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The winds of change

April 3, 2013

There has been a great deal of wind in the UK in recent months. It seems that every day there is wind. Sometimes a very strong and destructive one. I wonder how the birds are coping. There is not much sign of nestbuilding. Rough winds do shake the darliing buds of everything and there are few Spring flowers in evidence. I missed the cherry blossom this year, sparse and late, and the days so grey there was little incentive to go out and enjoy Nature. Climate change reflected in the blowing of the wind.

There has been a great wind in my spiritual life also. One of the images for the holy spirit of God in the bible, is ‘wind’. The spirit blows where it will, it says. That always means, to me, that we can have no control of it, and cannot say that, because, for instance, a person isn’t a Christian, they have not got a message from the wind of God in their hearts.

To truly listen to a spiritual insight you have to open both your mind and heart. You have to expand both. You have to put aside ego and preconceptions and be prepared for the voice to whisper to you and not shut it down with your own bluster. Pulling down the shutters against the wind of God would be a mistake – especially for a believer.

Me? I have no belief in this ‘wind of God’ but my belief has no bearing on whether it exists, and I have no control,either, over where it blows. It is possible that even an atheist may hear the voice of God in the wind, though not prepared to understand it as that. It is possible, because ‘all things are possible with God’ so we are told. It is possible, whatever I may believe.

This compelling voice in my heart that leads me on – is it God, or simply my own heart’s song? I do not know. But I do understand that I must listen, because in doing so I become fully myself and enter my own power as a wind of change in this world.

The world needs changing. I think many would agree, believer in God or not. There is much that is wrong with it. Humanity’s stamp upon the world has not been benign. Christians would call it our sin. Maybe there is something in that. Sin is a good word, though much abused.

Almighty God  we have sinned against you and against our fellow beings, in thought and word and deed. In the evil we have done and in the good we have not done. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your son Jesus Christ who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life’.

So many Sundays I have recited words like this in church during my Christian period, and thought I meant it, and struggled to serve God in newness of life, and failed again.

Serving God – what does it mean? The winds of change have brought me new thoughts. Unitarian thoughts. Free thoughts. Outside the box of Christianity thoughts. More recently – vegan thoughts. Has God been there the whole time, as Christians believe, holding on to me through all the strong winds, keeping me close? I don’t know. I don’t even know if I would like to think it is so, for, being free of God has been rather breathtakingly good – a gulp of fresh air, keen wind, a gale of new understandings.

The winds of change blew me into the harbour of Unitarian Universalism and the ship of New Unity. Here, for the moment, I rest, enjoying being a member of that crew, weathering the storms with them beside me.

I don’t know where the wind will blow me next, but New Unity anchors me in a deep spirituality which has never before been wholly mine. It is like a strong sea breeze, invigorating and tangy. It lifts me up on its thermals and excites me.

The 5 Seeds of Wholeness on this spiritual path within New Unity are – mindfulness, connection, generosity, compassion and gratitude. Practising all these daily are my spiritual exercises. As I do them, each of them appears, like muscle, to grow.

Opening my heart and mind to greater compassion has had the profound effect of turning me vegan. It was like a wind that swept through me, lifted me off my feet, carried me over the rooftops and set me down in another landscape. And I looked out at it and was deeply troubled and ashamed by what was revealed to me. I saw, simply, that humanity’s whole relationship with the other beings on this planet with us is flawed and sinful and wrong.

I saw, in a flash, like Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road, that we have no right, except one that we have arrogantly given ourselves, to subdue, exploit, abuse and kill other sentient creatures as we do, and our cultural and ancestral understanding that this is all acceptable has to be challenged robustly, both within ourselves and in the larger world. For we are bringing about such winds of destruction upon ourselves and all of Nature with our speciesism that we are approaching some sort of Armageddon. We are in peril, physically and spiritually. We really do have to change our attitudes and behaviour towards the planet and all who dwell upon it. Some strong winds are good. Veganism is one of these. I lift my face to the gale it blows and smile into its freshness, embracing it with my whole being, knowing, knowing profoundly, that this is the dawn of a new era in humanity’s moral awareness. Enlightenment.

Come, holy wind, sweep me up, take me where you will. I am ready for the challenge.

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2 Comments
  1. Welcome to the bloggersphere Carol…a great beginning…you might like the following…

    It is by Jeffrey Lockwood. Jeffrey Lockwood is a professor of natural sciences and humanities at the University of Wyoming. The piece is titled “Go Fly a Kite”. I love this attitude to life…

    Wind has a dark power over us, the capacity to trigger depression, despondency, and even – according to eighteenth century physicians – madness. How is it that moving air, an invisible presence, can so deeply disturb the human psyche? We have created our own vulnerability. In an age of technological hubris, we must confront the realisation that the wind is absolutely uncontrollable.
    The wind is a wild beast with no regard for our rationality. It mauls our sense of dominion. Umbrellas keep us dry, moisturisers keep us wet, silk keeps us cool, wool keeps us warm, creams keep us from burning, but nothing vanquishes the wind. Those who are determined to dominate the world are antagonised by the wind. But those who accept the untamed forces of nature avoid such frustrations. And it is possible then to move from a mere defence of our sanity to genuine flourishing.

    To be sane, embrace the wind. But to be joyous, fly a kite. Dance between caprice and control. The wind pulls the fragile sail upward and the flyer plays out the string. Left to the turbulence, the kite will be dashed to the ground or swept over the horizon. Left on the ground, the kite is moribund, stagnant. But between sky and earth is enchantment.

    We are kites, buffeted by the vicissitudes of the spirit, the squalls of fortune, the breezes of intuition, and the glorious gusts of chance encounters. And we are stabilized by a tail – the solidity of the mind, the bedrock of reason, the granite of science. If our tail is too heavy, we never leave the ground. If it is too light, we spin crazily.

    The people in our lives – family, lovers, friends, community – are the braided strands, a kite string that sustains the dynamic tension between heaven and earth. They are a lifeline that allows us to be uplifted, to see farther, to live more fully. And the higher we fly, the stronger our string must be. For when our connection becomes worn and frayed it can snap, and we will come tumbling back to earth, landing far from where we left, with nobody to repair our breaks or mend our tears.
    and so rejoice in the wind – but attend to your string.

  2. Reblogged this on iliketowritewhatithink and commented:

    I am reblogging this because I wish to highlight what a profound effect belonging to New Unity has had on my life. The teaching there brought me to the place where I could hear the message of veganism. My heart was opened to Compassion in that place called New Unity, and in came all the other animals, demanding that I notice them. I was ready to see and hear them all.

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