If we are to live through these times in world history, we will need to recognize the increasing and often irrefutable moments when the spirit enters into human affairs. There is ﬁerce resistence in many souls to give such recognition. But if we can wake up to such awareness it can be an invaluable source of strength and hope for us all. This capacity to know life is woven through with participation from other realms, (both positive and negative), will become absolutely imperative if we are to naviagate the world we now live in.
Materialistic technological science is a necessary ‘stage’ in human development, but this thinking and world view, despite the prodigious outpouring amazing inventions, has been a disconnected, destructive approach to our economic and cultural life. Through this thinking we are severed from our spiritual moorings and it will only lead us further into the abyss. Just consider the fatally ﬂawed thinking through which the precious gift of human personhood and human rights were bestowed onto godless, souless, bodiless corporations, utterly devoid of humanity or moral conscience. Thus these destructive entitities have been allowed to amass the power to destroy the planet and all life on it in a savage exploitation of all the earth’s resources to proﬁt the few. This was only aided and abetted by further ﬂawed thinking from our recent Supreme court strengthening those un-holy rights through the Citizen’s United decision allowing the buying of our democracy. Further it isn’t even the bold innovative capitalism that we are supposed to revere taking place, but the scummiest imitation of capitalism where the common people pick up the tab for the risk and bear the costs of environmental devastation. Our current government is pushing this approach to the limits and is hell bent on taking the human factor out of their pillage and proﬁt economic policy decisions.
In the face of all this, when the wonders do happen, when spirit does triumph, we need to take note and gain hope. A recent movie celebrates just such a miracle where millions were uplifted
with new faith in life. On January 15, 2009, experienced aviator, Captain Chelsey Sullenberger, safely landed an US Airways jet liner, disabled by hitting birds three minutes after take off, on
the Hudson river. Along with inspired and competent ﬁrst responders’ on the river, every one of the 155 people on board were saved. Miraculous! But immeditately after the event, the various investigative boards began a relentless search for ‘facts’ using computer simulations of the ﬂight. With cold, souless thinking and their clever technology, they asserted that the captain could have made a different decision and landed at airports, thus saving money for insurance companies etc.
As the investigators show these contrived simulations of the ﬂight to Capt Sullenberger and his co pilot in the ﬁlm, he makes a courageous commanding statement. “Make it human!” Thus he pointed out, rightly, the simulators had made absolutely no allowance for human reaction time, time for the two pilots to comprehend and take action, in this case, in the ﬁrst ever known event in aviation history of bird strikes taking out two engines at once. The investigators had to admit their error. Their technological machines had not allowed time for a ‘human’ response. When 35 seconds were added to allow time for the human (spirit) to react, assess and decide, as the captain had so astutely done - their clever computer simulations both ended in crashes. Shellenberger would later say it was as though he had spent a life time of ﬂying making deposits of experience to a bank account and then drew it out all at once…. from forty years of human experience. And what other spiritual back story may there well be?! Perhaps his connection with his father, who depressed after major surgery had taken his own life without note or warning, many years before. At the time ‘Sully’ began earnest, devoted community work to help prevent other such suicides. He was a world expert in aviation safety - Safe guarding lives of others was a theme of his whole life. When the airliner went down in the Hudson, he walked the aisle of the sinking plane,as the last on board, not once. but twice, to insure that every passenger was safely out. His destiny, and spiritual help, even spiritual partnerships one might say, had prepared him to be the hero he is at just this moment in time.
February 18th is our son Cameron’s birthday, and his grandfather Pete’s birthday as well - they are so alike, in looks, gifts and personality - both pilots and brilliant mechanics. On the eve of their birthdays, my pilot husband, Gordon, and I watched the ﬁlm, Sully. I could barely sit through the cynical accusations of the board of inquiry to this brave man just recovering in the aftermath of the huge responsibility for the safe landing. No computer video gamer will ever know what it is really like to ﬂy and make such decisions in the air, unless they have been there, as three generations of our family has! Later, Cameron agreed saying, “They make no allowance for what is really happening there - which can include angels and help from higher guidance to make the decisions.”
As a pilot I have had my own experience, a modest one, and certainly not on the scale of Captain ‘Sully’ who ﬂew over one million passengers safely, but it was just as intense for me. In my case only one passenger mattered, but it was one of the most precious people in my life- my Dad.
A newly licensed pilot, I was proudly taking my father for his ﬁrst ride with me and he was equally ﬁlled with pride for his daughter’s accomplishments. I had always received steadfast support and encouragement from my father, a teacher who taught many a sound lesson to many students.
I was ﬂying out of a rural, uncontrolled airport, coming in for a landing. I reached for the throtte, which normally slides in and out with straight foward thrusts, and it came off in my hand. My ﬁngers were curled around a handle bending down at a forty ﬁve degree angle and appearing to hang loosely from the instrument panel. I assessed the harsh truth and the decisions had to be made right then on what, as pilot in command, I was going to do about it. Without the throttle I will have no control of the power of the plane to land. I gingerly held it, my ﬁngers curled around the limp handle, hesitant to make any quick actions of pushing or pulling to disable it entirely( if it wasn’t all ready.) I didn’t tell my father to alarm him as well. The airport was in sight, thank goodness. I had only one shot at it, There could be no go arounds to try for a second landing. Once the power was cut for good,( that is if it wasn’t jammed on) a I was going down, period.
Gingerly, I lined up for ﬁnal, took a deep breath and decisively pulled the throttle. The power did quit. Down we went.. I was calm. I had to be. But I was spiritually supported, too - I had to be! We landed safely. The airport mechanic afﬁrmed that a nut on the back of the instrument panel had dislodged, allowing the long ﬂexible part of the throttle cable to come loose from its moorings and partly through the panel. We were saved by the decisions I needed to make - and certainly by spiritual help that helped me make them. I had a long life yet to live.
Charles Lindbergh had the intense experience to lose a night’s sleep even before his epic Atlantic ﬂight. He had to to stay awake for an inhuman amount of time to make the ﬂight in any event. In his autobiography he writes that it was ‘passengers’ from the spiritual realm that sustained him and kept him awake - they gathered with him in the cabin - He didn’t identify them as angels or ancestors passed on - but for sure they intervened and were there for him for the ﬂight and were the reason for his survival.
Can we address how to ‘make it human’ in the face of the powerful take over of human life by our souless technology, for we are the ones who must ever more vigilently make it human? .. We are the ones that need to have our hearts open to the intervention of the spirit. As things intensify in world affairs, let us also recognize the miracles. For example, the huge, peaceful, totally non violent, Womens March, the largest mobilization in the nation’s history on Janaury 21, 2017! Or the great offerring of prayer and courage at Standing Rock as the most powerful, capitalistic, materialistic, destructive forces in the world are being faced,- or the deeply ‘human’ compassionate responses to the plight of refugees? Spirit intervention is alive - ever inspiring us to make it more alive and real and recognize it in this world… to make it human!