Cecil J. Thompson
Each year we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. on the anniversary of his death, April 4, 1968. During this time the nation and the world celebrate what they consider to be the legacy of this great civil rights leader. News outlets and organizations hold events during which the contents of King's speeches and sermons are read and recordings of his voice are played over and over again. On those sound waves, we ride on the wonderous beauty and truth-telling of a great voice that graced the stage of life in the 20th Century.
We are reminded that in the last one hundred years came a truth-teller into the human family who said, "America is essentially a dream..." But this prophecy of the "dream essence" was not limited to America; in many speeches Dr. King echoed universally that the "brotherhood of man will one day become a reality." This means the world too is "essentially a dream." To affirm that America and the world are "essentially" a dream is to make a solemn prophetic delcaration to the children of God that our basic nature is a dream, a powerful essence floating over millennia within the Being of God.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a cosmic griot who came to tell the world about this dream-essence flowing through the birth canal of spiritual consciousness and born as light forms of new consciousness. In this sense, the cosmic griot is more like a prophet than a griot in the traditional setting.
Traditionally, a "griot" in West Africa is a person who tells the history of a family or village through music, poetry and storytelling. In that perspective, the griot's role is cultural. The griot is an aging soul rooted in a particular culture and whose mind and imagination are a sacred space in which histories and memories are kept. Yet, this extraordinary role of historian and storyteller is constrained by historical time and cultural space.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a griot, but a different kind of griot. Like a prophet, the cosmic griot has cosmic connection. Dr. King was a cosmic griot whose message was the story of a timeless history whose currents of love, peace, and justice live in an eternal push against time-based structures of unjust laws, outmoded customs, and prejudices based on race, culture, religion, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. This griot's mind and imagination were sacred spaces in which spiritual Truths were kept and through which they flowed into time from what he called "the dim nest of eternity." King was intensely aware of our cosmic connection!
In an article entitled, "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence," Martin Luther King Jr. stated: "I am convinced that the universe is under the control of a loving purpose and that in the struggle for righteousness man has cosmic companionship." Thus, he traveled in this world not just as an indivdual nurtured by history and culture, but as a created being connected to a universe controlled by a "loving purpose." Martin Luther King, Jr. had "cosmic companionship."
In unearthing this connection to Divine purpose, Martin Luther King Jr.'s statement about the basic dream-nature/essence of America and the world, asks: what is a dream? Is it just a daydream? Is it just some sort of abstraction or trance that an individual, nation, or world falls into momentarily? Is a dream a nightmare in which radical intuitions turn into bad intentions and spark war, bloody revolutions, and result in senseless amounts of physical death and mental anguish? Or, is a dream our deepest aspiration born out of the sacred confines of the spirit by the Spirit in the manger of the soul? Here, we see four types of dreams: daydreams, trance-dreams, nightmare-dreams, and aspirational dreams. A dream could be any of these, but only one points fully to the basic nature ( or dream-essence) that Martin Luther King Jr. was talking about.
Daydreams signal a momentary escape from the present, ignoring the Spirit's life of presence and concentration in every moment in the chain of time. And the search for individual or collective dominance fed by the illusion of power and superiority are forms of escape from reality in the life of Spirit. Therefore, instead of qualifying as the dream-essence Martin Luther King, Jr. affirmed, daydreaming is a target of King's spiritual call away from social unconsciousness and illusions of power that stand in violent opposition to the loving purpose that controls the universe.
The trance-dream or abstractions are, sometimes, acts by Spirit to wake us up from the massive collective unconsciousness and "sleep walking" in the midst of some of the most horrible circumstances of poverty, war, and conflict in the world. For many of us these are false-starts because, in many instances, we fail to pick up on the energy generated or vistas of truth that open up in the trance. Being overwhelmed by the burdens of time, we miss the opportunity to respond to the Divine call to spiritually and socially conscious living. The trance-dream is part of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message because it reveals persistent energies in the life of Spirit that try throughout our lives to plug us into awareness of our cosmic companionship.
The nightmare-dream is a state of deep unconsciousness, outer-darkness alienation, disconnection from the source of life, and absence from the Spirit's Light of Truth. This is the state in which radical intuitions turn into bad intentions that take poverty for granted, spark war, continue systems of social and political oppression, start bloody revolutions, and fuel hatred and enmity that last for many generations. This nightmare-dream is not the dream-essence Martin Luther King Jr. was talking about; in fact, this way of living and being in the world is alien to the Light so even though the mind knows it, the Spirit cannot know it because whatever the Spirit knows is part of its Being.
The aspirational-dream (in which we carry a strong desire to achieve) speaks about something that exists in Divine consciousness: our source of cosmic companionship. We do not carry the aspirational-dream. We are the aspirational-dream carried in the womb of creation, floating for millennia within the Being of God. We are the dream-essence now flowing through the birth canal of spiritual consciousness.
So in talking about the dream-essence of America and the world, Martin Luther King Jr. was telling us about cosmic fertility that cannot be destroyed by poverty, war, guns, and bombs; he was telling us that the cosmos was pregnant and we were about to be born, not as flesh restricted by time and space, but as unexplainable spiritual forces cloaked in the Light forms of LOVE, PEACE, KINDNESS, COMPASSION, JUSTICE, and RECONCILIATION. In America, Europe, Asia, Austailia, Africa, and the Middle-east we are coming to birth as the new light forms of consciousness. In this new reality, we do not need long treatises or classical explanations to explain love, peace, kindness, compassion, justice, and reconciliation. We do not need anymore conceptions. We already are incarnations of the forms of light.
When we embrace our sisters and brothers in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria struggling against the injustice of totalitarian governments, we know we are JUSTICE. When we join the peace movement or speak on the side of our sisters and brothers in the peace movement---through social media and other outlets---against war, we are peace. No fear exists at this level of knowing because the oxygen we breathe here is the blessing of PEACE itself: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God" (Matt 5:9). When we can't even remember the nurtured impulses of race predjudice and discrimination and can no longer see the color of skin as a barrier, we are LOVE and COMPASSION.
When we are no longer tormented by sneaky social and economic prejudices that the ninety-nine percent movement in America is a nuisance, and we are no longer emotionally susceptible to brain washing that they are illegitimate, we become justice. When we can live with the homeless, be around them, feel the problem, advocate for change, then, we live in the testimony of our transformation into LOVE and KINDNESS.
When we accept sisters and brothers of any race, religion, nationality, creed, gender, disability, or sexual orientation as part of our lives without walls, we do not just walk in the Light of reconciliation, we are the Light of RECONCILIATION. In this way, out of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream-essence in the 20th Century, we are born as Light forms of new consciousness.