Pictured, baby bobcat this morning 07/21/14 Your responses pour into my thoughts. I would like to gather all of you together for a long, rich sharing about your experiences in your world. I would love to know about the spiritual sojourns your soul has taken, perhaps nocturnally while you slept or through a sudden mystical eclipsing of your senses that can descend upon you at any time during the day. You've had a few of these experiences - I know you have. Perhaps not as dramatic or obvious as you would like them to be, but you've had them. I know because the silent messengers of the sacred cannot resist the temptation to remind the human soul of its magnificence. Maybe you've had one of those dreams - those rare dreams - in which you are traveling without form. You are detached from your body, floating through light that is transmitting loving images to you about your life. You awake hardly remembering anything but the sensation. We are all mystical creatures - and we are all mysterious ones. We are both. The mysteries about us are so endless. Your many responses remind me of those mysteries: Are these times we are living in more chaotic than other times or less so, or just more of the same? How do we assess the existence of "more chaos"? Has chaos become more threatening because it is now global in size and nuclear in force? Should we redefine the proportions of good and evil now that we really do have what it takes to destroy the living environmental system? We are living in the age of the unimaginable - make no mistake about that. We can indeed compare the evil of the World War II to what is unfolding now, as more than a few people suggested, but today would overshadow that era because as Elie Wiesel, the renowned Nobel Prize winner, author, and Holocaust survivor said in I lecture I attended, "We must learn from the experiences of the Jews. Next times the ovens will be global." The difference between the evil of the Nazi era and now is that we have, by choice, devoted a substantial part of our energy to becoming "conscious human beings", in part so that evil the size of the Holocaust cannot repeat itself. That one fact of our era, our time, should raise the bar on the quality of choices we should expect for our world leaders and from each other. We have spent half a century investing in our own consciousness! Millions of people have chosen to leave organized religions and pursue individual paths of personal growth in order to break free of the controlling influence of false religious and social doctrines. But note: Breaking free from the old ways amounts to nothing more than running away until and unless you become something greater than the system you left behind. When I examine the question of whether this world is becoming a more conscious planet, I look not just at the quality of public actions by global decision-makers, but I pay very close attention to the lives of the people I have the pleasure of meeting in my workshops. I observe why we are becoming ill today and why we are suffering. I observe the changing patterns in the conflicts that are dominating our lives and the influence of external chaos that is always present in every one's life, varying only by degrees. Should we not be healing faster and better, given how "conscious" we are? Years ago I assumed that our efforts to become "conscious" would have given us a healing advantage, but that is not the case at all. In fact, we are finding ever more complicated expressions of suffering and anguish. We are our own conflict strategists in so many ways. but we live in a society and in a world that has become an endless system of conflicts. Yet, as a core mystical law reminds us, As Above, So Below. We are the generators of the conflict in the collective - how can it be otherwise? Is it more extreme conflict that in previous times in human history? Well, that's for you to decide. Are you worried about your survival or that of your children in any way at all? And while you may never have given the following fact much consideration, quite frankly this is a core reason for a genuine inner conflict: Most of us now lead lives in which we have no one to answer to spiritually and perhaps not even morally or ethically. That is yet another marker of how much this world of ours has changed. You must answer now only to yourself, or perhaps your spouse, but few others - where once we had to answer to a tribe, a church community, a larger family unit. Here I am speaking about matters of conscience and working through moral and ethical crises. Very few people have an outlet for those discussions and eventually repress the gut signals that indicate they are in a moral or ethical crisis. We must ask ourselves those vital questions that are the real depth charges of our character: What am I willing to do to become a better person? Am I really willing to become more conscious? How conscious? Are you willing to enter into the soul's domain? As for me - I've had mystical experiences I prefer to keep to myself, but I will share this: I obviously have little difficulty acknowledging the existence of evil. There is no such thing as only good any more than there is only daytime. We might want evil to be nonexistent - but that does not make it so. I would like all criminal politicians to be in prison, but that doesn't change a thing either. What I do know to be the truth is that every good thing you are and do matters more than you will ever know. Never look to what others are doing. Attend to your own actions, to becoming courageous about being fully alive, fully creative, fully you. You were born to make a difference in this world just by being a whole human being. Never tell yourself that is not good enough - that's how darkness speaks to you. Begin and end your day by blessing it, "I have another day of life - my life. Another day to give to this world. Flood me with grace. Do not let me waste this day feeling bad about days gone by, dead days, meaningless days. Let me fill up this day with life, love, and kind words and actions. This day of my life will never come again."