I have just returned from an L/L Research Gathering at the wonderful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. That venue is by far the most beautiful setting in which I have ever been privileged to speak about unconditional love. I thank Bob Riedel for the handsome donation which made it possible for us to meet at this Edenic hotel with its flower-strewn beauty.

On the island, the noise of automobile engines and horns is replaced by the placid clip-clop of horses as they pull the open carriages which taxi the people to and fro. Island natives use bicycles to get around, or have their own carriages. Only the seagulls break the quiet of nature. This makes the atmosphere supernally peaceful. I felt as though I were living in the non-mechanized world of Victorian times.

There were street sweepers working constantly to clean away the inevitable "road apples" that horses leave behind and horse-driven sprinkler wagons to wash away the remaining odor from the streets. That odor is not offensive to me, because many of my happiest memories revolve around my taking care of horses as a child. So to me, manure smells like happiness! But I digress!

The group was fairly small, and so we were able to interact at depth. The attendees were all remarkably steady seekers, each in his or her own way. They had so much to contribute! And we were actually pressed to keep to our schedule, for excellent questions followed each talk in abundance.

I spoke about inner and outer aspects of what is afoot in 2012. We called the gathering "A Time of Awakening." Both William Henry and I spoke about aspects of this time of global shift. Although we had not consulted beforehand, we found that we were both speaking about faith, will, love and unity, as if we had made careful plans. Henry's contribution to the weekend was excellent, and I recommend checking out his work for yourself. His website is www.williamhenry.net. You can go to www.llresearch.org to read the speeches after we have had them transcribed. To find them, go to the Library section of our site.

At the end of the weekend, I offered a channeling session as well. If you are interested in reading that channeling, it will be filed by its date, Aug. 12, 2007, in our site's Library, in the Transcripts section.

As the weekend so swiftly passed, I could feel the energy of the group coming together more and more, until at the last, the group was experiencing a strong "lighthouse effect."

Workshops, seminars and gatherings are always good ways to give our spiritual process a shot of new energy. I know the information Henry and I shared was much appreciated. However, a deeper process was happening at the same time as our minds were engaged. Our hearts became increasingly engaged.

It came to me that this lighthouse effect was far more important than the information and inspiration that Henry and I offered verbally, sharing our thoughts with the attendees. As our hearts began to knit themselves together to make an ever stronger group, the energies of each began to harmonize. A sacred space began to form, fueled by the growing trust and harmony of the group. By Sunday's closing, we had formed a metaphysical source of light of amazing power. We had become a group lighthouse.

We did not form a lighthouse that is intended to declare danger. There was no feeling of Robbie the Robot's "Danger, Will Robinson." This was a lighthouse which came into being simply to radiate the light and the love of the infinite Creator.

I think this lighthouse effect is always the deeper purpose of a spiritual or metaphysical gathering. For it cannot fade away. Unlike facts and information, light bypasses the intellect and is collected in our hearts. Gatherings have a tendency to fade from our minds as we re-enter the lists of everyday life, jousting with all manner of needed details which have accumulated while we were gone. As the intellectual content fades in our memories and our notes are filed away, that part of the experience is lost from conscious thought. If we take in only that part of such a gathering, our spiritual gains will be modest. However, the feeling we get from being part of such a group lighthouse does not fade. The light has been gathered in our hearts, and it remains, impossible to forget.

The lighthouse effect starts with each of us as individuals. The Q’uo group, channeling through L/L Research on Sept. 5, 2004, said:

"The very nature of each of you is love. You are made of it. When there is a lack of that on the surface, you crave it. You hunger for it. You yearn for it. And you know, somehow, that it is there. In the darkest prison, in the darkest night, in the deepest dark night of the soul, the spark of hope cannot be stamped out, because your very heart is a lighthouse and it will relight if you allow it the slightest bit of silence, the tiniest room to be who it is."

And again, on Nov. 12, 2006, the same extraterrestrial source spoke through my channel to say:

"We would encourage you to see yourself as a lighthouse. The lighthouse lights its lamp and keeps its windows transparent. A spiritual lighthouse has its own kind of light, and when you become aware of the power of your beingness, you may, if you wish, consciously become that kind of lighthouse that radiates love and light into the spiritual space around you.

"All the speaking that you might do is not one-thousandth as powerful as the focus of your very nature when it is focused upon unconditional love. Let your answer to fear be an openhearted, sunny, carefree, joyous, confident feeling of love and rightness. Develop that environment within yourself: lightening up, looking for the laughter, looking for the fun."

For some people, this lighthouse effect, which they can generate by consciously focusing on the love in their hearts, is their only mission on earth. They have no need to produce outer spiritual works. The Q’uo group says:

"To many, the service of devotion is the complete service required. If this is occurring within your life, come to an informed understanding of the value of being, for it is because your ground of being is remarkable that this lonely job of keeping the lighthouse burning has been given you. Tend, then, to this light within, hollowing the self through anguish, pain and initiation, until you are transparent to the light. This may be your destiny: to act as radiator and regulator of the light of planet Earth."

For those of us who are called to some outer expression of our gifts in service to others, the Confederation messages remind us always to remember that our central mission is to become a lighthouse. Compared to the radiation of sacred light, our finest songs, poems, buildings, bridges and other feats of the intellect and technology are mere shadows.

When individual lighthouses gather for one mutual purpose, that lighthouse effect expands exponentially! As the Q’uo say in a session about the value of spiritual groups dated Jan. 9, 2006:

"We ask you to realize what you are basically attempting to do. As a spiritually oriented group whose dedication to the polarity of service to others is absolute, you are a crystal. When a crystal is composite and made up of more than one element, it becomes a very interesting structure. See yourself individually as a lighthouse or that which radiates light, but as well see the group of which you are a part this day as a composite crystal that accumulates power and allows it to shine forth as it will."

It seems to me especially important in this time of outer challenge and inner awakening to focus on the lighthouse effect, because we have so profound a need for a new way to be. We are all looking for a new paradigm that moves us out of the box of current thinking and brings us to new awareness.

And so it is the perfect time to look for ways to build ever more firmly clustered lighthouse groups. I know of several people who are attempting at this time to make super-large websites which can bring many groups of like-minded people together via the Internet to create an ever more powerful source of light. The Q’uo group says:

"There is, globally speaking, among your people at this time, the rising of a concept that is a new paradigm. It cannot be developed by one group. It must be developed by groups of groups such as this one. Do not push it or pull it! But know that it is growing and see what you can do to tune into the melody not yet heard, the poem not yet written."

Imbedded in the idea of being a lighthouse is the right use of will. It is very important to realize that we cannot, by will alone, become a lighthouse, beaming forth love. Working from within our human personalities, we shall almost certainly fail. Our work is to use that will to avail ourselves of the silence, wherein we may feel our hearts being filled with the infinite love and light of the One. Only then shall we be successful at "letting our little light shine," because it will be shining through us from the source of all light, the Creator, rather than from us. The Q’uo remarks:

"It is very difficult to walk that razor's edge between using your will from the yellow-ray position and making things happen, and allowing the energy to move up into the heart. We would simply suggest that you have confidence in yourselves. Know that everything that has gone into bringing you here today is going to be useful. It is not clear yet, obviously, how entities shall combine for the larger good, and yet we feel that your attempt to do this creates for you a vortex of fourth-density energy that is substantial. You are attempting to live and to move by higher principles. This is protected work."

I open my arms and embrace your spirit. Let us go about our lighthouse service together today and always, in the peace and the power of our firm and unshakable intent to be a part of lightening the consciousness of Planet Earth.