Guest Post: Personal Divinity — The Evolution of Ideology by Ariel Sirocco
The following is the text from a sermon given by visiting speaker Ariel M. Sirocco at the Netherlands Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Sunday, April 1, 2018, entitled, Personal Divinity
The tag line for this service is: “Personal Divinity: The Evolution of Ideology,” Are we co-creators and, if so, what does it mean to be a co-creator of this world, universe, and our reality? The underlining suggestion is: are we co-creators with God or Divine?
A rather lofty thought, wouldn’t you say?
I could talk to you of science and try and convince you of what scientists currently are saying. I could talk about quantum mechanics and about the effect of consciousness on collapsing the wave function which collapses all possibilities into one reality.
But, I believe this is not a conversation that can be fashioned by the thought alone. But rather something that we have to sense the truth about, we have to feel it. And this is central to our discussion because, to me, a part of our Divinity is more than just knowing but feeling.
So, this should be an examination of who we are ~ who we really are ~ beyond our knowledge, beyond earthly religions to what our intuitive being knows about our spirit and ultimately about our connection to divinity.
Now, within each of us there is a sense of eternity. And yet, within most of us, there is always doubt.
What a piece of work is man
I would like to quote from Hamlet:
“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a God! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”
Shakespeare, as only he can, lifts us ~ dare I say ~ to our own divine stage and then, as we all do, sends us crashing back down again to our own pain and despair, being able to see only our inadequacies. And, we forget who and what we really are.
How often is it that we hide our own divinity?
As for being co-creators, most religions endow humankind with the divine quality of free-will, that, we are able to cause change in our lives and in the lives of others.
We create change and so, we create.
Yet, how often is this divine quality laid aside in favor of our more human aspects.
Like apathy or fear – embracing under-achievement?
Our deepest fear
Here is a thought:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This was said by Nelson Mandela in one of his, more, famous speeches. But, he did not write it. It was written by Marianne Williamson an internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher.
One of my favorite quotes of hers is:
“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.”
And so, I wanted to have this service as a meditation on “Personal Divinity” to discuss that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but that we are divine beings having a human experience.
Are we co-creators? Definitely: Yes.
Not only are we the creators of our thoughts, but we can effect, and do effect, change in our lives and in the lives of other. And so, we are creators in a more glorious sense for we co-create the world we live in.
For those of us who have seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” we are George Bailey. Or, more recently, in the new HBO series: “Westworld,” we are Thandie Newton’s character: Maeve Millay.
This power and ability is “driven and given” by the Divine and our connection to it.
If we follow what Mandela and Williamson talked about we see that our deepest fear is that we are too powerful. We are not nearly as inadequate as we profess.
But for many of us, our greatest fear is that we are inadequate, helpless, and of no consequence in the grand scheme of life.
O ME! O life
American poet Walt Whitman in his wonderful book Leaves of Grass, might shed light on this negative perspective when he writes:
O ME! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself
(for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light — of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all —
Of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of empty and useless years;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—
What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
Hmmm….”And you will contribute a verse.”
And so, ultimately, he suggests that our sense of negativity can prevent us from fulfilling the course of our life and prevent our inner light to manifest.
Or to put it another way: of finding “The Buddha within,” A philosophy, which stresses inner knowledge.
Knowledge of inner light
And what poets and playwrights try to touch upon but never grasp in language is something that we all know. The knowledge of this inner light and manifestation is not strictly intellectual, but mystical, an inner knowledge of the ultimate reality.
For Whitman, it is the idea that life and identity exist. But, everything that lives has life and each individual has an identity. It’s a very simple and obvious, yet progressive, thought: To embrace the idea that God is in everything and within each one of us is the spark of divinity which gives us life and identity.
But, it can be obscured by social ignorance or suppressed by conventional religious thought. This is, in fact, the same idea that is found in eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism and in the mystical teachings of other religions like the Kabbalah in Judaism.
“The Divine All…”
The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas has Jesus saying: “He who drinks from my mouth will become as I am and I shall be as he.”
Stated simply: If you follow your divine self, you and God can become one.
Imagine that….become the light that leads us forward towards growth and understanding
of ourselves and others around us. For without it, life is darkness. Darkness is the road to self-denial and the denial of our human virtues —- and, if severe enough, it leads to our souls to sleep for its own self-protection.
Connection and realizing that we are a part of Divinity, —- that the Divine and the community of humankind is One, —- seems to be what every spiritual thought implies.
I wonder if atonement, meaning: “At – One – Ment” — Is the single spiritual philosophy that all religions are inclined towards which is worth adhering to? Realizing the inherent worth of, not only, each other but everything because it is all divine and it is all one.
I wonder if the Divine that created the spark which is the soul gave us freewill so that we may choose to grow and be enlightened. Could it be that the single requirement for all of us as human beings is to grow our character, and as a part of that character, being co-creators and divine, we should strive to fulfill our own manifestation?
We must believe
We must believe that we are greater than we are at any point in time to fulfill our best and greatest potential ~ our own Christ within, our own Buddha within, our own God or Goddess within, our own divinity.
Finally, in the 21st century, we begin to understand that all life functions on the basis of evolution and the inevitable consequences of this is: that only those of us who develop our maximum potential will know the true meaning of peace and happiness and being at one with our spirit, and therefore the divine.
Ariel Sirocco is an Integrative Hermeticist following the Corpus Hermeticaand related writings. He has been a practicing occultist since 1983. He is a past Worshipful Master of Union Masonic Lodge #5 in Connecticut, a 32-Degree Mason of The Scottish Rite of Freemasonryand a teacher of ancient Hermetic history and esoteric traditions. He lives in New York City.