American evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson 1927
I watched this fascinating video about a television producer/director who created a TV show based on his ability to con people. In this episode he is able to convince various psychics, self-proclaimed religious teachers, and just regular people that he has psychic and spiritual powers. I was surprised at how surprised I was by the gullibility of his targeted audience and then I remembered my own gullibility and my own desire to have ‘transcendent’ experiences.
Back in the mid-80s, when the ‘new age’ marketing machine was in its relative infancy, I took a road trip with a friend in search of the miraculous. It was a ‘vacation’ from the routine of my job; a hope that out there, somewhere, was the thing I was searching for…and like a good student of the New England transcendentalists, I felt certain the answer was connected to nature. So off we went, stopping off and being welcomed with unopened arms at the Hopi and Zuni lands and of course, the obligatory stop in Sedona, to check out the reigning king of the new age…
My question: why did i believe that I needed an intermediary? Where was my self trust? Why was I more like the people in Derren Brown’s audience (willing to give up my skepticism and cast off my own insight in favor of the promise of a bigger pay-off ) than I was like Derren?
The truth of this world is that we live within much limitation. We have constructed a world where the majority are “surviving”; not thriving. We are bombarded with imagery and programming that tells us we can buy happiness; that technology will provide our happiness in the future and that this survival mode IS what it means to exist. And what happens? We (who can afford to) try and ‘rebel’. We know there is something more to life than mere survival and because we do not trust our own ability, we look to an intermediary to get us out. We don’t believe we can do it on our own.
This can be a dangerous place to find oneself: open to suggestion, allowing oneself to feel dissatisfied, no more denying the truth – and just at this critical juncture –instead of self-trust, self-examination, self-inquiry we do the opposite – we take our precious two week vacations and drive around Arizona in search of the miraculous when all the while it is here in our physical body, in this moment and time, waiting for us to discover ourselves: to slow down, breathe, and gently fold back the layers of programming that has convinced us that we are not good enough as we are.
Thanksgiving is about being grateful and I am grateful. I am grateful to recognize that I can stop my inner dialogue of judgment, comparison, jealousy, backchat, suppression, fear, desire: stop it all for the first time and actually experience what living can be when I do not treat my body as a vehicle to transcendence – when I do not look to another to be my intermediary – when I do not see Life as something to be consumed.
Life, to be honored and protected, must be available and guaranteed for all, equally: plants, trees, insects, animals, children and all us demons of the earth.
For more on this PLEASE read today’s Creation’s Journey to Life