Category Archives: Essays

The Story of the Four Tribes


Since time began, many human beings have embraced a concept that there is a single unifying force that connects all living things and provides access to all of the cosmic energies within an inter-connected cosmos. Many people, however, have chosen to ignore these gifts of the universe. They have refused to see how they could intentionally use cosmic forces to change their lives for the better. Some have gone so far as to say that these powers do not even exist.

One by one and over a long period of time, three prophets have come forth to change the minds of the people. Each of them revealed that they actually heard the voice of the one and only God.

The first tribe

The voice the first prophet heard came out of burning bush that was not consumed by the fire that set it ablaze. This voice commanded the first prophet to liberate his people from their enslavement to a mighty empire. He told his tribe that if they lived a spiritually disciplined life, they would finally enjoy a life of freedom.

The prophet had a purpose. His intention was to persuade his followers that their lives were not subject to the dictates of a pre-ordained mandate, as they had previously believed.

The alternative concept the first prophet brought forth was that life operated as an ethical continuum, where the thoughts, words and actions of each living person in the present would determine their quality of life in the future. While this belief became the foundation of the tribe’s religion, the members of the tribe did not understand that the experience they were currently undergoing was exactly what would contribute the most toward their advancement. They kept asking why it was that if God loved them, were they often being mistreated in the world?

The prophet of this tribe attempted to convey to the tribe members that no matter what happens, by accepting each experience and remaining in a loving space, continual growth can occur and progress can be made. Alas! The message fell on deaf ears. Remaining in a loving space meant they would have to take responsibility for their feelings and for their behavior. They would have to cease judging and blaming others. Most of the tribe members cringed with fear at that prospect and shut down. Instead, they connected with the forces within the material power structure. Their religion grew denser and it became filled with ritualistic exercises that alienated those who were not indoctrinated and that led to separation from the rest of the world.

 The second tribe

The collective spirit of the people grew listless. They felt that their one hope was that a deliverer would rise up and single-handedly free them from their oppressive circumstances. Someone else would emerge to save them from their own weaknesses.

The invisible and impersonal God in the sky offered little solace—what many of them began asking for was a human being with godlike powers who cared about them personally. The tribe members were not yet prepared to grasp the truth that they were their own saviors. So, out of a feeling of frustration, some of the members of the first tribe gravitated toward a second prophet who also claimed to have a pipeline to the infinite. When this new prophet came forth, humanity’s spiritual frame of reference had evolved to a place where more people than ever before could receive further illumination.

The spiritual hunger that continued to spread among the lands gave the second prophet fertile ground for his mission. He drew in the multitudes and shared his great wisdom with them. In addition to transmitting beautiful and comforting messages, he performed miraculous acts of healing. He painted a picture for all who chose to see—a picture of a glorious heaven, and he promised a life in paradise to anyone who replaced their bitter feelings with love and compassion. He told his audiences never to judge and always to forgive. The second prophet was so open to hearing the voice of the Divine that his followers decided to turn God’s job over to him and then ride on his coattails into a higher state of consciousness.

As soon as his followers started seeing him as being co-equal with God, the second prophet was faced with a conundrum. He had remained essentially loyal to the teachings of the first prophet, simply elevating them and making them more ideal. He did not wish to destroy his present faith nor would he want to violate any of the ten laws, which served as the sacred foundation of his religion. One of these laws asserted that human beings were not to make material images of God or bow down to anything of the earth. How then could the prophet accept others bowing down to him?

The true message of the second prophet was that human beings are meant to channel God’s unconditional love into the world. When they heard the second prophet speak of how the power of love and devotion to God leads to ascension to a higher level of consciousness, his followers believed he was referring to a place that existed somewhere else.

What the second prophet was actually saying must have gone over their heads. He meant for them to hear that the place he called heaven had to exist inside them first before it could be experienced as an external reality.

Seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all will be added unto you.

Those who continued to follow the teachings of the first prophet exclusively could not identify with the second prophet’s concept of heaven, which they saw as a place where nothing ever happens. They were not comfortable with the idea of exchanging what they could hold in their hands for a belief that had a non-discernible basis. While the prophet of the second tribe seemed to want to transform flesh into God, tribe one remained staunchly committed to having God endure in the flesh.

The first tribe clung to the world of matter because it gave them a sense of control. They did not deny that an afterlife existed; they simply believed it was beyond their understanding. Besides, there was enough to do simply surviving in the here and now instead of spending their time and energy speculating about the hereafter.

The concept of life as an ethical continuum, by its very nature, suggested that what is given to life is received in kind. It was this point that was misconstrued by the first tribe. They refused to see that an individual’s experience of life is an extension of the love, or the lack of it that the person holds in their heart. That is why a second prophet had to come into being.

Paying lip service to the teachings of their prophet, the second tribe argued that his message of peace and love was the ideal way to live one’s life. Their actions obviously contradicted the idealistic philosophy they claimed to embrace. Consequently, the members of the second tribe were often burdened with a sense of guilt.  This sadly diminished the quality of their everyday experience.

The reason that many of the members of the second tribe could not carry out the teachings of their prophet is that while they claimed to revere him, they actually feared him. No wonder—he was a radical subversive, a man who lived a life of voluntary poverty and who, because he challenged the status quo, had many enemies. To follow his words might cause one to land in similar circumstances and few of the tribe members would want that to happen.

The third tribe

Six centuries passed and a third prophet emerged with a message that included the wisdom of the previous tribes while taking their teachings one step further. This prophet told of a God who could be proven through ordinary means. To attain the exalted state of God realization, the third prophet asked of his followers that they forego the pleasures of the flesh and live an austere life, humbly submitting their body and their souls to the will of a demanding deity. The third prophet promised that in return they would enter a paradisiacal world once their obligation to serve the earth was completed. In willingly sacrificing earthly delights in order to reach the paradise beyond, the third tribe would prove that their God was the real one.

Some members of the third tribe demonstrated that, rather than live in a world that often seemed godless; they wanted to go to paradise immediately. If it were done in the name of their God, they would give up their lives on earth. They came to believe that no act could be more powerful than this in opening up the gate to heaven, even if it were done by blowing themselves up in order to kill  some of their enemies. What they proved was that believing one has nothing to lose is still another kind of power.

The fourth tribe

Finally, as more light dawned upon the world, a fourth concept of God emerged and the seeds of a fourth tribe were planted in the earth’s soil. No prophet was introduced this time, as each member of the fourth tribe had no need to be told. God was now understood as a creative, omnipresent living process, one that supported the evolution of every life form on earth. Human consciousness had expanded sufficiently and no longer viewed the creative source of life as an anthropomorphic extension of itself. No longer would the magnificent and vast intelligence of the universe be diminished by ascribing human qualities to that which is Divine. Instead, human beings began opening up to incorporate the spiritual essence of life and working in co-creation with this essence in a space of gratitude and reverence. God was now acknowledged to be inside them, walking and talking through them. The source of all life had finally materialized on earth in everybody and not just in one body, becoming apparent in the hearts and minds of all, who instead of choosing to suffer, choose to be strong.

Notes from a world-traveler

One question I get asked a lot is, “Of all the places you have visited, which ones are your favourites?” Of course, there are many. Here is a list of some that come immediately to mind.

Scotland: I feel at home there. Sometimes events gets all stirred up and feisty tempers boil over but that is all part of the fun of hanging out with the clans. It’s a colourful country with some of the most magical places on Earth-the highland villages, the islands of Iona and Staffa, Findhorn, and the great city of Edinburgh.

Hawaii: One cannot exaggerate its beauty nor breathe air so clean. The climate is usually perfect, as long as the trade winds come in from the sea and the spirit of aloha that emanates from the locals comes straight from the heart.

Santa Fe: It is the oldest capital in North America; it has its own look and its own style, which is one reason it calls itself, “The City Different.” In the high and dry mountain air the intense light inspires the many artists that live there while the healers and astrologers like this place because the veils are thinner. New Mexico is called ‘The Land of Enchantment’ and the core of that enchantment is right here in Santa Fe.

Bali: Though it can sometimes feel like being in a steam-bath, until you switch on the air-con, this island is so special in so many ways that it transcends any sources of irritation. The Balinese people have much to teach about living graciously and the beauty spots of their world are beyond comparison to anyplace else. Bali is an amazing experience in instant manifestation where you can prove to yourself that thoughts are indeed things.

Japan: No other place comes even close to being like Japan. No outsiders went there until the middle of the Nineteenth Century and the Japanese developed a homogenous society so tightly knit together that the population can communicate to one another without words. Kyoto is the jewel in the crown with its treasures hidden beyond walls–walls that contained the former imperial capital for one thousand years. If you go, go in April when the cherry blossoms bloom–start in the South early in the month and work your way up to the top via some of the fastest trains in the world.

California: Probably no food exists that cannot be grown here so even if the economy plummets, there are fertile, elevated regions away from the coast where future communities can spring up and flourish. Meanwhile there is still a fabulous offering of places: LA and Hollywood, the Desert Communities, Santa Barbara, the Monterrey Peninsula, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Wine Country of the Napa Valley. This state may have known better days yet it is still a wonder that apparently refuses to accept limits even in the most of challenging of times.

Norway: Most folks stay away unless they are on a cruise through the magnificent fjords because it is cold here more than it is anything else and it is incredibly expensive with one of the highest standards of living on the planet. The government believes it exists to serve the people, although the people may not always think they are being served. Norwegians pay high taxes yet it is a small price to pay. They are blessed to be born in this haven. The population consists of many very attractive and intelligent yet modest people who are happy to speak English and who speak it fluently. These Nordic folk dwell within a safe and sound society and are both authentic and idealistic in just the right proportion. It is not easy to get to know them as they protect themselves from superficial relationships, yet once you break the ice, you realize how worthwhile it was to have made the effort. I am always glad to be in Norway.

There are many other wonderful places I always enjoy visiting–Vancouver, BC and much of Western Canada, Alaska, Australia, Tuscany in Italy, the beaches of Thailand, St. John in the Virgin Islands, Mallorca, Spain and the Algarve in Southern Portugal.

Is that a world I see out there, or is that simply more of me?

I recall a conversation I had with a well-known astrologer years ago who claimed that he was often omitted from the guest lists of social events in his community. When I asked him why, his response was, “I see.” His answer struck me, first of all because he was asserting a superiority that he believed he held over others and secondly because he also believed that he could project onto the world anything other than himself.

Granted, competent astrologers do have an uncommon understanding of how others are psychologically constituted. Equipped with an objective frame of reference for interpreting human behavior, such as astrology, one can gain a substantial sense of where individuals are coming from through this knowledge. The objective frame of reference that the astrological lens supplies offers astrologers the potential to get out of their way by removing any subjective preconceptions. It is then possible to witness the energies of a birth chart coming alive through the externalization of an individual’s self-force.

By applying a thorough knowledge of the nature of the chart’s energies and relating it to one’s perception of another person’s actions, a non-biased understanding of what that person is doing and what motivates them to do it is possible.

Of course, astrologers are not astrologers all the time. They have personal histories and likes and dislikes they have acquired along the way. They may be able to go to a neutral space of consciousness while they are at work; however, they are not going to stay in neutral every moment of every day. Their personal history will emerge with all of the prejudicial opinions they have collected along the way and they will no longer see others as microcosmic systems of energy. Instead, they will see a reflection of their own chosen karmic path. Their reaction to what is being mirrored back to them will show them how near or far they are from the gateway to their own private heaven.

What a great opportunity it is to be here on the Earth and to be enriched by the stories we watch on the screen of our reality. How enlightening it is to know that those stories are playing out to contribute to our own advancement. How connected it is possible to feel to the entire universe, once it becomes clear that every soul that shows up in the mirror that each of us perceives as the world-at-large is contributing to our further education

There was a school of philosophy called solipsism, which presented the concept that we cannot be certain of the existence of anything apart from what exists in our mind. Recently, when I was in Australia and a guest for lunch at a friend’s house, I listened as the partner of my host explained to me her philosophy, which went even further, I believe, than that. Her claim was that nothing was real, nothing had any meaning and nothing mattered. Life was all a great, big mistake.

Was she discussing life in general, or was she talking about her relationship to her own life?

I believe I am always in error when I make sweeping generalizations. The universe I have come to realize is one where there are ‘different strokes for different folks’ and where ‘one person’s food is another person’s poison.’ Two people can be sitting adjacent to one another observing the same event, yet perceiving it in totally different ways. For what they are really seeing is another layer of their multi-dimensional self that can extend as far and as deep as one dares to go. It can go as far as an encounter with a being from another world that may appear in the image of an ET creature, but is, in actuality, oneself–in a future time on a higher plane in a larger context.

The answers I receive from life are going to be based on the questions I ask. There were times when I did not even know that I was asking a particular question. Later, as the answer came, I realized that it was another step to a destiny I am impelled to reach in my lifetime and toward a realization about my life journey that holds great value for me.

My response to the lady in Australia was that human beings, equipped with an ‘earth suit’ that by and large gives each of us common ground in observing and interpreting physical reality, have agreed to go through the experience we call life. That alone gives this experience meaning. Billions of souls have focused everything they are and could be on an experience that gives them the freedom to explore their consciousness while setting limits on that freedom until they can perfect their ability to manage the powerful universal forces that are alive within them. How could anyone say life on Earth has no meaning? The opportunity to transform cosmic power into practical action that yields lasting, tangible results certainly seems meaningful to me–as the looking glass of life functions to provide us with the unique opportunity to see ourselves clearly, free of preconceived assumptions and all personal desires.