By David Spangler
I was sitting on a sofa in my home reading when a non-physical being abruptly appeared in the air in front of me. While this in itself was not unusual for me, the appearance of this being was. He looked like a knight out of a storybook, clad in shining golden armor, his face hidden within its helmet. On its chest burned a flame, as bright and radiant as a piece of sunlight. He said clearly, “I am a Knight of Fiery Hope! I speak to all humans. You are not entering a darkened age. You are entering a time when the Light of your creative spirit can manifest new vision and new life. Be what I am. Let fiery hope, not despair or fear, shape your world.” Having delivered this message, this being then disappeared.
As always when dealing with subtle beings, the felt sense behind an encounter or communication is at least as important, and sometimes more so, than the actual words that are used. The thought processes of such beings are invariably dense with interconnections and meanings, far more than can be accurately reproduced in a few lines of linear text. In this case, I was aware that what this being was saying had little to do with the future. He wasn’t saying, “Have hope for the future” or “Have hope because everything’s going to work out and your planetary problems will all be solved.” Rather he was describing a creative presence and potential within us—something “fiery” in the sense of being active and dynamic and something that holds open the door of possibility.
The Nature of Hope
Hope does not depend on external or outer events. There certainly can be and are hopeful things happening in the world that are seeds of change, of goodwill, of compassion, of vision and creativity. But many of the events reported in all the various media that now bring news of the world into our lives are not hopeful and can lead people to feel hopeless and helpless.
No, hope doesn't arise from what's happening around us. It arises from us, from who we are, from what we can do and how we can engage the world. We are the creators of possibilities and potentials; we make the opportunities for something new and better to emerge in our world.
Hope that lives in an individual because that person has a powerful vision and understanding of his or her generative and sovereign nature is important. It's the kindling from which Fiery Hope takes flame. But the "fire" of Fiery Hope, that which enables it to be a force for change in the world, is fed by connection and relationship, partnership and collaboration. It is a flame rising out of what we do together as well as what we do as individuals.
A holistic vision of the world that includes acknowledgement of the subtle realms expands the possibilities of partnership to include not just other humans but the realms of nature as well, and it expands them to include not just physical beings but non-physical allies, too. It offers a scope for collaboration that is truly breath-taking. In so doing, it holds up the potential that the creative, life-changing, life-affirming "flame" of Fiery Hope can burn more brightly and more powerfully than we may have ever imagined before. We become participants in a world of Hope, bringing it into being, rather than victims in a world of hopelessness.
“Fiery Hope” is an affirmation that we are a source of hope because we are—or can be—a source of change and new vision. A particular course of events may be inevitable, but our response to it is not. We can respond in ways we could not have predicted or that a simple description of the event would have predicted.
Hope isn’t a wish; it’s an inner capacity, first to be open to possibilities for action and vision that refuse to be circumscribed or defined by circumstances and which thus can be transformative in the moment, and second, to add our energy to bring those possibilities to life through action of some nature. It is “fiery” because it taps into our passion, our commitment, our intentionality, our spirit.
Hope can change the future by opening us to new possibilities and choices which can make a difference; but just as importantly, hope can change ourselves. It can change how we meet events that cannot in themselves be changed for one reason or another but which can be altered in their effects by how we respond, especially by how we work together and care for each other. Hope can make us resilient as well as creative. It is “fiery” because in honoring ourselves and what we are capable of doing, we can burn away hopelessness and the sense of helplessness that comes with it.
Those of us of a certain age will remember Ecotopia, a utopian novel published in 1975. It tells the story of a new country formed when Washington, Oregon, and northern California break away from the rest of the United States in order to create a nation founded on ecological principles and technologies. It was hugely influential in the burgeoning ecological and environmental movements of the time. When its author, Ernest Callenbach, died, he left behind a farewell letter. It discusses the many ecological challenges and other difficulties facing humanity. He then asks the question, “Although we may not be capable of changing history, how can we equip ourselves to survive it?”His answers include mutual support, teamwork, altruism, working on behalf of the common good, and the “enormously creative” power of collaborative thinking, all things I’ve discussed over the years in various writings. But the number one survival quality on his list is hope. Hope makes all the other things possible by opening us to them.
Views from the Lorian Community publishes essays from a team of volunteer writers expressing individual experiences of a long term, committed practice of Incarnational Spirituality (and the general principles shaping such a practice.) Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or thoughts of any other person in Lorian or of Lorian as a whole. If you would like to subscribe, please visit our website and click on Follow Our Blog Via Email. Or email the editor:firstname.lastname@example.org.