Spiritual Maturity in Times of Agitation

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10 November 2016

When the world is shaking with political upheaval it is easy to become distressed and overexcited. Unfortunately our vibrations of distress and agitation only make the situation worse.

We live in a huge interconnected energy field and people’s emotional and mental vibrations roll through this field like waves in an ocean.
If we are sensitive to these energy waves, then distressing mass events can influence us in a negative way, causing anxiety and depression. Even if you have a strong and upbeat disposition, you can be wobbled into temporary discomfort.

So what is the answer to our discomfort?

There is an aphorism which has arisen recently in spiritual circles which says, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough meditate.’

Yes I agree that is a good call. Centre yourself. Use your breath. Ground. Self-soothe. That will stop us from adding to the psychic pollution.

But I also want to look at it from a different angle and ask: What would serve the community of life? In times of danger and consternation, what can we do to look after others?

In response to that ethical question I suggest that the appropriate response is a commitment to be seen, to confront bullying and to protect minorities and the vulnerable.

There is here another relevant spiritual aphorism: ‘There is no merit in meditation when you can stand up and prevent abuse.’
But this requires courage. Coeur. Rage. Rage of the heart.

This ethical and righteous rage needs to be mindful, intelligent and wise. It also needs to be fuelled and inspired. The ultimate source of fuel and inspiration for our ethics and righteous hearts is our connection with . . . what shall we call it? …. The benevolent life force. God. Spirit. Goddess. Tao. Source. Life itself.

There are over one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. The size of our universe is beyond comprehension. It is an immense energy field.  In this context our planet is tiny. Humanity’s energy field is a speck, a blip, in the cosmos.

So when faced with humanity passing through one its regular upheavals, we need to feel the wonder and goodness of life, and not just humanity’s distress.

It is crucial spiritual practice that we expand our sensitivity and our awareness, so that we feel the energy and vibrations of the cosmos. It is crucial that we use our own particular gateways to connection whatever they are: Jesus, angels, Goddess or just an awed sense of the glory of the cosmos. Feel the natural world of earth, moon, the sun, the stars, the vast mystery.

Thus we connect with and are fuelled by the awesome flow and good energies of earth and universe. We are not wobbled by the disturbing vibrations of a disturbed humanity. In the words of Julian of Norwich, ‘All shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well … for there is a Force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go.’

Then, at the very least, in times of social distress – centred and inspired – we radiate a benevolence, calm safety and goodwill that encourages the good in others. We do not add to the distress with more agitation.

And, at best, we have the courage to front off bullies, protect the innocent and continue to build heaven on earth.

By | 2016-11-18T11:54:17+00:00 November 10th, 2016|Spirituality|13 Comments


  1. Bernadette Spink November 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Thank you William for writing this piece. My meditation did not go too well this morning because of my agitation – so I went outside into my orchard and stayed there to ground and clear. When I came back in and opened my emails there you were with the advice that I was seeking. Just at the right time !!!!

    Many thanks & best wishes

    Bernadette Spink


  2. Sara Haworth November 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this William – I agree about meditation and other forms of spiritual practice being paramount, and the perspective you give of earth as a tiny planet in the cosmos. And, I see little longterm validity in flight to the inner planes, unless we are too shaky and vulnerable to bear witness to the suffering (I did take time out after the referendum in June because it affects me so personally). In the last 24 hrs I have come across a few spiritual teachers putting out messages that ‘all is happening as it should’ and ‘politics is for the spiritually unevolved’, including that Trump has humbly played a part he was invited to, in order to rid the world of the Bush/Clinton machine, and that he has no intention of actually being president. None of these teachers I have to add, comes from a native or indigenous perspective, and all have a comfortable international lifestyle that owes much to the continuation of business as usual… The language of ‘raising our vibrations’ in some contexts aligns itself uncannily well with far-right agendas that spin hierarchies based on concepts of purity. The lowest and slowest vibrations are favourites of mine – the last rays of light at sunset, the inner coherence of rock, the slow inhale and exhale, the capacity to endure.

  3. Anne Murray November 10, 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Thank you William. Once again your words resonate with my truth!

  4. Anna Beatty November 10, 2016 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    The night after the election, I went to bed early, not wanting to put myself through the suspense watching the returns come in. Shortly after midnight, I awoke, oddly certain that he-who-shall-not-be-named had won. I was oddly calm but could not let go of the idea, so I got up and found it to be so. After a day of reflection, of reading commentary in the papers and via Facebook, I have concluded that the most serious threat of his presidency is—no more, no less—to life on earth itself as he surrounds himself with climate-change deniers who resist all restraint on the fossil-fuel industry. The threats to the human rights of people of color, migrants, the disabled, the odd can and must be met and resisted as well, but the means of doing so seems more accessible. With love from Texas, a red state with blue spots.

  5. Angela Ham November 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Such wise words, sent to me by a like-minded friend, which we all need to share, hopefully, to bring peace. You are on earth to remind everyone of how important our thoughts are, how they travel and make a difference. Thank you William.

  6. Sheila kirwan November 10, 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    yes agree that itvis pointless to let oneself be overcome with excitement and agitation re the current political environment but don’t see how rage, however it is dressed up can lead to anything good ….The Buddha said that hatred can onl5 be overcome by loving kindness and that greed, hatred and delusion only cloud the mind……
    I agree that meditation is the answer and al8ng with this have found Byron Katies the work to be invaluable if we experience even a tiny bit of mental agitation ….I saw a wonderful you tube piece she did on Brexit and a wonderful you tube piece with an American woman who used Byron Katie work to investigate her uneasy feelings around Donald Trump in the run up to the election. I suggest that anyone having any mental distress look at these before taking any action as am sure then any action will be much more balanced…..
    May we all find inner peace, whatever external conditions present themselves….

  7. Di Brown November 10, 2016 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Wonderfully healing wise words. Blessings William xx

  8. Colin November 11, 2016 at 12:14 am - Reply

    Wonderful and Wonder Full.

  9. Norman Taylor November 11, 2016 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Dear William

    For some reason l awake at 3 am in my silent retreat nigh up in the Andalusian mountains.

    I am drawn to your writings on
    Times of Agitation.
    The collective and therefore the personal level.
    I have observed recently in my meditations, although unarticulated a density connected to the turmoil and conflicts in our world affecting and .. infecting in often unseen ways.
    Although we are surrounded by harmonious vibrations that flow into our daily life, living and dying – the coming and going.

    As our awareness expands as you beautifully and succinctly remind us. I find the as the gravitational pull of humanity’s fears become more apparent.
    l deepen my commitment and understanding the nature of meditation.
    You have touched my heart and therefore my soul in your gift of giving.

    I am just one of, l hope many who was their to receive.

    With gratitude and heartfelt thanks,


  10. Nick Pole November 11, 2016 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Coeur…Rage..? Wait a minute, William, this may not be a time for etymological nit-picking, but the meaning of words still matters.

    The ‘-age’ in the French word ‘courage’ doesn’t mean rage – it has no more meaning than the ‘age’ in ‘menage’, from which we get ‘manage’.

    For me, the heart is not a place where rage comes from, it is the place where rage is tempered into compassionate action – which is what you’re saying, of course.

    All best wishes!

  11. Ann Yeomans November 11, 2016 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Thank you William for those timely words of love and kindness. I had a very wise friend who would always say, ‘If it happened Ann, then it was right!’. And who knows what the Universe has in mind to challenge and move us on. Sandra Maitri in her book ‘the Spiritual Dimensions of the Enneagram’ quotes Almaas who states, ‘You are alive today not because you want to be, but because the universe wants you to be.’

  12. Phil November 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing these wise words. I would like to emphasise that ‘not adding to psychic pollution’ through meditation already serves the world around us in limitless ways, and shouldn’t be seen as inferior to so-called action. Whenever we bring a sense of caring awareness to whatever arises in our experience we are a part of the solution rather than the problem. This is already an action that has the power to transform our collective agitation and other forms of suffering in our world.

  13. Georgia Sumner November 11, 2016 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Wonderful words – so needed at this time. I have Multiple Sclerosis, and although after 24 years nothing much surprises me, I really need to have the support of others. I,too meditate and practice qigong but we all need to inhabit our higher selves and stand up for those who need our help.
    Many thanks ?!

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