Who you are now, what your desires are, and where your talents have been recognized, are as given as the goal you now desire to realize. Again I remind you that the sameness of union is not about becoming clones or one specific type of idealized holy person. Union is being fully who you are and expressing fully who you are. This is the miracle, the goal, the accomplishment that is achieved through the reign of love, the maintenance and finally the sustainability of union. D.Day5.17
I last posted this quote in January. It feels different after returning from my travels, after having the first gathering …the first official celebration of A Course of Love. It seems so delayed to talk of it now that I almost skipped over it to talk of what came after the event in Vegas…my conversations with smaller groups. But I can’t do that. It was too wonderful to let it pass uncelebrated here. It did something to my heart—leaving me early in tears that were so persistent I had to get up and turn my back in order to blow my nose and dry my eyes. There was something long-awaited about it, and in that way so in-keeping with one of the major themes of the talks that I gave, both in Vegas, and in smaller venues with groups like the Community Miracles Center in San Francisco and Spirit House in Fort Bragg. That theme, though minor, was of longing and desire. I spoke of this because it played such a major role in all that’s come to me. It seemed before each occasion of life-changing receptivity, my longing and desire was first taken to heights I felt I’d almost not survive.
Little can be had without desire. Desire, unlike want, asks for a response rather than a provision. Desire is a longing for, a stretching out for. Imagine yourself at the summit of this mountain we have climbed, standing with arms raised, hands wide open, gazing jubilantly into the heavens rather than toward the earth below. This is the stance of both desire and fulfillment. Of longing and attainment. Of having asked and having received. D:17.5
Desire asks for a response. From where is this response sought? You now must understand the fullness of the well of your heart, the interrelationship of desire and fulfillment. D:17.19
This whole adventure of mine felt like . . . response. All about me, from Vegas, to San Diego, to Sacramento, it was all about response. I cannot express how thankful I am or how moving was the gathering that started it all.
Being out talking to ACOL communities was just as wonderful as the big events. Some of the funniest things I said were the most liked. One was, “I don’t know.” Another was, “I’m not very spiritual.” People are absolutely such dear hearts about accepting honesty! After returning from my weeks away I would add to the opening quote above that the miracle, the goal, the accomplishment achieved through the reign of love, is the union found in connection—through the intimacy and acceptance of the heart.
Although I saw some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen, and although I had such a divine feeling of A Course of Love making its way into hearts the world over, the highlight of the trip, hands down, was the people. From friends who came to share at the Gathering, to Susan who housed me for two nights and laughed with me over aging and laundry, to a woman who began to question her “spiritual persona,” to a musician who recognized the necessity of giving his all, and a contemplative longing to accept his “not doing” ways, there was . . . connection. People “being real” breeds the union and relationship each of us so desire.
I’ve returned with a crook in my neck that I’m nursing with heat and with the exercise I did not get while I was gone. I’ve waded through three weeks of mail, and have thank you notes yet to be written. But this morning I’m sitting in my cabin, grateful for being here, and just as grateful for having been . . . there. Relishing in normalcy and change. Desire and fulfillment.
In The Dialogues, Jesus links desire and fulfillment to the inward journey, calling it “the only journey that is real in the only way that is real.” (D:17.25) This comes just before we enter the Forty Days and Nights. And although my outward journey led me to the top of the mountain in an almost literal way, it is so clear that the inward journey is where the depth and realness of our heart’s knowing arises. The amazing thing, the thing I am most grateful for, is being able to share the inner journey. This is what we do in this community.
I could not be more thankful.