28 October 2009

In Darkness We Are Born

I read recently that in the early 20th century, the sum total of human knowledge would double every generation. Now it doubles every year or faster. You could say that our daily world is moving 40 times faster than our parents’ world did. Technology advances so swiftly that none of us can keep up completely. Our lives become like a ride I went on in Copenhagen a few weeks ago, called the Himmelskibet which means “Sky-Boat” (but we called it the “Shpinup-Highunpuker”).

Spiritual work, at least how I see it, is our way of entering into a power that helps us slow down this whirling thing we call our life so that we can make decisions not out of shrieking, wind-blown terror as we clutch the handle of our Sky-Boat, but out of the power of beauty. This is what I hope our drumming does for you.

Stanley Schachter conducted a famous experiment years ago in which young women were told they would be given electric shocks. The more anxious they were about the shocks, the more they wanted to wait with the others who would experience the same shocks. We need to be with people who are experiencing the same shocks, and I hope our drumming groups provide that for you.

Hi-tech consultant Bill Campbell said that today’s software companies are successful only when the people with the crazy ideas are given stature. In this rapidly changing world we must listen to the crazy voices. The theological way to say that is that in times of radical change, the prophetic voice appears to guide us in a new direction. That voice always appears crazy to the "mainstream." The shocks that we feel in this spinning Himmelskibet of our life call out for that prophetic voice to come and guide us, and I hope this, too, is what our drum groups provide to you.

So this Friday, we will enter into a state of crazy beauty, crazy love for this troubled and magnificent earth and the layers of life on it and inside it - and inside us. We will move into a ceremony emerging from the Celtic New Year, Samhain (pronounced SOW-wen), which we know as Halloween. We will call out to the old bone mother to help us. If you want to bump up the power of this evening for yourself, bring two things 1) some kind of biodegradable offering for the spirit world like flowers, herbs, nuts, scotch, chocolate, colorful fallen leaves, – anything you would put in your garden compost and that you find lovely or nurturing and 2) a yearning desire to love this life. If you forget to bring either don’t worry, and don’t stay away because you don’t understand what I just said. Come, come and don’t worry.

Jaime

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