|From: Douglas Gillies. I think you'll enjoy my description of the Glorious Beings Award ceremony on Good Friday at www.questforhope.com : |
April 14, 2006. Glorious Beings Award
Frank Kelly asked me to present the 1st Annual Glorious Beings Award to Robert and Barbara Muller on Good Friday at the Santa Barbara Music Academy. Frank is a great sage at 92 years old, a prolific writer, co-founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, and a speech writer who helped Harry Truman win the Presidential election in 1948.
When I first heard that there was to be a celebration of the Glorious Beings Award, my mind had to stretch to embrace that concept because glory is a word that most of us don't use very often. It is so lofty that it almost seems like we'll get into trouble if we use such a word anywhere but in church. Yet Frank Kelly has spoken of glorious beings for all the years that I have known him. He describes the people who come to see him and attend his gatherings as glorious beings. Whenever Frank uses that expression, a part of me wants to stretch a little higher so that I can comprehend what he is saying.
After we enjoyed an evening of masterful music played by Stephen Kelly, Carol Manzi, Ray Tischer, accompanied by performances of Misa Kelly and Devyn Duex in the beautiful surroundings of the Music Academy, we turned a page in the human story.
Webster's Dictionary falls all over itself trying to capture a definition for glory:
--lofty praise extended by common consent
--an occasion of jubilant pride
--a source of intense joy
--a highly distinguished, splendid quality
Glorious carries the theme even higher. Even the adjectives need adjectives:
--marked by great beauty or splendor
--archaic: hilariously drunk
We took a step on Good Friday. Glory is a concept that usually refers to something that is bestowed upon us. If we're lucky and we are in the right place at the right time and we have the necessary skill, glory might move through us. Now Frank has turned a new page in the story and glory has become a quality to be found within a human being. I believe that he takes us to a new stage in human evolution. There has never been, until now, an acknowledgment of people as glorious beings. There wasn't space for it; it wasn't appropriate. We didn't deserve it and if we had tried to claim it for ourselves we would have found ourselves in a lot of trouble--until Frank smiled that Frank Kelly smile and said, "It's time to acknowledge the first Glorious Beings."
This award is a fitting acknowledgment to Robert and Barbara Muller, but it is also a gift to humankind from the state of being that Frank Kelly has achieved during his lifetime. It was a great honor for me to stand on that stage and try to reach with my mind through my heart in the direction of what Frank had been talking about for all these years.
It so happened that the award was going to my two dearest friends, so that gave me an added incentive to try to bring the audience to a level where I could point to those two glorious beings. I met Barbara Gaughen in 1985 in San Francisco when I came home after a long day of work. She was sitting on the couch in my living room, a house guest for the weekend. As a trial lawyer, I was involved in the world's largest lawsuit and I was working 18-hour days writing a summary judgment motion to get our client out of the case. I wasn't feeling glorious, but I think I was starting to feel that I might be heading towards great, which is a long way from glory.
I found Barbara in my living room, and I asked her, "What do you do?" She said, "I help people figure out their life purpose." I didn't need any of that because I was a lawyer, but I was curious, so I said, "How do you do that?" She said, "It's a two-day workshop I give, but we could probably do it in about an hour."
It was only 8:00 o'clock, so what the heck. We went through the exercise and I began to experience what I now can describe as a glorious being. At the end of the hour, she asked, "So what percentage of your potential are you using as a trial lawyer?" It was such a simple question, and yet it was the only question that could have changed my life as dramatically as it did. I said, "I don't know, perhaps 15%."
On the subway ride to my office the next morning, I wondered what I was going to tell the other lawyers. I couldn't tell them that I was going to quit law and start writing books and making movies and try to save the world. They would have thrown me out. So when I met with my associates I said, "I've decided to go into business." They all nodded and smiled, because lawyers think that if they go into business they'll make the real money, and that allowed me to transition out of my office gracefully.
Years went by, and I met Barbara again at a meeting in Santa Barbara, where she became the champion of the La Casa Invitational, an event which I produced with her encouragement for the next three years. Each year, the Board of La Casa de Maria selected a host who had asked a profound question to be addressed by 80 guests during a five-day conference. Robert Muller asked the question for our second Invitational, "What is the meaning of life; what is the meaning of death?" The following year, Jean Houston was the host and she asked, "What is the grail of a new story that will lead us out of the wasteland and into a greening?" But the first year, our question was "How can we speed up the shift to wholistic thinking?"
Near the end of that first Invitational in 1994, Barbara said, "In July, it will be 2,000 days to the year 2000. Let's work together to come up with one idea each day for a better world, and by the year 2000 we'll have 2,000 ideas for a better world.
Robert Muller stood up and said, "I'll do it." That's when Robert Muller and Barbara Gaughen became a couple.
That was in 1994; this is 2006. Do the math. If Robert had kept going, he would now be up to 4,400 ideas for a better world, but no. Robert Muller has published 6,900 Ideas for a Better World. They arrive on my computer each day by email. Jean Houston reads them on Good Morning World every day. I read them. It's hard to wrap my mind around one of Robert's ideas, but Robert has been knocking them out at the rate of almost two a day for the past 12 years. It's a glorious being who can see a world that we will strive towards during the next 1,000 years and report the details as if he's reading the letters coming out of the sky. It takes a glorious being like Barbara to ask one question that can change the course of your life.
We don't walk down the street and see glorious beings--not most of us, not yet. We see the weight, we see the clothes, the eyes, the lipstick. We make our judgments, we evaluate each other as we pass each other on the street. Frank Kelly is saying to us, "Look deeper. Everywhere you look you will see glorious beings."
That's the gift Frank has given us. I can look up and I can see ahead of me Barbara and Robert Muller travelling into that glorious light, and that's why they have received the 1st Annual Glorious Beings Award. But standing on top of the mountain with his arms wide open to greet them, naturally living in the glory, is Frank Kelly.