I like to do yoga. It doesn’t matter that I’m not good at it. I try and improve a bit over time, and regardless it’s beneficial physically and mentally. It increases awareness. It’s also a rapidly expanding practice globally, and there’s an interconnectedness that goes along with that.
Another person in my class, Irene, often inserts quotes into the weekly email announcement about the class. This week’s quote is from Julia Cameron “Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.”
Our creative dreams and yearnings often manifest themselves as desires. I don’t mean just sexual desires, but the inner stirrings to do things. It doesn’t matter whether the desire is to make better bread, design landscapes, craft new medical operations, find the light through a yoga pose, enable people to habitat space, or live in peace and prosperity within a global community. The key idea in the quote is that these desires are not simply spontaneously ignited through our own doing: there is more. They are planted in us.
The Jesuits such as James Martin, SJ author of The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything, would say that these desires are planted by God — that God plants desires within us to fulfill His plan. Others would say that they are planted by the Divine. I am not saying that one or the other is correct, there is no correct. But when it comes to desire, it is important to listen to realize what it is we are called to do. It’s not just a matter of independently figuring it out.
And it’s a unique process for each of us. Take this picture, for example.
It’s in my office in San Francisco. It’s a Calder. It may even have a name, I don’t know it, and it’s a print so it’s not of much value, but to me it represents humanity. Why? Because it reflects my desire to see humanity in things, particularly the integration, yet independence of it.
I’ve looked at it many times over the years. It strikes me differently at times, but it always strikes me: so it is with desire, yearning – a calling – there is an ethereal quality to it that cannot readily be explained, but deserves to be listened to.
Why listen? Martin would say because it connects us with God, Cameron would say because it connects us to the Divine. Whichever, it connects us with our purpose.
And perhaps it connects us with each other as well. There’s a paraphrase of The Alchemist that I turn to even more than this picture: “When you conspire on behalf of the world, the world conspires on behalf of you.”
If we listen to the desire for peace and prosperity within a global community that quietly stirs within each of us, we may find that we are led to what the Devine, or God, wants as well.
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