One of my favorite pictures is this view of Earth at night as seen from Space. It was taken in time lapse, because half the world is always in daylight.
Notice which areas have the most light: Europe, North America, Japan. All places of conspicuous consumption. Depending on your point of view, this image might be seen as very beautiful, or very sad. The bright points of light are abundance and places where energy is burned freely and inefficiently. The darker areas represent lack - places where life is simpler, harder - and frequently shorter.
I believe this image can represent something beautiful though, and with your indulgence I will explain.
During a war, you always find the lowest ranks (privates and NCOs) on the front lines, with the occasionally officer to keep order and make sure the correct bad guys get killed. The higher rankings tend to be farther back - in the 'Green Zone' if you will. From here they direct the actions of the troops, whilst in a place of relative safety. They may get hit by the occasional mortar, but all in all it's pretty safe. This safety allows them to plan, strategize and make decisions that effect all of their forces, with the ultimate goal (one hopes) of getting the battle over with as quickly as possible with the smallest loss of life possible.
In a way, the map of the Earth represents where the Generals are. All the privileges that we in the West enjoy come at the expense of others, and that in some ways gives us a responsibility, like Generals, to see what those on the front lines cannot see, and to come up with a winning strategy to save as many as possible.
I mentioned before how in Jewish mysticism it is said that God took a breath and released it from within, and now it grows and changes...There is no interference, for the Godhead is the Ultimate Observer - it merely observes. These observations allow us to exist; and the lack of interference allows us to grow.
Any perceived interference that occurs comes from within ourselves, and how we play with the Machinery of the Universe, which exists to keep the stars in the sky and our feet on the ground. Also, when one knows how to access it, the Universe will help you manifest your desires - and that is the really fun part!
It is my belief that sometimes we walk materially on the Earth plane, and sometimes we remain behind as part of the group consciousness in the ethereal (angels, guides, counselors, teachers), where we help those who are alive today to achieve their desires - if they can articulate them correctly...
Now here we are at a pivotal moment in human history. The speed of our technological progression is accelerating every day. At the same time, a lot of the resources we have relied on from Mother Earth are running out. The fight for Earth's natural resources is starting to flare into all out war in some places, and the planet itself appears to be warming to a point where we can no longer live here.
Look at the picture of the Earth at night again. In the same way that the lights seem to merge and brighten one another, all around me these days I see similar small points of light, and they are talking with other points of light. Forming groups, teaching about alternate points of view outside the mainstream - making people wake up and think. Gradually (and fortunately at an accelerating pace) I see these new awakened thinkers starting to light up and teach others. They are not teaching conventional wisdom either. No heaven and hell with checks and balances and a clumsy set of rules to which we must adhere to save our eternal souls. These are some of the messages they are sharing:
Be in gratitude for the bounty that we are given.
Be in Joy for what the Universe has to offer you
To set oneself in opposition to something gives it power.
Thoughts become Things.
Our reality exists in large part because of how we choose to think about it.
We can create our own reality.
People are starting to question and break the rules that we have been told we should live by. They are turning off their TVs. They are not buying newspapers. They are starting to look for like minded people to relate to, rather than just an off-the-shelf partner that they will then expect to meet their every need, and be upset when they don't. And they are getting together and talking and thinking and feeling Joy - many for the first time in their lives.
Just like Generals, these small points of light can engage in this activity because they are in the 'green zone', and have time to think, time to change the way they think. And more importantly, time to awaken the hearts of others.
However, time is moving quickly now, and if we truly are approaching a technological singularity as many scientists believe, and a paradigm shift as many others believe, then what happens in these next few years will matter greatly to the human race - and perhaps the Universe - forever. If things go well, and all our little Generals in the 'civilized' world start to realize that there is a better way to live than addictive consumerism, then we will start to help our fellow man - the guy in the trenches - to heal, and in doing so we help the planet to heal, and then we get to reach out to the Stars for the next Grand Adventure!
However, if we are not able to break through the detritus that has built up on humanity's soul in time however, then it will be game over, and some other species on some other planet will take the prize, and claim the Galaxy as their playground.
But let's say we do pull it off, and humanity reaches out amongst the stars, explores the Milky Way for millennia to come. No longer with all our eggs in one basket, we will evolve with stunning diversity. Undoubtedly we will fight wars, and love, and laugh and cry....but then perhaps at some point in the future, we reach another, higher understanding...and this single small point of light that is our Milky Way communicates with another point of light called Andromeda - and so on...gradually across the Universe, the Consciousness connects again as it did before on a smaller scale.
For as long as people have been people they have been asking - 'What does God want me to do? What is my purpose? What does God want me to be?'. I think, perhaps, we have Free Will for a reason. I would think that any God that took the time and trouble to create this Universe and give its inhabitants Free Will may simply want us to be ourselves, and let our coalescing consciousness develop over time through the experiences we have had, things we have learned, and challenges we have overcome. Without interference.
So that billions of years down the road (or perhaps sooner depending upon how quickly all these points connect up), when all of the knowledge, choices, experience, love and consciousness of the Universe has finally coalesced into one entity, perhaps then the Godhead will finally have what it desires.
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Article originally posted on www.PaganNews.com
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Vaughan Wynne-Jones is author of Being Human - a Guide to Metaphysics, Love & Gratitude - a Guide to Healing and Acceptance and various articles on spirituality. If you have any questions about this article or wish to publish it elsewhere you may contact him via MySpace. Parts of this article are included in his new book, Love & Gratitude, A Guide to Quantum Spirituality, due out in Fall 2009. Potential publishers contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.