Within each of us is an affinity for divinity. Why? Because we are each “originally” created as an expression of the divine and yearn deep within us to return to our roots. (By “originally” I mean both “from the beginning” and “as a uniquely distinctive expression of the Creator – a one-of-a-kind original.” That’s a paradox of our existence: we are each uniquely, distinctively different and yet we are all also united as one within the human race according to universal qualities we all share. We, as the entire, eternally interconnected human species, express diversity within unity to express all of the Divine Source with Whom we are eternally united as one. As Divine Love flows through us we reveal the Divine Source’s nature and favor towards us.)
Our yearning to be free to be and express who we truly are is surging up from within us from our roots. Within us the S.A.P. we are (Spiritually Anointed People) rises relentlessly to the surface, as surely as in northern climates the sap in trees rises to renew life each spring. By acknowledging our yearning and cultivating, watering and nurturing the soul-soil within which our roots thrive, we encourage our depth of yearning to rise closer and closer to the surface until it emerges into expression within our daily lives and blossoms here as us – who we each are and who we collectively as the human species or “humanity” are. (Within the sequence of time here on Earth, some of us will rise up before others but eventually we will all rise up so that time and space will matter less and less because our eternal and infinitely powerful divine nature will have come online collectively.)
We are inherently and resolutely as determined to know our own divinity (divine identity), be true to it and express it as dandelions are to rise again from the slightest bit of root or tiniest of wind-borne seed. When our divinity emerges collectively, as a human race we will cease to engage in oppression, exploitation and conflict towards each other and be unstoppably resilient and brilliant as caregivers for all forms of life within and around us. Until then we’ll simply fail time after time to achieve our heartfelt dreams and desires to end violence because being untrue to ourselves is the ultimate violence and guaranties our failure to achieve lasting peace. To paraphrase Shakespeare, we must know our true identity – our authenticity – and be true to it at least simultaneously with, if not before, being false to no one else. As we learn to be honest with and accept others non-judgmentally, we learn to be honest with and accept ourselves non-judgmentally. This is the feedback loop process for recovering awareness of our true identity. Acceptance of others leads to greater acceptance of self, which in turn leads to greater acceptance of others, etc. – all with growing inner peace as well as outer peace. Thus we implement the principle “As within, so without.”
Before we rise up to blossom as we truly are in fulfillment of our own hearts’ desire and of The Divine’s will for us as beloved children of The Divine Source of Life, we are buried beneath the illusions and false images the world of fear teaches us to worship as survivors but not thrivers. To thrive we must come alive as who we truly are and dare to share our true identity with at least one other and then more and more with all others as sisters and brothers in the same divine family. It is irresistible, this urge to emerge and share!
Recently I’ve been thinking again about how this emergency took place in my life. Emergence felt like an emergency because it felt urgent to my heart that I emerge and it felt threatening to my ego that I might emerge as me from behind the cloaking device my ego had become as my social image. Pride and shame held me back, inhibited my emergence and tried to thwart my fulfillment in living true to who I am. After living many years as an ego and hiding within the social roles egos train us to play, it upset many people who had known me in my ego roles to behold the real me emerging. “What’s wrong with you, Art?” they’d ask, if not overtly to my face then privately to themselves and perhaps as well to others. What was “wrong” with Art was that I was no longer willing to play charades and hide myself from others. The process of emerging was awkward, more awkward than it need be for others if only we’d all welcome such emergences more openly and not do our best to control or even repress them as unwelcome challenges to the status quo within which we profess ourselves to be so comfortable. Repressive social reactions on the part of frightened conformists delay and even disfigure emergences. Being scalded by shame and blame wounds our hearts and can leave long-lasting scars.
I was no longer comfortable with hiding within the status quo as a conformist. I was troubled by my affinity to divinity. I did not know my troubled waters initially by such a concept. I did not know how to identify my troubled state. Indeed, I was more inclined to ask of myself “What’s wrong with you, Art?” than to claim the truth that something miraculous and beautiful was happening – something possibly more “right” than yet understood let alone socially acceptable. Today I hope to be here to encourage others to emerge beyond merely surviving within ego’s fearful darkness to enjoy thriving within the love-bathed lightness of wholeness, authenticity and integrity. We need to give each other emotional support as we emerge as authentic but diverse expressions of the divine instead of bashing each other for being different. Let us learn to bathe wounds rather than bash the wounded, wash away grief rather than wander astray and wallow in its initial stages of denial, anger, bargaining and depression.
For each of us, the process of emerging is motivated in some way by our affinity for divinity. Yet, our identifying links with divinity may differ. Mine is merely an example of what may be possible for all of us. If your links to divinity are of a nature similar to mine, I welcome you to share your experiences with me and others. If, however, your links to divinity are of a different nature, please honor them as well and feel equally welcome to share them. Perhaps in our sharing we will find the common threads and themes that link us all.
As briefly as I can manage let me describe linking themes I have traced throughout my life that opened doors to phases of my emergence:
First Theme: I will call this linking theme my desire to enjoy relationships with authors and other storytellers, both of fiction and nonfiction. Throughout my life, I have enjoyed reading, listening to and watching stories that are well presented and have depth and breadth of symbolic meaning. Allegories and metaphors need not dominate but a story that reveals patterns of human thinking, emotions and character development intrigues me. Call them archetypes, themes or common patterns, their presence revealed within a story captures my imagination and draws me inward to participate in the experiences of characters in the story. My imagination allows me to “there” with the characters even while remaining “here” in my own life. Truth be known, sometimes I tend to become more “lost” in the story than remain aware of my surroundings. Ironically it is my tendency to become so lost in my imagination that allowed me to encounter my true identity and recover from having mislaid and forgotten it as ego’s social training taught me to do.
I became lost in stories told by others to become found in my own living story. I now realize that my whole life has been symbolic and in some way identified with the common allegories and archetypes of humanity. (It is likely that you will find your life story is as well.) In some ways, my awakening to this realization while surrounded by many people who do not yet realize that it is also true for them caused me to feel lonely. I yearn for the companionship of others with whom to share my story and listen to theirs too. Knowing that every one of us has a story worth sharing has held up to me a path from loneliness to more expansive connections with others past, present and future. The Eternity of Divinity embraces all time frames and is part of the divinity for which I now feel such affinity. I began as an expression of an eternal story and now know myself as continuing to be such an expression.
Among the many story tellers who have encouraged me to grow increasingly aware of my nature as a child of God none has been more influential than Jesus. The stories he told that remain in our records are likely not the only ones he told. His whole life remains largely an untold story buried beneath myths and legends that have been layered on by various story tellers’ for a variety of purposes. What marvels my imagination most is that the most outlandishly generous and merciful of the stories of Jesus’ life are the most likely to be true. Within stories of helpful Samaritans, prodigal sons, women at wells, women at risk of being stoned, reviled tax collectors and others honored to share meals and the like, I found myself invited to imagine what it might be like to have known Jesus as a disciple walking with him as he revealed and shared the nature of his Father as the Divine Parent of us all. Through my imagination my heart tapped into inspirations that gave birth to actions that taught me much by experience that formal, ego-censored education could not show me.
Second Theme: I will call this linking theme my desire to be helpful. Perhaps mostly as a result of my middlish position among seven siblings and my desire to earn my parents’ attention, appreciation and approval, I acquired the disposition and habit of being helpful early in life and could not shirk it afterwards. I believe that this habit was hard to break because it is rooted in the nature of the Divine Source of Life. The Source is disposed to helpfulness and habitually helps us whether or not we ask. As this second theme shaped my development from childhood throughout adulthood, I stumbled along, many times failing, as how to be most helpful was revealed to me. Throughout my life, I had to change many of my ways of offering helpfulness to more closely correspond to how divine aid is offered, but I could not shake off the desire to be helpful even when I became discouraged about ever learning how to be helpful in truly helpful, lasting ways. Just as Edison experimented with many materials as he searched for ones to serve as filaments in his early light bulbs, I experimented with ways of helpfulness that shed little light or burned out all too readily. There are ways to help as the Divine Benevolent One helps, to be an extension of Divine Benevolence as Jesus was while walking upon the earth, and to shed a warm and gentle light to radiate within the darkness of a violence-tossed and troubled world. Mastering how to do so remains one of my primary goals. Stories of those who have done so gracefully and effectively throughout the ages continue to inspire and guide me.
Third Theme: I will call this linking theme my desire to share. Again this theme began when I was growing up amid seven siblings and observed that if we did not share, there’d not be much left for the smaller and less aggressive ones of us. Thus, sharing began as a survival principle. Later it morphed into a principle by which to thrive as me as I discovered that the Divine Source of Life had created and still creates all that is by sharing Divinity with all. Organic, natural sustainability models itself on the Divine. In time, I learned how to engage in feedback loops with the Divine and my fellow human beings and to enjoy the empowering unity that such feedback loops generate. My life has been enriched by sharing all that I receive. I know now with certainty what I had previously only believed was possibly true – that giving and receiving are the same thing, a unified and unifying process we call “sharing.” The Golden Rule rules our whole lives as surely as the Law of Gravity rules our physical existence. Whether or not our affinity for divinity will ever defy gravity I do not know except to say that the gravest and weightiest of earthly problems seem to grow lighter as we approach their solutions from the perspective of Eternity. In my experiences, the Creator has turned out to be more lighthearted than I was initially led to believe.
These three themes have grown over my lifetime as branches of a stout and sometimes fruitful tree. Within those branches I have found myself nourished, nurtured and lifted beyond the ego’s mind-clouding fogs of pain and confusion into awareness of my own identity as a child of God. My discovery of my divine identity led me to discover FIRELIGHT as an acronym to partially summarize my story. Faith Initiates Rising to Excellence by Learning to Implement God’s Highest Truth. What is that Truth? That we are each and every one of us without exception a child of God, by whatever name we may refer to such a Supreme Parent or Source of Life. (And by whatever names – deriding or uplifting – that we have from time to time called ourselves and have been called by others.)
When I call this ultimate Truth “highest” I also mean it is the deepest, reaching to the taproot of our creation within which all our roots are joined. Designed to explore the truth of divine love within the depths of our beings, we are also designed to express this truth within our relationships from the most intimate ones outward in ever-expanding circles of new life. Ours is a love story, a story of mutually helpful beings designed by Divine Love to grow in evermore powerful capacities to express and share love in ever-ascending, upward spiraling feedback loops – giving and receiving as a unified Divine Companion and Loved One for our Creator. “As the Creator Is so We Are.” We are here on earth to discover what that observation means and how to live according to it in all the fullness of our beings.
(For more about FIRELIGHT, please visit the Firelight SJL tab above.)
© Art Nicol 2016