Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blades of Grass

When I was a young boy, around 6 or 7, I used to play with my neighborhood friends, getting into mischief like most kids my age. We’d play ball and ride our bikes and play cowboys and Indians and war and such. I would hear a buddy call from a distance and immediately know who it was, then we’d go out and discover a new adventure for that day. Life was fun and enjoyable, as it should be for a kid. But something was missing; something that I didn’t even realize until I saw it for the first time with my own eyes.

My Dad, when he wasn’t working in his Dental practice, would sometimes take me to Parker Field in Richmond, VA. to cheer on our beloved farm baseball team, the Richmond Braves. During one game in particular, my Dad noticed that every time a batter would hit a high fly ball, I would complain to him “…where’d the ball go?” Red flag! He immediately scheduled me for an appointment at the eye doctor. After a few fascinating vision tests, eye drops and frame adjustments, I finally had my first pair of prescription glasses. What I was about to experience in my initial ride home would literally “opened my eyes” not only to what I saw, but to the process of discovery itself in ways that to this day still impact me. For the first time in my life, I realized that the green outdoor carpet that I would play on every day were actually individual blades of grass; they were tiny, separate blades of grass! The green fuzzy blobs in the trees were actually individual leaves! I could see my friend a block away and know who it was before he even called out to me. The clarity of my vision opened my mind up to things I had no idea existed; and of the things I did know about, the nuanced level of detail was a life altering experience for me. I was simply astonished; amazed that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Things like tiny insects on the ground moving about in perfect symmetry within the hierarchy of life; grains of sand in a sand box; how waves would break into individual droplets of water and merge back into a central mass; the twinkling stars in the sky. All of the things that I never noticed before came flooding into my being like a tsunami. I was forever changed.

These memories have served me well over the years, and in many ways have prepared me for the spiritual journey I now undertake, leading me to this unique period in my life. The parallel of this with my own personal spiritual growth has been an amazing dichotomy, filled with epiphanies and discoveries that I continue to marvel at and feel humble gratitude for. Most important has been the realization that I am more than the sum of my parts; that I am more than this physical body that I occupy. I have now come to realize that I am Soul, a divine spark of God awareness. I realize that I am eternal, that the spirit of my beingness will never die; that my body may cease to exist, but that the true essence of who and what I am will forever be. I know these things through direct perceptional experience, through spiritual introspection and validation both internally and externally. When you know, you know. I don’t expect naysayers to believe these assertions outright, and I really don’t care -- I know.

The thing is that these insights and spiritual realizations are not in any way unique to me, but part of a much larger collective metamorphosis of expanded awareness and discovery taking place throughout our world today. It’s happening everywhere, all around us. Have you noticed that things have begun to speed up; that orthodox thinking is being challenged and replaced with direct perceptional experience? Trust in our inner barometer is showing itself to be a reliable measure for the world around us, when we give it a chance. It’s happening everywhere, and the Awaken to One Alliance is being created to serve as a catalyst, central repository and meeting place for this explosion of spiritual awakening. We meet you where you are, and are in no way interested in changing you into anything other than what you want to be. This is not a religion or spiritual path, this is a community awakened.

It is important to emphasize here that this organization is not intended to be a top-down hierarchical entity that simply espouses some dogmatic truth and/or inspiration from on high, but an interactive and communal place of sharing and discovery with like-minded individuals (yes, and even naysayers) who are becoming aware within their own life journey. We are an awakening spiritual community, coming from all walks of life and spiritual disciplines, ready and willing to share unique perspectives and dialogue with one another in the hopes that this dialogue will help the collective evolve into a nuanced understanding of universal truth. It is a place for truth seekers, not gate keepers.

Throughout the course of my life I have been consciously inquisitive as to the nature and meaning of things that for most people were satisfactory at face value. I wanted to know more. As an alter boy in the Episcopal Church I would attempt to ascertain the true meaning behind the choreographed dance of the ceremony that I would take part in every Sunday. What did the call and response mantra between the parishioners and the Pastor really mean? Who was God? Did “He” only occupy this church? Why was there so much injustice in the world and why did life seem to be so unfair? When I looked into the mirror for more than a few seconds, what was that thing looking back at me? Who was I, why was I here, and what was my purpose in this life? All of these questions used to perplex me and serve as the catalyst for a long and unfolding journey of truth and enlightenment that I and so many like me have sought and are seeking. Through many religious and spiritual paths that I experimented with, each transition being somewhat painful but necessary for my unique evolution, I finally came to the realization that my path to God had led me to a very personal place; one that caused me to realize that I am now my own path. I have begun to understand that everyone will ultimately come into a similar realization that all paths lead to an awareness of oneness, and that we eventually have to take those final steps alone. I know that these words may seem very alarming to some, as it was initially to me. It can seem a lonely place when you begin to walk the line alone and without a net. But you ultimately begin to realize that this feeling of aloneness is merely an illusion, for you are never alone. You are a spark of God; you are God, individuated and gaining personal experience. You come to realize that the road to understanding the Creator begins with an understanding of yourself, for you are a microcosm of the macrocosm. You begin to understand that you must be the catalyst for change, because the Creator cannot do for you what it can only do through you. If not you, who? If not now, when?

This organization, Awaken to One Alliance, serves as a call to action that we must be the change we seek. It is our life destiny and purpose to come into a conscious awareness of who and what we are; that we are Soul, that we are one. Through this awakening comes the need to assist others in coming into their own awareness, consistent with their ability and desire to do so. Like so many others, my light bulb came on. It’s time for you now to turn the light on.

Upon seeing those individual blades of grass for the first time, my glasses served as an awakening of sorts, to the nuanced beauty of the world around me, and the excitement of discovering that world. It was this first experience that introduced me to an awakening of things beyond my initial perceptions. It was the process of discovery as much as it was the discovery itself that forever impacted the way I viewed life. Now, with ready awareness and conscious intent, I welcome you to what for many may be the first step in the final journey of your spiritual lives, an awakening to the oneness of yourself as a conscious spark of All That Is. Hang on, I know it’s going to be an incredible ride.