Stephen's Stirrings

Writings, songs, poems, thoughts, opinions, visions

Month: March, 2014

The Climb To Higher Consciousness

The Calling

There comes an inner impulse
A stirring of the soul
A kind of divine disturbance
A challenge of the heart
Which calls for a broader vision
A wider horizon
A deeper inquiry
A questioning of the prevailing paradigm
An unveiling of the concealed
A quest revealed
A course correction
A path selection
A choice upon deep reflection
Where the voice of guidance 
Gives undeniable direction
Calling for surrendered liberation
As an instrument of inspiration

 

The Climb To Higher Consciousness

We are all instruments of inspiration. To be inspired means to breathe in spirit. The question is, what do we do with that spirit? We are called to climb to a higher consciousness. It is like a divine magnetic pull, we all have it – Spirit will guide us when we are open to it. But we all don’t recognize it and act upon it. To act upon it means to enter into practices such as yoga and meditation, which lead us to that opening where spirit can guide us. The practice in yoga terms is called “Sadhana.” One can never achieve mastery without practice. A master is master of practice. There’s a great menu of practices that come from all religious and philosophical traditions. We are here like students on scholarship, and the scholarship includes breath, heartbeat, body and consciousness. The curriculum is trial and error, and the great teacher is experience. We grow through our experiences and as we tune into our higher consciousness, we learn to be of service to others and to the planet and we gain in fulfillment, love and peace.

Escaping the Loop of Violence

In driving around Los Angeles recently, it was astounding to see how many blaring billboards and public advertisements there are promoting films and TV shows that are absolutely filled with violence, rage, animosity, cruelty, hate, horror, and abject nastiness. Why is our society so stuck on violence and why do we continue to promote and perpetuate violence? Violence sells? I don’t believe for a minute that human beings are inherently violent. No child is born violent. I believe that violence is a learned behavior and a reactivity based on traumatic imprints that have overwhelmed the love, goodness, and the instincts for nurturing, kindness, caring and holding each other that we are naturally born with.  We have become so addicted and overtaken by our penchant for blood and cruelty that we have developed a psychosis that manifests itself in allocating huge budgets, creativity and resources which result in such egregious exploitative outpourings where greed and the dollar wins. And this reflects the madness of the military/industrial/corporate complex keeping the world mired in continual instability, fear, war and violence. We are stuck in a loop of ignorance, greed, and fear manifesting a mirror back to us and then magnifying that reflection back again and again in perpetual self-defining. The question is, can humanity escape this loop before it destroys us all as we are destroying our own life-support system; the Earth? The answer begins within each and every one of us in a commitment to non-violence, peacemaking, and earth stewardship as a way of life, and extends through our families, communities, nations and world. Only a loving and compassionate response can heal ourselves individually and collectively. This begins with a devoted commitment within each individual for deep self-examination and healing and extends into the collective consciousness of humanity. Non-violence is an educated, compassionate choice based in love.  It offers a powerful response to the world’s problems. Non-violence reflected in public policy requires emotional restraint, correct information, clear-minded intention, spiritual empowerment and appropriate strategic action in impactful, public ways,  which can help change the prevailing paradigm.  It must have a basis in integrity of conscience, respect for basic human values and rights, and a spiritual attunement that connects us in a common heart. The spiritual journey is the journey to a more loving consciousness. In this journey we learn to recognize, amend and delete our emotional packed dysfunction, stabilize ourselves in healing process, and rethink, readjust and reinvent the basic way in which we live in this world. Violence must no longer be an option.  We must stop promoting and glorifying violence. We must learn how to talk to each other across our differences in nonviolent, respectful ways that allow for better understanding, forgiveness, and reasonable, non-violent resolution. We must do this to move forward into a new paradigm of a peaceful, abundant, sustainable future. We must do it for our collective well-being. We must do this for our planetary survival. This new paradigm includes a transformation of the basic root assumptions and narratives of our civilization, a transformation that moves from.

  • Fear to faith
  • Hate to love
  • Greed to generosity
  • Subjugation to liberation
  • Victim-hood to wholeness
  • Selfishness to service
  • Exploitation to stewardship
  • Mine to ours
  • Shame to grace
  • Blame to forgiveness
  • Violence to nonviolence
  • War to peace

Human beings have the capacity to change, to redefine and rediscover who we are. We are blessed with breath, with heartbeat, with the ability to think and reason, to envision and build, to transcend and transform old patterns, and, to love. We have been given all the capacities, all the resources to live abundantly and peacefully in this world. Mother Teresa has said, “If there is no peace in the world, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” We are placed here to be together, to support and help each other grow and reach the fulfillment and blossoming of our lives. In this journey we find our higher self, we find God, however we individually or collectively define that divine presence. And in God—called by any name or no name—there is love, there is one humanity, there is one people, one planet, one heart that transcends differences, overcomes walls and brings us together in the common ground of this shared planet and shared humanity. “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” —    Rachel Carson, Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson *Portions of this blog are excerpted from two of my books, The Art of Peace, and upcoming The Call to Interfaith.