Stewards of Light.

July 17, 2021

Stewards of Light.

May 29, 2023

Here's an excerpt from a chapter called "Stewards of Light" from a book in progress by our Mastery Faculty member Mark Nepo called "The Long Walk Through Time." Lucky us to be able to see an early version before it's published.

We are mistakenly taught that life is other than where we are, and so we are schooled in strategies to traverse the imagined distance from here to there and trained in the fortitude to do what is necessary to secure the treasure at the end of our quest. But almost dying in my thirties and living ever since have taught me otherwise. There is no there, only here.

And so, instead of trying so hard to go somewhere else, and to become something else, the long walk through time insists that we turn ourselves inside out to reveal our inner beauty. Like iris and orchids and tulips, we are each asked to break ground and—through love and suffering—to reveal the truth of who we are where we are. Until humanity becomes its own garden.

This is the spiritual journey on Earth—not to strive from here to there, but to unfold from in to out. How we do this is both personal and Universal. But do it we must, if we are to flower and offer our nectar to the world. This book explores and bears witness to the turning inside out we all endure that lets Spirit show its beauty through our humanity.

We all experience this mysterious process of life, which all the traditions try to name, the way pilgrims on different shores offer different names for the same constellation they see at night. But the mysterious process of life remains as unnamable as it is steadfast.

Of the many names and frames the various traditions offer, it helps to begin with how the Hindu worldview describes our long walk through time. There is an ancient trinity of eternal forces known as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma is the irrepressible, continuous life-force that informs everything. Vishnu represents the life of forms which carries this life-force in infinite variety. And since the life-force lives forever while the forms eventually die, Shiva is the transforming agent by which the forms dissolve so that the eternal life-force can return to the formless realm of Brahma, where the process begins again.

No one can escape the spiritual fact that every form of life on Earth comes into being and, in time, will dissolve. And so, we are each a container, holding the portion of Universal Spirit we are born to carry while we are here. The Hindu term namaste means "I bow to the portion of Universal Spirit that resides in you." In the west, we call that portion of Universal Spirit that resides in us our soul.

The central questions of our journey are:

  • Will you be a good steward of the portion of Universal Spirit you are blessed to carry in the container that is your life—as well as you can, for as long as you can?
  • And what does being a good steward of your soul mean? What does being a good steward of the light you carry look like for you personally?

There is another inescapable aspect of our long walk through time that is expressed in this poem of mine:

The more a meteor
burns away, the
brighter it gets.

As it enters the
atmosphere, more
and more of it flakes
off and burns up.

Until there is only light.

This is our journey
as a spirit in a body
over a lifetime.

It seems the purpose of experience is to wear away all that is unnecessary until only what is essential and unbreakable is left. The journey to what is unbreakable also describes the long walk through time. And the journey to release the light we carry since birth is what it means to grow and age.

Mark Nepo will be offering an experiential 5-session Master Class in August 2021 called The Gift of Deepening and the Radiance in All Things (Aug 28-Sept 1, 2021, 1-3:30PM ET each day), as well as a free reading and conversation, Inside Everything (Sept 11, 2021, 1-3PM ET). Registration for both events is NOW OPEN at live.marknepo.com. He will also be offering a Mastery Week at MEA May 23-28, 2022. Registration for that workshop week will go live in August.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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