a) Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 4 King James Version (KJV)
It had been a long day spent teaching a new and very different way of knowing about “the mystery of the kingdom of God” (Verse 11). Hour after hour Jesus had stood in the fishing boat anchored just offshore and spoken to the crowd assembled on the beach. And he had done what any good teacher would do when facing a class of beginners. After calling for their attention (Verse 3), he had presented his cosmic message as a simple story (Verse 34, Verses 4 to 9 and Verses 26 to 33) and emphasized the salient points with easily understood comparisons. But he had taught his advanced students (disciples) the much deeper message (Verses 10 to 20); one that was accompanied by prophetic insights about their inner awareness (Verses 21 to 25) that really required their undivided attention.
On this particular day, after dusk had arrived and the crowd was dispersing, Jesus had asked his disciples to row him to a different location across the waters (Verse 35). After they got underway, he had fallen asleep, exhausted.
As was frequently the case on this inland body of water, a brisk wind had arisen. It had quickly become such a tempest (Verse 37) that the waves started to fill the boat. Fearing for their lives, the disciples had awakened the sleeping Jesus (Verse 38).
Thereupon, Jesus had reprimanded the wind and told the water: “peace, be still” (Verse 39). The storm ceased immediately. Then he had admonished his disciples for their lack of faith (Verse 40). It was an event that had left them both grateful and bewildered (Verse 41).
b) Psalm 46 (KJV)
Seven centuries earlier, the Israelites had failed to pay their required tribute as a vassal state and disaster was imminent. While they had anxiously awaited the invasion by the Assyrian army, they had come together to sing their prayer of supplication. Since their only hope lay in remembering that God was their “very present help in trouble” (Verse 1)—a reminder of their covenant with the Creator—they were reaffirming that connection (Verse 7) by complying with the injunction to “be still and know [that I am God]” (Verse 10).
Fifteen centuries later, the small group that had formed around the German monk, Martin Luther, was anxiously awaiting punishment from the Roman Catholic Inquisition for the heresies he had been preaching. In order to comfort and sustain them, Luther asked that they join with him in singing Psalm 46. It was then that the prayer first sung by the ancient Israelites became known as “Luther’s Psalm.” Thereafter, it was often sung by Luther’s followers when disaster seemed imminent. It was (and remains) a reaffirmation of connection with and a call for help from the Cosmic Creator.
c) The Second Coming, by W. B. Yeats, 1920
Written in the aftermath of the terrible carnage of World War I, this poem explores the inner confusion, the callousness, and the duplicity of many people of that time. Then it offers hope for a saving spiritual help.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer, Things fall apart the center cannot hold;
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
. . . . . . . .
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last slouches towards Bethlehem to be reborn?
A 21st Century Perspective
The ancient Chinese curse—”may you live in interesting times”—has taken on a whole new meaning in this century. Many of us are realizing that nothing we have regarded as an established “center” seems to “hold.” Although that part isn’t new in the world’s history, the part that is new is the possibility that our Earth itself could be annihilated. In these “interesting times,” there are those animal souls who possess the necessary weaponry and who hate the rest of us enough to destroy everything.
In light of that situation, the writings presented above can, perhaps, be given a new perspective…a refocusing. It’s one that transcends the beliefs that are the main “ground” of the animosities. With the help given to us by a metaphysics based (in part) on quantum physics, perhaps we can venture into a new awareness that focuses on energies and consciousness. Perhaps, at last, we can start to perceive Spirit-in-action because we are actually starting to regard ourselves as creative beings that are made out of the Spirit.
And, in that light, when we read the passages above we can, perhaps, step into a new and workable idea. It’s an idea that has been incubating for thousands of years in many parts of this world and has been expressed by a few people. They might have been prophets, but usually they were just people who seemed to know something different. And they added what they knew to the accumulating awareness.
Thus, the ancient songwriter of Psalm 46 could still speak of a vengeful god, but could also remind the Israelites that the spiritual Power that had brought them thus far was still in operation. To be sure, they regarded this Power as an anthropomorphic deity. But the connection was what counted. And that message could still be valid many centuries later (“Luther’s Psalm”). The deeper lesson is for us to recognize that the felt connection with a creative, macrocosmic energy could, and did, give people strength, courage and a wider vision in turbulent times.
Since those disturbances have occurred repeatedly in mankind’s history, it would appear that people have learned really very little from those who have come to teach a better way. In other words, mankind’s animal soul root and sacral chakras (the survival and emotional centers of consciousness) have not evolved very far along the path to enlightenment.
But that might not be totally accurate.
Perhaps all the wisdom lessons had to be presented until the evolutionary unfolding especially in the solar plexus chakra (the mental center of consciousness) had arrived at a certain point, i.e., when all the energies had reached “critical mass.” And that brings us to the story in Mark’s Gospel.
It’s a remarkable description of the agonies of an animal soul consciousness undergoing rebirthing into a higher vibration.
It tells us this…There are basically ignorant parts of us that simply look to survive another day and seek out what helps us to do that. But there is something within us that stirs us. We sometimes get glimmerings of higher feelings energies and try to understand what appears to be a higher awareness. Sometimes we listen for a little while, then leave. But sometimes, we become students. Then, we seek to learn by entering into a new discipline while needing a great deal of explanation with relevant examples. What we require and we are seeking is a higher level of understanding that can really move us into an expanded consciousness.
We start to listen to our inner teacher…our transcendent centers of consciousness that are seeking to make us more aware. To do this we require an immense amount of focused attention on that inner power. And when we’re not quite ready but we seek to move into that new location, we can find ourselves in such a fear-based turbulence that we are almost swept away. Then, we cry for help from the transcendent consciousness that is now apparently “asleep,” i.e., inactive, in us. Immediately our turbulent, stormy energies experience a restorative calm.
We have come (temporarily, at first) into the creative center of stillness…into the paradox of moving and not moving at the same time…that is the “ground” of our being. It’s the nucleus of divinity of a consciousness energy being. But in order to remain in that stillness we must develop more confidence and trust in our process. When that is in place, usually as the culmination of a rebirthing “journey,” we can know who we really are—the essential “i-am” connection with the Spirit (the I-AM cosmic consciousness).
Is that not what a “Christ Consciousness” (or a Buddha, Shiva, or other sacred “consciousness”) is all about?
And for us, the “being still and knowing” is the hardest part of the lesson still to be learned.
Perhaps we can learn it now.
It’s likely a good time to try, anyway.
Author’s Note: For relevant articles in Transformation Magazine, see “Understanding the Human Energy Being” Part One, June, 2015, Part Two, July, 2015 and Part Three, August, 2015.) For further reading, see “Finding Wisdom: Soul Searchers as Mythic Heroes,” “Finding Your True Self: A (Sort-of) Platonic Dialog” and “Heart Connections: Spirit-in-Action” in back issues of Transformation Magazine.
Berenice Andrews is a shamanic teacher/healer and a regular contributor to this magazine. To explore the ideas presented above in greater detail, please refer to her articles in back issues of Transformation Magazine and to her book: Rebirthing Into Androgyny: Your Quest for Wholeness…And Afterward. If you are interested in becoming her student, see her website: thestonecircleclassroom.com.