Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fire and Water: Reflections on 9/11, Katrina, and the Deeper Meaning of What We Unleash

Years ago, deep into my own spiritual emergence, I had startlingly prescient dreams; in one, the words, "violent emergency" reverberated through my head, both asleep and awake. It was a violent emergence; birth is fierce. There is an ocean of difference, however, between Nature's ferocity and that which is deliberately inflicted by human beings with their own agendas.

On this fourth anniversary of 9-1-1, I awoke to a beautiful, imminent fall day, sending mental blessings to all and feeling optimistic, as I generally do, about our collective evolution. My faith in the eventual outcome cannot be shaken.

And perhaps the news I discovered when I logged on this morning, astounding though it is, in a grander sense accelerates this process. People the world over are already outraged at President Bush's lackadaisical response to Katrina, which recalls his initial behavior when the Twin Towers fell. Perhaps that's because, in both instances, he was at cause, not at effect.

Read this story:
Explosive Residue Found On Failed Levee Debris!

Yes, the man is a black belt in uncontrolled rage; a wildfire. I am clearly no Bush fan. And yet...isn't he, in a way, also a convenient scapegoat?

What do I mean?

We shudder at the idea that the leader of one of the world's Superpowers could knowingly wreak havoc on innocent people. Hm. What, then, is the definition of war? It is only in recent memory (Iraq, Vietnam) that strong antiwar sentiment has held sway. For much of our history, it's been an acceptable means of "protecting our interests," "keeping the world safe for democracy," or any number of other platitudes. And if thousands, perhaps millions, of innocents had to die in the process, well, they were war heroes. And the villagers in other countries, slaughtered in the name of whatever diety one invoked, deserved death because they were "the enemy."

Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the US House of Representatives and the only member of Congress to vote against US entry into both World Wars, once declared, "You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake."

She makes an enduring point. Did anyone "win" the Indonesian 'quake and tsunami? Are we "winning" the war in Iraq? Could Bush and Co. "win" this hurricane, even by intentionally exploding the levees holding back the floodwaters?

What's really going on here? What is the higher purpose of our "explosive" potential, of the impulse towards violence we all carry within us to a greater or lesser degree?

Fire and water are complements; harmonized, they elevate consciousness and bring about healing. I sang these words aloud often during my "dark night of the soul" journey. To read my recent e-newsletter on this topic (What Shines issue #49), my article, "Why We Need the Numinous," which discusses how to bring the sacred into your everyday life, or my special broadcast from 9/11/01, please e-mail me with your specific request in the subject line.

We need to embrace the true fire within us, and discover the myriad ways to use this potent energy for good. Becoming a spiritual warrior is a profile in courage. Spirit asks, "Have you the conviction to come from your heart? Are you willing to transmute war in the alchemical fire?" The fire within is the perfect peace of God/Goddess/Creator/Innate Intelligence, which expresses outwardly as enthusiasm (from the Greek, "possessed by God"), inwardly as a calm awareness.

We've mastered communicating from our wounds. Now we're in a pivotal age, creating a context in which it's safe to share who we are in love, in truth, in well-being. Our collective task is to marry scared and scarred with sacred, density with destiny, jaded with jubilant; to become inclusive not exclusive. Because none of us is truly free until all of us are.

This is one of the great gifts of these disasters (which means, "against the stars"): they bring us face to face with The Other, in our psyches and out in the world, so we can see how we're one and the same. All anyone can do is introduce you to yourself. And then, looking in the mirror of your brother's or sister's face, you can start to be kind to your own confusion, criticism, sadness, or fear. Acknowledging our strand in the evolutionary web is, in itself, a giant step on the path to peace.

Indigenous peoples have always known this. The Mayans say, In Lak├ęch: I am another yourself.

It's time to create your own crucible: a safe container for your energies. Envision your inner chalice, and place this cup, brimming over with fiery potential and the waters of life, into your heart, where it will become an eternal wellspring of inspiration and renewal--and, in time, of unconditional love.

Blessed Be.


elam said...

Amara, I acknowledge my personal experience with Karma (what you reap is what you sow), so I agree with your view of CAUSE and EFFECT.

Being a VERY secular and worldly Western Culture, most people probably will not grasp or accept the cause of the disasters. But How can they can anyone deny how overall reaction to the EFFECTs of the disaster. That reaction reflects something very ugly underneath who we think we are.

After Katrina's delays (which possibly caused HUNDREDS of additional deaths) the first thing that most people started doing was blaming everyone else. Now the political circus still goes on with scapegoats being selected for the sacrafice instead of shouldering some of the blame AND PUNISHMENT for went wrong.

To his credit, Bush did accept Federal responsibility (though I don't think we'll see him in front of a tribunal or any other hand slapping ceromony). Will the local leaders accept ANY responibility? Aren't leader supposed to get ALL the glory and take ALL burdens of risk?

Amara Rose said...

Elam, thanks for your thoughtful commentary.

You ask, are leaders "supposed to" take ALL the risks and receive ALL the glory?

It depends on how we see ourselves: as powerless beings dependent on elected officials to guide us, or as equal players on life's stage. I am impressed by the tremendous response of "ordinary people" everywhere in times of disaster--Katrina, 9-1-1, the Indonesian tsunami, and countless other cataclysms around the world.

We are waking up en masse, and understanding the true meaning of responsibility ("ability to respond") more clearly than ever before.

I am optimistic for us as a species. What's playing out now are the final acts of the old way of being. We are all evolving at different rates, but--we ARE evolving!

Blessed Be.