The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.
~A Course in Miracles
We so often hear of this country waging war against that country. Security is thought to depend on military preparedness. It is thought that force is the final arbiter, that “might makes right.”
Rarely do we think of waging peace. If we do, how do we do it? Do we merely become passive? Our opponents might either ignore us or consider us pathetically weak.
However, if we wage love, everyone will get it. The greater we feel love toward our perceived adversary, the faster the barriers will disappear. We are all human, and we are all divine. It no longer matters as to the color of our skin, our nationality or our religious identification.
Love has everything to do with it. Love is the most powerful force in all the universe. Dante wrote about the “Love that moves the sun and other stars.” It was love that created us, and it is love that sustains us.
If you try to change the world through force, money or persuasion, we can predict what difference you will make. However, when you truly love someone, transformation is possible. All forms of evangelism rely on this. If you don’t really love those you are trying to convert, your efforts will prove futile in the end.
We are now at a point in history where material weapons are self-defeating. Skillful means requires “weapons,” weapons to heal, and not to destroy. Do you have total confidence right now in any single human institution: government, corporations, education or organized religion? If not, we must turn within to see lasting results.
You can get in touch with yourself at the deepest possible level. Below your persona, your social mask, lies your shadow. Beneath your shadow lies your Divine Self, at the nucleus of your being. God IS love. Love is not merely an attribute of God. Love is the very essence of God.
At the core of your being, you ARE love. At first this may seem a little scary, as you in all likelihood spend precious little time exhibiting it to others. Love is not something you have to work up, it is how you are when you are truly in touch with Who You Are, and all the barriers have been removed.
Once you know love lies deep within you, you can do something to get in touch with that inner truth. A good practice is to find someone you consider an “enemy,” and systematically bless him or her, day after day. You can say within yourself, “I love you.” If you don’t feel it, that’s OK. Just get used to the idea. Eventually, it will become a living experience. You don’t need to struggle at it. You just need to be extremely persistent.
Mahatma Gandhi called his form of social and political action satyagraha. “Satya” means the truth, or pure being. “Graha” means to grasp, to cling to, to hold fast. Satyagraha means to hold fast to the truth. However, he had an important twist. You are to love your opponents while you hold to your own truth, regardless of the consequences.
If you lose patience with your adversary, and frantically insist on getting your own sweet way, you’ve blown it. You’ve missed the whole point. Gandhi called off one of his greatest campaigns when his followers killed a policeman. The ends never justify the means. The means ARE the end. If you want more love in your life, start loving whoever is in front of you.
Sacred activism today speaks to our commitment to the earth, and life on this planet. We honor all sentient beings. Everything that happens around this planet affects us one way or another, whether or not we are conscious of it. Everyone and everything within our experience is WITHIN OUR OWN EXPERIENCE. Nothing is ultimately “out there.”
You may be a secular humanist, extremely uncomfortable with organized religion, theology and creeds. Yet, most likely there is something sacred in your life, even if it is simply freedom of thought and conviction. As Voltaire put it, “I may not agree with a word you say; nevertheless, I will defend to death your right to say it!”
What do you care deeply about? A few years back, I couldn’t stand the idea of people chopping down all the rain forests. Since 9/11, my vision has focused on eliminating forever the option of killing in the name of God. If you want to commit murder, don’t lay it on God’s hands!
Look at beauty in your life, whether it is a gorgeous beach, an enchanting painting or a lovely young lady. You want nothing to happen to this. You will do whatever you have to do to see that this beauty flourishes. It could be the Grand Canyon, or Sedona, Arizona. It is your sacred spot; so devote your life to it.
• My Head: Open your mind to the new physics, such as the idea of nonlocality, that everything is linked to everything else--time and space are no obstacles. This is not just a poetic metaphor, but the way it actually works in a high-energy physics lab. We are all ONE; this is the underlying truth behind our myriad appearances.
• My Heart: Learn about the people whom you might consider to be adversaries. If you fear Russians, learn about contemporary Russia, and what the average citizen goes through. I promise you, it will be very different than you think. If you are concerned about North Korea, go meet some Koreans in your city. Learn about the history of the people. The Korean War was no picnic. It was a disaster for both the U.S. and the United Nations. It set up bad will for generations. Start to feel the plight and frustration of the other side, while not getting sucked up in all the drama.
• My Hands: When you start to think and feel unity and love, you will begin to take action. You need not do anything spectacular. Call your local Congress Person. Call your U.S. Senators. Call the President. Compliment them on making a difference, and recommend they take action that will bring us all closer to love and peace. Whatever you do, say it with love. Remember: Every call to a Congressperson is interpreted as representing 10,000 votes. Every single call!
You can open yourself up to the possibility that the world, even the very Universe, Itself, spins within the context of your Ultimate Being. Everyone and everything that seems “out there” is really inside you. You are responsible. This doesn’t mean that you are guilty and should be blamed. Guilt and blame are actually evasions of responsibility.
When you take responsibility for your own experience, that everyone you interact with is in some way your own creation, you will find that you really love your creations. Why would you seek to destroy them?
Realize that today, everything has gone global, just like the World Wide Web. You can touch people instantly. In addition, people from all parts of the world now live together, as in our large metros. Think globally. Act locally. This is true, not only for environmental issues, but for every issue.
You don’t have to take responsibility. It is an option. You don’t have to be magnificent. You don’t have to mobilize your inner power. But why not? The world’s greatest challenges are your greatest opportunities. Is there a better game anywhere?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.