Living the Mystery of Reverence for All Life:

Guiding Human Consciousness Into the New World View

Presented by Judy M. Carman, M.A.--ANIMAL RIGHTS 2002 Conference

“Wild horses.” What image does that bring to you? Close your eyes. What do you see—wild horses, running free, manes and tails flowing in the wind, running across the prairie, leaping over creeks, running up hills…Feel yourself running with them. You can see for miles. Feel the wind blowing your hair. Listen to your heart’s song. What is the dream your heart is singing?

This is why we’re all here. Our hearts long for this freedom for all our brothers and sisters. We’ve spent the last 4 days thinking and planning how to get back home. I don’t mean home where we live. I mean home where our hearts live. That home is an eternal reality where there is no exploitation, where all the animals, all beings, are free. This world that we live in now is distorted and perverted by the fears of human beings.

It is an appearance that will fall away if enough of us persist in knowing and seeing the only infinite and real way of living—which is to live together in a constant state of wonder, intimacy, and communion with all of life.

The home where the wild horses run and all beings are free already exists on the spiritual plane. The more we believe that and see that and live that, the sooner we will bring it forth onto the material plane

We all have been given the gift of knowing this home where, not just a few of us, but all people, have reverence for life. The old human supremacy world-view that all life is here for humans to exploit and dominate is unthinkable here. Instead we find a new paradigm of compassion and communion with all life.

We do not dream this dream alone.

Sometimes I am overcome with grief, because our dream seems so far away, and people laugh and call us idealists, and then I remember, I do not dream this dream alone.

The animals dream with us--all the wild horses, all the animal prisoners in labs, the animals suffering in factory farms, the wild animals being trapped, poisoned, and rounded up, the sea creatures caught and dying in nets--all our relations dream with us.

And the Great Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Compassion dreams with us as well. We all are dreaming together for this freedom, seeing together the Spirit of Love made visible. We do not dream this dream alone.

There are also many groups of humans coming to this same vision. They come from different places, but all are heading toward the same vision. In his latest book The Great Work, Thomas Berry who is revered by environmentalists as an “ecologian,” calls all people to forever discontinue looking at the earth and other life forms as objects to be exploited. He calls on humanity to reinvent itself, to rediscover our natural state of wonder and intimacy with all life, and to return the Earth to her natural state of mystery.

How is it we can see what so many people don’t see? How did our spirits awaken to this cosmic vision? The spirits of all people know this vision, yet so few see. Somehow our hearts and our spirits just know. We have been given the vision and it is so beautiful, so magnificent, and so right. It lives in us and moves us to action. It is a great gift and a “great work.”

We may be on the fringe of society, but we are at home in the heart of Spirit. We and the animals are the vision keepers for Mother Earth. We live and breathe with the animals and the earth. Our spirits run with the wild horses always toward home, toward the peaceable kingdom, holding the dream.

We all do what we can to communicate this to others to help them awaken to the beauty and the joy and the ecstasy of a transformed world-view. No more prejudice, no more domination and exploitation—only love, compassion, and peace. No amount of physical work for the animals will transform this world-view unless we hold a clear vision deep within our souls of what that freedom looks like. The transformation will not take place unless we vision keepers, not only carry the vision, but also believe it already exists on the spiritual plane waiting to be manifested.

Whatever we do, no matter how discouraged we may get, no matter how hopeless our work may seem at times, let us hold the vision of the wild horses running free. Let us hold the vision of the peaceable kingdom for all life here on planet earth.

Thank you for doing your part to dream the great dream with the animals and the Great Spirit of Life. You are on the front lines powering this grand paradigm shift into reverence for all life that is rising like a brilliant new sun. You are helping to change the world-view of human supremacy to one of communion with all life, as it was always meant to be. And so it is. Blessings to you and to all the animals.

I wish you strength and divine endurance for the journey.

And always remember, you do not dream this dream alone.

Prayers and blessings to share with the animals

The blessings of God rest upon you,
And God’s peace abides with you,
And God’s presence illuminates your heart,
Now and forever more.
Sufi chant

All my sacred brothers and sisters
Walk, Fly, Swim, and Move
In Love, Peace, and Freedom

Love and Compassion
Embraces the Earth
And all beings everywhere.

…”Do not injure any living being.”
This is the eternal, perennial, and unalterable way of spiritual life.
A weapon, howsoever powerful it may be, can always be superseded by a superior one;
But no weapon can, however, be superior to nonviolence and love.
Jainist Prayer for Peace

© Judy Carman, 2002

Judy Carman, M.A. is an activist for animal rights, peace and justice, and environmental protection. She is the author of Born to Be Blessed: Seven Keys to Joyful Living, and her new book Peace to All Beings won the Spirituality and Health award as one of the best spiritual books of 2003. She is co-founder of Animal Outreach of Kansas and of the Universal Prayer Circle for Animals.

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