Beatrice Bruteau was a philosopher, a mathematician and an evolutionist. She stood in the present, learned from the past, and most especially leaned into the mystery of the future. So much of my spiritual practice has been about being in the moment. “Becoming” seemed like a poor sister to the deepening of what’s now. But there’s a new flow inside, and Beatrice has helped me access it.
Here are some Bruteau quotations, with my take following:
We cannot wait for the world to turn, for times to change that we might change with them, for the revolution to come and carry us around in its new course. We are the future. We are the revolution.
I remember attending an evening meeting at the University of Toronto in the late 60’s. Our plan was to travel to Ottawa and protest the war-induced starvation in the Biafra region of Nigeria. As I walked in the door, I looked around for the “big people”, the ones who would lead us, the smartest ones. I never gave a thought to the idea that I could be one of those leaders. They would speak, I would follow. Beatrice would have pursed her lips at me.
Somewhere deep down we are all filled with a mystical longing, with a longing for ultimate meaningfulness, and therefore we need to see all of our world in that context.
It’s far beyond “My life has meaning.” Together, you and you and me … we have meaning, and we long for a world where no one is left out. We see the economic disparities, the suffering, and still we feel pulled forward by some unknown magnet towards a future which is curling its finger at us in welcome. The image that comes again and again to me is standing on the moving walkway in an airport and magically being brought forward, with no trying on my part.
There is a basic urgency in life to grow, to expand, to become new and renewed. We might even say that the very meaning of being alive is to be constantly in the process of becoming a new creation.
New, as in never here before. Not just a quality improvement of the old model but a radically new design. And maybe it’s not even a car anymore! Plus it is urgent … no messin’ around. There’s work to be done to have everyone feel at home.
The individual animal doesn’t get to choose how it’s going to evolve. But the individual human being can, and we, by our concerted intention, can make something that hasn’t existed before.
“I’m not an inventor,” I protest. “It’s only the big people who do amazing things.” But wait a minute … last I looked I was a healthy 5’10”. That’s plenty big enough.
Okay, Bruce. How high can you jump? Can you teach a Mutual Awakening Practice course for kids and have them open to a love they may never have experienced before? Who’s to say not?
Deep reality is that place in the center of our being where we experience our existence in an unlimited way. The deep self is not defined, not described by any of the qualities of our bodies or personalities, by our histories or social positions, our jobs, or our religions. This is fairly hard to realize. We tend to think of ourselves, introduce ourselves to others, believe others are seeing us in terms of these qualities. In meditation and its associated practices, we try to center ourselves in our sense of existing without identifying with these descriptors. To the extent that we become accustomed to this, we may spontaneously behave in a new way.
You can see from this how our energy is affected. When we define ourselves in terms of our qualities, we have to devote energy to protecting them and trying to gain more valuable ones – more beauty, personality, wealth, power, social status. But if we liberate ourselves from such identity, then all that energy becomes available for the radiation of goodwill to others. We have realized ourselves as the Self that says only I AM, with no predicate following, not “I am a this” or “I have that quality.” Only unlimited, absolute I AM.
And the interesting thing is that as soon as you experience yourself this way, you at once find that you also are saying toward the whole world, “Let it be!” It seems to be the nature of that which is I AM to say, “Let it be.” [Or, as Beatrice later expressed it, “May you be.”]
This is the love that is called “agape”. Agape is the love that seeks the being, well-being, full being, ever-fuller being, of the beloved. It is a love that is not a reaction to the beloved but rather a first action, an action beginning in you, coming out from the center of your being because of the nature of your being. This energy of love is inexhaustible. It doesn’t have to be reserved or apportioned or used economically. It is plentiful, bountiful, enormous. It is a dynamic out-flowing activity, energy. It’s constantly in motion and radiant, like a star is radiant. It streams out from us in every way. The True Self in us is constantly radiating this willed goodness. [Beatrice later referred to this as “spondic” love.]
Not defined by my story
Instead a vibrant spiritual being
With infinite energy pouring into you
Until I am no more