It’s been many years since life changed for me, from the scrutiny and examination of things outside myself to the scrutiny and examination of things inside. I can remember the process back in 1976, while on a three-month encounter group at Cold Mountain Institute on Cortez Island, B.C., when I realized that nothing satisfied me these days more than watching my feelings arise, persist and pass away.
The process of self-observation has become more enjoyable for me than watching movies, sports, or anything else I could imagine. And the peace I feel when a troublesome feeling has been observed until it lifts and passes away, leaving space is more desirable than anything else.
I remember how funny I looked, six weeks into the program, when I finally got that I was out of touch with my feelings. There I was, running down the trail, shouting at the top of my lungs, “I got it! I got it! I’m out of touch with my feelings!” And everyone around me got what a magic moment that was for me, as funny as it sounds now and even sounded then.
I remember how wonderful the whole group felt on the last days before we departed, sitting on the balcony, all the sound and fury gone, no one saying a word. Just sitting there, enjoying each other’s company. People who had screamed at each other in groups, rejected each other for this trait or laughed at each other for that way of being, now were closer than family.
I remember how I tempted God on Fantasy Day by allowing myself to be crucified (well, almost) and watching the wind suddenly pick up around me. I remember wondering if that was such a great idea after all. Was I tempting God? I cried and cried living through that experience and it changed me.
I remember the first time I felt self-righteous, ashamed, or arrogant and actually owned feeling that way. I felt stronger at that moment than if I had bench-pressed three hundred pounds.
All of this came up for me tonight as I remembered that I had actually written that SaLuSa reported the God of this universe saying that war was to end on this planet. Was I really saying in public that God’s command could be known? Where was I going with all this?
Ridicule must be one of the hardest things to endure and few of us would invite it. It’s been used to keep people from discussing ETs and UFOs for decades. It’s regularly used to keep people in line on so many things. It can mean the end of a career. It’s the stuff of movies. And those who counter ridicule by becoming maudlin are equally the stuff of movies.
Can there be a quiet and moderate response to ridicule? In this most important area of life, in the acknowledgment that God exists, that God is all there is, and that we too are God, can there be a simple acknowledgment of that and a willingness to take the ridicule that comes from it, without striking back?
Must we as terrestrials look to extraterrestrials to teach us that one? Certainly most of the best of our sources acknowledge that they work for the Divine. They submit themselves to the service of our ascended masters who to a person serve the One.
It may be easier to talk to us about extraterrestrials than to talk about God. But everyone we talk to, whether they wish to acknowledge it or not, is here on a mission assigned to them by God – to find out who they are – and the answer to that riddle is that they are God – as is everything that is.
I’m tired of maudlin discussions of God but I’m also tired of having God be absent from our thoughts and love. I’m weary of just about everything there is about our society that does not admit that it stems from God. I’m tired of smartness and savviness, fads and fashions that ignore God. I’m tired of apparent separation from God. And I can’t hide it any longer, to save myself from ridicule.
At last I’m willing to take the ridicule that comes from a quiet acceptance of God and a willingness to have Him or Her or It (as you like) be the important part of the equation.
Most of all, I’m tired of the shallowness of my own mind and being that refuses to see that I could not exist without God’s love, that everything I do, see, or feel is the result of the love which emanates from and is the same as God. I’m only a stone’s throw away from letting it all go and simply wanting to live in the contemplation of God. It’s an effort each day to bring myself back to whatever it is we’re doing, if that doing does not include the awareness of God or God’s love.
I’m not out of touch with my feelings any more. But I am out of touch with God, and that strikes me as far more serious and regrettable. Let the ridicule come. I don’t care any more. The longing for union is no longer resistible.