The Powerful Desire for Revenge

grenadeI remember my powerful emotions when, many years ago, during the hazing period at a local university fraternity, the recruits were required to swim across a small lake on the campus. One young man had never learned to swim but he was told, ‘You don’t swim, you don’t join.’ He went into the water, sank to the bottom and drowned. Their defense was that everyone had been drinking.

For years, my chest tightened when I thought about what happened to that young man, but back then I thought, “If he was my son, I would make it my life’s mission to tear this university down.” I wanted revenge and the boy wasn’t my son! I wanted revenge, even though I believe, for the purpose of spiritual advancement, we choose our parents, our lives, and about how long we will live before we are born.

The rage at the seeming senselessness of so many incidents and the powerful desire for revenge is, to a large degree, why our world is not at peace. If you lived in a place where a wall separated you and your enemies, and they shot grenades over the wall at you, and you shot grenades over the wall at them, and members of their families died and members of your family died, could you become a peacemaker? Could you be the first to stop lobbing the grenades? If you stopped, but they did not, would you and your family just stand there and die? If they stopped, would you, also, giving up your war for . . . for what? The land? A principle? A belief that God loves you more than them?

No matter how holy any terrorist (or anyone standing on ‘God’s principle’) tries to make their attacks or justify their motives, war is war. War is death. War is human. War is hell. People standing on God’s foundation, like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., make peace, not war. They see the never-ending cycles of revenge. They transcend their outrage. They put the problem into God’s all-healing hands and ask to find solutions in inspiration. They understand, they compromise, they heal, they make peace, but only arm-in-arm with God. Remember, where God is, there is love, forgiveness and compassion. Where God isn’t, there is war, acrimony, and arrogance.

“You shall know them by the fruit they bear.”

Our Perception of Reality and What is Real May Be Two Different Things

Beauty in ASky 1999I was thinking this morning about grandparents, my mom specifically, and all the practicalities and bits of wisdom she has taught to her grandkids. My mom still works, so her availability is not about hours in the day. It’s about knowing that life is so short and that the effect of sharing tender moments of connection will help her beloveds carry on through life’s tough spots after she is gone. And all of us are blessed to take those very same memories of connection to the other side.

The difference between action and experience is like the difference between our perception of what appears to be the real world and what is the real world. While we’re caught up in it we can’t see the bigger picture, but with some time and hard-knocks we begin to understand: There is more here than meets the eye. There is an entire universe of happenings, micro-atoms vibrating at differing rates of speed, creating other dimensions of experience. Most of these worlds are invisible to us because we’re vibrating at the speed of Earth. But even on Earth, we can make shifts in our awareness and see beyond our mundane world. And that is the point: We’re here to grow so that we may again live in the Light.

I believe it was Edgar Cayce who said that we humans ‘fell’ from the Light and that we’re currently living in a period of God’s Great Rescue of children who moved away from creating within the Whole to creating our own spaces. Creating is fun—dazzlingly so!—but some of us created dark spaces and wow, can we ever see that darkness reflected on Earth. Dominance is the ultimate goal in dark spaces, but even there the joke is on the ‘dominant.’ The only real power is Love. Dominance is a false, empty state that can be undone by one touch of unconditional Love. If this weren’t true, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin L. King, Jr. would not have succeeded in their efforts to bring light and Love to our world to heal abhorrent imbalances.

The real world is hidden--in plain sight.

The real world is hidden–in plain sight.

We don’t have to fall for the fake world. We don’t have to rush through life. We can slow down and ask to see Truth—what is it within us prompting us always to go within, look deeply, to smile, serve, Love and heal? We are dual beings with light selves and shadow selves. We need to ask why our shadow selves receive so much of our attention and energy and what we can do to change this. Why? It is our destiny.

We’re living in a relatively brief moment of time of great endings and beginnings, when doors and windows from a dark, craggy mountain to a lighter way of being have been thrown open for us. Of course, we don’t have to pass through them now. We are beloved children of God with the right to live however we want. We can maneuver and fight and suffer for hundreds, thousands, more lifetimes if we want to. Or we can choose growth, self-compassion and peace and take a door or jump through a window—into the light of Love. It is time, wouldn’t you agree?

Together, We Can

Together, We Can pic

When a country and its problems escalate to the point ours have in America, there are no easy answers. There are no manmade answers. The problems are too big for our human minds, and too far reaching, which is probably why we are stuck in ideologies and can’t seem to do more than throw words around, intent upon pushing each other’s buttons. How did we turn into the disparaging, shouting people we have become?

Even the experts don’t know what to do. No matter our opinions, unless they are based on respect and equality, on loving our neighbors as ourselves, and on living in peace, they are not worth anything more than the hot air and spittle it takes to get them out. We know now why Christ said, “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

I often think of what Paramahansa Yogananda, the great spiritual teacher from India who lived from 1893 to 1952, said (I’m paraphrasing) about negative thoughts attracting mosquitoes to us, and peoples’ collective fearful thoughts of say, being hit by a hurricane, bringing the hurricane right to them. What would he say about all the shouting and name-calling, the jockeying for attention, about spewing opinions that have no value because they only divide us more? What are we attracting to ourselves now? Paramahansa Yogananda admired the heart and ingenuity of Americans. I wonder if he would be surprised by who we have become.

We are at a crossroads and we all know it. We are in over our heads. Inspiration comes from the quiet place within each of us, but we can’t hear the still, small voice unless we get quiet. Will it take a certain percentage of us being quiet and listening, or a great, inspired leader like Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr., to lead us? What is going to happen to our once-great country? What are we to do?

We who know that love, peace, respect and equality are reflections of a Higher Power, must step up and stand sure on the truth that every person in America, that every person in the world, is loved equally by God. This life is not about what we take for ourselves, but what we give to heal Mother Earth and her inhabitants. America cannot stand on the unstable footing of the self-centered gain that hurts so many of her own people, and the people of the world. Let us center ourselves in quiet humility, and pray and visualize the healing of America, of the world: Dear Holy Father/Mother, we love you; we do! We need you. Please show us the way. Thank you. Amen.

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