On this Sunday I share with you something new...and something old. The new, I have not posted before, while the old is one of my favorites and which some of you have read before. This new is by Mother Teresa. The old by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
1) The Way of Passion
Do everything you can to save this planet, but don't let this planet's death make you waver for one instant from the glory of your origin. You will only be able to save the planet when you reflect the glory of your origin in every action, in every moment. To repeat Rumi's opening lines:
Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.
The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same.
You have to find that out. You can't just listen to those words, you have to go to the place where that becomes real.
Every wonderful sight will vanish, every sweet word will fade,
But do not be disheartened,
The source they come from is eternal, growing,
Branching out, giving new life and new joy.
This recalls an image from a documentary I saw of a Muslim fisherman in the Aral Sea, which has been totally destroyed; ecologically, it doesn't exist anymore. This Muslim used to have a fishing boat. Now, every day, he goes out and sings Rumi to the Dead Sea. He testifies; he witnesses the majesty and the glory even in desolation.
Why do you weep?
The source is within you,
And this whole world is springing up from it.
The source is full,
And its waters are ever-flowing.
Do not grieve, drink your fill.
From the moment you came into this world,
A ladder was placed in front of you,
That you might transcend it.
From earth, you became plant,
From plant you became animal,
Afterwards you became a human being,
Endowed with knowledge, intellect and faith.
Behold the body, born of dust, how perfect it has become.
Why should you fear its end?
When were you ever made less by dying?
When you pass beyond this human form,
No doubt you will become an angel and soar through the heavens,
But don't stop there, even heavenly bodies grow old.
Pass again from the heavenly realm and
Plunge, plunge into the vast ocean of consciousness,
Let the drop of water that is you become a hundred mighty seas.
But do not think that the drop alone becomes the ocean. The ocean, too, becomes the drop.
Knowing this, let us drop our bodies now into the fire of the end of the world and let what we cling to die now in the fire of the end of the world. Let our false illusions and hopes die now, with the last trees. Let us live now, in the fire and love of God, all the while being signs, fountains, mirrors, nurses, dancers, activists, psychotherapists, and above all, what the Sufis call the children of spring.
"I am tired of two things: I am tired of people saying that the end of our world isn't going to happen. It is 80 percent likely; the 20 percent is miracle. I'm also tired of people who use that likelihood as an excuse for depression and apathy because its horror is so far beyond depression. Its horror requires a leap. We have to rush out and leap into the divine fire. That is what we have to do: what other truthful response is there?
Get out there and give real help! Get out there and love! Get out there and testify! Get out there and create whatever you can to inspire people to claim their divine being and origin. This is what has to be done now.
There is no time, there has never been any time. There has never been any time for dallying and being depressed."
2) The Invitation - by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (a Native American Elder)
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God's presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes"!
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Now please...read them each one more time. In each there is a message. Find that message for you. "It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back."
Last week I posted comments from some of my supporters who felt the heat of the flames and retreated. Starting tomorrow I will post responses from those of you who, at least for the present moment, are still in the center. This week, I will also place more wood on the fire.
Have a relaxful Sunday...each day brings us closer. We will need courage and strength for our Final Conflict. Tomorrow night should be very interesting and very exciting.
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