The subject of power has been on my mind for a while, but I haven’t bore down and etched out my thoughts onto this electronic tablet. My thoughts are various and contradictory, so this is one of those inner frontiers with the unknown for me. I did pause to think that we’ve come a long way- from engraving stone tablets to tapping on hybrid plastic-metallic ones. I was at a loss, however, to fully understand the implications. What does this type of “progress” really demonstrate? Clearly some things change. Others stay the same.
While modern tablets are neat, cool, efficient, and interesting, I don’t view them as evidence of any real power. Not, at least, the type I deeply desire to contact, join with, or express. Tablets may provide an incremental improvement in communications and our collective access to information, to taking our computing with us on our daily jaunts, and they may contribute to lowering the average cost of computing with subsequent benefits to the world economy. Who the hell knows. Some would say these are real game changers, but I think these are ramifications of the same old same old. I think power relates to transformation, and by transformation I mean transformation of our understanding of who we are.
Which is more powerful in this regard: Nelson Mandela or any type of technology you like- your choice? Which was more powerful worldwide, the abolition of slavery or the dropping of the atomic bomb? Which was more powerful worldwide: the resurrection of Christ, or anything at all? I don’t mean that last question to be somehow dismissive of any path or way. I am using the term Christ to mean that active, conscious aspect of the Source of all Creation that lives in and as that Creation (yet inseparable from the Source), and the resurrection to mean the “moment” when that aspect broke a sound barrier- when that awareness unshackled itself forever from an entrapment in false identity, and turned over the leaf of being able to express itself in form without ever again losing It’s identity in Love.
To draw meaningfully upon the vernacular: “That just happened!”
The waves of transformation are still rippling through time and space from that epicenter.
These waves have nothing to do with religion or race or creed. They accept and embrace all. These waves have everything to do with a heartfelt sense of unity, or communion, with what is true. These are not waves of a particular language, culture, place, or time. They are simply waves of Love, of recognition, of acceptance and healing. They can dress up in any color, shape, or dialect and remain unchanged.
I’ve already discovered something here I think: the effect of expressions of power is transformation of who we think we are, and thus our world, but the direct expression of power is linked to knowing and sharing the truth of who we are. The truth is already accomplished, already active, already real, and never-changing. When we express it, transformation occurs. This is related to the reasons why, in A Course of Love, Jesus repeatedly says that the purpose of the Course is to restore our true identity. If there is truth to this logic I am stumbling around, to know ourselves is one thing, but to express ourselves is to access true power.
I’ll state the obvious, however: power is a scary word. Someone whispers the word “power” in our ear, and the clock doesn’t tick more than twice before images arise of all the brutal and horrible situations acted out upon the stage of history, and still occurring today, of one demonstrating power over another, of people seemingly powerless in the face of poverty, disease, oppression, institutionalized abuse, economic warfare- of tanks rolling through squares, of secret police, of retaliation and control, of hidden agendas, of freedoms and rights deprived, of power bought and sold in back rooms, etc.
Who wants this type of power?
We’ve all heard the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Think about the implications, however. The power of Creation is absolute. It’s the whole enchilada. It is the only power available to us, the only power we could ever need, a power we have deeply desired to access and to know within ourselves for a long time… and this implies it would corrupt us? This popular turn of phrase suggests that somehow the real power at our core, were we to accept it, would be our ruin. This is an impasse, a stall in the movement of the energy of Creation, a sidebar we call “time”. This is the perception in which and with which we live… We think real power is a force we can command and throw around at will, but could we really “use” power to suit our individual aims? Could we really “use” true power to ensure differing outcomes?
No. I don’t think we could.
Our definitions of power, like many facets of our awareness while we occupy a separated state or condition, are deeply flawed and distorted. True power could never bring about harm. True power could never bring about gain for only a few, or bring about any form of loss whatsoever. True power could never provide protection for only a particular group. True power could never be “wielded”, never be “brought to bear”, and certainly never be turned on itself. Our belief that there are perhaps two great powers at work in the land- one that is good and one that is evil, one that is true and one that is false, one that we desire to reach and one that we fear will catch up to us- is a belief in a type of power that could never truly exist. This is how separate minds perceive the world. This is one of the perceptions being healed.
Healing this rift requires a willingness to experience a reinvention of ourselves and our world. I think exploring this topic of power will bring some of the key principles of A Course of Love together- principles such as means and ends being the same in truth, of the suggestion that power flows from relationship, and of the suggestion that it is to our feelings, not our thoughts alone, to which we must turn to walk across the gap.
(To Be Continued…)