The Golden Sufi Center

Uniting the Inner and Outer: Spiritual Responsibility at a Time of Global Crisis
Published in Caduceus Magazine, Winter 2002 and, December 2002

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee


Dark clouds are gathering, powerful forces constellating in the outer and inner worlds. We are witnessing preparations for war and the actions of terrorists, our media saturated with acts of violence and the war drums of politicians. Many people are finding their dreams haunted by images of bombs falling and a sense of what is sacred being desecrated. We seem to be embarking on another cycle of violence, with the theme of mass destruction as a call to arms.

What is our responsibility at this time of global crisis? How can we constellate peace amidst the forces of war? How can we bring our spiritual ideals onto the world stage, bring the light of our hearts into the growing darkness? It is easy to feel isolated or ineffectual, to think that the destiny of the world is in the hands of politicians blinded by power, or terrorists caught in images of martyrdom. But there is a part that we can play, a way that we can bring light into the darkness and work to awaken the world.

In our own journey we know that any time of crisis is also a time of opportunity. When powerful forces constellate, they carry the potential for transformation as well as destruction. What is true of our individual journey is also true for the world. The tremendous clash of opposites, of light and dark, that is threatening such destruction and seemingly polarizing the world belongs to the birth pains of a global transformation. But in order for this transformation to be successful it needs our attention. It needs the participation of those committed to service, whose consciousness can be aligned to something greater than their personal well-being.

At any time of real crisis our work is to look beyond the plane of action and reaction to where real help and grace are given. Through our prayers and devotion, we align ourself with the love and power of the divine without whose presence we are left alone with our own self-destructive conflicts. Sadly, we have tended to place prayer and devotion solely within the sphere of our personal relationship with the divine, not recognizing its larger dimension which concerns the well-being of the whole. Yet we have seen the power of prayer in the context of the larger world: after the tragedy of September 11th we had the tangible experience of people all around the world praying, working to hold a space of love and remembrance so that the energy of the divine could help to repair the fabric of life brutally torn apart by the acts of violence. This moment of global remembrance through prayer did not last, but it points to what is possible when we direct our attention to the larger whole.

Only the divine that can heal and transform the world-the forces of antagonism in the world are too powerfully constellated for us to resolve on our own. But the divine needs our participation: we are the guardians of the planet. Working together with the power and love of the divine, we can help turn this moment of crisis into a time of global awakening. And what is the nature of this work? In our masculine culture we identify work with "doing" and activity. But to hold a space for the divine requires the feminine quality of "being." Through the simplicity of living our inner connection to the divine, we link the worlds together.

Central to this transformation and awaking is the uniting of the outer and inner worlds. Much of our present predicament comes from isolating ourself in the outer physical world, to such a degree that we have almost forgotten the presence of the inner worlds. And yet it is always from within that divine grace and healing come. Those who have committed themselves to spiritual work have turned inward, and through meditation, prayer, dreamwork, and other practices, have begun to reclaim the inner world.

Looking inward now, one might glimpse something quite wonderful: a web of light and love that has been woven around the world. This web has been woven together over the past two decades by the masters of love and their helpers, those who look after the spiritual well-being of the world. It is the container for our global transformation, for the awakening of the world, and now it needs to be brought into consciousness. This web is a network of the spiritual light of those who have given themselves in service to the divine. It's structure has similarities to the internet, but it is made of light and exists on an inner plane. We are inwardly linked together through this web, and through our prayers and devotions we can bring the light of the divine to where it is needed in the outer as well as the inner world. This global network of light and love is very powerful; it can counter the destructive ego-driven worldly forces. It can take us beyond the clash of opposites into the oneness that is at the source of life.

But to work with this web we need to realize that we are the link of love that unites the inner and outer worlds. We carry the potential for global transformation in our own hearts, in our lived connection to the divine. We need to step out of the enclosed world of our individual aspiration to recognize this larger dimension to our spiritual practice. Wherever we are we can consciously connect to this network of light. Then the energy of the divine will flow freely from the inner to the outer and our present time of crisis can unfold into a new era of global awareness.