Energy is always dynamic, always in a transformative state, whether it is transforming in shape like a butterfly from a cocoon, or an ice-cube melting into liquid. Depending on the frequencies involved, this transformation can be rapid or slow, such as the difference between an ice-cube melting in the refrigerator or that same ice-cube changing shape in the sunshine.
Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American who Einstein once called the “smartest man in the world” is singularly responsible for many key modern inventions such as light bulbs, radio, electrical motors used in cars and other mechanical devices, laser, robotics and X-ray technologies as well as our entire electrical grid. According to Tesla: “If you wish to understand the universe, think of energy, frequency and vibration.” 1899 photo of Tesla and his transmitter in his lab.
We know things are changing rapidly right now. Many of us are feeling vertigo as the vibrations transform the air around us, the Earth beneath our feet and even the very molecules in our bodies. This can be terrifying to those who have no accurate information about energy, and even scary for those of us who do. Most of the people in this room are consciously aware of some details of these changes, such as that the Planet itself is running kundalini energy intended to help human animals wake to their nature.
This morning I want to talk to you about another way of looking at big picture energy fluctuations about which you might not have thought. I want to address the direction of those enormous shifts going on.
You all have heard me say that we are all here on this world to learn how to manifest as spirit in the material world.
We are made in the image of our Creator. Hands are a tradition symbol of human creativity as there are important energy channels that run through our arms and our hands that manifest our creativity. This prehistoric tribute to creativity is from Cueva-de-las-Manos in Argentina. Photo by Pablo Gimenez posted in accordance with fair use principles.
For most people, how that process actually works, though, is a little on the dreamy side. That is hardly surprising because creating as spirit in the material world involves a lot of dreaming. Whether you start by dreaming when you are asleep or through daydreams happening in your waking hours, the creative process almost always starts with a dream. It starts with imaging something in the world that isn’t yet there.
We all have a plethora of dreams, some of which are passing fancies, whims in a way. It’s like we do shopping in a big store in the sky, and occasionally get distracted by the overpriced and poorly made objects set at counter height near the checkout stand.
Particularly when we are hungry, we get tempted to do impulse buying. For most of us though, these passing fancies get pruned out. They are culled and they disappear over time as we cease to pay attention to them. The energy involved with them goes elsewhere, becomes a different dream, a different creation. Those dreams that more fully activate us emotionally, cognitively, spiritually may change form a bit as we gain life experience and mature, but their essence only becomes stronger as we add more and more energy to them over time.
So one thing I want you to understand from my little digression into how creativity works, is that the trajectory here for the vast majority of creative projects, is that FIRST the dream, and THEN that which is dreamed can become “real” in the material world. Or as it says in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. “
When spirit is out of the body at night, all kind of possibilities are created. Subsequently some are brought into the physical world; and some are reabsorbed in the spiritual realm. Image by Brett Jones. This artwork is posted in accordance with fair use principles.
Notice the direction here. Notice that the direction here is that first there is God’s will in Heaven, and then it is done on Earth. FIRST comes the energy. THEN comes the manifestation in matter. This is the inside-out direction of the flow of energy. It is particularly strong and getting stronger in these apocalyptic times when the divine master plan is to make all things that have been lurking underneath the surface known.
(Inside-Out) Why is this direction important? For many reasons but one big one is because once you realize where change is really made, you can become WAY more efficient at it. We change things from the inside of us, where our thoughts and feelings reside, where our dreams either originate, or are experienced in conjunction with others dreaming of the same reality. Only then, when those dreams, those thought-forms, those prayers are sufficiently strengthened, can cosmic forces bring them to fruition. If you try to change things in the material world without first changing what is within you that is contributing to the situation, at the least you will be a hypocrite who is not likely to be taken very seriously by others; and at worst you could be violating free will at some serious jeopardy to your soul. This is what Jesus was concerned about when he said in Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 3:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
This morning, though I want to talk about two other directional shifts that the world’s energy is taking right now that are pivotal. Because the reality is, the huge fluctuations in weather in our physical world are really only a manifestation of the ground swelling of energetic shifts we are all making within each one of us and between all of us. The storms and hurricanes and fires and such in Mother Nature are all very dramatic. . .but they almost pale in comparison to the storms, hurricanes, fires and seismic tidal waves going on right now within human consciousness.
Bhaktapur, Nepal after the 2015 earthquake
The energy trajectories I want to talk about besides from inside-Out is Top-Down; and Sideways. These are relatively new developments in human history and ones that I would like this powerful group of mediators, through your awareness, to help shape.
Top-Down I have been watching the heated national conversation about a new tax system in the United States with, among other things, amusement, a response I typically have when people are not aware of what it is about which they are really arguing. Keep in mind that money is just a material form of energy. If you listen carefully what you will hear is that pretty much the heart of the disagreement in the national conversation is what direction the energy should move. Should the energy move upward, as in the argument that when the lower socioeconomic classes have more to spend, the people with greater economic resources reap the monetary benefits; or should the energy move downward, as in the trickle-down economic theory?
So let’s step back again to look at the big picture. We know from anthropology that the earliest human civilizations, the hunter/gatherer societies, were almost always egalitarian in structure. Everyone had a voice in some form or fashion, and when leadership roles were needed, they were usually distributed among a mix of experienced elders, guidance from the spirit/natural world through shaman and other religious figures, as well as leadership by the most skilled and/or strongest clan members.
About 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, when the world’s population grew too large for hunting and gathering, human society evolved into agricultural/industrial societies who organized their members hierarchically. Counsels of elders and clan leaders eventually gave way to leadership by warlords, familial dynasties, and theocratic/civil governments who had the authority to intervene in human life but were sometimes removed from the real consequences of those interventions. Whoever held the political reins could advance their social and economic interests to the detriment of others not in power, and they could do so without having to see, feel or hear from the people affected by their decisions.
Now don’t get me wrong. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with hierarchies. As our military and first responders can tell us, they can be very efficient and vital, particularly in times of crisis. The dangers with hierarchies are two-fold. One comes when the people at the top of the pyramid have not worked through their own issues, have lost themselves to their individual ego(s), succumbed to the temptations of the material world, and forgotten for whom they work. And the second problem with hierarchies as a standard form of government which has grown exponentially in recent years, is that as the human population has grown, hierarchies have gotten taller and the distance between those at the bottom and those at the top much more steep.
The pedestals are now so high that the people at the top and the people at the bottom can no longer see or hear each other. Governmental officials and agencies are increasingly making monumental gut-wrenching, sweeping policy changes that change people’s lives dramatically from behind closed doors, figuratively and sometimes literally.
Hierarchy. When the distance is too great between those making the decisions and those affected by them, it wreaks havoc on human relationships.
Ten days ago, we watched three people on the Federal Trade Commission impose a business model on the way Americans use the internet, an action that will affect approximately 240 million individuals, and probably every organization in America. The Commission had to stop their proceedings right before the vote for unknown “security” reasons. We know that their decision was opposed by approximately 240 million people (83-87% of 287 million users) that they will never meet.
We are also watching those officials, who are still trying to listen to the public directly, get absolutely skewered verbally and emotionally, sometimes assaulted and even occasionally shot at by those on the bottom (such as happened to Representatives Gabrielle Gifford and Steve Scalise) because folks are so frustrated at not being seen or heard.
This morning I’m here to tell you that the energy is moving downward.
And I don’t mean the manifested energy such as money trickling down. I mean the universe is increasingly “setting” the energy at a lower level. Under globalization, the world will no longer be exclusively ruled by the United States despite the fantasies of our President and his followers. The federal government in the United States is being dismantled and though I pray it will be put back together again to some degree, I believe it will never be as vital as it once was in shaping our country. Assuming the world survives, those of us in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere will have our hands full bringing into line our own region and states, who struggle with their local version of corruption of power.
And this is how it should be. Because ALL power belongs to the Almighty, and if you are not using the power you are given in the service of the divine to help all of life around you, you have corrupted it. Which has become pretty much the norm for human beings, particularly in the modern era.
The sun has often been a symbol of the divine in indigenous cultures and depth psychology. Isn’t it interesting that on Planet Earth we are now experiencing a more direct interaction with the sun’s effects as a result of greenhouse gases?
Corruption Is a word that not only refers to political processes through bribery aka in the our times as lobbying and PACs. In the larger context, corruption just means something that is changed from its original intended use to something that is used incorrectly, but by doing so, is debased.
Power is something that was given to us by the Creator-of-Us-All, the fuel for us to create a reality based on Love. Instead of Love however, we have chosen to use our power to subject others to our will, our domination. We corrupted the power available to us and used it not to live such as to become the willing instrument of the divine to manifest its Love but rather, to force others to our way of thinking, to violate other people’s freedom and require them to do the bidding of our ego(s). And because ego can never fully satisfy, only Love can do that, we became drunk with power, always craving more. At this point, when I talk to students about claiming their power, they almost always initially bristle or get very confused because all of our experience with power is such that we equate it with power over other people; and not our own power used in the service of the indwelling divine.
Obviously we are awash in a sea of corruption of our own making; and it’s time to change that. As I have told you all frequently, when one misuses our God-given energy it is taken away; not right away, but eventually it always flows to the situation that is more in keeping with God’s will. Or as Martin Luther King says it:
Recently in a Christian blog of which I am fond a writer used a different euphemism for God: The Great Equalizer. Time for the leveling, folks. The Great Equalizer is bringing us to a greater state of sharing. I know it doesn’t look like that as we watch the HUGE and growing inequality of income and wealth that is occurring in this country and the world, even as our society increasingly demonize those with less. But you all are healers, and you know how it goes. When the universe decides to change, everything that is in the way of that change has to come up for healing. FIRST the inequality surfaces, and THEN the equalizing can happen.
Sideways Between Groups So the energy shifts that I want to talk about the most this morning are the sideways ones. There are significant shifts of power between groups of people that I think have been a source of confusion for most or all of us. To mention a few—there are the suddenly daily allegations of sexual harassment, personal intimate assaults by people with power, and discussion about the true nature of consent in sexual activity. There is an intense examination of the dynamics of white supremacy, arguments about whether or not racism in America is getting better or worse, and increased dialogue about our history of slavery: what it really is, and the best way to deal with it. And let’s not forget the tidal wave of anxiety and conflict around the topic of which group of people get to be Americans aka immigration, and our national history with indigenous Native American people. All of these discussions arise from and result in rapid fluctuations not only in the energetic field around the people having the conversations, but in our bodies and the Earth itself.
To date, there has been a need of sorts for humans to engage in strife, competition for resources, warfare and the ilk, if only to rule out what does not work. No longer. Now is the time to learn to engage in “friendly disputes” when perspectives differ.
Sometimes when I look at what we have stirred up most recently in our interactions with each other, I’m just amazed there aren’t more earthquakes and hurricanes and volcanoes erupting.
Sideways Within Groups The shifts in energy that are quite possibly going to affect those in this room the most directly are those happening in our very own closely held groupings, our families. For many in the United States, these might be the most profound and potentially confusing or even painful changes we have or will experience in our lifetime. That is certainly ironical since these energetic shifts are the ones most clearly foretold by the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Sideways shifts within families are the ones I hear people talking about with such anguish on television and in social media, particularly around the holidays. There have been entire programs devoted to how to behave at Thanksgiving when some of the family voted for Trump and others for Hillary or Bernie. Everyone seems to be talking about the divisions in America as if they are something new. They are not. The energy of our apocalyptic times is just bringing them up for examination and healing.
I’d like to read you what Jesus of Nazareth had to say about the energetic shifts that we would be experiencing in our families in the end times in which we are currently living. This same message is also in two sections in the Gospel of Luke but I’m going to quote his words as recorded in Matthew, Chapter 10, Verses 34-38.
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace but a division.
For I have come to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother–in-law.
And a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
So before anyone panics, feeling like you might lose your family, let me tell you what I hear in these words. Let’s contextualize them. Remember that Jesus was a master of energy and knew everything there was to know about how it works. Remember that he understood the will of the divine, that at the point when he talked about family here, he had already surrendered his own individual will to the divine and was completely his father’s son, the embodiment of God on Earth. Many of you may recall from the stories in the gospels how he took some heat, that he had been criticized for not showing his mother/family more deference. The Christ made it clear to his followers that his love was for all beings equally, and that his allegiance to family, his tribe, did not trump his connection to all humanity.
So what I hear him saying is that if you embrace him, in his manifestation as the God of your heart; or as evangelical Christians might say, through your personal relationship with Jesus, any divisions between you and others in your tribe will arise, and that is part of the process. This is your cross.
Many people have an inaccurate understanding of the concept of karma. They think it has to do with being judged. It is not about judgment. It is about consequences. What you put out into the world energetically returns to you eventually. “Unfortunately” karma is not subject to the illusion of time. We can be off-balance and suffer accordingly as a result of experiences lifetimes ago and if we are not careful, we pass that suffering onto those around us. Instead we must learn to take up the cross of our own pain.
We all must bear responsibility for our individual selves, and work through whatever we need to work though in conjunction with the divine will as guided by the indwelling God, in order to affect a more perfect union.
This teaching also appears in the New Testament in three gospels in a passage known as the Greatest Commandment. The version from Matthew, Chapter 22 is as follows:
Then one. . .asked him a question. . . Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Do you recognize this direction? This is the inside-outside perspective. We are told to start with ourselves, experience the Love as we sync with the divine, and then extend that Love to all of our relationships.
Ultimately, you should not do what your parents want you to do, or be what your parents want you to be, unless those actions or states are what God wants for you. Nor can you necessarily do what your children want you to do, or be what they want you to be. Rather you must find yourself and be true to yourself, and follow the lead of the indwelling God.
Face of Christ, Painting by Myron Dyal, used by permission of the artist.
Listen to the words of the master again:
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
I do not believe the Christ was saying that you are intrinsically unworthy or have to live alone, cut off from others. What I hear is the Christ saying that you will be called upon to do the work on yourself you must do if you want to follow his example, and that your family cannot distract you from that work.
You may have to be alone at least some of the time, if that is a part of your cross, your individual journey. No matter how much family we have, who they are, and how close we feel to them, we all experience a sense of separation at times until we are fully reunited with God and understand to the depths of our soul that separateness is an illusion.
The sideways movement of energy is bringing us an opportunity to be more closely aligned with our Creator whether we want that or not. And if we do want it, and act upon our desires, then the love of our family, our entire human family can truly come into play. So. . .
And be prepared for the divisions. Thank the energy for moving sideways even when it feels like the tidal waves of movement through the very structure of our blood lines is terrifying. And don’t feel disheartened, because that is how it should be.
When you come up against those tensions, take up your cross. Ground. Center. Run your energy. Clear your space, a little at a time. Move the log jams of old programming out of your eyes and other parts of your energy system, so you can be less judgmental and more present with yourself, your family, your community, and all of life.
Know that what is awaiting your presence and the presence of all those around you is the enduring, endless Love of your Creator where there are no divisions.
Copyright 2017 by the Rev. Dr. Resa Eileen Raven