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Chief Joseph and John Cali
from the September 2009 Star Beacon
God and Glaciers
by Chief Joseph and John Cali
Last week the Washington
Post talked about the Great Aletsch glacier in southern Switzerland.
What do glaciers have to do with God?
In 1678 the devoutly Roman Catholic people of the
isolated Swiss mountain villages of Fiesch and Fieschertal made a
deal with God. They vowed to live virtuous lives if God would
spare them from devastation by the then-expanding glacier
descending upon them.
Today Great Aletsch is Europe’s largest glacier. And
it’s melting, posing a different threat — flooding and the
potential loss of the area’s primary water supply.
Now the villagers want to reverse their vow. As their
pastor, Father Pascal Venetz, said, they want “to pray against
climate change, global warming and the receding of the glacier.”
But there’s a catch.
As a former Roman Catholic, two things struck me about
First, the villagers need to get Pope Benedict’s permission to
reverse their vow. That’s the catch — because for now they’re
morally obligated to go on praying for the glacier to continue
melting. Talk about a dilemma!
Second, the villagers sincerely believe their only
salvation is to bargain with God. Effectively, they’re saying,
“We’ll be good, God, if you will save us from destruction.”
I respect and honor all religious and spiritual
traditions, as does Chief Joseph. But this story is about “old
energy” thinking. It no longer works.
Here’s Chief Joseph.
As John said, this “old energy” thinking does not work
You live in an era of rapid change and stunning
transformation. You do not need us to remind you of that. God does
not “need” you to bargain with him/her — never did. This
bargaining mentality was the old way — it’s now a tired old way.
It never did work. Today that is becoming more apparent to all of
To put it simply, God doesn’t care. It just doesn’t
First, you need to remember “who” God is. God is that
divine energy that defines and creates all that exists. Everything
that exists now, or ever has existed, or ever will exist — to put
it in linear time terms — is part of that energy you call God. God
is simply all that is — or All That Is. So you can see the
futility of bargaining with God.
Second, God doesn’t create your human experience, your
reality. You do.
Third, you do not need an intermediary between you and
God. The intermediary in this story is Pope Benedict.
You all have a “direct line” to God. You don’t need a
pope, a guru, a teacher, an “authority” to intercede for you. You
don’t need Chief Joseph.
Do you know why? Because you are God also. Each and every one of
you is God.
It’s long past time for you to acknowledge that, and to
accept your role as the powerful divine creators you are.
Sure, that puts all the responsibility squarely on your
shoulders. But it also gives you a freedom that will exhilarate
and empower you beyond anything you’ve ever experienced before.
It’s time, friends. Accept your divinity. Exercise it.
You can transform the world. You can transform your own lives.
Know you are God. It is truth.