A mere few hours into this Sacred Activism workshop, I’m already bursting with more thoughts and stayed in for lunch so I could get them down…
For one of our first exercises of the workshop, we wrote three sentences about what we know in regards to sacred activism. The only real instruction was to be completely honest, to throw away all masks. After a few minutes of scribbling, we went around the circle, practicing deep listening as everyone shared their thoughts. The words terror, hope, heartbreak, and beauty were mentioned several times each. After that, we shared how we felt after hearing everyone share. Of course, the prevailing feeling in the room was connection. We felt a common kinship in our simultaneous feelings of despair and love. I raised my hand and admitted that, after everyone cooing about love and connection, I found myself wondering ok, cool… what’s next? Yeah, it makes sense that we are interconnected. None of us would be sitting in this classroom today if we weren’t feeling that. So, a feeling of slight impatience arose within myself. Great, we know we are all one, but the world is not acting that way, so what are we going to do about it?
I began to think… If we didn’t all know that we are connected and divine, and that the earth is divine, then we wouldn’t feel fear. Our knowing of our connection, whether it’s conscious or not, is what fear is borne of. Sometimes, it seems the other way around, doesn’t it? People, often times “spiritual” people say we’re all good, everything is divine, God is sovereign, so stop worrying. They don’t do anything about the obvious suffering of the world. Either way, something lives in each and every one of us, a little voice that says this is what could be, but it’s not. That’s where grief, fear, and anger come in.
Even fear of what is different shows us that we have an innate sense of perfection, or oneness. It’s a limited consciousness, however, that looks at, say, a seemingly opposing religious faith and says get rid of that, that is foreign to what I know is good so therefore it’s bad and needs to be cleared out so that what I believe is ideal can remain. What brings us to a higher level of consciousness that says hey there’s oneness not in spite of these differences but in and because of those differences? That these differences are merely facets of the same blindingly beautiful diamond? Our knowing of this, as well of our fear of it disappearing, is exactly what connects us.
Fortunately, those so-called negative emotions of anger and fear can be great motivators for action. My fear about the fast track to mass suicide we’re on as a species is in itself an example of the tremendous awe I feel at the majesty of the universe. Somehow, the more my heart breaks open to the sadness in the world, the more magical, intelligent, and indescribably amazing the world is to me. I desperately want the incredible divine creatures of earth to see the beauty I see and feel the aching love that I feel. I feel as a mother might feel for her child, praying for the best life (un)imaginable for that child.