The Birth of the Shining One
Introduction: Dancing the Dance of Post-Apocalyptic Jubilation
For some time now, many of us have been searching for a deeper connection to our spirituality. In a world of turbulent surface change, the possibility of communion with a more deeply grounded, peaceful part of ourselves became a more attractive goal. In a world imbalanced by economic injustice, we sought the source of all abundance. In a world contaminated by socio-cultural biases and commercial distortions, we sought the uncontaminated truth. On a planet crucified by ecological insensitivity and mocked by the arrogance of corporate-industrial gargoyles, we began to worship the simple beauty of a sunrise and the balance of a flower. Somewhere along the line, our lives had become too complex, too cumbersome, and too carcinogenic, and we began turning toward more conscious alternatives.
In the late sixties, we had a great deal of longstanding frustration to vent, and so our quest took a more radical turn. We began by blasting the gates of our consciousness with psychedelic dynamite, and blowing the lid off our boxed up version of reality. Light began to filter through the cracks in the wall, and we began to see dimly past the shadows what was really going on around us. The dam of our complacency finally broke, and outrage flooded through the streets of our cities like a school of hungry piranha stalking their prey. We hurled our fury at the ears of our faltering demagogues, and were able to bring an insane war to an end. In doing so, we discovered our collective power, but also opened forever a Pandora's box of long neglected social injustices: minority oppression, patriarchal tyranny, ecological rape, political deceit, commercial exploitation, nutritional toxification, medical tyranny, brainwashing at the hands of our educational systems, manipulation by our media.
Overwhelmed by it all, we collapsed in upon ourselves - exhausted, but comforted by the dawning realization that the world began at our doorstep. In order to effect significant change out there, it was obvious we would have to begin by sweeping our own house clean.
Throughout the seventies, we employed a wide variety of brooms. We traveled to the temples of distant lands, and brought back exotic fragrances and magic syllables. We twisted our bodies into foreign postures, and deprived ourselves of food. We imbibed the twinkling words of soft-spoken holy men, and donned the garb of full time seekers, unperturbed on our affected serenity. Then tiring of our imported gurus, we returned to our bedraggled heritage, the prodigal sons and daughters of Western culture, looking once again to mine the diamonds on our own backyard. We began to weep and pound our way across the pillowed floors of psychologized America, and drag out our skeletons for display. We encountered and mirrored ourselves in secret places, rubbed each other raw with concern and confrontation, and salved our open wounds with newfound self-acceptance. We learned to run for the sheer joy of running, and began to celebrate the circulation of revitalized blood through our veins.
Stepping back into our lives, we could now more clearly see what needed to be done. Armed with fresh commitment, we grew in political savvy and learned to go about the momentous task of giving our vision form without getting side-swiped by the careening dinosaur of industrialized civilization. We were ready to suffer the rigors of our own personal withdrawal from centuries of fossil fuel addiction, and take responsibility for our rightful stewardship of natural systems. We were ready to give each other the space we needed to be free and equal in the dance of our differences, and look for local solutions to local problems. We were beginning to reclaim our power, and teach each other what we had learned in our years of reaching inward. We took it upon ourselves to build more efficient shelters, grow more vibrant food, nurture more loving relationships, simplify our needs, pool our resources, evolve more responsive communities, and raise more conscious children. The old order was still rumbling along in its clamor and confusion, snorting out soot and negativity. But in the glistening dawn of the new world we were birthing, we were content to dwell in the coziness of our alternative reality, gazing out in reverie at a parallel dimension gone mad.
In the eighties, some of us have retreated to a numbing cocoon of material distraction, attempting to escape the horror of an increasingly desecrated environment, volatile relationships between nations, corporate irresponsibility, and epidemic diseases. Others have intensified the quest, turning to disincarnate beings, ancient tribal rites, and global displays of mass consciousness for workable answers.
While entire nations of people starve en masse, millions of people around the world rally to buy food. While primeval rainforests are destroyed so Americans can eat cheap hamburgers, others chain themselves to trees, and place their lives between sea mammals and the harpoon. While the weaponry of yesterday's science fiction finds its way out among the stars, the planetary nervous system gets ignited by the wizardry of the microchip. As our world threatens to self-destruct, increasing numbers of us awaken to a more global sense of responsibility. Radical times have precipitated catalytic action on a scale never before imagined.
Yet, as far as we have come in our journey toward claiming our power and our freedom, as we step off toward the nineties, we must not underestimate the challenges of the road ahead. The work of transformation demands far more than an occasional empowered act, or the mere recognition of Spirit operating beneath the surface of our lives.
The time has come for us to realize that we are Spirit moving with full power through human form. We are the gods and goddess to whom we pray. We are the bodhisattvas, returning to grace the planet with our compassion. We are the Christ returned to Earth.
The salvation we long for is our birthright. But this salvation can be guaranteed only insofar as we are willing to create it for ourselves. Only as we claim our godbeing can we put the apocalypse behind us, and move into a world that is worthy of our holy presence. This is the challenge before us now. The apocalypse, cryptically portrayed in the Bible and often intepreted as a prophecy of destruction, is simply the passing away of all that is grounded in limitation and fear. To the extent that we have purged our lives of fear, we have already moved through the transition apocalypse is meant to bring.
It is our job now to move through whatever fear remains, and to denounce in our living what it is like to be alive and well afer the apocalypse has come and gone. There may still be this parallel dimension going mad, but where is the nook or cranny in this post-apocalyptic world of ours that does not contain a glimmer of the light, a whisper of the truth, a reflection of the plan revealed? As we begin to feel this reality within our bones, and live its implications in our lives, we become our own salvation. There is no other way.
Whatever the planetary melodrama may bring, in the end it is Spirit that will triumph. To the extent that we have claimed our godbeing, and left our fear behind, we will dance at the victory celebration. Regardless of the costumes we choose to wear, or who we think our partners are, or where we think the dance is going, it is all one dance we do. Let us grab the apocalyptic beast by its paws and set it dancing to the rhythm of its own heartbeat, to the sweet serenade of its own divinity. Let us keep turning round until the world turns with us. Let us teach the dance of post-apocalyptic jubilation to everyone we touch, until even in the heart of that parallel dimension gone mad, it's the only dance in town.
If you've enjoyed the Introduction and want to read more,
you can purchase your copy of The Birth of the Shining One here.