Chapter Twelve – Inclusion
Defensive level thinking excludes and separates us from others; Christ level of thinking includes and allows us to unite with others.
All defensive behaviors separate us by seeing ourselves as different from others. We could be different in that we see ourselves as innocent and the other as guilty, or the reverse. We could be different in that we see ourselves as better than or worse than others, or the reverse. We could be different in that we see ourselves as deprived and others as fulfilled, or the reverse. We could be different in that we see ourselves as more important than others or the reverse. We could be different in that we see ourselves as a preferred or non-preferred race, religion, gender, gender preference, nationality, age, etc. We may see ourselves different in that we see ourselves as not having the preferred marital status, number of children, level of education, career, etc. These are all judgments we are making.
Sometimes we cloak or reveal this separation in the following sentence structure: “You are so _____” (stated as a desired quality). The other half of the sentence goes unspoken “And I am so_____” (the opposite of the desired quality). Every thought that separates excludes someone. We may believe that the other is not worthy of love, or that we ourselves are not worthy of love. Either way, there is no love within this kind of thinking. What we offer others is also what we have given to ourselves. If we offer separation, we have done so from a place of separation within and therefore are not connected with the holy process.
When we move to our spiritual nature we function in the energy of inclusion. We realize how we are like others in our deepest nature. We see that we all want to be wanted, seen, known, appreciated, touched, cared about, treated with respect, etc. We see that we all want to love and be loved. We see that we all want to contribute to humanity and be valued for our contribution. We see that we all want to feel like we belong. We see that we all want to be included.
This also applies to aspects of ourselves which we deem as unlovable. I once asked each member of a group to bring to a gathering a flower they considered to be beautiful and one they considered to be ugly. We then went around the circle and had each person relate the flower they loved and the one they did not to aspects of themselves. After we shared, I brought in some large vases and we made lovely floral arrangements that included the preferred and non-preferred flowers. Likewise, we could include the preferred and non-preferred aspects of self as part of the whole of what we are.
The Masculine Principle sorts, selects, categorizes, narrows our focus, and essentially figures out what to and how to exclude. This is a vital function when used properly. In lower function it separates and excludes in harmful ways. In higher function we sort out lower ways in order to grow spiritually. We want to sort out lower thought and narrow in on higher thought. The Feminine Principle allows options, networks, makes connections, expands our focus, and essentially figures out what to and how to include. We can look at inclusion many ways. I’d first like to address our need to include both what seems good in our life and what seems bad in our life. When we include all of these things as life itself, we can give focus to our response to whatever is before us rather than holding judgments that narrow our ability to respond in helpful ways.
I remember some of my very first spiritual lessons from grade school, and they relate to someone “bad.” I went to a rural grade school where all the kids were “good.” There was another school across town that was having a terrible time with three boys who were “bad.” The authorities believed that if they put these three boys into our school it might at least dilute their energy if not have a good influence on them. I was one of the very “good” students in every grade. It was my job nearly daily to be out in the hall with one of these boys helping them with their work. I had a lot of fun with these “bad” boys who paid a lot of attention to me.
I was expected to get all “A’s” on my report card. I was afraid to get anything lower than that. One day in third grade I received a report card with a “C” in Health. I didn’t even know we had a course called Health. I asked the teacher about it and she said it was when we were talking about brushing our teeth, etc. She said she gave everyone a “C.” Scared to take that “C” home, I was crying on my way to catch the bus. I passed Eddie who was jubilant. He saw me crying and asked what was wrong. I told him I got a “C” on my report card. In all his jubilation he said, “So did I!” I was an all “A” student and was scared and sad when I received a “C” anticipating harm when I got home. Eddie was an all “F” student and was excited and joyful when he received a “C” anticipating love when he got home. This has remained my lesson in perspective to this day. I believe that ever since then I have been far more able to entertain viewpoints very different from my own. To include, we need to be able to do that.
In fourth grade we had a letter writing class. Haldon was also on all “F” student. He didn’t hand in any work. During this class the teacher intercepted a note being passed to me. Now we all knew that passing notes was a punishable offense. The teacher read the note, put an “A+” in her grade book, announced to the class that Haldon had just written a perfect “A+” letter, and then passed it on to me. It read, “Dear Nancy, I love you. Yours truly, Haldon.” I carried that note in my wallet until the seventh grade by which time it had disintegrated. It was not the love from Haldon that impressed me. The love exhibited by the teacher here fed my soul and stays with me until today. She chose the higher way, not punishment.
And then there was Sonny, the third “bad” boy who was sent to my grade school. In sixth grade when we were signing autograph books he wrote, “I’m yours until the ocean wears rubber pants to keep its bottom dry.” That is about as expansive a statement of love that I can imagine from a sixth grade boy. I treasure this statement today. All three of these “bad” boys touched my soul so deeply that I fondly remember them still in my senior years. They included my soul in their actions toward me.
As in so many of the stories in this book, acts of love when I expected harm, informed my soul of what was possible. When we respond with a balance of Feminine Principle and Masculine Principle, we expand our minds and hearts in ways that extend a lasting love to others. We nourish our own soul with every loving act. We also include and nourish the soul of the other with every loving act.
I think back to one seemingly tragic event after another in my life. I say “seemingly” because every one of them informed my soul that there was a higher way when I opened myself and allowed a higher response. So one way to look at inclusion is to include this higher way of being which brings miraculous results. I even remember the day I declared to myself that it no longer mattered if “bad” things happened to me because they would simply give me more things to teach about. And this reflects my knowing that I would embrace my whole life, include whatever circumstances I had to face, learn from any situation, and then share my learnings with others. With this awareness I no longer need to exclude any life experience by calling it “bad” or unacceptable.
Feminine energy will be called ever more into balance with masculine energy as we move further into the Age of Aquarius. Look at feminine energy as more expansive and inclusive. If you think about changes we have been going through for some years now, you will realize that this feminine energy has been coming in for quit a while. In our country alone, we see how the Feninine Principle of inclusion has expanded over the last century. Women were given the right to vote in 1920. Women entered the work force in the 1900ds. It was as recent as 1964 and 1968 that Blacks were given needed civil rights. The handicapped asked to be included and we are now giving greater consideration to needs of the handicapped. Gays, lesbians, and transexuals are still asking for inclusion. So are people of different religions and cultures. Perhaps Earth Herself is crying for inclusion on our higher ways. We still have a long way to go with all of these in terms of inclusion.
We have the internet which has expanded our consciousness to be global. With every change there is disruption like a boat turning in the water. We don’t have to be scared of these changes. We need to understand the energy of inclusion, see the value in this Feminine process, and join the expansion to reap miraculous rewards of our own expansion.
I chose inclusion as the theme of one retreat for the spiritual community that I led. The goal was to undo learned exclusion by having an experience of inclusion wherein we knew that we would find our place. To do this I divided the participants into small groups and assigned each one a common childhood game to figure out how to play it backwards so that instead of ending with one winner and the rest losers, we would all end up as winners.
One group reversed Musical Chairs. We started with one chair for the whole group. Every time the music stopped and one person sat in the chair we added another chair. We continued this process until all were included. I will never forget the sigh of relief and joy in the group when the last person sat in the last chair and we had all been included. We are so used to creating losers rather than winners. We are used to excluding rather than including. I didn’t realize the pain of this until I experienced relief and the pleasure of inclusion.
Another group reversed Tag. Here, the experience of being “tagged out” was reversed to the experience of being “tagged in.” We started with one person who was “in” until all were included in the “in” group. Instead of being systematically eliminated, each was included and embraced. Anticipation of being included brings such joy. We are so used to anticipating exclusion, or losing, that we dull all our emotions to not experience this feeling one more time.
One group played “Mother My I” and instead of asking for permission, each was to give themselves permission to fulfill a wish. We all listened to our own, and then the heart’s desires of each other. With permission from within and welcome from without we acted on our desires giving our unique gifts to the community. I remember one very shy woman dreamed of being a dancer and she decided to include this desire as something she could fulfill in her life. She danced freely for us and was welcomed by our delight in her and for her. With experiences like this we gained courage to give our gifts to the world to make the world a better place.
Many childhood experiences invite us to war, or at least to competition. One group reversed the invitation to aggression as seen in Red Rover to the invitation to be blessed with a Tai Chi type energy move that assisted the flow of group energy instead of disrupting the flow of group energy.
In Blind Man’s Buff, one player designated as “it” is bind folded and gropes around attempting to touch the other players without being able to see them, while the other players scatter and try to avoid the person who is “it,” hiding in plain sight and sometimes teasing them to make them change directions. Once group reversed the experience we so often have as we make our way through life feeling blind and often teased or taunted rather than helped as we grope our way Each of us was blind folded and then lovingly led around the grounds. This experience helped reverse the feeling of helplessness in feeling alone in our growth, to an experience of being kindly led and guided along the higher path. One of the goals for this exercise was to unlock gifts we had kept hidden since childhood because we believed there was no help for us along the way and we saw no happy ending.
One group was to reverse the experience of hurtful taunting to healing toning. This group took the taunt, “Na nanaa nanaana” and reversed it into a song of invitation to join the group, “Na nanaa naanana hey, hey come join us.” This felt so good to all of us that it became part of our community process. In years that followed, whenever we were gathering, we would begin to sing this song until all joined in the activity. This toning served as an invitation for all of us to be open vessels for divinity to move through us, feeling our bodies alive with sound and vibration.
And, if you have never done a group Belly Laugh, it is a must. One person lies on the floor and the next will lay down placing their had on the person’s belly. You can do this with a many people as the space allows. It won’t be long before everyone is roaring with laughter. Laughter is so healing. So the overall goal of these reversals is to experience assurance of inclusion, to know we belong, to feel safely connected, to feel welcomed, to know group harmony, to unlock gifts we withhold, to feel the pleasure of cooperation, to feel the flow of life, to listen inwardly for our own heart’s desires, and to be encouraged to share our unique gifts with the world.
To shift our focus to inclusion, we need to recognize that we exclude, what and who we exclude, and how we exclude. We need to see that we exclude our Selves, what we exclude about our Selves, and how we exclude our Selves. Only then can we see that we have the option to include our Selves and others, what we could include, and how we could include that. Exclusion denies every man and woman their divinity. We re-reverse what we reversed to adapt into culture in order to include.
At the cultural level, justice means seeing to revenge against someone else making sure something bad happens to them as payment for harm or a perceived harm. We are contracted in fear and anger and we call for others to be contacted along with us. At the spiritual level, Justice means adjusting our own energy to bring our own Good to us. This is to include our divinity and our shift would bring Good to others at the same time. This is a reversal, the kind that takes place when we shift our consciousness from what was considered “normal” for thousands of years. The energy of inclusion in the Age of Aquarius will give us more and more opportunities to bring Justice to the people of the world and to Earth Herself.
Forgiving changes us. In true forgiving, we make demands on ourselves rather than on others. And that demand is to shift to using our higher Self. This is different from saying that another harmed us and we are letting them off the hook. It says that we are willing to bring feminine expansion to our own thinking that is restricted. This allows us to give a loving, inclusive response that brings freedom to our own mind as well as releasing a demand upon the other to stay narrow with us. This reversal takes us out of blame mode, releases our contraction, and empowers us to think and act anew. We either justify fear, anger, and attack or we allow our Selves to see differently and receive Justice – bring our Good to our Selves. In a situation where you feel angry, ask yourself what you want from “them” and see how you are not giving that to yourself. What would it be to give that to yourself? Ask yourself what “they” gave you that you did not want and stop giving that to yourself. What would it be to stop giving that to yourself? Where do you want to get even with someone? What would be a win/win solution here? This shift in mind is known a forgiving.
Justice as revenge is rendered by people toward other people. Spiritual Justice comes from proper use of our life force itself in a way that blesses both our Selves and others. When we stop calling for another to contract, we extend to them an opportunity to grow. As long as we want to bring harm to others we cannot bless our Selves either. Both Freedom and Justice come from releasing our constriction, allowing rather than resisting. Justice comes to us in bringing our feminine and masculine energies to balance. Blame means we are stuck in contraction. Balance means we can properly expand our view to see the problem before us in a bigger picture, and then select an appropriate and effective response. And if Plan A does not prove to be effective, we are free to create a Plan B, C, or D without calling ourselves a failure. When not open to create we are living with the inner “I can’t” which tells Spirit that we are not open to receive higher thought.
Win/lose resides in the same place in consciousness as fear and guilt, where thinking that is feminine in nature (open/expanded) is not balanced with thinking that is masculine in nature (closed/narrow). Here we believe in punishment toward ourselves and others. Win/lose resides in the same place in consciousness as victim consciousness. When we see ourselves as victims we victimize others. When we victimize others we see ourselves as victims. Losers are always trying to become winners and winners are always trying to not be losers. If we win in a win/lose situation, we know that the joy of that will not last long.
Miracles, coming from a state of balance, reverse win/lose thinking. In miracles no one loses. Acts of inclusion allow us to broaden our thinking to get out of win/lose mentality. Acts of inclusion allow us to broaden our thinking to bring blessings to our Selves and others. In balanced thought, we can figure out win/win solutions. In separated thinking we believe that punishment is just and we seek revenge as a just reaction. In separated thinking we believe that losing is just, and we seek to compete in a way that we win. To justify revenge is to not forgive our past. This means that we hold energy against another and do not expand our thinking to find inclusive options helpful to both. This form of justification denies the Self. In balanced thinking we believe that peace is Just, and we seek creative responses as Just.
In win/lose thinking, we call on the past to justify being unloving in the present. We remember losing or being victimized and we don’t want a repeat of that. However, in repeating the same pattern, we call for the same exclusive results. In the present, with balanced thinking, we can create a new response that is inclusive. We either expand our thinking, grow with every new situation, or we judge the situation before us in a way to justify victimizing our selves and others. When we function from our Christ level of thinking, we see Christ everywhere. Souls speak to souls in an inclusive way.
It feels isolating to live in a world that excludes. Those of us willing to wake up and speak up will need to continue to live in the world and not be of it. We will need to reverse many, many things in the world that have been considered “normal” for thousands of years in order to include the feminine and therefore be able to be free to include each other. Only with a balance in the holy aspect of ourselves do we become inclusive.
What do we exclude? We exclude our divinity, our Good. Who do we exclude? We exclude all people on Earth and Earth Herself. How do we exclude? We exclude by making judgments and deeming people or Earth unworthy of love. Why do we exclude? We exclude because we are taught to exclude, to not honor the feminine in balance with the masculine. How do we include all of these? We include by allowing ourselves to use our holy function which balances expansion with contraction.