January 1 2014

   “On the afternoon when Metatron announced to Carlos Santana much of what would subsequently happen to him, there was another message. He was looking at the light of a candle, and the candle got really big. He was meditating with a group of people, and the group went into this beautiful hall with many rooms where an old Asian man came up to Carlos Santana. He had a question.

   “What is it that you’re looking for with so much intensity?” the old Asian man asked him.

   It was a good question.

   “I’m looking for the perfect melody,” Carlos told him.

   Everything went quiet.

   “Child,” the old man said, “don’t you know that you are that already?”

   As he tells me this, Carlos Santana smiles at me, solidly patient, firmly gracious and determinedly grateful. “And I know it sounds really crazy to a lot of people, but it’s OK, because I’m not afraid of what people think . . . . My reality is my reality. I’m not going to deny it. I’m not going to deny it all. I stand in front of people. Behold my reality.” by Chris Heath: March 16, 2000, Rolling Stone Magazine

Jeremy Roos: “In these times of crisis, it is crucial to remember that the seeds of a better society already lie embedded in the contradictions of the current one. In the Western world, at least, Christmas is a profoundly schizophrenic time of year. On the one hand, the holidays bring out some of the best aspects of what it means to be human: people coming together to share food and gifts in a communal spirit that temporarily breaks with the alienation of everyday life. But, at the same time, the holidays shine a light on some of the worst elements of consumerism and false pretense that have come to pervade the social fabric: endless lines of zombified humans stumbling mindlessly through pretentiously decorated shopping malls in search of the latest useless gadget or gift card, confirming once again that the only way to express value in late capitalist society is through the accumulation of entirely useless commodities, even as countless people to go sleep in the cold streets at night.”

   I had a dream when I was in my early teens that would haunt me for more than 15 years. In my dream, I saw a newspaper with a date far in the future, just days before what would be my thirtieth birthday, and I knew, I knew, I would not live to see that date.

   My next birthday, in November 2014, will be number 60. If I live to see that one, I will have lived twice as long as the maximum that I believed possible for so many years. I might chalk it up to the near-death experience, the car crash days before my eighteenth birthday, during which I made a conscious decision to stay here in this body at this time in humankind’s history. I am glad I stayed. But as 2014 dawns and our culture encourages us to look ahead and to make resolutions regarding growth and changes in the new year, I feel have to point out some hard realities.

   I opened this piece with two very different views of where we are today: a perspective of someone who is not afraid to say, “behold me as I am”; and one that points to a crucial dysfunction of our culture, whereby consumerism blinds and distracts so many of us from beholding ourselves as we truly are. Which story describes you? I hope the first one, because those of us who know of what Carlos speaks offer the only hope we, the human race, have of surviving this century. And if that is your story, then join me in making 2014 the year when the gloves come off and we manifest what is true and compassionate and loving; a way of being that is the only life meant to be felt by humans in this plane of existence.

   And if you are in the second group, I must ask: how’s that working for you? Do you still trust anything you hear from our government or our media? Do you still trust any bank? Do you still trust that voting not only works, but that once you have completed *your duty as a citizen* that nothing more is required of you until the next election cycle? Do you trust that the water you drink, the food you eat, and the air you breathe, won’t kill you? Do you trust your police to only arrest the people who need it? Do you trust that your dream of someday retiring in peace and plenty can still come true? Do you trust that those little plastic debit and credit cards you carry will always be able to buy you what you think you want? And do you remain deep in that fog of distraction, worried about who will be the next Top Chef or Voice of America, or if the Hobbit will ultimately best the dragon? Did you just add hundreds of dollars of debt in order to gift plastics or rare earths to your family and friends over the Christmas holiday, in an attempt to make sure they will still love you in the New Year? And do you still believe that technology and some new energy source will arrive just in time to let us all continue on our consumer binge?

   Ultimately, our collective future was shown to me by my son. Jody Lee Tennant; April 29, 1979 – January 13, 1980. He showed me what our life will look like if we manage to survive this coming year and the several that will follow. He was literally days away from walking and talking when he died; yet the message he carried (unconditional love) in his body and communicated (unconditional love) in his smile and lived (unconditional love) with every molecule of his being is the only message we need in this dire moment of our collective history; unconditional love. What does it look like, to love everyone as you love your spiritual Father and Mother? What does it look like, to let go of greed and hoarding because we understand that we have enough for all? What does it look like, to walk a mile in another’s shoes, and then gift them with the one thing they need; unconditional love?

   In those first few years after you left us, my son, I would have gladly traded places with you. I had drunk deeply of life, you barely had a sip. I would have given up my pain and let you have a place in the Sun, given half a chance. But I stayed and I am glad; and I am grateful for what you taught me. Now how can I teach the world on your behalf?

   Behold my reality. I cannot *make* love, I can only reflect the love that I sense. Love surrounds me, as it surrounds you, dear reader. So many of us look for love we can cling to, for love to sustain us, for love to validate our choices in life. What does it look like once I realize that I can only ever reflect love, so that you may bask in its glory and wonder? What does that look like? In 2014, let’s find out!

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