When I was 19, recovering from my first heartbreak, a young man who had been my constant companion for a year and more proposed marriage to me. Before I began seeing him, I told him, sadly enough, that I would never marry him, and I thought he understood that. He and I were friends, though, and usually together. I adored Charlie, but I could effortlessly wrap him around my little finger and mentally I could think rings around him. That is why he enjoyed my company, actually, being a philosopher and blessedly unthreatened by and appreciative of me. And I enjoyed Charlie, who is one of the kindest, truest gentlemen ever created! But marriage was never an option. (Charlie later married well and is a happy teacher and pater familias today.)

He phrased his proposal by saying that he loved my naiveté and innocence, and wanted to keep me untouched by the world all my life. I did not know how the world worked, he said, and he intended that I never would.

While he spoke of protecting me, I chafed more and more. And I began to form a substantial resolve, one which would stand my family and my academic advisors on their collective ear.

I had been offered a Ford Foundation Fellowship in Oxbridge. I turned it down. I walked away from a full scholarship at undergraduate college in my junior year. In effect, I turned my back on my safe and promising future. And I asked my father, a jazz musician, for his help. “I want to go to work at Eddie’s Shack,” I said. Will you ask him for me, as a favor to you?“

Pop frowned at me. “Eddie’s place is a dive,” he said. “Pros take their johns there. The place is crawling with low life. And only pros work there.”

“That’s why I need you to ask him for the favor,” I said. After determining that at least I did not intend to turn to the oldest profession but only wished to be a barmaid, he agreed and got me a job at Eddie’s.

My plan was simple. If I could work at Eddie’s and be accepted for who I was, just as I was, then I DID know how the world worked. If I could not – if the world was stronger than my spirit – this was the time to find that out.

Of course, on the job I was asked for “dates” at first, but when I explained that I was not in the life, the patrons were understanding of that. I was accorded infinite respect there. I got a standing ovation there the night my tennies slipped on a wet spot on the floor while I was carrying a pitcher full of beer and four mugs, and I landed on my bottom, but with the pitcher still full and the glasses upright. Between sets, my increasingly affectionate customers would call me up to the microphone to sing my folk songs a capella. Usually the place was full of noise, but when I sang, you could hear a pin drop. I was truly loved.

And I loved my customers right back. Yes, in the outside world they were pimps, or pros, or johns, or minor figures in the local, organized underworld that fixed races and sold drugs. But in my world, they were souls of infinite worth. And in a short time, they had become my friends. Love was reflected in love.

The bar did not change, except for having clean tables during my tenure there. The people there did not become reformed and take up clean living. It had not been my plan to change anything! I just wanted to get a good reality check on my thinking about how the world worked. And I was right. People treated me the way I treated them. People saw me the way I saw them. I was satisfied.

I quit the job that fall, when school started again, having been there since March. I picked up the threads of my education and finished my undergraduate degree a year late. I still think, sometimes, of that beautiful and adventurous period in my life when my work ended just before the dawn came, and the empty city streets of Louisville felt as though they were all mine. Not for a minute have I ever regretted my maverick choice to test my premises. I still see it as having been absolutely necessary.

People still have the tendency to see me as a protected, ivory-tower figure. It no longer disturbs me. I know the truth. To me, it is the cynical, defended, jaded people who have the world all wrong. They have been taken in, I feel, by what Neo called The Matrix.

The Matrix, in the eponymous film, had been cleverly put into place by those who ruled it. Those within it did not know it was a construct. They believed in it, and they lived lives of quiet desperation within it. As far as I am concerned, the world’s reality, which we all behold daily on the news and in the buzz, has a lot in common with The Matrix. And I do not believe in it.

It is not that I feel it cannot hurt me. I know it can. I interact with that world constantly, as do we all. It is that I do not feel that the suffering coming from the happenstance of fortune ever gets to the ‘me’ that knows how the world works. I can be sick. I can be poor. I can die on the street, for that matter, although I have not yet had that pleasure. But I shall be sick, or poor, or dying, in a world of love.

And it is a very real world. Those of Q’uo say, in a session recorded at the L/L Research public meeting on May 23, 2009,

“Your present density is the Density of Choice and your mind, your body and your spirit are coordinated to live in an environment which fosters the process of becoming able to identify the self as an ethically based being and to make ethically based choices that polarize the self towards the north pole of service to others or the south pole of service to self.

“It is an environment designed to shake a complacent person out of his complacency and to challenge his presuppositions. The goal of this is not simply to give the seeking soul a degree of suffering, but to set the stage for that great choice of polarity upon which the next two and half densities are based and which shall only be refined in fourth, fifth and sixth densities by further studies in love, in wisdom and in unity.

“The work you do here in third density is profound and crucial to your future. This process of deciding who one is, what one believes, how one shall make his choices and how one shall determine the reason for his being here and his hopes for accomplishment within third density are all those things which are very fruitful to contemplate and those things which we would encourage each of you to ponder, each in your own way.”

Q’uo is not talking about the outside world here, except insofar as they speak of catalyst, suffering and setting the stage for making The Choice. The Q’uo group does not see us as pawns in anyone’s game. Corporate employees can find it easy to see themselves as worker-pawns, imprisoned in their factories and cubicles or stuck like paste to their expense account paperwork and the hypocrisy of executive-speak. Military and security employees can see themselves as cannon-fodder units. Q’uo sees all of us as knights of the road. That road is our spiritual path. It happens to be located, presently, in the physical world. Its reality, however, remains metaphysical.

Q’uo says,

“As you wend your way through the days of third-density incarnation, you express yourself in a physical sense by what you say and what you do, by how you feel and how you experience life. On the metaphysical level, on the other hand, you express yourself in an ever-flowing and ever-changing way by virtue of the constant changes within your energy body, as various of your chakras react to those things you are thinking, feeling and doing.

“Overall your vibration may alter greatly from moment to moment and from day to day, depending upon the catalyst which you are experiencing and the amount of difficulty you may have in responding to that catalyst. However, against the surface of these constant changes within the energy body, there is a deeper vibration which, shall we say, takes the average of your vibratory range in each chakra and creates a basic vibration which is your signature in time/space. We have often noted through this instrument that we would never need to know your names, for we have the identity clearly offered in the vibrations and colorations of your energy body, which are as distinct to us as any fingerprint is to a criminologist.”

I am very sensitive to energy, as I know most of you also are. You also, like me, feel that “fingerprint” of a person’s energy when you meet someone. You also take people not in terms of what they do in the world but in terms of how their energy fingerprint feels when your energy body contacts it.

I pray, whenever I tune for contact, a line from the Psalms:

“Send forth Your Spirit and I shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the Earth.”

Hopefully, my own personality is continuing to become more and more transparent, letting Spirit shine through, so that I am an instrument for its song. And that, I think, is how the world is actually re-made. When each one of us determines to live life as a spiritual being, giving and receiving love; when each one of us chooses to see each challenge as a place where Spirit’s gifts can be fearlessly unwrapped and creatively treated, we are lightening the consciousness of Planet Earth. We are not doing it by changing another soul. We are not doing it by overcoming any worldly foe. We are doing it by lessening the difference between our “fingerprint” of vibration and the “fingerprint” of the One.

Q’uo says,

“It could well be said that spiritual evolution consists of reducing the difference between your basic vibration and the vibration of the one infinite Creator, whose nature and vibration is unconditional and absolute love. This journey is taken by each seeker through all of the densities of your octave as he walks, in his own peculiar way, as the one known as Kris said.”

That reference, by the way, is to Kris Kristofferson’s song from the CD, This Old Road. The song is “Pilgrim’s Progress” and the chorus goes like this:

Am I young enough to believe in revolution? Am I strong enough to get down on my knees and pray? Am I high enough on the chain of evolution To respect myself, and my brother and my sister And perfect myself in my own peculiar way?

To return to Q’uo,

“The vibration of the one infinite Creator is the starting and the ending, not only for an entity within an incarnation but also for the entity within the entire range of the octave of experience. Through the many densities, through all of the lessons of each density and through the countless experiences which together create your personal biases and distortions, you seek endlessly to return to that vibration which is your home, your nature, your origin and your ending. It is a thirst and a craving within the very depths of your nature, deeper than your thoughts, more intimate to you than all of the trappings of culture, language and learning that ripple the surface of your waters as you move through the ocean of life.

“This one original Thought is a touchstone which can be experienced in each density. However, the experience of this Logos comes up into conscious awareness from the roots of consciousness, that are placed within the environment of your density in such a way as to enable you to represent and identify love and the vibration of that unconditionally compassionate Logos.”

I open my arms and embrace your spirit. Let us together rejoice in this present moment in which we can move within our environment, “perfecting ourselves in our own peculiar ways,” identifying love where we find it, and reflecting it back with every motion of thought and action we make in this dance of love that is renewing the face of the Earth.