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For the mystic and the seeker, there are two well-worn paths up the mountain – love and awareness. Through the practice of Zen meditation, insight through deepening awareness is the way to the peak. For the Sufi and Christian mystic, it is the raw yearning for union with the Beloved, the Divine source of Creation. Yet, these paths eventually converge; awareness is an outcome of love, and without love, true awareness is not possible. The two are One.
Sufi mystic and teacher, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee shares the journey of the lover in the third episode of our podcast series, Preparing for Profound Change. As we open ourselves to ‘the cry of the Earth’ and become more aware of her suffering, our grief can become a vehicle for transformation.
“The Sufis say the first step is witnessing, just being aware. It is to recognize as consciously as you can what is happening, because this is very painful, and because it’s like being aware of your own darkness, being aware of your own failings, really to see what we are doing to the world outwardly. Many environmentalists are just torn apart by grief. In fact, Joanna Macy talks about this being an important stage, that the grief breaks open your heart.” – Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
We need sacred practices and sacred communities to help us endure this stage. The world’s religions – which extremists often corrupt to justify their inhuman acts – may also be our best hope for coordinating the massive transformation of hearts and healing needed in the world today. Many spiritual communities and their leaders have already begun this positive and loving work.
No doctrine or belief is worth killing for. And all religious institutions are called to reexamine the origin myths and stories they tell in light of humanity’s dawning awareness about the actual origins of our Universe. Will our new narratives emphasize openness, sharing and love? Emerging spiritual groups, not tied to rigid doctrine or dogma can lead the way. Instead of looking to ancient texts for guidance, we can look to Nature herself, the Code of Creation. There we can find the values and guidelines humanity needs so desperately at this time.
In loving service,
Rhonda Fabian and your Kosmos Team
Reminder: Our Call for Essays deadline is September 1. Submit your essay (up to 830 word) for possible inclusion in Kosmos Journal and online. Details here.
The 3rd episode of our Kosmos Live! podcast series, Preparing for Profound Change
Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee writes and teaches about spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and the emerging global consciousness of Oneness.
“This will be a multi-generational story, it won’t be fixed in the next five, 10, even 20 years, maybe in the next 200 years, but we have to be pioneers of consciousness, and this is something the mystic has always been. We push the frontiers of consciousness, we see what is possible within the human being, we dare to live a new story.”
By Rhonda Fabian
“The time has come to transform our toxic, extractive culture of greed and consumption into an urgent cooperative global effort to survive and thrive based on a set of shared human values derived from Nature, an engaged ecology that can guide us back to harmony and restore our fundamental relationships with the Earth and other beings.”
By Andrew Zolli, via Garrison Institute
Images | Gian-Reto Tarnutzer
“There are Christian theologians whose theology is informed by the ancient Greek idea of eros, which, when it’s connected with the understanding of the divine, is the yearning of God for the world. It becomes the source of our own yearning for connection with one another, God, and all of reality.
When eros becomes part of a spiritual practice, it’s the capacity that we have to open ourselves up to places on the edge. It can foster an experience of being drawn into the life of the other. It’s often about surrender, vulnerability, tenderness, and receptivity to the other, who is beckoning to us.” – Douglas Christie
By Ashraf Amin, via Kashmir Images
“The primary text of Islam- al-Qur’an abounds in the verses to establish the equilibrium and the state of tranquillity between man and his environment. The primordial character of Qur’anic messages visualizes man and the cosmos in a state of harmony that reaffirms man’s inner bond with the natural world.”
by Ilia Delio, via Global Sisters Report
“We have yet to realize, however, a new synthesis between science and religion, a type of religion that is at home in an unfinished universe. But this is the key to a renewed sustainable Earth. By conquering physical space, science has unwittingly shown our deep, felt need for religion. Our souls need a place apart from the physical world of everyday stuff, a place to stretch toward the infinite and wonder about things that do not physically exist. How we reconceive religion in a scientific age is the basis of a healing Earth. Pope Francis is right to take the lead in this regard, but his spiritual wisdom is not enough. We need a complete religious revolution — to liberate God from the grip of Greek metaphysics, to liberate divine revelation from the institution of religion; to reimagine a new heaven and a new Earth.”
By Andreas Weber, in Kosmos Journal
“Biology currently joins physical sciences in a groundbreaking revolution. It discovers how the individual experiencing self is connected with all life and how this meaningful self must be seen as the basic principle of organic existence. More and more researchers agree: Feeling and experience are not human add-ons to an otherwise meaningless biosphere. Rather, selves, meaning, and imagination are guiding principles of ecological functioning. The biosphere is made up of subjects with their idiosyncratic points of view and emotions. Scientists have started to recognize that only when they understand organisms as feeling, emotional, sentient systems that interpret their environments—and not as automatons slavishly obeying stimuli—can they ever expect answers to the great enigmas of life.”
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