by Steve Guettermann
Considering the demands intense human desires and needs place on the Planet, I feel we have to ask and answer an essential and existential question: “How can we live and enjoy life without squeezing the world out of shape, in other words, without making the Planet unsuitable for human life, as we seem to be doing now?”
We don’t have to ignore this question and bury our heads in the sand. As a matter of fact, only by asking difficult questions can we find answers. First, I think, we have to drop our shields. Shields are the things we do to keep the magic and mystery of the world from intruding on our everyday life. This often creates internal personal conflict when we feel there has to be something more to life, but won’t allow ourselves to find out. It also can cause disturbance between those who support people over profit and those who support profit over people — and this is a very simple distinction merely for an example. Let’s ignore the conflicts for now and focus on the question.
“How can we live and enjoy life with family and friends without squeezing the world out of shape, in other words, without making the Planet unsuitable for human life, as we seem to be doing now?” Or, to put it another way, “How can I serve the next seven generations when I’m not sure how I’m going to make it to payday and take care of my family?”
It’s likely that as we work to improve ourselves — and we all are — our relationships are improving. I believe that befriending both magic and sacred space are part of the answer to this existential question. Befriending Sacred Space is really just what it says. We befriend sacred space the same way we create and maintain any other positive relationship: with love, attention, intention, awareness, ayni/sacred reciprocity, and doing things for others out of love rather than mere obligation, manipulation, self-gratification or self-aggrandizement. Acts of authentic beautification and sanctification bring love, joy and bliss.
Evolutionary growth through conscious change and by creating more potential through intimate communication can keep us from squeezing any relationship to death. In a world of seemingly increasing scarcity, we might consider that it is both our birthright and obligation to develop methods to use ourselves in increasingly more refined and intimate ways. The corollary to this is that we also better serve one another in conscious, co-creative ways. Ceremony can help make this possible.
What do we mean when we say “a conscious person?” I simply mean someone who serves self and others without taking too much; someone who leaves behind more good things than s/he takes. Ultimately this means how much love a person leaves behind in any of its many guises. And, if we are to believe the Akashic Records or the Noosphere, this good energy never goes away…nor does any other.
The way to keep from squeezing the planet out of shape, then, is to give back. This is the purpose of ayni, of sacred reciprocity. And actually, in the natural flow of things, this happens all the time. The so-called waste of something is actually nourishment for something else. Yet humankind has been charged with an extra responsibility, not burden, for life and for reshaping — but not deshaping — the planet in many ways. I saw this clearly the other day.
A young mother was walking with her even younger daughter – a girl of maybe 3 or 4. The little girl was absolutely enthralled with the day; her little body was skipping along the sidewalk as she held her mother’s hand. She was so in love with everything! And you could sense that everything was in love with her. And in that moment I saw that even at such a young age this little girl — and all children — have the “responsibility” to enjoy themselves and share their love and joy with all of creation. Love is their ayni. Nothing more is asked of them. In other words, the expressed joy of kids is a powerful way to keep the world alive.
A child’s role is receiving, but through that receiving ayni is given. An adult’s role is giving and through giving there is receiving. The rite of passage signifies it’s time to start giving to the community and back to the planet. The little girl walking so happily with her mother and planet shows that receiving all that love from everything around her — I mean, you could really see a glow around her as the trees and everything else responded to her bliss by loving her back…so her receiving all that love was likely equal to the greatest ayni possible! Her palpable glow refreshed wherever she walked. She was just as much in ceremony as any high priest, pope or shaman, probably even more.
The “rite of passage” so important for many indigenous cultures shows youth they’ve earned the right and privilege to become part of the larger community’s ayni. Of course there are other obligations and expectations, but this joining of communal ayni is really one of the most profound steps into adulthood.
Of course adults don’t quit playing or experiencing love. I happen to feel that love is the most powerful force in the universe, so there’s no reason to try to chase down lesser powers. Adults engage in child’s play, but when we can engage in a child’s love then we’re really doing something.
Creating and using sacred space, and the mental-emotional-spiritual-physical energies these entail, begin to create subtle changes in our vibration patterns and consciousness. That is, they impact what we project and with what we resonate, which means they impact what we attract. Thus I believe we begin to experience things Richard Bach describes in Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. As we travel we literally do smash fewer bugs on our windshield and we really don’t have to stop for fuel as often, either for our vehicle or our body. Loaves and fishes take many forms.
In other words, greater love, higher love, means we give more than we take now and for at least seven generations. Realistically, though, we may want to concentrate on just the next generation or two. The prevailing logic behind this socio-cultural shift is that if we leave a better world for them, we’ll probably create a better one for us.