Have you ever seen soft lightening?

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Have you ever seen soft lightening?

It’s Always Time

After reading a short paragraph this morning by Andrew Harvey in his book The Hope, A Guide to Sacred Activism,1 I was really thrilled and deeply moved about the way he talked about Nelson Mandela and wanted to share this.

The story he tells about his experience with Nelson Mandela is breathtaking.

Harvey was invited to a gathering in Paris where Nelson Mandela was the guest of honor.

Knowing that Mandela had been in prison for 27 years, one of the many guests present asked the octogenarian what he had learned in his life.
Mandela was quiet for a long time and said nothing.  When he was ready, he finally spoke,

There is a force in the universe—call it God or spirituality or whatever you like—that wants the victory of truth and justice. This force will help you if you are steady, humble, brave and patient. Never, ever give up, however bad things get.”2

Nelson-Mandela-2008Then in remembering the incident, Harvey focused on the face of the great man and told his readers, as if they were there, “then Mandela smiled a smile that had the force of soft lightening.”3

Have you ever seen soft lightening?

But we all know, now beyond any shadow of a doubt, what soft lightening is like, what it does inside you and how it makes you feel.

Perhaps we are relieved and feel profoundly rewarded because someone has touched the inner core of life itself and has had the courage to put it into words.

As one who has been so terrified of the emotions and what seem to be the properties of the astral or emotional body, there is still a tendency to be afraid of the whole gamut of the emotions and to escape the plague they represent, to put them aside and pay no attention to them.  But that’s not right!


pema-chodron-when-things-fall-apartThere is a facet of the emotional body that emanates feelings, those points of glory we all blend and express that reveal the presence of the soul.

As Pema Chodron notes in her instructive little book, When Things Fall Apart, p. 65, obstacles are present for all of us because they help us to be “completely awake and alive by letting go, by letting ourselves die moment after moment.”4

The point here is to remember that as we die over and over again, we realize the simplicity and magnificence “of all divine processes….”5

It leads us to the realization that each of these tiny and seemingly negligible developments along the way of life climax in “spiritual identification” that opens out the way to identification with the Whole.

The great mystery of it is that it’s always present, always time to notice it, always time to realize that we are not separate from it.

*     *     *

1 Harvey, Andrew, The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism, Hay House, Inc., 2009, p. 9.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Chodron, Pema, When Things Fall Apart, Shambala,, 1997, p. 25.

 5 Bailey, Alice A., Discipleship in the New Age, Volume II, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, 1972, p. 304.

© 2015 Rebecca Field

One Comment

  1. Thank you Rebecca for this inspirational article. Nelson Mandela has given all the world such profound spiritual lessons. I have always greatly admired him but have never heard this quote before. I so much appreciate reading this. Mandela had the nth degree of steadfastness–breathtaking!

    Cathie Meyer

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