Happy are they that hear their detractions and can put them to mending. – Shakespeare
There is a tree east of the Gateway Community Building. It’s a wild-looking thing, weathered, bleached and burnt, with misshapen, broken branch stubs poking from the trunk. Aloft, huge branches stab the sky in every direction with long, unruly pendulums of mottled leaves. It’s been through fire and storm and looks ragged and old. It reminds me of some of the rough-hewn characters I’ve known, before they went through a Lemurian metamorphosis.
On the other side of the building is a younger tree of the same species that looks like it has been through a Lemurian metamorphosis. It’s been groomed, shaped into a graceful, lovely specimen. That tree reminds me of students and Order members who have the opportunity to grow up with the Lemurian studies.
I was encouraged early on to leave my cares and worries at the gate when I come onto Gateway. That could also have referred to my old world survival tools; best to leave them at the gate too. Something like surrendering your guns to the Sheriff in an old west town. But, accustomed to being defensive, I didn’t know then what that meant.
When I arrived in Ramona, I was a little like the old tree – shaped by adversity. I was recovering from divorce, ill, alone, working at a new job. Though I’d found the Lemurian Philosophy years before, the stubby remnants of old thought still collided with my newer Lemurian approaches. Sometimes I felt alone, misunderstood, misjudged. The very tools that helped me navigate out in the world, such as my New York sense of humor with teasing, sarcastic come-backs, sometimes brought conflict with fellow students or supervisors. Once, I made one of my usual barbed comments while working with a Fellowship member. He quietly mentioned that he used to joke that way too, but he had noticed that the humor is more kindly and warm here, so he changed his approach.
I’m still working on that! But as I spend more time in the atmosphere of the Lemurian Work, my old world survival tools are less important. I’m calmer, more receptive, more accepting of the guidance provided. This is my Lemurian metamorphosis. Gradually I’ve realized that some strategies that helped me navigate in the old world won’t be part of the new civilization. And this ragged, rough-edged, wild, burnt, unruly thing that I am, has taken root here.
Many students come to us tired, wary, scarred by the battle which is life in the old world. We extend our loving acceptance, while realizing that their survival strategies may not apply here. Over time, with kindness and compassion, we try to show them that it’s safe to leave their worries and cares, and their old world survival tools, at the gate. They can pick them up again when they leave if they want, but that need will diminish as their Lemurian metamorphosis works its magic. With the help of my fellow students, the Fellowship and the Elder Brothers, I enjoy watching our new arrivals, rough and smooth, put down their roots, and like these trees, glorify God’s earth with goodness while helping build the foundation of the civilization to come.
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