The Oceans are US
Someone just asked last week in class what is it that draws us to the ocean, to water? Is it the soothing sounds of the water splashing against the beach or rocks? Lapping in and out in a wondrous beat, reminiscent of our heart beat?
Or is it the salient composition that is similar to that of the amniotic fluid within the womb, maybe our desire to get back to that connection with the Source that we all come from?
Maybe it’s the peace it brings to us, contemplating the world as we let the waves flow over our feet or as we dangle them in the flow of a stream.
Or maybe the fact that we are made mostly of water brings us back to that which we are?
Whatever it is, it is a true connection with nature. And, the ocean is a symbol of us in so many ways. We often hear of the Oneness that we are a part of described as the ocean and the waves. We, as the wave are individuals, yet part of the WHOLE, the ocean. So it is with the Universe, the Source. We are it and IT is us.
The ocean can be looked on as a symbol of much more. Let’s look at it metaphysically. The ocean can symbolize both the good, the God in us as well as the “Missing the mark” in us.
If you missed one of the earlier lessons. “Missing the mark” is the
Original, if you will, definition of ‘sin’. Sin is an archery term for missing the target. And it is Unity’s definition of traditional Christianity’s term, sin. Because we see what traditionalists call sin as a mistake, a chance to choose again, make a better choice, ‘missing the mark’ of what you wish to do and then, choose again.
So, let’s take a look at what we humans have done to the oceans-how we have ‘sinned’ against them.
There’s lots of trash – plain old every day trash that pollutes the oceans, we see it wash up on the shore, it could be paper, or little odds and ends of things – metaphysically, this could be those simple little things that cross our minds and we push them aside. Maybe little grudges we hold tight to us, thinking we will get the last word. But, like those little things, the trash never seems to go away. We need to release the little things before they become BIG things.
We find Bottles and cups washing up on the beach –these cups and bottles are those thoughts we carry with us from our past; words or deeds done to us that we just can’t seem to forget or forgive. We fill our cups with words of anger from our parents or siblings, partners or spouses, they could be words of limitation, thrown at us in anger or weakness. It could be gossip. And we carry them with us, sometimes they resurface to pour the hurt and pain over us again and again. We ARE the only animal that relives hurt…purposely In fact!
Hypodermic needles – this could be race consciousness; all those thoughts and actions outside us that we allow to be injected into our thoughts and sometimes, our actions. Race consciousness doesn’t have anything to do with the color of your skin. It’s about the influence of the world we allow upon us. Think about your reaction to things that are happening in the world WHETHER NEXT DOOR OR ACROSS THE WORLD…that’s race consciousness. And it’s up to you whether you let it be injected into your consciousness and carrying it with you to be injected into other people’s consciousness. You always have a choice.
Clothing that washes up after being left behind on the sand or from other source – these are things we hide behind, could be thoughts we hide, thinking others won’t approve of us if we let our true selves show; could be actions from our past that we don’t want others to know about. Could be the false front we hide behind with our appearance, trying to be something or someone we are not. Whatever it is, we don’t show our true self. And who is that hurting? What do you think?
Food – This is all the words and thoughts we ingest and believe every day when we listen to others, when we listen to the news and let the negative words and pictures that are used to enter into our very being. Words like: crisis, disaster, terrible, unfortunate, catastrophe…You choose the ones you hold onto. You pick what you will ingest. You have heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” well, that goes for the food for thought too.
Driftwood – could be what we would call each and every one of us when we ‘just go along with the flow’ of things happening around us. When we feel that something isn’t right but we don’t do anything about it, we just let it happen. Like having our head in the sand. We hear the call to do what is ours to do, but then, don’t do it. We just drift right past it, turning our head away.
Plastic – Plastic is anything that we refuse to let go of. Plastic take about 500 years to disintegrate in a landfill. Imagine what something that lasting is doing to your insides? To your consciousness, and to your soul? What are you holding onto? Do you feel it in your stomach area? That is “plastic” thoughts.
Boats – ah, possibly people who don’t want to go ‘there.’ Too much work to look within myself. It might hurt too much. Why would I want to know and understand myself? Let me enjoy the fruits of my efforts so I don’t need to concern myself with other’s needs, the state of the world, etc. Just let me buzz by….
Oil – represents un-forgiveness, it clings on us and is hard to shake off, but if you know the right Way, it can be removed. We all know that forgiving is healing for us more so than the ‘other’. It is truly difficult to truly forgive. Think about the oil spills we have witnessed and how the work is not only on the surface but deep down too. Forgiveness work takes time and effort, just like cleaning an oil spill.
De-salinization – the more the ice caps melt in the North and South poles from Global Warming, the more the ocean water loses its salt balance. Let’s think of this as our ‘busyness.’ We are so busy we don’t have any time or energy to do what we need to do for soul work. We keep our day filled with stuff and don’t look at what’s inside, what really make us who we are. And we are out of balance, just like the ocean’s waters.
Now let’s look at how the Ocean represents God, Source, Goddess, the Universe in us.
“There is one holy book; the sacred manuscript of nature, the only Scripture that can enlighten the reader.” Hazrat Inayat Khan
The waves – As the waves splash onto the beach, the rhythm reminds me of going with the flow of life. No resistance. No pushing and shoving. Just in like our breathe, and out. In and out. The natural, peace-filled flow of life can be seen in the ocean tide as waves wash in and out from the shore. We can feel the flow of life as air moves through us with the rise and fall of our chest as we breathe.
“Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come. Our breath is a part of life’s breath, the ocean of air that envelopes the earth.”
As we observe the action of the waves, we can relate to the natural flow of thoughts and ideas as they pass through our mind.
One idea that comes to mind is let go and let God. The beach takes what the wave has to offer, inhale; and then releases and flows back; exhale. Give and take; take and give. There is no expectation of the wave or of the beach. The beach takes whatever the wave offers and does not hold onto the wave as it retreats back to the ocean. Expectation is often what causes pain in our relationships. We have an expectation of what the relationship should be. What we want from it. The wave and the beach have none. They just go with the flow.
The wave has no guilt with what it leaves on the shore and none as it retreats back. There is no attachment associated with this ebb and flow. We attach much to people and things. People I understand. Things not so much.
Prosperity – All of this flow is divine energy. Spirit’s life-giving energy flows to and through all creation—through every system, every process, every being on earth. The flow of the Divine enables us as humans to overcome hardship, heal from disease, and come together in times of need. Prosperity is not just the amount of cash you have available, it’s family, friends, people, pets, nature, having our physical needs met. If prosperity includes money in the bank, that makes it just as wonderful.
Go deeper – some say that the ocean is the next, great frontier. If we look at that thought metaphysically, it’s easy to see that going deeper into ourselves is the real frontier. We are urged often by the call of spirit to know our soul and what our soul’s wish is. We often do not listen, or are not quiet enough to hear. Or maybe not ready to see or hear, as the scripture states “…for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.”
Consider the icebergs, a part of the oceans near the North and South poles, we see only 10% or less of a visible iceberg. The majority is below the surface, much like ourselves. We have much to uncover, to discover and to share that is not seen on the surface. And we have many ways to discover who and what we truly are. There are many paths. Unity is but one Path to answer the big question- “Who AM I and Why am I here?” We hope you find your spiritual home here, at Unity of Rehoboth Beach. But, if not, we pray you find where you are comfortable and spiritually fed, and that you have others to join you on your journey.
Vision – The ocean reminds us to look to our vision, to HAVE a vision. As we stand on the beach looking out at the vastness of the waters before us, we can hold a vision of oneness, of how great this world is and all the wonder it holds for us. We can be reminded of the vast horizon before us and that what we envision CAN come to be.
Control – When an obstacle blocks a stream of water, the water finds a way to flow over, under or around it. Sometimes the stream of water gathers strength and moves with force and speed through narrow passages. Other times it collects and rests in shallow places. We are free to choose the course of our life’s stream and to determine the flow of our life. And, believe it or not, our choices determine if we are flowing or forcing our way along. But we do not need to control everything, everyway. We can find the flow and go with it.
Gary Zukav said, “By choosing your thoughts, and by selecting which emotional currents you will release and which you will reinforce, you determine the quality of your light. You determine the effects that you will have upon others, and the nature of the experiences of your life.”
If we step into the waters of the ocean, we find that the waters embrace us. It lifts us up and if we relax we find that it supports us as we float along with the flow. And if we get caught in a rip current, we learn not to fight it but allow it to float us back to shore. Relax and go with the flow. How often have you heard those words of advice? It works for more than rip currents!
There’s a saying, “Life comes to us in waves, but we can learn to surf.” What does that mean? I believe it means what we mentioned earlier, to go with the flow, to trust your Higher Power, to Let Go and Let God. It means to find what is yours to do and then take the steps to do it. Or as we like to say, To put feet to your prayers.
Strength and weakness – There is strength and there is weakness when we consider the ocean. Strength in the force of the water during a storm and the weakness, one could call it, as the beach relinquishes to the wave. But there is also strength in the reforming of the beach after a storm. As the waves crash onto the shore we stand in awe of the force of nature and it gives us respect for that force.
But we also can stand in awe as, after the storm, we see the water calm and the beach and waves go back to their dance of intimacy. Touching and flowing with each other. It remind me of the relationships we have with those we love, how we can be so close and then so distant. Too often we forget to be like the ocean and the wave, and come back together again. So the beach can rebuild its relationship with the wave and the wave can come calmly to the beach and help it rebuild it.
Water is associated with emotions. As we observe the oceans, we can relate our emotions to the action of the waters. Storms are our strong emotions and sometimes they crash onto the shore with force, as do our feelings. Sometimes the ocean is calm, just as we are. And sometimes, it looks calm, but below the surface, there is turmoil-maybe from anger, maybe excitement.
Meditation – Sitting on the beach, watching the surf can be so meditative. I’ve often just sat there and let the sounds take me away. It’s very calming and grounding for me.
What does the sea say to you? And are you listening? The negative emotions we feel is our indicator of resistance, while positive emotions are our indicator of allowance. Are you allowing as the beach allows the wave to give and receive? Are you breathing in and out?
Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
What ripple are you creating?
Notice I haven’t mentioned the creatures of the sea. That could be a whole new lesson!