Election 2020 is like no other election I remember. For me, there’s a great sense of urgency. I have always hoped my favorite candidate would win – if I even had one – but it was never such a big deal. I trusted that the basic values upholding the United States of America were intact. Now, as William Butler Yeats might put it, I wonder if the center can hold. Has anarchy already been loosed upon the world?

The funny thing is, I imagine folks on both sides of the political stage feel the same way.

As a contemplative, I tend to fall back on my spiritual practices to cope. Yet, lately, prayer and meditation even seem futile. What’s going on?

Cynthia Bourgeault to the rescue. I’m currently reading her new book, Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm. Frankly, it’s fascinating. It would take a book to unpack this information. Thanks, Cynthia, for taking care of that. But there is one main takeaway I think I can briefly summarize, and it’s sparking new life in me.

Ready for this?

We play a pivotal role in the flow of essential energies between realms.


Here’s another way to say it. Human beings uniquely participate in a kind of cosmic energy exchange. In my way of thinking about it, we have the capacity to “call down” subtle spiritual energies from higher, less dense realms and infuse those energies back into our world. As Cynthia puts it, we’re transformers.

But why would this be important?

Well, this exchange of energy is necessary for maintaining cosmic homeostasis. Human virtue is an actual food supporting organic life on this planet.

And…it’s through our own work of conscious transformation that this exchange between realms plays out.

Do you know what this means? As Bourgeault puts it (paraphrasing Gurdjieff by the way): Our human orientation toward the good is not a personal virtue but a collective cosmic responsibility.

Again, wow.

Our inner work exists for the sake of the world, not the other way around.

So, yes, I could say I engage in my practices to help me cope with this crazy world. There’s some truth to that. Yet, now I’m considering the possibility that the inner work I do is actually helping this world, this planet, in ways I barely imagined. Think about it. You and I are (or at least we can be) conduits of vital healing energy, which is something this world desperately needs right now.

I don’t have any way of proving this to you, but it does ring true to me. Does it strike a chord with you? Leave a comment below and let me know. I’d love to talk more about it.

Going Further

Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm by Cynthia Bourgeault

The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming An Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart by Cynthia Bourgeault

In Search of the Miraculous by P. D. Ouspensky

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