There is so much living in the description of Pentecost.
- A gathering of people from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures, and status.
- A mighty wind that blows through the whole house.
- The Spirit appearing as a divided tongue of fire on everyone.
- Everyone speaking and hearing everyone’s native language.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. Acts 2.17
- The image of the future living in everyone as capacities to prophesy, envision and dream.
This year for Inner Pentecost, I want to share with you some thoughts on speaking, listening, and the future.
Three inner gestures live in this soul festival:
- a moving outward to meet and to know the other,
- a willingness to be met and to be known by the other and
- a capacity to perceive, even conceive, the future.
Inner Pentecost is barely inner. If all the other festivals of the Inner Year have been well-celebrated then Inner Pentecost will be a turning inside-out. This is the festival of the soul becoming social.
At Pentecost, we find a fully nourished self that can enter into the other. We find a self-knowledge so penetrating the self of the past and so aware of the unfolding self of the future that a genuine, truly confident and serene enthusiasm for the other emerges. Equally, this self is totally open to being deeply known and understood by the other. Finally, the future forms an inspired community of empowered and focused will. The inner life gives birth to the social life.
Writing these words, fills me with the joy of Inner Pentecost. It is the party of the Inner Year. Everyone is invited.
The story of Pentecost in the New Testament, gives the impression that the Holy Spirit comes and makes this all happen. That the invitation to this extraordinary “party” asks you to just show up.
Not so. Everyone present at the original Pentecost had prepared, had undergone an intense and complex initiation willingly. Their souls had willingly and dramatically evolved. There was nothing casual or miraculous about their path or their experiences. Every step had been willed. To experience the Holy Spirit we must actively develop our will forces.
Do you will yourself to know yourself?
Do you will yourself to know your fellow souls?
If you are thinking “I will do it!” You are speaking about doing something in the future. Will it now!
Our soul’s will forces make earthly manifestation possible. Through our will we bring the future into reality. When our own will merges with the will of others we form creative community, conceiving and giving birth to a higher community of unselfish and devoted and shared Imaginations, Inspirations and Intuitions. The work of the Inner Year gives birth to a new self and a community of “new selves” gives birth to the future.
The path of the Inner Year is an arduous journey. When you take the journey, you find the ending festival known as Pentecost is quite a celebration and the community of the future welcomes you with awesome wisdom and warmth. Through the experience of Pentecost, love evolves. There is no coercion, manipulation or deception in the Pentecost community. Truth, generosity and goodness prevail.
I hope my intense description hasn’t driven you into your intellect. When I write these Inner Year thoughts I go so deep into my consciousness that I sometimes get so serious, I am afraid I might be asking you to think too deeply for comfort and ease. Just remember that we must all learn to think with our hearts. It is only through heart thoughts that the deepest of ideas and the most meaningful ideals are met with inner grace.
Our soul loves to dance gracefully with both spirit and matter. Our heart is the dance floor. For Pentecost we dance a circle dance and hold hands with the souls of our fellow human beings. We move together like flames dancing in the wind to the music of the Holy Spirit.
For Inner Pentecost, think about the moments when you have joined hearts and hands with others to make something good, beautiful and true come into existence. Look around at the harvest of your community life. Celebrate the bounty of our shared future.
Today others are working on the imagination of this community of Pentecost. One individual has penetrated the Pentecost mystery and written about it with great clarity. Otto Scharmer’s book, Theory U, does not mention Pentecost, but those who practice the principles he shares, take up the challenges he articulates, will have a Pentecost experience. You can download very inspiring “tools” at his website: www.presencing.com
Scharmer describes the activity of listening with an open mind, an open heart, and an open will. He proposes that the future manifests through meeting each other through the generative listening of the open will. Generative listening is the listening of Pentecost. Out of generative listening comes the language everyone speaks together, the language of the future.
Theory U is chock full of brilliant guides to the listening and speaking that reflects the festival of Pentecost. The book is a gift from the future.