|What is there to be happy about at the New Year, so many ask? Look around. Unless some divine miracle intervenes, America will enter another four years of death commerce and religious fearplay, hosted by the same appalling caterers who have brought us the last four years. And on the Capricorn Full Moon just past on Dec. 26, tsunamis from Sumatra have swept away some 260,000 human lives and counting -- to say nothing of all the animal and plant lives -- and another tidal wave of doubtrage in ink and air has just begun. So many questions. Over why God did this, as though God actually does these things, or lets them happen, as though God would want to change a plan that is working perfectly in divine order. And over how Mother Earth has just used the water element to serve a major bump and tumble in order to cleanse herself, defend herself from the wounds inflicted by humankind, and deliver yet another sign that she's got much bigger surprises up her moss sleeve if certain human beings don't sign the Kyoto Accords, and otherwise get with the Honor Your Mother program.
One can go two ways with these things. We can continue to focus on the problems and find ways to shout and organize against those who, in our view, are causing them. We can create new websites with hundreds of pages and literally thousands of links to everything you might possibly want to know about vote fraud, war folly, crooked drug companies and oil profiteers, right wing nuts, torture and mayhem and murder and bribery and the rape of the wilderness and every other thing that is wrong and awful. Like people who know everything about every conceivable conspiracy, but seem to have no relationships with anything except their notes, and to grow more and more powerless as they gain more and more knowledge, we can become so fixated on the problem that we're utterly unable to do anything about it. We can forget that whatever we focus on increases, especially when we invest emotional energy in it.
Mea culpa on this one, folks. The impact of our mental focus and emotional power on our own lives, and everyone's, seems to be a lesson that this author has to learn and forget, learn and forget in his usual strobe pattern of awakening to spirit in alternating waves of light and shadow that don't yet seem just to leave the light on, and the lessons solidly learned. It's disappointing to have to be reminded again and again in words from Karen Bishop, Sally Spencer (more on them below) and others that those who are supposed to be holding the frequency of love had best stay on the beam consistently, not let their heads pull their hearts into fear and shadow.
This is why the UFC transmutes again this month. This will be the last Mythic Prelude in which the word Bush with a capital B appears. From here on the UFC's focus will be on what is right and how to grow it. One way to begin adjusting anew to the challenges of the time is to focus on material like Rebecca Solnit's article "Hope at Midnight," posted on Christmas Eve with an introduction by Tom Engelhardt. This brilliantly conceived, luminously written piece shows how, American retrograde behavior notwithstanding, many of the world's other countries are moving thrillingly in the direction of greater liberty and human empowerment, more caring stewardship of the Earth, more loving acceptance of others.
If one country shrinks and hardens in spirit, this does not mean that all other nations, or any other person, must do the same. It may be best to look at the trend of this winter in the manner of the Chinese sages in Yeats' "Lapis Lazuli," whose "ancient glittering eyes" remain bright no matter what cruelty and destruction they behold. Perhaps they understand, with the clarity and acceptance of those who know how the Tao works, that history's wheel is not going to fall off its axle or reverse itself, no matter how many feel its motion is blind and pitiless. Some laws are inexorable. Great empires start as engines of progress, pulling the whole train of the world behind them, then become the brakes that try to stop all change in themselves and everything else. It's always sad when this happens, especially when the nation that was once the beacon of liberty turns into a neon billboard for corporations. The bright side: the wheel keeps turning. And another dynamic engine, more enlightened in its way than the one before, must appear.
It is as pointless for some to ask why God would have let Bush win again as it is for others to claim that Bush won because God was his real campaign manager. While no honest man presumes to speak for God -- and this is why I'll never be a wealthy televangelist, even though I've got the facial planes and the lungs for it -- it is worth asking now whether the divine spirit has in fact honored humanity by making the scenario of the coming years much tougher to play than we wanted, thereby forcing us to be far more creative than we've ever been, and to look deeper than we thought our eyes could ever go to find resources of patience and love, compassion and serenity, that we'll never know we have until we really need them.
God could easily send Gandhi back and make him Emperor of Everything. But the scene we've got instead is far more demanding of our best. If the thing that makes us find our voice is the longing to cry out our grief, then at least we will have learned not just to sing, but sing to each other. Rumi understood. In his words as framed by Coleman Barks, an angel asks God why He will not hear the prayer of the man who has squandered all his wealth, and now moans in misery. God replies,
|"By deferring my generosity I am helping him.
|His need dragged him by the hair into my presence.
|If I satisfy that, he'll go back to being absorbed
|In some idle amusement. Listen how passionate he is!
|That torn-open cry is the way he should live."
Imagine for a moment that God intends to launch the Aquarian Age by sending a figure who will be in his way as important to the Great Age that now begins as Jesus was to the one now ending. The Divine One sends the spirit of Phineas T. Barnum, David Belasco or whoever in Heaven negotiates the scariest life roles with American talent:
Barnum: You seem to have spent most of your lives as a kind of intoxicated party animal, so you may be perfect for the part we're looking to cast. Have we got a role for you.
Candidate: Thanks. No one's ever offered me a lead before.
Barnum: You never know where your big break is going to come from. Picture this. You're going to be born so rich that you never lack for anything, and nobody ever says No to you. You'll be good-looking and confident, so women will want your body and men will want your time. You'll be saved as if by magic from any mistakes you make, and you'll have loads of fun. You'll lead the richest country in history, and command the most powerful army the world has ever seen, and you'll win victories so easy that when you fly down from the clouds like a sun god and say your mission is accomplished, millions of people will adore you.
Candidate: I smell a catch.
Barnum: There's more than one catch, actually. You will never learn kindness. You'll be born to a mother with all the compassion of a starving wolf, and a father consumed by such terrible unworthiness of his father that he'll try to buy, grab and steal the world to solve his fear that he's not enough. You'll be used all your life by people who pretend to love and respect you. You'll steal from the poor and give to the rich.
Candidate: Like Robin Hood in reverse.
Barnum: And that's not all. You will be the most universally despised man since Hitler.
Candidate: Who's he?
Barnum: A sleeper. A watercolor artist with extreme ambition. The hardest part for you is: you'll have no hunger or thirst for justice, but you'll be satisfied with injustice instead. You'll be a warlord who sneers at peacemakers. You will give no mercy, and obtain none either.
Candidate: Wait a minute.
Barnum: What's a minute?
Candidate: It's a fixture of speech. You want me to play the opposite of the Sermon on the Mount, on a bigger scale than anybody's ever done. Whoa. We're talking Antichrist here.
Barnum: Not exactly.
Candidate: Well, that's comforting. What do you mean, "not exactly?"
Barnum: I mean there is no Antichrist. There won't be. He's a fable. A myth. People made him up. The Devil too.
Candidate: What? Why?
Barnum: Because they had to. You know how human beings are. Ask them to handle duality as something for harmony and balance, and they'll reach for the remote. But offer it to them as a chance for conflict, and they'll line up around the block. They can't stand peace. At least not yet.
Candidate: So you want me to go down there, do the opposite of what Jesus did, and be hated by billions of people. How does that serve the Plan? How does that make anything better?
Barnum: It does. Trust me.
Candidate: Sure. The check is in the mail. And here's the deed to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Barnum: You'll own that too, come to think of it. Look. You know how it is. Make it easy for human beings, and they get lazy and arrogant and want to sue you. But make it hard, and they have to get creative, reach all the way down into the well where the dragon lives, and find some courage and do better. You have a chance to make them braver and more creative than they've ever been.
Candidate: Well, I'm honored you would think of me. It's truly historic. But -- you're asking me to be one of the guiltiest, unhappiest people who ever lived. How am I going to stand being me? I'm not sure I can bear this.
Barnum: We can give you some pain killers, for a start. Make sure that when you descend through the 70,000 veils and get born down there in the dark, you'll forget absolutely everything. You can stay drunk for about twenty years. And marry a pretty girl who always has pot when you meet her in college.
Candidate: Oh, that's just great. And when I sober up? And the high wears off?
Barnum: How shall I put this? You're going to be, ahhh -- much less aware than you are now. You don't have to be stupid. But a lot of mistaken people will think you are. You'll be like a coyote, instinctive, and have people around you who are crafty. You just won't have any curiosity about anything. A lot of people are like that.
Candidate: Yes, that's true.
Barnum: Look at it this way. You'll be a man of complete certainty. You will never have the slightest doubt that what you're doing is absolutely the right thing. You'll be sure that God is with you all the way.
Candidate: Even when I do such things. Unbelievable.
Barnum: We do our best. Well, what do you say?
Candidate: If it'll serve the Plan, yeah, I guess so. Do you have a script? What's the character's name?
Barnum: You won't have the patience to read a script. The character's name is Bush.
Candidate: You're joking. Bush?
Barnum: Yes. What's wrong with Bush? George W. Bush?
Candidate: Come on. Hey, bush league! Don't beat around the you know who! A bird in the hand is worth two in the you know what. Oh, please.
Barnum: Oh, please, yourself. Now I'm the one who can't believe what's going on here. You have more resistance to the name than you do to anything your character does. Does the word vocation mean anything to you? The call? A mission from God?
Candidate: Of course it does. I'm sorry to have been so small. Hello, Mr. Barnum, and thank you for inviting me here today. I'm George W. Bush. I hope to be worthy of your trust, and I'm asking for your vote.
Barnum: That's better. Hello, Mr. Bush. We'll give you a sense of humor too. You've got some very heavy material to play.
Bush: I sure do. May God have mercy on me.
Barnum: She will. Here. Take this hologram and think yourself over to the costume shop.
Bush: Yo. (Looks at the hologram of himself.) There's a good looking young man.
Barnum: Told you. Have a pleasant flight. God be with you.
Bush: And with you. Namaste.
And both souls vanish.
Did it really happen this way? Of course not. In Heaven, everybody's already as telepathic as we will be here on Earth by and by, so no one needs to use language. Nobody even has a name. But one good thing about imagining that it happened like this is that if George W. Bush did indeed understand the implications of his role and accepted it anyway, he may be a soul far more heroic than any people like me who have ridiculed him. And one way or another, it must be true that if he is thought to be small and mean, he will shrink to Dante's livid little peppercorn, but if he is known to be worth our most generous love and compassion, he could grow into the white rose that our souls, deep within our conscious knowing, all aspire to be.
We decide, our thoughts determine, how it will be. Karen Bishop, perceiving very accurately What's Up on Planet Earth, has her usual brilliant take on the part Bush now plays, however it was dealt to or chosen by him. "The role of George Bush," she writes, "is the Old World way. He will continue to exist until enough summoning occurs. We are supporting his energetic existence and what he embodies and represents by our acknowledgment of him, either through tremendous resistance or other states of emotion. When we choose to move into higher ways of being and create those, with no focus on the lower and denser energies, they cannot exist without being in our consciousness. As many of the masses have chosen this focus, they keep it alive in a 'collective' creation, but as more and more reach higher, these Old ways and Old realities will cease to exist. "
It is small wonder, then, that so many of us can oscillate, even within the same hour, between fighting what's wrong and intending what's right. The political activist side of me, galvanized in the fire of righteous passion by working and playing against the Vietnam War at Columbia University in 1968, wants to fight the good fight with every weapon I can swing. The spiritual side, the keeper of frequency riding the river of love, feels that a good fight is a contradiction in terms.
"Where are we now?" Bishop asks. "In a variety of 'spaces' and 'realities', all dependent upon where we place our focus, our perception, and where we choose to be. With practice, we can easily master which dimension or world we choose to be in. In the course of one day, I have found that I can be in total bliss during part of the day, and sometimes feel as though I have dropped into great discomfort and the lower emotions during another part of the day.
"This is all in perfection, for as we evolve and make the higher realms our reality, we will experience both, and gradually the amounts will increase in the higher dimensions until the lower dimensional realities finally become non-existent. This is a beautiful plan, as an immediate jump would be extreme and uncomfortable. . . . This is the most gentle, loving and necessary way for it to unfold."
Either the universe operates in divine order or it does not. And if it does, it moves in perfect precision all the time. The divine will does not hold the world in beauty only during selected sacred business hours, then turn the cosmos over to a night shift of fear and breakage. If all is in order, and it must be, then every role is perfectly cast, and the only question is whether we will play our parts full out, as committed actors do. No matter how the villain team now at front and center on the American stage may look like dark antitypes of the Founding Fathers themselves, it must somehow be conceded that their chaotic ensemble play is as strong as a Chekhov farce mounted by Stanislavski. In some sector of celestial show business, Donald Rumsfeld in particular is generating the biggest Black Oscar buzz since Stalin.
Let us play. When is our next available practicum in holding the highest frequencies and collectively using our creative soul power in the service of love? It's already underway, as we use our own private meditation time and gatherings with others to send our intentions of love and healing to the million or more people who have lost a family member or a friend to the Aceh Tsunami. There are limits to the posture of detachment. We will all play the drowned fisherman in some life or other, sooner or later, but that is small comfort to those who have lost husbands and wives, parents and children and homes. It is important to respond to this moment. Others like it will come, as 2005 will be, along with 2010, one of the two most demanding trial years we will know between now and 2012.
Now we send our energy out to others. Soon we'll have an excellent day for going within:
Jan. 10: the New Moon -- The inner test moment is not the inauguration of the American president on Jan. 20, but the Capricorn New Moon on Jan. 10. This New Moon has long been the time for the introspection that leads to new beginnings and "New Year's Resolutions," but is even more emphatic this year about looking within for the core thought habits and soul ruts that produce the outer symptoms of dis-ease and disorder. At this New Moon Chiron conjoins Sun and Moon in Capricorn, all of them opposite Saturn in Cancer, with Jupiter in Libra forming the middle leg of a T-cross. The thrust of this is plain enough: the energies of male and female spirituality, and of the healer that lives in each heart, direct their love and nurturance at the wounds of fear and loss in those who will feel this year the intense pain of seeing how useless, and even how vindictive, their old political and religious views have been. The crucial step at this moment, however, for those who use and play it, is that the stream of love first go within to self-forgiveness before it presumes to go out to anyone else. The January New Moon is more Saturnian this year than it is in most years, as Mercury, Venus and Chiron all join the Sun and Moon to form a five-planet stellium in Capricorn, all of them affirming that the time is at hand to clear away all judgments, aversions and other obstacles to the flow of love wherever it wants to go. Keep holding that frequency.
|Please help support the Universal Festival Calendar and Hermes 3. If you like this site, you can help the author finish his book, 2012 and the Coming of Aquarius. To make a sponsor donation, or to order or renew your subscription or gift subscriptions to the UFC -- $25 a year, $50 for three years -- click here.