The Power of Community

One of the most powerful challenges and blessings of my life is foregoing my self-confessed inclination towards “artistic solitude” for the greater power and purpose of community.  The inward gives meaning and identity; but the outer shoulders the deepest burdens, and carries the greatest visions of the individual and the whole forward.  Greater still, community creates something neither one, in his solitude, could have ever created or imagined alone.

Anything I have ever done worth anything at all has been done in partnership or community.  Anything I ever imagined or dreamed was only ever accomplished by the connection and commitment to and with others for a greater purpose beyond my individual identity.

buddhist monk walkingIn the Shamanistic or Native traditions, there is the wisdom gained through the sole venturer’s “Vision Quest”, a rite of passage to gain spiritual insight or understanding. The wanderer, as in The Man on the Road, ventures out to discover himself, and more importantly, his vision, mission or purpose on earth.  Oftentimes, this time of solitude in nature or on an open road is a testing ground for his or her strength and commitment to the quest.  It also asks to dispel the idea of “failure” of all other mechanisms of survival and success the wanderer had hitherto employed. In other words, his world temporarily falls apart, and what he is left with are the truths and treasures buried deep within.  These he carries forward for the good of all.

As a writer, I am deeply drawn within. On my spiritual quest(s), which never seem to end!, I coil into the heart of the matter, encountering both darkness and light, possibility and failure.  The true test is whether I can bring what I learn to higher ground, to share with my fellow travelers.  At some point, I am joined by those who are walking this path with me, who either need my services, or who provide support to uphold mine in truth.  Each becomes a net for the other, on the deep dive of the soul.  Knowing that we are not alone, we can let go.

Wisdom alone is no wisdom at all. If we are to grow, we must share it and vet it with one another.

I was deeply challenged by the I AM Discourses of Saint Germain received in 1932, which I read on the plane coming to and fro from Boston.  My heart and soul were lifted by the declarations of strength and power emanating from those words of the saints and masters.  “I AM the Beloved. I AM the Resurrection and the Life.”  To say these words, is to declare your freedom.  But to seek truth without extending it, sharing it, living it in relation to others, is not worth the trek.  I know Saint Germain was not intending for us to be sole vision questers declaring our omnipotent power over ourselves and our world.  He was suggesting we claim the power of God within, and not seek it elsewhere.  Brilliant words and wisdom which are certainly based on love of self, God and others, though more from compassion and mental discipline, than a wider sense of true inter-dependence, community and sharing.

What I have learned on my journey is that every ounce of wisdom I have gained has been born of and given in relationship with God and others, as an expression of Union, or overcoming the separation of the self.  To keep it to myself would be very difficult indeed.

Community is to COMMUNE with others.  To identify the unity of our spirits, our sameness, and the truth that is our home.  Once we have entered the cave of our own awareness, we must build a cabin large enough to contain the whole, if we are to live in love, wisdom and harmony in this world.

As I emerge from my soul ventures, I long to share with others. I long to hear the conviction and courage that is incited by conversation, and sometimes by wordless understanding.  That is communion, or community at its most sacred.  Just as Tibetan monks or initiates challenge and question each other or their teachers, we too can hold our truths or solitary flames to the light of greater community.

Sometimes I walk my own way sure of my solitary path; other times I am honed and convicted, made clearer by the connection.

Community may come from a church, a synagogue, a sports team, or a mountain top with the birds.  I have found community in partnerships with loved ones, perfect strangers and online self-forming groups who gather of like mind.  I have also found it in yoga studios, and in circles I have formed out of sheer intention and will.

However you find community, I encourage you to reach out.  And if you have not yet begun your vision quest, or found your true purpose, community is one way to enter in and discover what yours may be all about.

toronto labyrinth community

Toronto Labyrinth Community

Like a giant circle or labyrinth, we may walk to the centre in a circuitous path, and we may spend some time alone receiving our answers before we venture back out.  But if we notice as we go, others are walking the same path. Their discoveries may differ, but the path leads to the same goal.  And if we fall back, someone will be walking behind us to give us strength, or ahead of us to spur us on.

In Jesus’ words in A Course in Miracles, “Salvation is in your brother,” meaning in our ability to love and forgive, and to receive from others.  As I say, “Love is a shared reality. You cannot love alone. It must be shared if you are to know anything at all.”

Thank you for sharing and venturing with me!

Amen.

 

Krista

 

 

 

 

 

 

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