“A Priest, a Minister and a Guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer, while a telephone repairman worked nearby. ‘Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray,’ the Priest said. ‘No,’ said the Minister. ‘I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven.’ ‘You’re both wrong,’ the Guru said. ‘The most effective prayer is when one is seated in the lotus position.’ The repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer. ‘Hey, fellas,’ he interrupted. ‘The best prayin’ I ever did was when I was hangin’ upside down from a telephone pole.’ “Anonymous
“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”Jesus in John 16:33
Maybe you can relate to the telephone lineman. I sure can! The times I have prayed the most effectively are when I was hanging upside down – metaphorically speaking. Those were the times when outer situations didn’t make any sense and were too painful and too complex for me to have a quick fix for. Those were the times when my mind and heart opened to the power that is beyond my human comprehension. I call that power Spirit or God. Years ago, a trusted friend explained to me that God isn’t an authoritarian that wants to dominate me, but simply a power that is larger than me. It is a power of which I and all creation are a part. My friend’s explanation, based on his own relationship with what he called his Higher Power was a pivotal moment for me. It moved me into a trusting relationship with God which continues to grow and develop. I realize now that I can open my heart and mind at any time to awareness of the Divine. I don’t have to wait to be hanging upside down.
That said, hanging upside down has its advantages. There are stories in almost every culture of people who, either by choice or by accident, find themselves hanging upside down from a branch of the World Tree – the Axis Mundi, the spiritual center of the world. Inevitably this alternative point of view led them to wisdom that they could not have gotten in any other way. Friends, as we face the upheaval in the world – global warming, inequalities, and the continuing effects of the covid pandemic, we are in such a time as this. We are hanging upside down on the World Tree, seeing our world and ourselves from a new perspective. We are called to action – to release old ways of relating and in their place to bring forth an understanding of our sacred oneness with all creation. We are being drawn to get to work fulfilling our soul’s divine purpose.
This was the theme of the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ three-day online conference that I attended over the weekend. The many speakers supported the Parliament’s mission of cultivating harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities. This fosters our engagement with the world to address the critical issues of our time and so create a world of peace, justice and sustainability. Unity was well represented. Our Unity movement leadership gave several presentations and participated in financial sponsorship. Also, a Unity online banner was featured. Unity’s spiritual principles have always been aligned with the values of the Parliament. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, our movement co-founders, were among spiritual leaders from around that world that attended the very first Parliament in Chicago 1893.
We are called to see clearly and act courageously for the good of our world. Grounded in prayer, we know that God is Source. We hold the awareness of Divine Life in everyone and every aspect of creation. We ask for guidance as to what outer actions are ours to take to bring forth a world of good, a world of abundance for all. We remember that Jesus tells us that no matter what is happening in the world, the Christ has overcome it. And then we get to work. Hanging upside down does have its advantages!
In the Love and Light of the Christ,