The great 19th and 20th Century mystic, Vivekananda, came to America in 1893 to address the Parliament of Religions during the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. It was a moment of great spiritual awakening in our country as we discovered in a new way the truth that God speaks to us all around the world.
In his presentation, Vivekananda made the following statement: “The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him, that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes and I am free.” In another presentation he said, “ Meddle not with so-called social reform, for there cannot be any reform without spiritual reform first.”
When I first read these two quotes I wanted to teleport myself back to that event in 1893, because these words make so much hopeful sense at a time when almost nothing else seems to make sense in our national and international life.
Even though we have known and mostly supported living in a surveillance society since 2001, suddenly we are waking up to discover what that is beginning to mean. We have willingly traded our privacy for what no longer seems like security. Black boxes in our new cars keep track of what happens, cameras everywhere can use facial recognition to find us in crowds, our financial transactions are fully recorded in our cashless society, our emails and phone calls are a matter of record and the ‘hidden government of the NSA’ does not even let Congress have an accurate accounting of what this secret government is doing.
Now the results are starting to show. We are rapidly learning to trust no one and to assume that we are being spied upon even in our own homes. It may be too late to reverse this trend or to bend it in a more positive direction. As Kierkegaard saw in the 1840’s, we have become the victims of Fear and Trembling, The Sickness Unto Death.
Americans, of course, insist we are free regardless of what reality is showing us. This is the Grand Illusion of our time. Realistically speaking, no amount of weaponry, nor threats of attacking anyone, nor attempts to change the entrenched dynamics of our government have much potential to alter the course we all agreed to in 2001.
At the risk of sounding like another “pie in the sky” preacher, I suggest there is a way out of this crisis. We can move up to another level of consciousness, we can seek a new spiritual experience of ourselves and we can change our minds about who we are and how safe we really are. I urge you to consider this.
Guilt is about the past. Fear is about the future. Neither exist as you read this. There is only here and now……that is our earthly reality. In this moment, this Holy Instant, there is the potential to experience God right before your eyes wearing, just like you, a human body.
We will not experience our own holiness without first seeing that very holiness in others. Each one of us, all 7 billion of our species, is a holy, divine, eternal, spiritual being, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Being present in this instant, being all-in, gives us the freedom to see our oneness and allows us the power to create for ourselves and our world interdependent, cooperative, enlightened ways of dealing with our global issues.
When God created your body, he managed to get more than 50 trillion cells to cooperate and work together for your health and ability to accomplish what you came to Earth to do. Now, all 7 billion of us have the challenge to work together to create a better way of living together on this small planet lost in the stars. Surely, if 50 trillion cells can work together in each of our bodies, then 7 billion cells in the body of humanity can work together as well.
When that day dawns in each of our hearts, we will see the end of our bondage to fear and trembling and we will be “Free at last, thank God Almighty, we will be free at last!”.