“The Chalice of Collective Sovereignty”— Restoring Camelot
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“I hear people everywhere saying that the trouble with our time is that we have no great leaders any more. If we look back we always had them. But to me it seems that there is a very profound reason why there are no great leaders anymore. It is because they are no longer needed. The message is clear. You no longer want to be led from the outside. Every man must be his own leader. He now knows enough not to follow other people. He must follow the light that’s within himself, and through this light he will create a new community. You see, wherever I go in the world, this to me is a general trend. I am aware of the fact that there are already people in existence today—take us—who really belong to a community which does not yet exist. That is, we are the bridge between the community we’ve left and the community which doesn’t exist yet. —(Laurens Van De Post, A Walk with a White Bushman,” 1986)
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Democracy, as we profess to practice it here in America, is not working. Leadership from above-down is being rejected globally as people are awakening to their own inner spirit guidance. The paradigm of leadership has shifted from top-down governance to governance from within the individual, and the grassroots community.
In truth, we do not have a democracy here in America. Democracy is grassroots government: “Of the people, by the people and for the people.” Our government leaders are elected to serve “we the people.” They are our employees not our bosses, yet as a whole they do not serve the interests of the people but are beholden to their campaign donors and lobbyists. So, in reality, we do not have a true democracy here is America. What we do have in Washington, and on Wall Street, is a cartel of corporations enabled by an aggressively lobbied congress and empowered by an ambivalent, dictatorial, narcissistic president. It’s a legal entity called “Corporate America,” and its enterprises are raking in massive profits on the backs of “we the consumers.” A paradigm shift is due and in the offing.
That shift will not come, however, without trade-offs and radical change. One trade-off is the relinquishing of our addiction to oil and to all the “stuff” produced by Corporate America. Liberty Mutual Insurance has a sensible slogan: “Only pay for what you need.” We do need clean energy . . . and we could do without all the “stuff” we buy but don’t really need. We don’t really need wars, nor space travel. We do need to take care of our own here at home.
Another trade-off is the obvious need to let go of our old-school ways of being told what we can and cannot do. In other words, the safety net that lets us feel secure within the boundaries of “the law”– a law that has lost its sanctity as those in high places skirt around it, largely with impunity. The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court holds the position that a sitting president cannot be indicted on criminal charges speaks to the provision in our government for a dictatorship.
So, letting go of the way we’ve felt “safe” within a law-based governance is a challenge in light of the fact that not everyone has yet awakened to their inner spirit guidance. While there is wisdom in not burning all our bridges just yet, there is greater wisdom in building new bridges to the future, bridges that are vibrationally supported by the shift in cosmic energy toward a new paradigm of leadership. Because, as the new paradigm emerges, as it will, the old paradigm will continue to fail us, eventually collapsing altogether, leaving us to our own devices in a state of anarchy, if only for a transitional period. So, we are hesitant to let go of “the devil we know” in lieu of the one we don’t — and rebellion is not the answer.
Where cities like Paris, France, and Hong Kong, China are in a state of turmoil as their citizens march in the streets in violent protests against injustice and corrupt leadership, only death and destruction will ensue.
The world has had Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi who have set the tone and the precedent for real change through peaceful non-compliance and non-violent resistance. Legendary Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh led the movement of non-violent resistance in Vietnam until he was exiled. He taught compassion as the only way to end terrorism. These men arose from out of the grassroots of the societies they sought to rescue from the murderous hands of bigots and tyrants.
This kind of leadership can be seen emerging throughout the global community today. This is what author Diana Durham speaks to in her book The Return of King Arthur, from which I have borrowed these excerpts for inclusion in Sacred Anatomy:
Speaking of her own personal transformation within the container of an intentional spiritual community that went through a transformation itself in the wake of the passing of its spiritual God-parent and leader, Diana writes:
THE CHALICE OF COLLECTIVE SOVEREIGNTY
There is a great fear of losing the sword—a fear of losing the tradition and forms that have embodied the truth for us, and a desire to try to preserve them in some way—to disobey Arthur’s command. Twice Sir Bedivere, that most loyal and trusted knight, tries to hide Excalibur before finally obeying Arthur and throwing the sword into the lake. After all, if we don’t preserve the sword, we might lose everything . . . .
Very often this is the way. The injection of spiritual reality brought by the great avatar, like Jesus or Buddha, one who is able to pull the sword of power, of spiritual authority, back out of the stone of fixed belief and tradition and wield it as a living reality, is turned after their death into a religion, a series of beliefs, a tradition. And people warm themselves on the little spark that still glows in the embers of that tradition, but they don’t inherit the mantle of spiritual radiance. They have not become entrained into the understanding of what it really means to “Worship God”; they have not completed the quest . . . .
. . . . Thanks to Guinevere and Morgana (the heart’s wisdom), Excalibur is not destined to become a sacred relic of past glory “stored in some treasure-house of mighty kings.” The heart’s instinctual knowing of what is right has overridden the fears and the structures of the mind, thus ensuring that Arthur’s true legacy—the legacy of potency, of truth, as represented by his sword— has become a living possibility available within the subconscious mind for us all to draw on. It has not fossilized into a tradition for the elite to fight over—whether a political elite or a priestly elite; it is beyond the reach of corruption, and can only be accessed by the innocent and the true. Thanks to the quest for the Grail, thanks to the heart’s compulsion to take on one’s individual path and authority, the Round Table could become what it was a promise of. Our network could be transmuted from a community into a new and potent consciousness of oneness.
This is why no matter which thread of the plot we retrace to uncover the cause of Camelot’s downfall, we find ourselves staring into the face of the feminine, whether it be the actions of Guinevere and Morgana or the quest for the Grail itself. Only the heart’s wisdom knows how to take us from symbol to reality and carries the passion and assurance that will allow the “old order” to change and find renewal.
So we can begin to approach the meaning of the fulfillment of the Grail quest from a number of different—but related—angles. First of all, the finding of the Grail . . . means that the sense of personal separation from inner source—which I have also called the Grail King energy, love, or God—is healed. Once this happens, our dependency on a King Arthur mentor figure ceases, and we begin to live our lives from a direct sense of what fits, of what is ours to do. We can trust the compulsion of our heart because the heart realm is now operating as a direct “transmitter” of our own inner being and purpose. In this way, the heart realm is the place of connection, or oneness, with God or spiritual source, and once that consciousness of union with source is a grounded reality within us—once the ego that thinks of itself as the center of the universe is no longer dominant—then there is a basis for connecting deeply with others. The heart realm becomes the means of connecting with others, with one’s “neighbor.” Therefore, we also begin to share a sense of oneness with one another, and a sense of being—hologram-like—parts of a whole that also contain in miniature the design of the whole.
The sense of oneness with others, combined with the ability to discern direction for ourselves, enables the other meaning of the Grail to emerge, which is the aspect of collective leadership: the circle of many individuals forming one body.
Collective leadership is not possible while we are still dependent on a mentor figure both for our own sense of spiritual alignment and for a sense of direction. Nor is it possible unless there is a sense of oneness to bind us together—as well as the ability to discern for ourselves (as opposed to being subject to “peer pressure”) what our actions need to be.
We remember that the individual sword—or sense of authority—is earned by going on a quest for the Grail. Perceval is given the sword on his first visit to the Grail Castle. The return of Arthur in a form of the return of many individuals wielding their individual swords—in other words, the condition of collective leadership—cannot come about until the Grail is found and this collective consciousness is formed . . . .(pp. 203-206)
The Grail is found in the legends, and finding the Grail symbolizes not only the individual experience of openhearted connection to spiritual source in oneself but also the emergence of the possibility of collective leadership. When Arthur throws that sword into the lake, a woman’s hand reaches up to take it. A new opportunity has been fertilized: a new union between masculine and feminine, and the emergence of an era of collective sovereignty. When we talk about the rise of the feminine we are describing a crucial aspect of this new era. Obviously this new possibility has been emerging for some time in the form of the suffragettes and the women’s movement. Closely allied with the struggle for equal rights for women was the civil rights movement in the United States. Leadership has been rising up from the grassroots, bringing immense changes and balancing out some of the injustices of society’s myopic structures. Collective leadership implies both the roundness of the chalice cup—without hierarchy, containing all—the feminine; and the absoluteness of the sword, the element of individual responsibility required for true leadership: the masculine. (pp. 6-7)
What Durham is describing here is a renewal process of the Pituitary Gland that appears to be underway, both within individuals and the collective body of Man. As masculine/feminine energies find a way to work in harmony and balance within us as two in agreement in the Spirit of Love, individually and collectively, the Spirit of the Womb can then work its hormonal and alchemical magic of renewal on the planet. Camelot can then be restored where men and women partner together to provide a home for God on Earth.
This post brings this series on the spiritual significance of the pituitary gland to a close. I trust you have gained a deeper appreciation for your sacred anatomy. I will leave you with this powerful interview of Thich Nhat Hanh by Oprah Winfrey. Until my next post . . .
Be love. Be loved.