The Spiritual Koan of the Future: “Who Says?” or “Maybe Not?”

In Blog by Patricia Albere7 Comments


Recently, I listened to a spiritual teacher begin his address to an eager, sophisticated crowd of spiritual practitioners pointing to our need to intensify our ability to practice being deeply awake in the middle of our lives and the world. He spoke about our need to discover how to bring the kind of intensity that Tibetan Buddhist monks who meditate 16 hours a day have into our moment to moment existence.  His inquiry continued to explore how we might accomplish that and what it would take to approach life with that kind of commitment and focus.

Clearly, it’s a beautiful and useful message.  Many of us have followed that injunction and the beauty and benefits are unquestionable. Bringing the sacred into our worldly lives is important. Spiritual embodiment is clearly essential and important to stay awake to.   Most people will find the message both new and challenging.

I was surprised by my instant reaction – which was “Who says that’s what I want?  Who says that’s what existence wants at this point?”  I’m aware that I have a naturally rebellious streak, but this felt different.  It didn’t come from some personal tendency or reaction but from someplace else.  Its presence was vast and yet personal, whispering in my ear – saying with absolute confidence – ‘Maybe not?’  It was interested in something else.

neo-114938In fact the idea of exerting the kind of familiar willpower and focus to do exactly what the teacher was pointing do, felt tiring and uninspiring.  The moment the heretical whisper came I was filled with delight.  I could feel (for lack of a better term) the future, the force, who’s finger beckons those who are paying attention, forward – into something we don’t know…  I immediately leaned over and whispered this revelation to my friend and colleague, who burst into life as well.  Electricity ran through us both and we had to suppress laughing and crying outright.  It wasn’t just the thought – it’s as if some veil was shattered – something had gotten our attention and was moving through us.  We could have easily looking inward, paying attention to how to improve ourselves spiritually instead of this force of the future that was pulling us into new, unknown aliveness and revelation.

Collective awakening has begun and many of us are being undone by its force.  This cosmic nudge was up-leveling the clarity and power and undoing a fundamental assumption about spiritual work.  It felt urgent that we (really) need to be available for something new – something that can happen ‘all together’ – not individuals finding their way alone.  Something is saying its going to be entirely different.  The model for spiritual awakening that we are unconsciously and unquestioningly still coming from was created thousands of years ago in a world where people walked or rode donkeys to get from place to place and were for the most part illiterate.

After the nudge, I was reading a book by Ilia Delio, catholic nun and Teilhard scholar. In it Ewert Cousins explains that in the first axial period individual consciousness was awakened and developed.  He says that the second axial period will be marked by the consciousness of community and relatedness to all of existence.  With the invention of computers, cell phones, media communications and air travel we are closer to each other than ever before, sharing a common history.  He says that the bridge from one period to the other is just underway – and the bridge builders are called “mutational” persons.

Mutant Evolutionaries!  Hmmmm……

Regardless – if you are inspired,  try on my new koan and give yourself full permission to ask, “Who Says?” or “Maybe Not?”.  And then just be open, look around and wait for the whisper.  Something is trying to get our attention.

In Evolutionary Love,    Patricia

About the Author

Patricia Albere

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Patricia Albere is at ground zero of an evolutionary stream of spiritual awakening. She is the founder and director of the Evolutionary Collective and an internationally known contemporary spiritual teacher and author.


  1. Ohhh… I like this one Patricia. It resonates deeply. Deep bow sister. Freedom comes to heart with this. Yesss..

    1. Author

      Hi Destini, Thank you for introducing me to your friend – Shelley – it’s been a pleasure connecting with her and her work.

  2. Love this! I’ve experienced that thought and feeling myself increasingly lately. Thanks for the validation and encouragement!

  3. Love this! Sounds like it’s the difference between lots-of-effort spirituality & being a vessel – allowing God or whatever we want to call it to move through us . . .

  4. Warm greetings Patricia. Yes, many folks I am connected to who are co-creating and building such things together, the new world so to speak. There are also abundant teachings on this in indigenous world, and I am deeply grateful for elders and ancestors who have been kind enough to share these teachings. There are numerous indigenous peoples here in the Americas that have foretold in prophecy about this time (Hopi, Eagler and Condor, and others) and have been in prayer and ceremony about it together for the healing of humanity since the 1990’s.

    Also, wanted to share about a Nahuatl word “nepantla” that has to do with the bridge building you speak of. Some are born to play that role in the world. Below my signature is some background on this.

    In peace and metta, Brenda Salgado


    Excerpt from: Keating, AnaLouise (2006) “From Borderlands and New Mestizas to Nepantlas and Nepantleras: Anzaldúan Theories for Social Change,” Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Vol. 4: Iss. 3, Article 3.

    ​”Nepantla is a Nahuatl word meaning ‘in-between space.’ Anzaldúa adopted this term, and used it to represent psychic/spiritual/material points of potential transformation… Some people who experience nepantla states become what Anzaldúa calls “nepantleras”: (“in-betweeners,” “those who facilitate passages between worlds” (Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Unnatural Bridges). Like Anzaldúa herself, nepantleras are threshold people; they live within and among multiple worlds, and develop what Anzaldúa describes as a “perspective from the cracks.”

    Nepantleras use their views from these cracks-between-worlds to invent holistic, relational theories and tactics enabling them to reconceive or in other ways transform the various worlds in which they exist. Nepantleras have a global consciousness.

    As Anzaldúa explains in a 2003 interview, Nepantleras are the supreme border crossers. They act as intermediaries between cultures and their various versions of reality. …They serve as agents of awakening, inspire and challenge others to deeper awareness, greater conocimiento, serve as reminders of each other’s search for wholeness of being. (Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Speaking Across the Divide)!what-is-nepantla/c16fg

  5. Wow and YES! The way I “was” has come undone. It comes to me that as we wait and participate (both) in WeSpace, we drop the mind and measuring and judging and doing – (moving into Collective BEINGness) as in the Double Split Experiment, we move into the Field of ALL Possibility (and spark a Massive Awakening? ). I feel, sense and anticipate moment to moment … listening for the whisper.. opening .. thank you!!

  6. Ohmygod — I SOOO appreciate this one, Patricia! I also felt a “downward turn” inside my chest when I read about “needing more commitment and focus.” Ugh. That does feel old! I laughed out loud with the same delight you expressed with your words, “The moment the heretical whisper came I was filled with delight”!!! I also appreciate Brenda Salgado’s entry about “Napantlas.” I have often found myself mediating between perspectives, and urging “out of the box thinking,” much to my coworkers’ dismay. But, hey: several years ago I received a Bodhisattva name with “Bridge” in it, so I am just trying to live into that possibility! I believe there are indeed many bridge-builders who are delighting in this co-creation to who-knows-where. There is no agenda or destination other than staying curious, and supporting each other, and feeling Universal Love grabbing us in and holding us close.

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