It rained today, a cold gray sky. The air feels pure and clean even in the city. It also rains in Afghanistan. It rains on the terrorists and on the children bent over the Koran. I know, in time, the rain will wash away the blood. I do not know, I cannot think how they see the rain now, or if they see it. I do not think they see how much higher its origin is than books called sacred. In the West, we also bury our heads in a book; I do not know how many will lift their heads to see. God knows the gleam of rain and the drip of its voice is intense. Do they not hear its painful beauty in the dark just before sleep? I am commanded by rain and by a thousand such voices daily. I know the gleam of it must come to the most hardened and lost soul, but how many ages hence? It rained in Babylon thousands of years past, not much, but how many drops of heaven do we need? I pray for rain, and for eyes that see.
Everyone lives in the often difficult aura of the world, in the aura of nations, groups, families, associates, and friends. Some helping professions, such as counseling, by their nature expose the helper to often horrifically difficult auras of troubled people.
People vary considerably in their sensitivity to these auras, some more “open hearted” people are especially prone to absorb energies from the surrounding ocean of human emotions. Many of us are mediumistic, psychically sensitive, or resonant to this surround. In general, it is is the “heart type” that is most subject to the collective and individual auras that make up their personal surround. The devote, the artists, and certain types of educators and “people persons” are especially sensitive. Such sensitive people can become debilitated, disrupted, or weighted down by the heaviness of what comes upon them in the normal course of life. By contrast, it is the “head type” that is less subject to the auras of other persons—the active mind provides a measure of insulation that makes them less vulnerable. Yet even head types sensitive to the surround, just not as keenly as their brothers of the heart.
One must remain sympathetically in touch with others and compassionate toward the world, so it is not advisable to attempt to isolate ones self completely—an impossible task in any case. Nevertheless, there are certain actions that can be taken to soften the impacts and help us stay in a more healthy state, despite the difficulties of the world and people.
To render this memorable, let us call it “SAM,” that being an acronym for Saturation, Affirmation, and Mentation. Let us elaborate these three.
“Saturation” is both the nature of the problem and, at the same time, a solution. When sensitive, we become saturated with the surrounding energies of persons and circumstances—we absorb them like a sponge. That is, we are apt to do so if we are not already saturated with something better—something benevolent and deliberately chosen by us. One way of attaining the necessary saturation is reading. For instance, if we fill ourselves with inspirational reading, with something that is attractive, uplifting, enlightening, then that “fullness” will tend to prevent us from absorbing too much of the world and persons. For this to be effective, the reading should be frequent, persisted and over a considerable period of time—it should be something that we want to make a part of us, something that we will then carry with us at a subconscious and sometimes conscious level.
Affirmation is one of the most powerful forms of meditation. Find, memorize, and take to heart a brief and bold formula that begins with phrase “I am…” This should be brief, because that makes its use more powerful and when brief is easier to use frequently. This should be a metaphysical formula. An example is:
“I am a point of light within the mind of God, I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of love divine.”
Needless to say, the effective use of such a formula requires feeling, one must put ones full self into it, speaking with conviction. Speak it from the deepest level you can meditatively access. Act as if what you are affirming is a realized fact in your personal consciousness. Used often, and well, such a formula will tend to dissipate the lower energies that we may have absorbed.
There are two parts to mentation– we could call them Limited and Unlimited.
Limited: Use more of your head and less of your emotions. It is on the emotional level that we are most vulnerable. The mental level can and should be a quieter and more illuminated place. For example, you are assisting someone who is in trouble. The scientist in you actively seeks clear understanding and is thinking about how best to handle the situation. There is a challenge here, and you are mentally intent on rising to meet it. You are not to be a mere dumping grounds for the others woes—instead you are mentally and spiritually present and full of solutions. You are the remedy, the health, and the cure and it is this that your mind will be vibrant with.
Unlimited: I’ve suggested above that the mind should be a quiet and illuminated place. The light of the mind descends from the intuitive realm which is, in fact, a great world of light. One of the basic revelations in that light is the fact of the unlimited nature of life and of the soul, and there also is the knowledge that Good will inevitability triumph. No matter how horrific the person or circumstance is that confronts you, the fact is that they will be transformed toward the good and ultimately attain the well being that waits for them. It may not be soon, and you may or may not be the one who turns the key for them—but it will come. This last “remedy” is the most difficult to appreciate and apply. I’ve defined the “Unlimited” here, somewhat in the abstract. I will close with a passage from Walt Whitman who offers us a definition of the same in more concrete terms.
“I saw the face of the most smeared and slobbering
idiot they had at the asylum,
And I knew for my consolation what they knew not,
I knew of the agents that emptied and broke my brother,
The same wait to clear the rubbish from the fallen tenement,
And I shall look again in a score or two of ages,
And I shall meet the real landlord perfect
and unharmed, every inch as good as myself.
The Lord advances, and yet advances!
Always the shadow in front! always the reached
hand bringing up the laggards!
Out of this face emerge banners and horses—
O superb! I see what is coming,
I see the high pioneer-caps—
I see the staves of runners clearing the way,
I hear victorious drums.”
Each day the media shapes our picture of the world. Automatically, almost unconsciously, we absorb it. But when we assimilate the news, let us recall that what we see and read is not a true picture of the world, but a selected and edited view.
Somewhere each day some abused and love-deprived humans sank deeper into cruelty and insanity. Before the blood of their actions has time to dry, the images are beamed relentlessly into our homes and places of business. But also, somewhere today, heroic and compassionate deeds were done. If we hear of this good at all, it is in small measure.
Certainly it is right to be conscious of significant world events. But what will we do when the news delivers large servings of insanity into our living rooms? Will we passively absorb the shock for its entertainment value, or will we let the horror evoke our compassion and sober us toward a broader sense of responsibility. We are like campers in a forest given a lengthy list of all the dangerous and poisonous creatures for miles around. Common sense tells us that the list does not give a true impression of the life of the whole forest. Let us remember that the news given to us is not a true picture at all, and is not how the world really is, even in the outward sense. We will not find the world as it is in the news. But if we use our good will and imagination, our ingenuity and common sense, we can make our own intelligent revision of the of the picture and approach somewhat closer to the truth.
Yes, somewhere today and everyday some abused and love-deprived humans sank deeper into cruelty and insanity. But also, somewhere today many heroic and compassionate deeds were done, mostly unseen and unnoticed. We will need our imagination and interior resources to paint a more realistic picture of the world. We must add, by an act of thought and insight, the solution and the positive dimension and the whole array of omitted and neglected events. Let us recall, with meditative intensity, that each moment countless good things are born, some beyond the horizon; perhaps some right next door.
Human imagination paints light, by tradition, as a nimbus glorifying the head of saints and saviors. Yet scriptures and mystics have affirmed the omnipresence of the light of Deity. Where then to justly locate such gold? Let us paint broadly according to omnipresence. Let us assign light lavishly to myriads of heads. Best even to leave out no one, not a single head without its nimbus of gold-colored light. Let our prophecy be this, that we affirm the glories that surround us in people and in things. Assign then a nimbus to all, and even to the long stretch of faces through history and on to far horizons of future worlds.
And if we find those who have forgotten their glory, let them see at least the memory of it reflected in the clairvoyance of optimistic eyes. And for those who seem lost and faded to dark—regard them with realistic gaze, but also through the seed of future light, for it may be that patient angels–who plan for all time and all worlds–will have their way with them at last.
If I were Christ, I would use, not a man-made building, but the whole world as my Church. I would adopt all humanity as my “chosen people.” I would not confine myself to religions or any particular religion. I would take the whole field of human culture as my spiritual abode–all art, all philosophies, all sciences–every good in all I would make my church. Every child, every man, every woman, I would draw to me without regard to the phrases on their lips or the pictures in their heads; I would regard only the heart. I would not prescribe forms for worship through buildings and ceremonies or hierarchies of old men. I would spread myself on the wind; I would sweep through all the world, through every gleam of light I would make my way. I would insert myself into the quiet thoughts of every good man, woman, or child. I would abolish creeds, theologies and archaic language. I would teach a new language, one not of old forms but of a pure new spirit.