Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword.
His Truth is marching on.
The words of The Battle Hymn of the Republic come directly from the Book of Revelation (Rev.14). They live in the blood and in the heart of this story we are in, both in this land and in humankind today. On the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, the great Jewish Prayer is prayed: The Ashamnu. Ashamnu means “we are guilty” and it confesses what we are guilty of, what we have to atone for. It prays and confesses, “We betray. We steal. We scheme. We are cruel. We are violent. We slander. We lie. We ridicule. We disobey. We abuse. We corrupt…” And it goes on. It speaks out of a consciousness of “collective responsibilty” of WE.
The Offering of The Act of Consecration beginnings with the words: “Receive Divine Ground of the World, weaving in widths of space and in depths of time, this offering, brought to You through Me, your unworthy creature. I bring it because to You, have also flowed my strayings, my denials of your Being, my weaknesses.” The Ashamnu and the opening of the Offering reveal a Great Movement in our humanity and in the consciousness of our humanity: we are moving from WE to ME.
We are waking up to ourselves as the individual Being we are, no longer defined by blood, folk, race, tribe. In that movement, with that movement, comes chaos, turmoil, confusion, and the fateful rise of Egotism, Meism, like never before. In that movement comes something new, something beyond civil war, a kind of conflict of all against all, where each tries to take and hold on to whatever he or she can for as long as possible.We are in the throes of this apocalypse in our culture, our politics, our economy, and it is worldwide. Around the globe you can see the Grapes of Wrath being trampled.
What is the meaning of this? What is the Spiritual World asking of us, of you and me, of all of us?
The Ashamnu and the beginning of the Offering point to a way forward, a way through: a movement for the first time in history, for the first time in the story from Me, out of Me, in freedom, to We. As individuals and as individuals waking up and working together, to begin to see the Truth of our “collective guilt,” our shared-responsibility, and the Deep Solidarity in the mighty working out of Atonement, of Healing Salvation. That is the Call: from ME, out of the I, in freedom, to WE. That is no battle hymn, no call to war. That is a “We shall overcome.” That is the Glory and the Hallelujah for today and our children’s and grandchildren’s tomorrow. That is The Truth that marches on.
by Richard Dancey