Metronomes are the little pendulum-type devices that keep time for musicians. In a recent video I watched the metronomes were started randomly, making a disjointed cacophony. Gradually the metronomes somehow fell into step with each other, becoming synchronous, finally clicking and clacking as one, in perfect alignment, which was impressive! Interestingly, this process doesn’t work if the metronomes are placed on a rigid surface. So it is with us. If consciousness is movable and flexible, alignment with the tone of life is possible and there may be synchronous harmony. When there’s stiffness and rigidity of thought, consciousness cannot be aligned with the tone.
On the day I’m writing this it’s my birthday. Having survived another circuit around the sun, it’s a natural time of reflection and review. So, if you would indulge me, I would share two events that proved pivotal in the direction of my life. What happened to me may not be all that important to anyone else, but these incidents can be jumping off points for further consideration.
When I was a senior in high school I played outfield on the baseball team. Someone on the other team clobbered a ball over my head. I took off after it, keeping my eye on the ball as one should, not seeing a loose pile of dirt in my path, upon which I slipped. Instinctively, I put my arm out to break the fall but hit hard; I don’t remember what happened to the baseball, but I didn’t catch it. Later, I learned that a small bone in my wrist had broken. Young people feel they’re invulnerable, which can lead to bad decisions and risky behaviour at times. I was stubborn and in denial about this injury, and didn’t seek care. My wrist hurt for months, off and on, but I soldiered on, even worked the summer as a lifeguard. Finally, in college, hardly able to hold a pen in my hand, I saw an orthopedic doctor. He said I might need surgery and that my delay in immobilizing the arm had caused a non-union of the bone. As an alternative, he advised wearing a plaster cast for six months, which is a long time for someone that age. I took the cast option but cut it off after two months. The wrist healed, but with stiffness that has persisted.
As we age, I suppose we accumulate evidence of past injuries—not all of them physical—including wonky knees and hips, emotional scars and other traumas. We compensate for balky parts as best we can—or, these days, replace bad joints. Such limitations become part of our creative fields living in aging human forms. This injury became a turning point in my thinking. Until then I believed I was unbreakable—like many young people—yet a bone had broken. The circumstance didn’t match my innate conviction. That may seem silly to adults. After all, our behaviour has consequences—a hard lesson that’s part of growing up and staying safe. Yet for me it was an existential dilemma.
Children live in a magical world, then give it up as the harshness of life sets in. We see or experience sickness and hurts of various sorts, and broken bones. We find things to fear. We become cautious and may set up protective walls around emotions. Magical thinking is considered childish and the cynics tell us it has no place in the real world. We’re given advice such as, “No one said life is fair,” or (to paraphrase) “Bad things happen.” Still, it bothered me. Why did the inner, magical world I felt so strongly and seemed natural not match up with reality? Did I just need to grow up and accept that bodies get sick and people do bad things, like forcing some classmates to the killing fields of Vietnam? I felt torn and delved into philosophy and the religions of the world to answer the central question: Is this world a mirage, or is the idiotic and unfair reality everyone buys into the delusion?
Most people, when they “grow up,” lose any sense of the invisible protection some think of as a guardian angel, along with an innate sense of buoyancy. We’re told to move past naiveté and accept this unpredictable adult world as reality. When we do we feel smaller, more vulnerable, and need to be on the lookout for danger lurking around every corner. Those who cling to the magical and innately spiritual are considered childish and unwilling to grow up. Yet it’s said there was once a time before man’s fall in consciousness when spiritual magic brought forth forms in ways that would seem miraculous now.
One of the downward steps from that idyllic state is described in the story of Abel and Cain: the first murder. Abel’s offering was acceptable to the Lord—that is, he was on tone. He cared for sheep, a symbol of spiritual connection like the lamb. Cain tilled the ground and his offering was not acceptable—he was off tone, focused not on what came from above, but in what was below, in the material world. At some point, there was a murder, something unthinkable before. To end an incarnation through violence was shocking, incredible, novel and opened the way for more killings which, over time, have become commonplace and these days often done with powerful and impersonal weapons.
Yet the story is about more than two people. It describes divergent aspects of humanity. Those who were focused in spirit let the one law of the universe work, thankfully accepting what returned from radiant living. Others, focused on the outer world, manipulated forms to get what they thought would make them happy, attempting to bypass the one cosmic law. They were out of step with the tone of life, often in the wrong place at the wrong time, so they further manipulated forms to divert ill effects. They became frustrated and angry and blamed others, such as the tribe of Abel. Rather than change their approach and join the spiritually oriented aspect of humankind, they doggedly persisted and fought those who followed the Lord. Cain slew Abel, or to put it another way, material man gained control and the world descended into darkness. As fine substance dissipated, divine powers became limited. Disease and death ensued. Life spans shortened and ignorance built a gulf between heaven and the creation. Humankind, now mostly the tribe of Cain, became a fugitive and vagabond, no longer knowing Earth as a heavenly home, surviving but not living with understanding or purpose.
I used the term, “unthinkable,” which I have mentioned before. By this I mean that when there’s sufficient refined substance, coarse thoughts dissolve like mist before the sun. In the divine state, where everyone is focused on creating a heavenly experience, there’s no space for destructive thoughts. Attention is on what is fitting and new in a given cycle—anything else is unthinkable. Creation never gets old or boring; it’s the natural work of angels. A hint of that in today’s world is how fashions and colours come into and out of style. What fits now will be old tomorrow. Cycles keep moving and factors change, so each moment is unique and exciting. We welcome change.
Getting back to, “unthinkable,” consider your own experience. In the past, when your substance was less refined, you might have thought or behaved in a way you would not now. As more of your true self emerges, self-centred and reactive patterns of thought drop away; there’s nothing in you to connect with them. Coarser responses no longer fit who you are when identity shifts from the false self to angelic being. We may be aware of unwanted thoughts or feelings floating across the periphery of awareness, but we’re not compelled to grab them and give them life, because they are not who we are. This is how ultimately this unholy mirage state can recede and the heavenly world come into view.
In the world as we know it now the tribe of Cain is dominant. When identity changes for humankind and fine substance is generated in sufficient amount, Abel is given form. This unreal world is held in place by sweat of the brow and mental domination. The real world flows from spirit and is natural and easy; it’s a place where everything makes sense and has divine purpose.
I promised you two stories from my life. Here is the second. We need to fast forward a bit, to when I first came to Colorado as a young man. I was on a spiritual quest by then, proud of what I had read and thought I knew, diligently practicing yoga and meditation. I could spout spiritual truisms with great conviction, which I assumed impressed those around me. Then I met someone—a man who even in my arrogant state I realized had greater understanding of spiritual things than me. When we met I happily expounded the truths I thought I knew. This gentleman listened patiently. When I paused to take a breath, he asked a simple question: “Why was I doing this?” “To become enlightened,” I responded promptly. I expected him to congratulate me, to say, “Good job,” perhaps pat me on the back or teach me the secret handshake known by those with esoteric knowledge. Instead, he smiled ruefully and said, “Don’t you think that’s a bit selfish.” With that, he got up and walked away.
I was stung by his words. But, after a while, I saw he was right. I wanted to be special, to uncover hidden knowledge about God and dole out sage advice, with everyone thinking how grand I was. But it was shallow and earthbound, a human ego in benevolent, spiritual-sounding clothes.
True function is never about me, but about a larger purpose. A separate human ego can never know God; one has to be humble first, as part of a greater whole. The core position should be: I am here to serve. In Oneness with spirit, a person does whatever is required, without thought for personal enhancement. You might think this shift in perspective would make a person feel small, but the opposite happens. Letting go to spirit is freeing and allows a person to see that he’s part of a cosmic whole—not even limited by space and time. I AM is infinite, not defined by human limitations. God can only be known when a person shares the same intent as the divine, the same spirit or vibration, in Oneness. The isolated mind and human ego can never encompass God.
So perhaps children have it right and divine magic is missing. Can we imagine living within a protective vibrational hedge in a world free of disease and aging? It sounds fantastic, as does knowing cosmic purpose and no longer relying on religious figures and their dogma to give people meaning. Yet for spiritual man that is reality, not this mirage world of suffering and darkness.
The Spirit of Truth would cleanse the subconscious mind of the tangle of lies and distortions that colour our view of reality, for we see the world through the lens of our consciousness. When the muddle dissolves, a new world comes into view; it’s already there, just hidden, and when it appears we see things as they really are. This process has been called the coming of the Holy Ghost—an old terminology perhaps, but it conveys a sense of magic, of cleansing from above, not by dint of human mental effort. What forms are true will remain; the rest is recycled.
Coarse consciousness produces coarse forms. Some may wonder how it will be possible to create a garden state given all the distortions on Earth—like dangerous animals, plastics and nuclear weapons. No need to fret about such things, even if they seem insurmountable from the vantage of human strength. Spirit can set things right. When fine substance is generated the mirage falls apart. Divine magic transforms and transmutes. All that’s needed is to trust the creative process.
The world of Cain, of material man, has been dominant for millennia. Now spiritual man may reclaim this world, starting with us and others, as the substance generated by our lives is acceptable to the Lord. The mirage world takes a lot of effort to hold in place. It’s imposed by man’s intellect and requires constant struggle to contain exploding populations, war and famine, disagreements, poisoned air and soil, and increasingly strange weather patterns. Divine reality, on the other hand, is easy and natural; everything needed is provided in abundance. Humankind’s place is not to dominate but to steward what comes from above, to care for what is below; it is that simple and that elegant.
Read more from Laurence Krantz in YOU ARE THE ANSWER TO GOD’S PRAYER: The meaning of prayer and reflection>>
image: © Caras Ionut