Life is an interconnected whole, and the energy of life flows through the web of connections that link part to part. Human beings can work with this energy, to help it flow freely on all levels and to reach every part of the whole. Now, at this time of transition as we move out of one stage in our evolution and into the next, we are being asked to do this-to work consciously with the energy that flows through the web of connections, so that the oneness of life can shape the consciousness of the next age.
The knowledge we need for this work lies in the wisdom of the feminine. As a part of the sacred mystery of creation, the feminine is always attuned to the oneness, the interconnected wholeness of life. While the bright light of masculine consciousness sees each object standing out clear and distinct, the diffuse, more hidden consciousness of the feminine sees the patterns of the relationships that connect them. The feminine has an instinctive understanding of these connections-how they are made, how they can become damaged, torn, destroyed, how they can be repaired.
Every woman carries this wisdom within her. She feels the pulse of life as intimately as she feels her own blood pulsing through her veins. Her knowing is not abstract, but lived in her very body in a way that is inaccessible to men. In the cells of her body she carries the light of the consciousness of oneness, a light that is not present in men's bodies.
This consciousness has long been held secret, driven underground through centuries of masculine rejection and abuse, hidden even from women's own conscious knowing. But women still carry it, and now the time has come for it to be made known. For if that light can be brought into consciousness, then it can travel through the web of connections, awakening centers of consciousness within all of humanity. Humanity will have access to the wisdom, power, and love that it needs to take the next step in its spiritual evolution: to learn to function in oneness, as a dynamic, interrelated whole. Without this awakening, patterns of energy-flow around the planet will remain dormant, or function on a lower level, and once again humanity will have missed an opportunity.
Women hold the key to this work: only they have access to the light of conscious oneness that lives in their bodies. There are reasons why they might hesitate to take it on. They carry in their ancient memories the scars of persecution and often a deep anger toward the masculine. They still fear the power of the patriarchy, its potential for abuse. And the danger is real. But those who look after the destiny of our planet have balanced the forces of light and dark so as to give humanity the optimum opportunity to make this step. Women now have the choice: to stay hidden, or to bring their inner knowing into the outer world.
The choice is a difficult one, because the knowledge held within the physical bodies of women is covered in the pain and anger that have resulted from centuries of abuse. To reach the wisdom of oneness that lies hidden beneath it will mean to face not only the threat of more abuse, but also the real pain of the past and the anger it has engendered. It will mean becoming vulnerable to a frightening degree. It is for each woman to make the choice for herself. This is the nature of free will. Yet the need is pressing. The physical body of the feminine is itself the connection between heaven and earth, the connection through which oneness is made manifest. Through it, the energy of oneness becomes a part of the earth, available to life. Without the full participation of the feminine, that energy remains unavailable, and the joy and sense of belonging to God that it carries cannot be lived. Only women can make this next step. After centuries of suffering, women now have the freedom to deny us all the future.
To take this step would demand that women face their suffering in the full light of consciousness. But women more than men know the sanctification that comes from suffering-not the self-inflicted or self-indulgent suffering that we hide behind as protection from life or ourselves, but the suffering that life brings us naturally as part of the destiny of the soul. Women know that kind of suffering in their own childbearing bodies; they know that it belongs to the mystery of life, to the mysteries of birth and rebirth. They know that, offered consciously back to the Creator, it can make life sacred. A woman knows in her body that through suffering the immortal spirit takes on form, the soul comes into manifestation, the divine enters life.
And since women carry within the cellular structure of their bodies the imprint of all creation, they carry the consciousness not only of their own suffering but also of the suffering of the earth: the wounds and desecration caused by a patriarchal culture that sees God only in heaven. The pain many women feel in the core of their being is also the unacknowledged pain of the earth cut off by this masculine way of thinking from the divine, exploited, damaged, and desecrated by our patriarchal culture. This suffering too needs to be accepted and sanctified, so that the energy of life can flow freely within the earth. The earth has cried and women have heard its cry, felt its tears.
Women can acknowledge the earth's deep sorrow and wounding, and through the heart offer it back to Him who is the source of all sorrow and all joy. "God enters through a wound," and through the earth's sorrow a healing can take place; the consciousness of divine love can be infused into the hidden places of the earth as well as into the bodies of women. This love can link the two worlds in a way that has not happened before. Through that connection, activated in women's bodies through their sanctification of their own and the earth's suffering, grace can flow into the world. The meaning and magic that lie at the core of creation, the secret of the word Kun! (Be!), can come alive.
The soul of the world is crying to be heard, and only those who have suffered can fully recognize it. If women can come to know the sacred dimension of their own and the earth's suffering, if they can see that it is part of the mysterious destiny of the soul of our world, if they can look beyond their own personal pain and anger to accept their larger destiny, then the forces of life can flow in a new way. The imprint of His face can become visible in this world and the glory of His oneness be known, and once again life can become sacred.
And yet we wait, reluctant to take a step into the unknown. We look around for comfort and security, even spiritual security. The feminine knows that the darkness is real and life-giving. She also knows the secrets of love and longing, because love is a feminine mystery. Yet she is reluctant to live her real passion, bring it out into the light of consciousness, just as the masculine is reluctant to leave the safety of what he knows, the positions of power he has established over the centuries, and step into the fertile darkness of the unknown.
Each time when humanity has come to this step it has turned back. Can this moment be different? Can we walk forward together, men and women, naked, unafraid of either the light or the darkness?
In a dream a window is open, and a dove is flying towards the window, carrying a letter at her feet. In fact she is flying upon this letter, the letter carrying her. It is written by two children of the orient whose parents are separated, one living in the orient, one in the occident. The children want their parents to come together again. This letter has such a deep call, such longing in it.
This is our own call and longing, to heal the separations of feminine and masculine, of East and West, and beyond that, to make a new link between future and past, the unknown and the known, the divine and this world-to take this next step in our evolution.
It is time to leave the antagonism behind, as a ship leaves the shore behind. Only life and love can guide us-all our beliefs and convictions only constellate a more dangerous conflict. Certain new currents have come near the shore to take us on our journey, and we can let them take us. And there is an urgency to this voyage, although events will unfold in their own time.
To live this dream of reconnection takes courage and foolishness. We are uneasy, uncertain, as we should be at the beginning of such a venture. But only by living it completely, without excuses, can we claim what is waiting for us. The beyond is beckoning; it has sent its emissaries of both light and darkness. Nothing is certain, but there is a magic waiting to happen; many dreams now can become real.
What this will mean will be different for each of us, because taking this next step requires that we live our uniqueness. We are being asked to behave as adults, prepared to take our own destiny and the destiny of the world in both hands. Women, each one in her own way, are being asked to step into the light of a new consciousness, to acknowledge and make sacred their own and the earth's suffering, to make their deeper wisdom known. Men are being asked to give up their hierarchies of power and dominance and make room for the feminine wisdom of connectedness as it can manifest in their own lives. Then the light of conscious oneness can infuse the whole web of connected life and new centers of consciousness can be opened. Then a new link of love will be forged through the hearts of the whole of humanity, the heart of the world will open, the two worlds come together-and the future will be born.
But the future has already been born. We are the link of love; we are the heart of the world; we are the future. Yet we don't see it. And we will not see it until we can we step out of the shadows of the past. It will mean leaving behind all we consider precious, letting go of all our attachments to what is ending. And that will not be easy. In times of transition the illusions of the last age close fiercely around us; our attachments cling to us, more tightly that ever. The illusions of a dying age are very dangerous, because they carry the potency of all our unlived dreams, of everything that was never fulfilled. Are we prepared to give up everything we wanted for ourselves? Are we prepared to step into the unknown, empty of all attachment, expecting nothing? For this is the only way to take the step we are being asked to take, to live the oneness of divine love in this world.
There are also forces that stand in the way of this new awakening, that want to keep us in the grip of their power structures, to keep us enslaved with greed and self-centered desires. They have even polluted the spiritual arena, where self-improvement rather than selfless service is encouraged. One cannot sell devotion or market how to give oneself. Love has no power structures or hierarchies; it is not for sale. It passes freely from heart to heart along the web of oneness that connects us all. But in the dense patterns of our worldly thought-forms we have forgotten that the real gifts of God, like the sunlight, are always free. For centuries the secrets of divine love and the knowledge of oneness has passed freely from heart to heart in secret, while the world went about its unheeding ways. But the need of the time is that it come out into the light now, so that it can be lived in the world.
A web of light has been created around the world to help us make this transition. Through this web the invisible is already becoming visible, the signs of God already revealing themselves in a new way. In the energy of divine oneness the opposites have already come together. But love needs us to bring this potential into manifestation, to make it part of the fabric of daily life. Without our participation the potential will ebb into a fading promise of something that might have happened.
This is the work of lovers, of those in service to His love. Lovers know how to give themselves to the moment, to be awake in the eternal now. They are not afraid of the consequences of their actions because they know that only His love is real. They honor their soul's pledge to witness His oneness. In the mirror of their heart a secret is being born, and in the network of lovers this secret is coming alive. Humanity has forgotten that the world can only be transformed through love, that love is the greatest power in creation. But His lovers have always known this, and long ago they gave themselves to the work of His love.
Without this central note of pure love, the future will remain just a dream and the patterns of the past will close more tightly around us. With love joy will return, and joy will cleanse away the pollution of the world, the negative thought-forms and patterns of greed that devour so much of our energy and life force. When joy returns to the hearts and lives of humanity, the whole world will come alive in a new way. The soul of the world will sing the oneness of God and we will know why we are here.
(Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi teacher and author of a number of books, including Working with Oneness.)
© 2003 The Golden Sufi Center, www.goldensufi.org