One of the core tenets of an Integral Planet, the Emergence Project, and a World Spirituality Based on Integral Principles is to be All In for All Life.
To be All In for All Life, you’ve got to be willing to participate in the pain, to wake up and feel it. But what we’ve done is numb ourselves to the pain to the point where we have become comfort. Comfort is the opposite of pain.
So we are never awake. Pain and pleasure are related. Pain is the pain of loneliness, alienation, starvation. It is the pain of a world desperately crying out to be heard. Millions of voices are subsisting below the poverty line. It is disconnected from itself, separated from a vision of meaning and a shared spiritual language.
We must be willing to engage with it, beginning with the immense physical pain of people on this earth as well as animals. You cannot be All In for All Life if you spend your waking hours anaesthetizing yourselves to the pain. Love, joy, and creativity can’t be realized through a spiritual and ethical bypass of the pain; they have to move through and transmute the pain.
To be All In for All Life is to engage the pain in a way that is transformative. Why do people shut down? How do you engage the pain in a way that doesn’t make you mad? These are the questions we will be engaging in the next parts.
Why do people close their hearts? Why is it that good people are able to live comfortably and ignore the pain?
Some say that people aren’t very good, that they are grasping egos moving towards survival. But the human being has an animal dimension and an evolved consciousness. The human being is noble and often sacrifices its life for the sake of another.
How can you ignore image after image of pain coming at you through every form of media and do nothing? Don’t think about it as a theoretical question. Why is it that you have closed down? Virtually every person I ask tells me the same thing: you feel helpless.
When you live with a sense of futility, you have a sense of breakdown. You can’t live with a sense of learned helplessness. Its fragrance is the stench of the world today.
The Gap between our Ability to Feel and our Ability to Heal
The reason people shut their hearts is that there is a gap between our ability to feel and our ability to heal. When you know you have the ability to heal, you have the ability to feel. When the gap is too great, your heart closes because the pain is too unbearable.
In the gap between your ability to heal and your ability to feel, your heart closes.
You have a level of information today about the suffering of the world available to you today that was only available to God a hundred years ago. The level of knowledge around the globe only God knew.
You have some dimension of omniscience. But in the classical definition of Divinity, God is also omnipotent. But you and me are omniscience but not omnipotent. Our experience is that we are impotent in the face of the outrageous pain.
How do we heal the gap? The only way is to reclaim your potency. This will re-close the gap between your ability to feel and your ability to heal. You need to do this to be All In for All Life.
How do we close the gap between our ability to heal and our ability to feel?
It is not only critical for every living being that needs our engagement, but it is critical for ourselves.
If you close your heart time and again after seeing outrageous pain, do you think you can open your heart someplace else fully? We only have one heart. If you close your heart in one place, you close it in another.
Intimacy is under devastating dissolution today in a way it never was before. We are exposed to such profound knowledge of pain and yet we are impotent. You think you can open it again to love him/her. But you can’t.
It is essential to open your heart for your self – for the most “selfish” of reasons, the self that wants to be intimate with other people.
Morphogenesis is an important idea which helps us to the solution. The universe is not driven from a top-down system. The universe is ceaselessly creative which self-organizes bottom-up. The command system of slime mold or ant hill or bee hive or flock of birds reveals these principles.
The world is meant to be self-organizing. We used to think that there was a government department that will solve the world’s problem. But it doesn’t work that way. There Is intelligence in the cosmos that can solve these problems and it is a system of Unique Selves which have unique gifts which have the ability to address a unique needs of their community.
Every Unique Self is an expression of the whole, so when every Unique Self begins to act then every Unique Self in the world begins to act in that way, and then you unleash a torrent of heart. There is a waterfall of creativity which is a symphony of outrageous lovers committing the unique acts of love they are meant to commit.
You are a unique expression of the seamless coat of the universe. That means it all lives in you, the infinite is awake and alive in you. When you act in your circle of influence, you are the whole acting through you. You are God’s verb, the action of Love in the world, Spirit-in-action.
The whole acts through you by engaging the unique need in your circle of influence. You are potent, powerful, alive, awake, aware. That’s all the universe wants from you, and it’s a lot.
It’s the potal to your joy, your Eros, to your happiness. You are here with a purpose unlike any other. From this place, you have closed the gap between your ability to heal and your ability to feel.
In Order to Be All In for All Life, You Have to Feel Your Own Aliveness.
That means you have to plug into the portal of pain in a way that’s powerful rather than impotent.
How do you do that? Marc Gafni shares a particular practice from Kabbalah.
It is called participating in the pain of Eros in exile. What that means is that you have to open yourself up to the pain in a way that means you are taking care of your soul. You are not allowing yourself to become dysfunctional.
Some of the most profoundly sensitive people are addicts or living in insane asylums. This won’t do.
We need to develop a formula that allows you to open up to the pain fully for 5 minutes a day. You might do it by getting silent and bringing to mind images of pain and letting your mind dwell in it. You might do it by reading a newspaper article.
You open yourself to the pain fully for a limited amount of time. Here is a deep mystical knowing – it is what we know by meditating or contemplating with the Eye of the Spirit or what the Sufis called the Eye of the Heart or the Christ people called the Third Eye. When you enter the pain, you are participating in the sweetness of the Divine.
The alive personal intelligence of All-That-Is is the infinity of intimacy and the infinity of pain. If you think you feel the pain of the world for 5 minutes, that’s fine. But imagine that the Divine pain is intimate. You are entering into God’s heart and are participating with the personal Eros of All-That-Is. In that participation, there emerges an infinite sweetness.
When you step inside, you are blessed by everything. The contraction is melted away and you feel the aliveness and awakeness of the feminine Goddess Divine – the personal embrace of the loving intelligence of the universe. You have the power to love and dance and sing and create. You are empowered to become a beneficial healing presence on the planet.