The Life of the Soul
The Soul of the World
Spring 2017 vol 2, issue 2
Welcome to Turning Point! Our name echoes the widespread recognition that our planet, and our humanity, has arrived at a pivotal turning point in evolutionary history. At the center of which lies a summoning call to each of us: to nurture a vital presence that continuously regenerates our lives and enlivens the whole of life as well.
We invite you to imagine this journal as a forum for inspired conversation around how we might best envision and care for our world—and each article, simply a means to begin a conversation. Conversation that calls us to see beyond our own time yet act on behalf of the love that wants to live through us, now.
May we act in Beauty, act from Inspiration, act Together…
by Joseph Jastrab
Spirituality cannot exist in a vacuum,
ignoring social conditions or the plight of humanity;
and activism cannot hope to transform the social order in the absence of
mature spiritual development. Both must grow beyond any form of privileged exclusivity…
The emergence of a spiritually engaged conscious activism
is one of the critical assignments of our time.
James O’Dea, The Conscious Activist
That a tidal wave of consciousness is breaking on every shore of human activity is not likely newsworthy to most readers of this journal. Even as our corporate news outlets report, almost exclusively, on the disturbing symptoms of the immature mindset we are outgrowing, there is a significant ripening of personal, social, and planetary shifts underway. Increasing numbers of men and women across the planet are ardently asking how may I best serve? Read more…
Keeping the Sacred in Sacred Activism
by Will Wilkinson
It’s surprising and immensely encouraging to learn that Rumi, the ecstatic poet, has become a modern rock star. According to Jane Ciabattari, writing for BBC.com, “The ecstatic poems of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master born 807 years ago in 1207, have sold millions of copies in recent years, making him the most popular poet in the US.”
Modern mystic Andrew Harvey is a celebrated Rumi translator and offers a full year of Rumi poems, one per day, in an online course. In 2016, Andrew graced us with a visit here in Ashland, Oregon to share his powerful sacred activism program. He frequently quoted Rumi, emphasizing how essential passion for the Divine is if we seriously care about making a positive difference in the world. He put it this way in his book, The Hope: “All the great Sacred Activists know that Divine Love cannot be only an interior experience: after all, it is also the energy that creates and sustains the universe. To live in Divine Love is inevitably to act from it, both by the radiance of your presence and in actual acts of justice and compassion.” Read more…
Emerging as an Elder-Activist
by Lynne Iser
With the birth of my son, 35 years ago, I felt a new sense of responsibility. Not just to keep him safe, clean and well fed—but to insure that he had a decent and kind world in which to live. That insight gave me a wider perspective in which to view my world that went well beyond the narrower concerns of my young self.
But it was not till my late 50’s that I truly became an activist. My initial insight was now much stronger, most especially after my youngest daughter expressed her ongoing concern with the state of our world. As a teenager she was noticing the inequality, the racism and the ecological harm that we are doing to our precious Mother Earth.
My heart ached for her while my spirit felt disturbed. As an emerging elder I questioned the legacy that I was leaving for my children and I discovered my growing commitment to bring forth a thriving and just world for future generations. I spent several years wrestling with questions about what was happening in our world and why—and most importantly, what could I do? Where and how could I direct my energy and resources? Read more…
Becoming a Whole Activist
by David “Lucky” Goff
As I have grown older I have noticed that my consciousness has been altered by the accumulation of years, experiences, hardships, and the proximity of death. Losses and gains have piled up and rebalanced the scale of my awareness. This has caused me to rethink many things, and to make choices that are surprising me. My self-image isn’t what it used to be. I’m finding that, all-in-all, these changes are leading me towards a deeper, richer life—a life that is more connected with the mystery of the greater immensity I am embedded in.
The words and ideas that follow represent a work-in-progress, a process of redefinition. They reflect a transformational flow that has swept me up and is delivering a more sensitized and older being back into this world. What I see now is not what I saw before. What I feel called to is only partly what I felt called to before. I am in flux, and the world is changing. Read more…
Rocking Chair Activists: The Many Faces of Subtle Activism
by Rich Silver
The concept of sacred activism has captured the imagination of the Conscious Elders Network and many of us are exploring its multiple facets. I write here with a twofold purpose about a certain facet called “subtle activism,” a term recently coined by David Nicol, author of a book by the same name.
First, I would like to flesh out a bit of what is meant by subtle activism. Second, I would like to suggest that as we move from early-stage elderhood (where our gifts and contributions are in both our Doing and Being) into late-stage elderhood (where our gift is in simply Being), we can continue to have a significant positive effect in creating the world we long for. That is, as our bodies give way to a less physically-active life we can remain sacred activists, what we might call, “Rocking Chair Activists” working from the subtle levels. Read more…
My Transformative Journey into Subtle Activism
by John Robinson
This is a story of metanoia, of a profound shift of mind, heart and soul long overdue in my life, and of the deep psychological, spiritual and mystical work Spirit asks us to do in the New Aging.
In 2000, I was a clinical psychologist in a busy private practice in Sacramento, CA. At the end of a particularly long workday, I felt my heart rhythm shift into a disturbing fibrillation and went immediately to the ER. Atrial fibrillation was diagnosed and cardioversion was performed – jolting the heart with an electric current to reset its rhythm. All was well, I thought. But it wasn’t.
In the weeks that followed, I began to experience strange and distracting sensations in my chest – numbness, tingling, tearing. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt crazy. When my family doctor ruled out physical causes, I went into therapy. One day I told my therapist that I felt like I had just come out of open-heart surgery. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had. Only the surgery had taken place four decades earlier and a significant part of that memory was buried until that moment. Read more…
A SLEEP OF PRISONERS
by Christopher Fry
The human heart can go the lengths of God…
Dark and cold we may be, but this
Is no winter now. The frozen misery
Of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move;
The thunder is the thunder of the floes,
The thaw, the flood, the upstart Spring.
Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul men ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
The enterprise is exploration into God.
Where are you making for? It takes
So many thousand years to wake…
But will you wake, for pity’s sake?