THE PRESENCE OF LOVE
God’s Answer to Humanity’s Cry for Help
Return to the Feminine
In order to accomplish the great work of planetary healing that we are called to do together, we must re-connect to our Essence and to the Great Mother who gives birth to all life. This is a bigger challenge then many may expect, because human consciousness has been dominated for thousands of years by the male, outward energies and the patriarchal cultures they have created on planet Earth.
The male energies have fueled an outward exploration that has resulted in the conquest of all continents and countries on our planet. Tribal and indigenous cultures have been eradicated or displaced by these aggressive, and often violent energies. Traditional peoples have suffered greatly under the occupation of soldiers seeking fame and fortune. Peaceful villages where people lived in harmony and interdependence with nature have been plundered. The countryside has been decimated. Mountains have been excavated, rivers dammed up or re- routed. Women have been raped, children have been murdered and men have been sold into slavery.
This is the unfortunate legacy left by western culture run amuck. In the name of God and Country, human beings have brutalized each other. And this same aggressive, exploitive energy is alive today in our consciousness and our actions. We cannot afford to allow it to dominate our world. We must reign in its destructive forces and bring them clearly into our awareness. We must expose the wound behind the anger, the pain behind the attack. Only then will the reactive machine—driven by our collective unworthiness—stop its machinations, for it will run out of fuel.
Meanwhile, we must turn our own consciousness inward to connect with the great Mother and her nurturing energies. We must learn to find peace in our hearts and minds. We must learn that we are worthy of love and so is everyone else. Until we know this firmly and securely, all our creations will be driven by fear.
We are not repudiating the masculine principle. We will come back to it in time. But first we must connect to Mother’s love. Then and then only will our actions be beneficial to ourselves and to others. The world that we are being asked to build together cannot be created out of fear. It must be built with love.
In order to do that, we must return to the feminine principle and learn to embody it. We must surrender to Divine Mother and allow Her to teach us.
Communing with Mother
Every day Mother asks us to connect with Her unconditional love for us in our hearts. She asks us to wrap the gentle mantle of Her acceptance around us. She asks us to feel the warmth of Her embrace in every cell of our bodies.
This is the core practice in this work. We are asked to feel Mother’s love when we get up in the morning and to remember it throughout the day. Whenever we feel anxious or unworthy, whenever fear, or doubt or anger comes up during the day, we are to remember Mother’s love and give it to ourselves. We are to bathe ourselves in the fragrance and the vibration of Her love.
Her love is the foundation of our existence. For it is only when we are connected to this Source or Essence of our Being that we can live a spirit-rich life, a life that embodies the energy of unconditional love.
Before beginning this work, many of us do not have an awareness of, or a connection with the Great Mother. That is not surprising. She lives behind the scenes. She does not call attention to Herself. The Taoists call her the Gateway to the Mysteries. In Her dark, impenetrable, void is the origin of the Tao itself, or the Great Way of all beings.
Every individual being has its origin in the Great Being. All form has its origin in formlessness. From the dark womb of the Mother, the myriad things are brought into
It is hard to talk about the Mother, for Hers is the primordial darkness from which the Father arises. Hers is the Infinite Kingdom before “Let there be Light.”
Until Father comes on the scene, there is no differentiation, no up or down, no male or female. The Great Mother is the primal Unity. She contains all the opposites. Duality comes from her. But prior to duality, prior to separation, there is only Her.
She is the subtle essence we all take for granted. When we think about God, we usually think about God the Father. For it is His voice that we hear when guidance comes.
Yet Mother is prior to that voice. She is the silence in which the voice is heard.
Many people complain that they cannot hear God’s voice. But that is because they have not yet entered the deep, fathomless cave of the Mother. Only when they enter that place and abide there, can the voice be heard.
This is the secret, dear ones. You cannot come to the Father except through the Mother. This is what Jesus was trying to tell us.
You must get quiet and learn to listen. You must become profoundly patient and receptive. You must cultivate acceptance of yourself and others. You must sink into the heart. For that is where Mother lives: in your heart of hearts. That is the manger. That is the secret place where the infant Christ lies swaddled and protected by Her love. That is the incubation chamber.
Do you think it was only Jesus that needed the incubation experience? How can that be? Mother’s womb was not just for him. It was and is for all of us.
The Invitation of Divine Mother
The most important news of the day is not to be found in all of the trials and tribulations reported in the newspaper or on the television news. Nor is it to be found in the dramas that we play out in our personal lives every day. It is not to be found in the pain and misery we perceive within us or outside of us.
The most important news is that there is something that is right with you and me and with the world we live in. There is something in us that is whole and complete. It doesn’t need to be redeemed or fixed. It does not need to be changed or revised. It is absolutely okay just the way it is. Nothing is lacking in it.
That is the news that Divine Mother brings to us today.
Throughout all of human history, that has always been Her message to us.” In this very moment,” Mother tells us, “you are completely worthy of love and acceptance.”
There are no hoops that we need to jump through to qualify. There are no tests to pass or missions to accomplish. Indeed, we need do nothing to be worthy of Mother’s love. It is given to us unconditionally now and for all time.
Mother’s love is not connected to what we “do” or “do not do.” It is ours simply because we are here. Just by being present we can receive and embody all of Her love.
Unfortunately, most of us do not take the time to “just be” We don’t take time to breathe and center and go within to connect with Mother’s unconditional love for us. That is why the first Spiritual Practice asks us to do this sincerely every day.
Without connecting to love, we forget our origin. We get drawn out into the drama of life and live in reaction to it.
Jesus asked us to live in the world but not to be of the world. He knew that we have our priorities upside down. We are all running around looking for fulfillment in the world, but it is a useless journey. The world cannot give us what we want.
Buddha told us the same thing. That is why he asked us to cultivate non-attachment.
All authentic forms of spirituality ask us to abandon the search for love and security outside of ourselves. They tell us that the only true security is within. It can be found only in our direct connection with our Source.
So we need to go to Mother and ask Her: “Please show me how to love myself without conditions. Please show me how to accept myself in this radical and profound way”
And Mother will help us to get quiet and feel Her presence. She will teach us to hold the space of safety for ourselves so that we can know at the deepest level that we are worthy of love.
The Practice of Acceptance
Mother’s way is the practice of Acceptance. She asks us to accept ourselves as we are. She asks us to accept others as they are. She asks us to accept life as it is in this moment.
We can do this practice only in the present moment. We cannot love yesterday or tomorrow. We can love only what is before us right now.
In order to connect with Mother’s energy, we need to practice acceptance in each moment. When we are practicing, we are experiencing Her love.
When we forget to practice, we begin to judge, find fault, condemn, or criticize. We compare ourselves to others. We expect things to be different from the way things are.
That is the beginning of our suffering, because things are not going to be different. They are going to be however they are. We cannot change what is. The attempt to do so creates misery all around us.
We cannot change what is. We can change only what we think about it, the way that we perceive it, or the way that we expect it to be.
All of us have ways of thinking that distort the true meaning of our experience as it unfolds. We all have judgments, criticisms, and opinions and all of these interfere with our practice of Acceptance. We need to keep reminding ourselves that “all of my judgments, interpretations, pictures, expectations, etc. are illusions.” We need to keep telling ourselves that “what I think about this doesn’t matter. It is irrelevant.”
Our job is to accept and work with what is, not to resist it or try to change it. So we need to see our resistance as it arises. We need to see our attachments and let them go. We need to see our expectations and drop them. We need to keep bringing ourselves back to our simple, pure practice of accepting life as it unfolds, moment to moment.
“Not Fixing” is Mother’s motto. She keeps reminding us that things are okay the way they are. They don’t need to be changed or fixed. People may come to us with problems, but as soon as we try to fix their problems we are going to make them worse. So we need to stop trying to fix others. We need to let them be as they are.
You see, Mother knows that most problems are “problems of perception.” In other words, most problems are subjective. There is a problem because you perceive a problem, because you are judging or finding fault. In other words, the problem is not out there in the world. It is in your consciousness.
So if you recognize this, you can make a shift within your consciousness. You can see where the discomfort is and correct it. You can shift from judging to accepting.
The only time that doesn’t work is when you make yourself wrong for judging and start to beat yourself up for doing it. That creates another level of suffering. So before you can shift out of judgment, you have to forgive your judgments.
In the end, you have to return to Mother’s love. That means you have to come back into that state of consciousness in which you know that you are okay just the way you are. You can’t do that as long as you are beating yourself up, just as you can’t do it when you are judging someone else.
A related and helpful practice of Mother’s is “Do no harm.” In the Hindu religion it is called Ahimsa or Harmlessness. Gandhi was a great role model for this practice.
In approaching others, we say to ourselves “Even when I cannot love, even when I cannot accept, even when I cannot bless, I must do no harm in thought, word, or deed.” We hold others harmless when we refrain from judging them, criticizing them, telling lies or gossiping about them. By refraining from such thoughts and actions, we give others the benefit of the doubt. We place them in God’s hands.
The practice of Acceptance is a profound, life-long practice. It is the way that we work with the Divine Mother energy and embody it in our lives.
Those who have Mother wounds have difficulty accepting themselves and others. They don’t feel worthy of love. They don’t know how to nurture themselves or other people. To function in life, they often build a wall around their hearts and don’t easily let anyone in. They have doubts and fears like anyone else, but they quickly stuff them. They are afraid to feel anything. They don’t do well with intimacy.
There are two types of mother wounds. One comes from an absent mother or from insufficient mothering. The other comes from an over-bearing mother or from too much mothering.
People who received insufficient mothering don’t feel emotionally supported. They are hungry for love and acceptance and often become involved in co-dependent relationships with substitute mothers in the attempt to experience the mothering they did not experience growing up. They are needy and often expect too much from their relationships. As a result, their relationships often end in disappointment and bring up old feelings of abandonment. Yet, even disappointment in love does not prevent them from desperately seeking approval and support from others. That is because they are afraid to stand alone. They experience intense loneliness and do not know how to find the inner strength to affirm themselves and their own experience.
People with this type of Mother wound need to learn to give themselves the nurturing they have been unable to find from their mothers and mother substitutes. They need to learn to go within and hold the space for themselves. They need to cultivate love and acceptance of self, moment to moment.
On the other hand, people who receive too much mothering often feel smothered or controlled by the mother’s love. The mother often views them as an extension of herself and does not provide healthy boundaries for the child. The child may grow up feeling inappropriately responsible for the mother’s happiness. This is a heavy burden to carry.
People who have this version of the mother wound have difficulty cutting the umbilical cord to mother. Even as adults, they are profoundly influenced if not emotionally controlled by their mothers. These folks need to cut the psychic umbilical cord to their mothers. They need to establish healthy boundaries.
If they do not cut this psychic cord, they will not individuate. They will not learn to be independent and self-supporting. They will not be able to receive the Father energy.
There is still one more pattern of behavior that is typical for someone with a mother wound. This behavior may stem from either too much or too little mothering. In this pattern, there is a forced cutting of the cord early in the child’s life. This may happen because the mother dies or because she is abusive and the child must disconnect. In either case, the child cuts off all feeling. S/he detaches from the Mother and becomes independent early in life. Wearing a plate of armor over her heart, s/he does not believe that s/he needs anyone. S/he becomes determined to live without love or intimacy.
In yet another version of this wound, the child goes to war with the overbearing mother, fighting for her emotional life, pushing the mother away. Yet s/he never disconnects totally. So the war continues long into adult life.
Often a person with a significant mother wound does not have children. However, if s/he does, s/he may push her children away and force them to become independent prematurely. S/he won’t be able to deal with their dependency on her. Perhaps s/he will hire a nanny or leave the child with others who can do the mothering work. Or perhaps s/he will abandon her children, just as s/he was abandoned as a child.
The adult child can’t help but pass on some version of her mother wound to her children. S/he may become just like her mother, or s/he may go to the other extreme in an attempt to parent differently from her mother. However, if s/he has not done her emotional healing work, this attempt inevitably fails.
Like it or not, without doing our work, we pass the wound on. Unless we commit to healing our mother wound, we will project our pain onto others. If we have not had healthy mothering, it is unlikely that we will be good mothers. We just don’t know how to do it.
Many wounded mothers abuse their children, push them away or even abandon them. Chances are, these moms are not aware of their wounds. Their behavior is reactive and unconscious. They do not see or feel the pain that they cause their children, because they never allowed themselves to feel their own pain.
They feel guilty about how they have treated their children, but they cannot access the guilt. It is buried deeply.
Bringing all of this up to the surface can be a scary proposition. The wounded heart would rather not go there. We don’t want to face our guilt, because it is just the tip of the iceberg. Once we begin to admit our guilt and feel the pain that we have caused others, we begin to see the root of all that pain. We begin to feel the fear, the abandonment, the criticism or even the abuse that we experienced at the hands of our own mothers.
Yet if we don’t have the courage to take the healing journey through our guilt and our pain, we will continue to sit on a keg of emotional dynamite. Sooner or later, someone with just the right kind of mother wound will come into our lives, and strike the match. Like it or not, our deepest wounds are bound to be triggered. Everyone heals, sooner or later.
We can save ourselves a lot of time and suffering if we have the courage to speak our pain and share it with others. But this is not easy for the person who has repressed her trauma and buried her pain. She hurts, but she keeps her secret well. S/he walks through life with an iron mask that says “I’m fine. Leave me alone. I don’t need anything from you.”
Of course, that isn’t true. S/he needs a lot, but s/he won’t admit her neediness. S/he will not reach out or let others in. S/he is cranky and difficult around others. S/he rejects their overtures of friendship or affection. S/he pushes love and intimacy away.
So others learn to give her a wide berth. And so s/he is abandoned yet again. However, this is a small and familiar pain. S/he would rather push potential partners away than open her heart to another human being and risk paying the ultimate price. On some level, s/he knows s/he has already paid that price and could not stand to do so again.
Such a person is walking around with a great, black psychic whole in the belly, for that is where the umbilical cord was ripped away. That is where the wound is and will remain until s/he has the courage to face it, until s/he has the courage to ask for the love and acceptance s/he so desperately needs.
Of course, to get what s/he needs, the mask must come down. S/he must allow herself to be vulnerable and needy. S/he must open her heart and let others come in.
Both men and women have these and other versions of the mother wound. They all boil down to an inability to receive love.
Of course, if we can’t receive love, we can’t give it either. If there is a mother wound, chances are there is a father wound too. Often, when our relationship with the mother is difficult, we overcompensate and embrace the father energy with far too much zeal. Or we become like our mothers and attract a partner like our father who is weak, distant, or emotionally unavailable.
Too little of one parent often means too much of the other. Either way, we lose the balance required in the psyche. All people with the mother wound must understand their pattern and work to heal it. Unless our relationship to the feminine principle is healed, our relationships with our mothers, daughters or female partners cannot be healthy. Moreover, we will not stand in the right relationship with our Source. We will not feel connected to the Essence of our Being, for that is what Divine Mother is.
All of us with mother wounds need to learn to let love in. We need to learn how to receive the unconditional love and acceptance of Divine Mother. We need to learn to give Mother’s love to ourselves.
Divine Mother’s Ministry
Mother’s work is all about creating safety, support and nurturing for her children. And we are all her children, even those of us in adult bodies.
The family is the social mechanism created to embody Mother’s energy. It is through the home and the hearth energies that children are protected and given a safe place to grow up.
Today, home and hearth have little nurturing energy. We live in a mobile society. People live active lives and do not even meet around the dinner table.
In most homes, both parents work, often long hours. The feminine, nurturing presence that holds us, listens to us, and quietly supports us is absent.
We live in a time when the majority of families are wounded, if not broken. Children do not feel safe and supported. And, if we tell the truth, parents don’t feel safe and supported either.
What used to be created automatically with the blessing, if not the dictum, of the community, now requires our conscious attention if it is to thrive. We must bring the heart energy back into the home. We must find a way to create safety there for our children and for ourselves.
If we cannot create a safe space in our own family, we need to create new spiritual families where we can receive unconditional love, nurturing and support. That is what the Affinity Group* process enables us to do. That is why it is an essential practice in carrying out Mother’s work.
Today, we all need Spiritual families—small groups of loving and supportive people gathering weekly—to facilitate the heart–centered communion with our Essence and that of others. That is how we experience our Oneness with the Divine and with each other.
Mother asks us to create spiritual families not just amongst our friends and those who share our race, religion or economic group. She asks us to reach out beyond those boundaries to all human beings: black and white, women and men, rich and poor, young and old. She encourages us to create a place—indeed many places—where the stranger and the outcast, the sick and the weary, the hungry and the homeless can take refuge.
To create such an extraordinary place of safety, we must first experience it. We can do that by joining an Affinity Group and working with the guidelines. The guidelines challenge us to look at our judgments with compassion. They invite us to hold ourselves and others harmless. They encourage us to accept everyone and everything just as it is in the moment.
Gradually, we begin to feel the ecstasy of living in and from our hearts. We know this is what we want to experience, not just once per week, but every day of our life. So we venture forth from the safety of the nest. We start creating an affinity consciousness and an affinity community wherever there is a need for safety and support in our world.
Having been nurtured and empowered by Divine Mother, we go forth from Her primordial womb, as God the Father did, to create. We say, “Let there be light.” We offer our gifts to the world.
Passing the Torch
Our preparation is important. We can’t rush the mastery process. The egg needs the nurturing warmth of the mother hen, so that the chick can grow to maturity. Impatience is not helpful. If we rush the birthing process, it will abort.
So we need to breathe, be patient, and know that the chick will be born exactly when he or she is ready, and not a minute sooner. The Mastery student must learn to trust the process. He or she must abide with the Mother until the protective shell of the ego starts to crack open.
Meanwhile, Divine Father bides His time. He knows that you cannot be a student forever. The time will come for you to step forward. He has worked with Mother long enough to know that he cannot rush Her process. So He waits patiently.
When you have cultivated self-love patiently and truly, an energy begins to build in you that requires expression. You cannot hold that energy back. It must break through the shell. The chick must be born. The gift must be offered. It is no longer an option to hide your light under a bushel any more than it is an option for the chick to crawl back into the shell once it has cracked open. There is something final, irrevocable, and extraordinary about the act of birth.
Doubts and fears move aside and the power of love manifests. The bright bird of Spirit is born and is ready to serve.
This is the moment that Divine Father has been waiting for. This is the time when the torch is passed from Mother to Father. The time for nurturing has come to an end. The time for empowerment has arrived.
Coming Face to Face
The human family is at a crossroads now. We can no longer live as we have lived in the past. We can no longer afford to be sloppy, careless, or impulsive with our creations. We need to create compassionately and be responsible for what we create.
This is not something we can leave till tomorrow. We must start right now, each one of us. The choices that we make do matter, for we will reap as we have sown. Individually and collectively, we will see the fruits of our actions in this lifetime.
This is the last generation of human beings who will be able to live on the planet in selfishness and greed. This is the last generation that will be able to pollute the air and the water. If we do not open our hearts to each other and become good stewards for our planet, we will witness the gradual degradation and eventual demise of human life on planet earth.
We are coming face to face with ourselves now. Every thought, every emotion is out-picturing, not just in our private lives, but on the collective screen of consciousness. There is nowhere to hide.
The Apostle Paul tells us in the New Testament that “First we see through a glass darkly, and then face to face.” For thousands of years, the mirror has been cloudy. Now, it is crystal clear. The consequences of our thoughts and actions appear in full battle dress before us. We can no longer pretend that they are not there.
The time for denial is over on planet Earth. Each one of us is responsible for what we think, how we feel, what we say, and what we do. The time for transparency has come, individually and collectively.
Lies and deceptions will no longer be tolerated. Projections must be taken back. We can no longer try to attribute to someone else the thoughts and feelings that belong to us. We can no longer try to make any one else responsible for what we say or do.
Each of us must learn to stand naked and vulnerable before God and each other. If our heart is pure, we need not be afraid of this exposure. If our heart is troubled, we will no longer be able to deny the healing that is necessary for us. Indeed, we will be forced to acknowledge it.
The storms that are coming our way are not just external ones. There will be hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes in our minds and our hearts. Repressed material will erupt. Secrets will be told. Shame will be exposed and fear will come up for healing. The process of purification has already begun, within us and around us.
This is a time of great energy. It is a time when the potential for healing and transformation is greater than it has ever been before. If we are ready to heal, this is a good thing. If we aren’t, it is a scary time to be alive.
You have already made the decision to heal or you would not be reading this book. You already know that you cannot survive in the world with your old ego agenda. You cannot be in a codependent or abusive relationship. You cannot go to work every day doing a job that you hate. You can no longer pretend that you don’t have anger, or fear, or shame. You feel all these emotions rising up, as the grip of the three-dimensional world gets more intense around you.
You aren’t the only one who is having a hard time. We are all being squeezed. Life as it used to be doesn’t work any longer. We can no longer pull on the mask and live in denial of our pain.
The universe doesn’t support any form of denial any more, because every act of denial results in the projection of our pain onto others. It results in mis-creation. The world we live in is filled with the monsters and goblins we have created because we were unwilling to face our pain directly.
If we try to do battle with them, we cannot win. We have to dismantle these creatures in our hearts. We need to open to our pain and allow it to show us where healing is necessary.
When we have the courage to heal, the outer monsters simply vanish or fall away. Love dissolves the fear that created them
The Purifying Fire
Until we open to our healing, it is hard to know that God loves us. In truth, we don’t even have a clue how to love ourselves. But once we crack open – once our defense mechanisms shatter and we come face to face with our fear – something incredible happens. Love comes into the dark places where we used to hide our fear and our shame. It begins to inhabit our emotional body.
A flame is lit that will not go out. It can only grow, illuminating all of the cavernous places within our hearts and minds. That flame is the purifying fire of love. It burns and consumes everything except itself. No untruth can stand its heat. No unworthiness can survive its relentless scrutiny.
As the flame flourishes and becomes a roaring fire, we bring a whole new energy and attitude toward our lives. We begin to live in the light of our own self-forgiveness. We begin to live in the warmth of our own compassion.
The more we are squeezed by life, the hotter the flames become. They are like a smelting furnace, liquefying even the hardest metals. If we submit to the fire, our neuroses and resistances will be dissolved. Our ego agendas will be annihilated. Our shame will be eradicated. No trace will remain of the unworthiness and self-loathing that once hid in the dark hidden caves of our heart.
As individuals go through the purification process, they will begin to join together in new, more healthy and supportive ways. Holy relationships will be formed. Affinity Groups * will provide a safe place for people to face their fears, heal their wounds, and be mid-wifed into their power.
As the old world crumbles and falls apart, a new world will be built on the planet, brick by brick, stone by stone. From the ground up, new compassionate businesses and institutions will arise. They will embody the spirit of equality and exist solely for the purpose of serving and empowering human beings.
So please, my friends, do not dwell on the old buildings that are crumbling around you. Do not focus on the roles you can no longer play or the work that you can no longer force yourself to do. Lay those burdens down. Come forth to help us build the new paradigm structures that are necessary to sustain human life on the planet.
Do not put your energy and focus on what is wrong or what doesn’t work. That is not empowering. Engaging in negative thinking will make it more difficult for you to find your motivation to live. It will make it harder for you to find your gift and begin to offer it to the world.
No, do not dwell on what is falling apart or mourn the ashes. Instead, place your focus on what you can create that will work, for you and others.
Please do not despair, especially if you are young. The world that you are inheriting is not the world you are meant to accept or adjust to. It is the world you must transform through your rigorous honesty and love.
The world that we will create together will be a very different world than the one that we have now. It will not be a fear-driven, shame-based world, but a world based on acceptance and love. It will not be a world where we are afraid to face our pain and afraid to feel the pain of others. It will be a compassionate world that will recognize our wounds and help us heal from them. It will be a world where we can be profoundly honest and present with each other, an authentic world, in which each person is empowered to be who s/he is and express his or her creative gifts.
Do not despair that this new world has not yet taken shape. The seeds are sown. The saplings are springing up. Take the watering can and tend to them.
This world can come into existence only through you. You are the one who signed up to tend this garden. So stop complaining and pretending to be powerless. There is work here to do. Your gift is needed. Your participation is necessary.
In Revelations, we are told that a New Jerusalem will be born, a shining city built out of the ashes of the crumbling world. That is the city we are building together.
It does not matter that only a few of us know how to read the blueprints, dig the trenches and get the foundation in. We don’t need the framers yet. They have been given notice and will arrive when we are ready for them. And the plumbers, the electricians, and the finish carpenters will not be far behind.
We don’t know the exact date of completion. We simply know what we have to do next. And that is all we need to know.
Welcome to the Golden Temple Brigade! Your resume was impressive. Now let’s see what you can do. I bow to the Spirit within you.
Paul Ferrini, Christmas, 2005