Joy As a Form of Spiritual Resistance | John Philip Newell

Iona SunriseRecently I returned to Edinburgh from San Francisco and the launching of the California School of Celtic Consciousness. It was a strong beginning, both in terms of numbers and depth of engagement. Many arrived feeling overwhelmed by this moment in time, struggling to know how to confront the falseness of a system that is denying the sacred right of refugees to sanctuary, the inviolable right of religions to equality, the holy right of women to reverence, and the divine right of the earth to protection. Through teachings and spiritual practices drawn from the well of Celtic wisdom we moved together to a place of deeper hope and vision.

unspecifiedAlways in our lives we need soul-force to confront what is wrong, just as we need soul-force to powerfully witness to what is true. Perhaps part of the sin that we need now to confess is that we were lulled into a false sense of wellbeing and consequently thought we didn’t need to intentionally access the soul-force of God that is within us. If that was the case, then we are at a waking-up point. Maybe now, like never before in our lives, we are realising the need for spiritual resistance to what is false and spiritual insistence of what is true.

One of the young mothers at our California School remembered that when her son was a baby she used to hold him in her arms and dance around the kitchen, singing a chant. Over the years, through changing circumstances, she let go of this practice. At the California School she vowed to find again a spiritual practice of joy that she could share with her son. She realised that joy is a form of spiritual resistance. If she is to be strong for this moment in time, and if her son is to receive true strength through her, she needs to nurture joy of soul.
I hope you will join us for the upcoming gathering of the School in Colorado, or at one of the other locations over the coming year, to build on the joy and vision and spiritual discipline that are essential for the work of change at this moment in time. More urgently than ever we need to access soul-force.
With love and blessings to you,
John Philip