The possibilities of unfolding are not something to be fulfilled in the future. On the contrary, these possibilities are with us and in us every moment of our lives. We might not always give importance to our small choices because we think that it does not make much difference whether we do one thing or another. But this is not so.
Let's suppose I'm in a train station and I have the possibility of choosing to board any train. All of them are ready to take me, but each one is going to a different destination. The same thing happens in my life. At any moment I have many options. The multiple realities coexisting are open possibilities for me, but I'm the only one who can choose which one to follow. Let's take another example: I'm riding a bus. I can stand up and give the seat to someone else or I can remain seated. I can talk to the person sitting next to me or I can remain silent. I can open a textbook and study or I can keep it closed. I can call someone on my cell phone or I can turn it off. From the moment I choose, I open a different path for myself, for others and for the world.
It's also important to pay attention to what we choose to say. Once we say something, it cannot be unsaid. In this regard, a spiritual master used to say: "If I hurt somebody, I lose a potential friend." Each act unleashes a series of events that wouldn't have happened if I had chosen differently. It's important to bear this in mind, especially in difficult moments, when something overwhelms us and absorbs our energy. In these moments, we need to turn to the Divine Mother, remembering that our life is in our hands and that we are responsible for our choices.
It's good to become aware that every moment counts and that in each instant there is an opportunity to reaffirm our offering. What prevents me from being at peace? What am I giving into? What am I really seeking? Do I take into account the good of all? My answers determine the path I follow. We need to prepare ourselves to be strong and to nourish the thoughts and feelings we want to have so that our choices may respond to our chosen objective and reinforce our vocation. Without a doubt what we nourish grows. At any given moment we can take a different path. We can't blame others for our destiny. Let's choose to be builders of our future instead of being victims of our past. With this awareness and determination in mind, we become responsible for our lives. This is why we prepare ourselves to be firmly rooted in our doctrine2 of Renouncement,3 expressed as Presence, Participation and Reversibility.
Don Santiago, the founder of Cafh, said in a Message that "in the simple lies the Single Idea." The Single Idea is manifested in each human being as the vocation of unfolding. Don Santiago encouraged us to keep a spirit of simplicity and to strengthen the vocation by remaining true to our objective. It does not really matter if we have walked for a long time on the road or if we have taken just a few steps; this recommendation remains true and valid for all of us. We could easily think that in today's world to live a spirit of simplicity is utopian; however, this isn't so. Remaining centered is the key to spiritual liberation. If we learn to see life with new eyes and look at daily events from a different angle, we discover beauty in the simplicity which leaves room in our lives for the essential.
When we deepen into our doctrine, we develop the capacity to remain centered. This leads to Presence. Let us seek the Golden Temple, the inner point where we remain centered, where the divine spark dwells in each one of us. It's necessary to come back to it again and again until it becomes our inner dwelling. Rather than a mere symbol, recognizing the divine presence is a real possibility within our reach at any moment. Remaining centered helps us to be consistent since we have one only point of reference which lights our way. This practice helps us not to identify with our moods or with fluctuating thoughts and feelings. At the same time, we strengthen our true individuality. We can show who we really are and we can do what we need to do. The more we support ourselves on our inner wealth the more we free ourselves from forces which pull us in many directions, such as the desire to possess, the eagerness to prevail and the need to be center stage. Remaining centered sets us free. It allows us to accept differences. Instead of our usual reactions of anger, hatred or separativity when we meet others who think or feel differently from ourselves, we respond with understanding, acceptance and harmony.
As we deepen into our doctrine and make evident the expansion of our consciousness with generous and loving acts, we open a path within ourselves leading towards the state of Participation. This is why it is so important to work on our intention and inner attitude. As we no longer allow ourselves to be indifferent to the things that happen, everything demands from us a committed response. The deeper our expansion of consciousness is, the more we are affected by what happens around us.
We can't avoid the suffering of the world; but we can transform within us the forces that cause that suffering. We can choose to channel those forces as would someone who channels a river to irrigate the plants he wishes to grow.
One of the ways leading us to Participation is the contrary act. We have a natural tendency to defend ourselves, to avoid assuming responsibility and to deny our faults. Let's become participants, taking responsibility and bearing the weight instead of burdening others. Let's discover within ourselves the good and the evil we see outside. Let's study this and bring solutions to problems and difficulties. Let's practice the contrary act and stop blaming, criticizing and accusing others. Let's contribute with a new and liberating force, a force with creative ideas, which offers solutions and improvement.
As we deepen into our doctrine and strive to be more inclusive, we discover the unity in the pairs of opposites. Reversibility gives us the flexibility that allows us to break the mental structures that define reality within only two possibilities, black and white, without taking into account the infinite range of colors in the spectrum. The practice of Reversibility prepares us to have our own ideas and feelings. At the same time, it allows us to validate that we, as well as others, can have countless thoughts and feelings about the same thing. We know that our life would be meaningless if we lived in isolation. Nevertheless, we often live as if we could live a life separate from the whole. We often forget that we need the earth on which to place our feet, we need humanity to transmit its knowledge, and we need nature to survive. The search for personal happiness is an illusion since reality is a totality, an inseparable whole. Reversibility allows us to offer ourselves now without forgetting that at each moment we are affecting the whole because we are part of the whole.
When we reach a spiritual understanding we want to put it into practice. The difficulty we encounter when we try to do this is that life isnīt always a smooth road; it is full of ups and downs. An idea that seemed clear and luminous at one point, leading us ahead, later can become vague, confusing and no longer resonates with us. The attitude of remaining centered helps us to overcome this difficulty by allowing us to recognize in our moods the changes inherent in life. We learn not to be carried away by our moods, to recognize them and to let them go. Love, a powerful force that develops our sense of responsibility, doesn't allow us to give in to our moods, to that current that wants to drag us along, because we know we would be wasting our life force and affecting others unfavorably. Our moods gradually lose momentum and our emotions stabilize. This doesnīt mean we are indifferent to what happens; rather, it means we reserve our sensibility and energy to look for useful and creative solutions and new possibilities. We become peaceful and reliable. In this way, the inner work of Presence leads the Sons and Daughters to become safe havens in storms and supports in times of upheaval.
Another obstacle we may encounter on our road actually starts out as a noble impulse to offer ourselves, to serve, to share our knowledge but, at a certain moment, it becomes a means to assert ourselves. If we are not very attentive, the yearning to participate can lead us, little by little, to become attached to our work. If this were to happen to us, we wouldn't be able to overcome the trial of leaving our work when asked to. We might even respond with indignation or by becoming demanding. We could end up discouraged if we think that we are not recognized or appreciated. This will not happen if we maintain an attitude of Participation. No change can alter our attitude since the only thing we want is to offer ourselves and nothing can put a limit on what we are willing to give. The object of our concern is circumstantial. Nothing can stop us from continuing to offer our love. There is an opportunity to offer ourselves every minute and everywhere. We don't make distinctions regarding our offering: a newborn, a prisoner or a sick person all benefit from a loving thought.
Another obstacle we can encounter is our own mind. It is our instrument to discern and to choose prudently and wisely, but it can turn into our prison and limit us. Only when our minds become flexible can we understand through Reversibility, transcending the limitations imposed by the pairs of opposites. We will then be able to integrate opposites instead of keeping them separate. We will be able to understand different points of view and contradictory positions because the attitude of Reversibility leads us to embrace the whole and include different parts. We will not enter into arguments. Instead, we will try to enrich an idea with the contribution of those who have different ideas. In addition, mental flexibility helps us to stop the habit of criticizing and judging others because it leads us to an attitude of integration. Reversibility allows us to recognize differences while at the same time to love without making differences.
Wanting to unfold more is not about winning a race or getting another trophy. It is a response to the need to alleviate the pain in the world. We believe that love relieves suffering, and that is why we feel the need to expand love. To do so we need to constantly direct our intention, our attention and our will towards our ultimate objective. Let us remember that the golden key to all our efforts to unfold is perseverance. Let us pray that this force may accompany us to the end.
© 2012 Cafh Order
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1 Cafh: The word Cafh has ancient roots; for the members of Cafh it symbolizes the effort of the soul to attain union with God. At the same time it represents the presence of the divine in each soul. The text "Expanding Our Love" is an extract from an address of the Director at the Cafh Annual Assembly in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in May 2012, which marked the 75th anniversary of the founding of Cafh..
2 Doctrine: Cafh, as a path of spiritual unfolding, has a framework or doctrine that determines what it is. For information about the principles and postulates on which we base our work, click on http://www.cafh.org/english/fundamentals/index.htm. To see some of the teachings of Cafh, click on http://www.cafh.org/english/teachings/index.htm.
3 Renouncement: In the Teaching of Cafh, Renouncement is considered to be the law of life. When we renounce, we accept that our small life is part of Life itself, that we are an integral part of the whole. We gain perspective on the ups and downs of our daily lives and also on periods of great difficulties. The spirit of Renouncement helps us to visualize our strengths and weaknesses objectively and awakens in us a deep sense of participation and love for everyone and everything.