I appreciated and enjoyed reading Robert Alan Rife’s InnerWoven post about a particular historical culture-shifter who:
• defied hatred with love,
• practiced inclusion and invitation rather than exclusion,
• annoyed the Powers That Be (of his time) by opposing misogyny, sexism, classism — through his words and example,
• inspired and challenged people,
• was a real-deal healer,
• role-modeled courageous fierceness and humility,
… to note just a few role-modeled qualities that were the opposites of the culture back then.
These things stirred up a lot of trouble from those Powers That Be (or were), who were likely pretty envious, and/or felt their power and position were threatened and didn’t particularly want people to be liberated (from anything).
The rebel-mystic-teacher that Robert writes about has been an inspiration of many, from both inside and out of the tradition that was inspired by his example. Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Mother Theresa … many, many others from a diversity of cultures and traditions over the centuries.
The strange (and unfortunate) thing is, even many within the tradition inspired by this counter-cultural rebel don’t seem to be well-versed in this man’s words, teachings, and way of living, based on their own (kind of opposite) actions and words “in his name”
As a result, a whole lot of people outside of the tradition misunderstand and misjudge this guy.
Of course, there are many who do get it — who’ve read more deeply and understand that this inspired, visionary, courageous (heart-full) culture-shifter was speaking truth to power, and reminding and inviting out the greater potentials of the humans of his time (and generations since).
These folks use that inspiration to motivate them (us?) to do the same, in whatever way they’re (we’re) called to culture-shift towards more inclusion, kindness, humanity, courage, speaking truth to power … when power is abused.
His was a transformative Promethean presence, influence, and teaching, both from a cultural perspective and a spiritual one.
How do you aspire to be a transformative presence and influence in your corner of the world, in subtle and/or more overt ways?
Find related inspiration — and a few good ‘transformative inquiry’ questions — in these recent Sophia’s Children musings:
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Featured Image Credit: Defiance: Speaking Truth to Power, InnerWoven.
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