What Is Your Energy Source?
By James Karran
Revolution!!!!!!! To some this word is exciting, filled with the promise of newness. To others it is fearful, threatening violent change. To still others it represents a desperate last act, a road to be followed only when all else has failed. I was talking to a friend recently who is becoming more and more dismayed about the state of the world, especially the rampant injustice and growing gap between rich and poor. She was saying that she longs for the ‘revolution’ to come, as things have gotten so bad that nothing less than seismic political change will make things better. It is the only recourse left.
This got me thinking about revolution and where I stand on it. As a bearded lefty, I am very sympathetic to many of the points of view that lead revolutionaries to their conclusions, but I have to say that on reflection I’m not a fan. At least, not of the political kind. I believe that no revolution (or any political change) will have a lasting transformative effect on society if it is not preceded and accompanied by an inner revolution.
It’s about the energy source that powers our well-intended actions to help make things ‘better’. The source of our emotional energy will dictate things like how long we can keep actions up before getting burned out, the shape our help will take and even whether or not it is actually help at all (and not just what we think is help). This is why it is important to identify where our energy is coming from. If for example a person honestly identified feelings of guilt, dread and sadness at the state of the world as their energy, their actions would be dictated by the demands of these things (which usually boil down to ‘I don’t want to feel like this anymore so I’ll do anything to make the feeling go away!). This can be very detrimental to any cause we might want to champion.
All spirituality (and good religion) is ultimately concerned with teaching us how to let go of our own energy sources, to ‘step out of the way’ so to speak and allow the infinite energy of Divine Love to flow through us, so we become nothing more than conduits. That is not to say these negative emotions are bad. By recognising, embracing and owning ‘negative’ emotional responses (sadness, fear, etc.) the emotion begins to teach us true love and compassion. In other words, by NOT wanting to make the emotion ‘go away’ so that we can feel better, by refusing to act from this energy source we find ourselves naturally letting go of it, even experiencing it transforming into the energy of Love! It is then we can act powered by real compassion, not by ego-driven pain masking as compassion.
So you see why I am very skeptical about any ‘revolution’ that has not been preceded by an inner revolution. All it will do is set up another hierarchy of people energised by pain, sadness, anger etc., and that will get us nowhere. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is spreading through the world like yeast in dough, which was his way of saying that revolution is happening, but it will not be sudden. One transformed person at a time, infecting their little piece of the world with joy, peace, compassion and love. This is the kind of revolution I can get behind.