This past weekend millions of women (and men!) marched all over the globe, peacefully, purposefully, powerfully – for the cause of equality. Many of them were wearing pink hats. I’m still wearing mine, here at my desk, as I type these thoughts.
I am a part of the LOA community, and I not only consider myself a spiritual person, but a magical person as well.
But not everyone in spiritual circles feels good about the idea of taking action. And it seems that many are confused and trying to choose the most spiritual path where taking action is concerned – “To act or not to act”, that seems to be a serious question right now for conscious creators. To speak up, or to keep silent.
This uncertainty is evidenced by the mixed messages being presented to our spiritual circles. Some want to call out those who aren’t speaking out or taking action, and some feel it is unspiritual or unenlightened to take action – saying that such actions are fear based, or rooted in anger and conflict, or not coming from a high enough vibration.
Here’s what we might be missing in this equation – the consideration of energy (the evidence of which is clearly seen in our emotions, beliefs, and actions.)
Energy covers a spectrum ranging from the lowest level which looks like despair and depression and shows up as lethargy to the highest level which is experienced as non-judgment and absolute passion and results in creation. At this highest level we create amazing and often miraculous results – at the lowest level we feel apathy, depression and suffering. The depths of despair, avoidance, and victimization are the hallmarks of the lowest level of energy.
As conscious creators we certainly want to reach for the higher end of the spectrum. And most of us will have to climb the ladder one rung at a time to get there, regardless of what level we are starting from.
At the bottom of the energy spectrum is victim energy – when we experience this level of energy we ask “Why is this happening to me?” This is the place where it seems that there are things happening to us that we have no control over – a place where many people are finding themselves right now in this current political conflagration. And – it is basically impossible to leap up to the top of the energy ladder where absolute passion, nonjudgment and miracles reside when the leap we’re trying to take is from that lowest rung – it’s just too big of a leap. We have to reach the next possible rung first, which is actually the energy of conflict – this is the level where anger, competition, and defiance reside – here we get angry about what’s happening “to us”. And although most of us don’t like the way anger feels, it still is a slightly higher level of energy than victimhood. Our anger, when honored and acted upon appropriately, will bring the next rung of the ladder within reach – this is the level of responsibility and cooperation. This is the place where no one controls our emotions, it’s the place we choose forgiveness, and it’s also the place where we allow our anger to transform into productive action. All of our coping skills exist in this range of energy as well. Think about someone who has been mistreated and is simmering in their anger about the injustice they’ve experienced – when they decide to take action to begin the process of turning things around – they’re moving up the ladder and getting closer to the energy of compassion and concern – emotions that are often evidenced by the actions of true service. This is where compassion and concern get a chance to shine. And from this place of service we can easily imagine and entertain ideas of how things could be better for everyone involved. A win-win seems possible from this vantage point. And being able to see a win-win will bring us even closer to the place where we can reach up for joy – and from there we can tap into the wisdom of the collective unconscious and from here it’s not too far to the top of the ladder where life is created each moment using all of the other levels at will, without fear. I often call this energy level the “Jesus level” or maybe the “Dalai Lama” level *wink* – because if we could actually resonate on that level all of the time we could walk on water. This is the level that creates miracles. Very few people have ever managed to consistently live there at the top. Most of us have to climb the ladder, one step at a time, maybe even on a daily basis.
The current political environment is frightening to many people. In some spiritual communities there seems to be a semi shaming of anyone taking “fear based actions” – but there is no shame in feeling fear. Ask any woman who has narrowly escaped being raped. Fear is a very useful emotion, as is anger. When we feel fear or anger we are receiving very important information. It is crucial to know what to do with those emotions, and deciding it is wrong to experience fear or anger is not useful. In fact, hiding those emotions, acting as if they don’t exist, stuffing them down, pasting a smile over them and pretending that everything is fine is exactly the strategy that results in women staying in abusive relationships.
The world we experience is always mirroring back to us what we believe. It doesn’t serve us to look away from the mirror. We look into a mirror to check our hair, to see if we have food in our teeth; we look, we decide what needs fixing, and we fix it. We don’t argue with the mirror, we don’t smash the mirror, we just take the action we need to change the reflection. What we are seeing in politics and our government right now is a reflection of who we are collectively as a nation. We have to be willing to see it if we’re going to fix it. We can’t heal our shadow if we aren’t willing to see it. And in light of what we are seeing, it seems obvious that our collective energy level is nowhere near the top of the energy scale, and it’s too far to leap to the top in one step.
I’m the first person that wishes we could wave a magic wand and see this whole mess change into something wonderful for everyone. I’m not opposed to magic, prayer, focusing, visioning, believing, and having faith. In fact, I rely on these things. And, I also know that magic works best when it is married to the mundane. We live in a mundane world that requires mundane action. Do I believe that miracles can happen? Of course. I also believe that it’s quicker for me to get a candy bar by walking down to the corner store and paying a dollar for it than by working a magic spell and sitting down on the couch to wait for the candy bar to come to me.
We often hear about the importance of “non-resistance” in conscious creation. But non-resistance doesn’t mean non-action. It is certainly possible to take no action at all and still be resistant from an energetic standpoint. A good example of this is the answer I get from so many women when I ask about conflict – they tell me that they never experience conflict with anyone. They choose to remain silent to avoid conflict. But when we keep silent because we don’t want conflict, the conflict just goes inward and then we struggle (resistance) with internal conflict.
Non-resistance doesn’t mean that we are willing to take abuse or accept any circumstance or behavior that comes our way; it just means we don’t energetically struggle against what’s happening. Our greatest weapon is not a violent one, but comes with acceptance of what is and then choosing the non-violent action to achieve what is better. This is how we resist without resistance. Anyone that practices martial arts will understand this type of “fighting without fighting” concept. We do whatever we do from a place of peace and acceptance. We have to first accept what is, and to do that we have to be truthful about what is. It doesn’t mean we like what is and want to keep it, it just means that we find the truth about it and then decide on right action.
A perfect example of this ‘resisting without resistance’ is the 2007 uprising in Burma where 100,000 Buddhist monks resisted non-violently, marching in the streets for democracy against a cruel military regime. Can you imagine the energy level of that particular group?
It has been said that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. That idea includes all of us. There are plenty of people heroes, past and present, who’ve been willing to stand up, speak out, and take action to change things for the betterment of the entire human race. We enjoy many freedoms because of their unselfish acts of heroism. I won’t dishonor these heroic actions by labeling them “unspiritual” or “unenlightened”.
There is a mundane world that requires mundane tasks, and there is also a world we can’t see with our physical eyes. Those of us who believe in things we cannot see are familiar with both worlds – we pray, and we work. We do magic and we take mundane action. Change comes because of both.
There will be those of us who take action without praying much. There will be those of us who work a lot of magic without taking mundane action. Those of us marching need those prayers. Those of us making magic will no doubt celebrate the victories of those who march.
I believe in magic. I believe I was born to traffic in miracles. I see things on a daily basis that can only be attributed to something preternatural. And, I also perform a variety of mundane tasks every day – I vote when there’s an election, donate to worthy causes, pay bills, do the laundry, make my bed every morning, and will probably be wearing my pink hat as an everyday accessory for the foreseeable future.
The choice to speak out or to take action is a personal one. I can’t make that choice for anyone but myself. But, we’re all in this together. We need each other – the prayer-warriors, the foot-soldiers, the magicians, the spell-casters, the marchers, the artists, the speakers, the writers, the poets, the activists – it’s going to take all of us.
We don’t have to act from a place of fear. We can act from a place of love, truth, and power – confident that the collective energy that occurs when we stand in unity can move mountains.
Love & Magic,