I know that we live in troubled times. We do our best to cope. In a sense that is the story of life. Yet in our more serene and positive moments we discover something truly precious. We discover within ourselves the goodness of being human. People, we humans are basically good and kind people. But we can so easily forget that when we allow uncertainty, insecurity and their allies to cloud our minds these forces prevent us from an inward flowering for we can succumb to the conditioning that takes place outside of us and we in turn allow such conditioning to own us and determine the way we live our lives. It is a subtle form of brain washing. It then becomes a danger for ourselves and for the world we are a part of.
Last Monday morning I had learnt a beautiful lesson when I was with Oliver, Sylvia and Geoff as they related the story of Alexa their nearly 99 year mum. In a little while they will tell that story to you. Some of you knew Alexa personally so you will comprehend in a powerful way what her children relate about her life from their perspective,
What I learnt from being with them is that the person we come here today to honour was someone very very special. She was special because she had been able to instil into the hearts of all who knew her, who crossed her path-gratitude and pride in what it was to be human. It was in the acceptance of the human condition that allowed her see the possibilities of that inward flowering.
Perhaps the greatest gift in the form of a message this lady left behind in our fragile world was that love is real, attainable and how it flowers in relationships.
That is why in this chapel away from the hubbub of the outside world we honour Alexa because as so many of you know that when you had come in contact with her you were not thinking of your worries, your anxieties, your fears as such but rather you were with someone who allowed the garden of her soul to flower and who opened up the possibility of this to happen to you as well. She would let you know that you are not on this earth to guard a museum but rather to cultivate a flower garden of life.
You know once we recognise the value of nature, of ourselves and of others we embody divine love. We discover a light within ourselves and then we see it in the others we encounter in life. This process makes us truly human.
This doesn’t come as such from institutional religion but primarily from the love that is inside of us all. But how does it come, in fact how can it possibly come, when we see the state the world is in, where human tragedy resulting from greed and covertness’ is all about us, when the might of powerful nations armed with nuclear warheads takes precedence over the right of basically peace loving nations who yearn for stability and justice?
Alexia discovered it in coming to terms with the thrills and spills of her human condition. Her gift and the legacy she left allows it to be a possibility for all of us for we possess the same human condition as did Alexa.
We often hear of the expression’ mystical love’. It is not something that is in any way just the monopoly of New Age trends or the dogmatic utterances of institutional religions. Rather it is about one who cannot but love and live compassion for the world they are part of and which is in desperate need of such. In fact that love and compassion is staring at us in the face of the suffering we see in our world.
I love that line of John Keats “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affection and the truth of the imagination”. Our heart’s affection is about our humanity, being fully human and the imagination is about what we can do.
So as we reflect on Alexa’s life and her lesson for us all we can start our walk through life. The journey we make through life is ours but we learn from others. It is as though from birth to death we are guests at a table which we did not spread.Sun, earth, love, family, friends and even more for our every breath is there as well for we are all part of this great banquet.
Alexa was part of it and she savoured the richness and the privilege of participating and leaving her mark and message. She was able to rejoice in the banquet because she had been prepared by the inner journey that she made into her own life finding the sacred within herself and knowing it came through stillness where she was able to see more clearly what was of true and lasting value.