Waking the Global Heart

Waking the Global Heart
The Power of Making a Gesture

By Leslie Temple-Thurston


“Power is of two kinds—one is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love.” —Gandhi

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Article first published in Odyssey Magazine, 2004
In 1994 South Africans chose to live in equality in their physical world. While we all know that this was a momentous thing for a country divided by racial strife and extreme inequality, few individuals realized that by voting for equality they were voting for a major step forward in their spiritual growth. Equality is inherently a quality of spirit and heart—a rare flower indeed in this competitive, power-oriented world.

Equality is a state that manifests in individuals who have grown beyond the lust for power and the drive to satisfy their inner, deprived child through greed, domination and manipulation. At its inception, equality is an extremely powerful aspiration in a population seeking to renew itself, such as South Africa. Since equality had not existed here before, it could not be immediately manifested in 1994. Its birthing will take time, through the choices of individuals in their day-to-day actions.

The choice for equality caused an acceleration of the whole country’s vibration in 1994. I saw something unprecedented in deep meditation the night the old flag was lowered and the new flag raised—gigantic jumper cables were plunged from heaven into the red earth of our beloved land and the country flooded with the electricity of a new vibration. This was the vibration of the heart—where our ability to live in equality dwells. It was our initiation into the new, heart-centered paradigm of consciousness.

Inevitably, the choice for a more integrated country would precipitate crime and corruption. As a spiritual teacher I have watched many individuals make the commitment to the heart paradigm, which is love-based instead of fear-based. The heart paradigm is a faster, clearer vibration than most people on earth can access. Thus, as we choose it, our ego’s baggage arises. We must heal that before claiming the heart.

I knew, on the fateful night the country received a new vibration, that through the initiation of the election, everyone would have to face their negativity, before it could fully actualize the chosen, new paradigm. What is true for an evolving soul also applies to a collective of people. In other words, the fledgling country was destined to experience many difficulties at the beginning of its journey toward the heart. This has certainly come to pass. While we are making good progress, we are not yet out of the woods. If you are bothered by the difficulties this country is having with its journey forward, please consider what it takes to shift paradigms. Realize that it takes time, energy and enormous goodwill in all people. At every crossroad, it takes our willingness to learn what choosing and growing into love really means.

An American friend of mine spoke prophetically about South Africa in 1998 when I brought her here. She said, “As goes South Africa, so goes the world.” We were intuiting then that the 1994 vote and all it stood for was a revolutionary move for the whole world.

It is the spiritual seekers who will bring about a great shift, helping the planet to move into a golden age—the paradigm of the heart. Not that we will necessarily be the politicians, activists or do-ers who physicalize the changes, but rather we will hold the energies that manifest the impulse to change. Even though there are just a few of us relative to the overall population, it is still possible to transform the world’s vast collective consciousness. It takes only a few people vibrating at a high pitch to affect large numbers of individuals. The more awake an individual is, the larger the number of people his/her consciousness affects. Thus, at this pivotal time in global evolution, it is vital that we work on becoming clearer and raising our vibration through our spiritual practice to affect the greatest number of people.

Here are two practical ways the few can transform the many: 1) Hold a vision of how the physical world will be when it transforms. 2) Bring the vision into physical form as soon as possible, in order to solidify it.

While these two steps may seem to be outside the scope of one’s spiritual path, actually they are not. Someone holding a higher vibration need only make a bold gesture in the physical dimension in order to create change. The gesture must be a generous one that stretches us. It should stretch us beyond our belief in what we think we are capable of doing. Many individual gestures accumulate to create change in the collective consciousness. Think of Gandhi burning his South African passbook and encouraging others to do so, or of his walking to the sea to make salt.

An advantage in making the gesture part of our spiritual practice is that we grow in spiritual awareness, becoming stronger, more resilient and empowered than we had dreamed possible. Our old ways of staying small often linger and hold back our growth. Thus, doing something that stretches us beyond where we thought we could go, helps us realize we are not who we once were.

How should our gesture look? Starting small helps develop the confidence that we can eventually accomplish larger tasks. We are actually talking about Karma Yoga, the yoga of service and action. Like Hatha Yoga, which stretches the physical body, Karma Yoga stretches the heart and soul.

When our gesture comes from a place of love, it is inherently an expression of deepest truth. It brings light into us and to the targeted situation, creating profound change. This assures the outcome is a win-win. The gesture must be made from a place of graciousness and faith.

When we combine our enthusiasm and inspiration, collaborating as a group to make a gesture, we multiply the gesture’s power exponentially. We become capable of moving mountains, changing the world. I call this collective power, “The Power of One,” after the book by Bryce Courtenay, about the early days of South Africa’s freedom movement. It refers to the power of one individual and of a group acting with one heart and mind.

Over the years, I have guided many into making gestures and have watched them grow way beyond where they felt they could. The gesture involves giving something of yourself to a situation or person in need, whether ideas, time, energy or money. For example, giving money to an organization compatible with your vision. It is often easier to give your time and energy than money, yet using money to make a gesture helps overcome fears you may have around money.

Giving money is extremely empowering spiritually, not just because it takes courage, but since it opens a very real flow in one’s heart, allowing the universe to return the favor by flowing something, often money, back to the giver. The giver then grows in the awareness that he/she is supported by the cosmos—a great antidote to the fear of giving away the little we perceive we have.

When fears or rationalizations about why we should not make the gesture arise and we watch the inspiration die in midstream, another opportunity presents itself. This is the opportunity for an individual to see the fearful, shadow places they hold—beliefs about scarcity and destitution, which must be overcome for the heart to awaken fully. Deconstructing and releasing these personality/egoic issues inside us allow us to be ready next time the inspiration arises. Since our true nature is spirit, not ego, we can learn to release the ego’s heavy, negative states, such as fear. When we let go of the fear of losing money, or anything, we won’t create situations where that happens.

I suggest taking the opportunity to make a difference to yourself and the world around you. Get involved, and be assured that your gestures, whether small or big, do affect the energy configurations of collective consciousness. Many small shifts lead to a new reality for everyone. Have you seen the bumper sticker that says, “Think Globally, Act Locally”? It recognizes that we can change the world by making gestures right in our neighborhood.

I especially invite and challenge South African spiritual seekers to get more involved in the transformation of parts of the country that need help the most—to make magnificent and gracious gestures on behalf of those less fortunate. There are many ways to help. Of all the many possibilities for opening the heart, the AIDS pandemic seems to offer profound opportunities for ordinary citizens to make gestures, and through doing that, help open the global heart. I suggest you support an AIDS relief organization by making at least two of the following gestures: 1) Donate money, 2) Volunteer your time, 3) Call to find out how you can help, 4) Pray daily for HIV/AIDS sufferers.

South Africa is in the very interesting position of being a microcosm of the global macrocosm. It is a dynamic mixture of first-, second- and third-world countries. As it learns to cope with this mix, it will help unravel many of the future problems facing the rest of the world during the global shift into the heart.

With great spiritual power comes great responsibility. It is the seekers of the world who are re-inventing the meaning of power by discovering the power of love. They are turning away from the ego’s idea of power—that of domination, control and manipulation—to discover real power, the power of the Divine and what it can do. As the vision-holders of this new reality, we the seekers of truth, must exercise our knowledge of divine power in compassionate gestures, that make a difference to everyone’s reality. We must build bridges to a new truth, for ourselves and those around us.

©2004 Leslie Temple-Thurston, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
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