Ritual and ceremony like the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh strikes a particular chord with millions of people but there is much more to why we are so obsessed with royalty in a modern era where institutions are in crisis and there is a general loss of purpose and meaning.
There is a particularly heartfelt scene in the new movie “Victoria & Abdul” where Queen Victoria laments the death of loved ones and the point of it all. Abdul replies: “Service. We are not here to worry about ourselves. We are here for a greater purpose.”
The power of service
Service has a different meaning if it is by personal choice compared to an inherited obligation from birth as with a monarchy. Born into an age of patriarchy, it must have been a difficult decision at times for the Duke to stand back and walk two steps behind the Queen.
With the subtle choice of the hymns and psalms for his own funeral, the Duke sent a powerful message to the global audience.
One of the most poignant moments of the funeral ceremony was the rendition of Psalm 104 set to music by William Lovelady and first performed at a special celebration to mark the Duke’s 75th birthday. The psalm is a celebration of God’s creation and the power of nature.
The song praises the splendor of the heavens, the light of the sun, the expanse of sky reaching down to meet the earth, the movement of clouds blown by the wind, and the flashes of lightning – all an illustration speak of the magnificence of the Creator dwelling in and ruling the universe.
If we want to understand God we must study nature
The deeper message is that if we want to understand the concept of God, we need to study the fundamental principles of nature. In contrast to ancient man, the industrial man sees nature as an object to be conquered, extracted, exploited and utilized. It is part of the illness of modern-day blind narcissism.
The disconnect from the spiritual self, the loss of meaning and purpose is responsible for much of our mental health crisis. Healing our planet starts with healing the self. The deeper we immerse ourselves in nature the stronger the growth of connection, belonging and purpose.
At a point where all the senses are opened to the universe, there comes connection with the frequency that vibrates within all that is living.
One and the One within diversity
“All creatures seek One, even the lowest creatures seek the One, and the One is perceived by the highest,” according to the 13th-century Mystic Meister Eckart.
A principle of nature is the diversity within the “Oneness”. Meister Eckart explains that it is impossible for the whole of nature to break or spoil, or even touch anything in which she does not aim at a higher good for the thing which she touches.
The song of Psalm 104 is an “outpouring” of life itself. Each part is interpenetrating the other. To the question of who or what is God, Eckart replies: “God is.” The act of being is the same as being in all things.
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
One more thing…
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