Sunday, September 11, 2011

Radical Evolution: Commemorating 9-1-1

[My follow-up to "This IS A Test!" sent later the week of 9/11/01:]

Dear Ones,

We stand at a crossroads in our evolution. The old structures have been shattered, in every sense. What will we build from the ashes, now?

We could choose to dive deeper into polarity, into us versus them, and vote for war. Has this approach worked in the past? Does it further our growth as a species? Think about it: the U.S. has spent vast amounts of time and money on space exploration. Suppose we actually were to make contact with a race of advanced extraterrestrial beings. How interested might they be in fostering relations with a planet whose inhabitants still resort to killing one another as a means of resolving their differences?

We are all cells in the body of Gaia, our Earth Mother. If we view life in this way, the attacks in New York and Washington become like a cancer assaulting our collective body. Cancer cells have lost the ability to cooperate with other cells for the greater good of the whole. Yet malignancy does not arise in an instant; it builds over a period of time. If we plunge ahead intent only on annihilating the "cancer," we will also destroy healthy cells, and possibly the entire body of humanity and all other species. Unless we heal the root causes of this illness - our collective shadow, our pain, our perceived separation from one another - it will recur in another form down the road. How do we do this?

Nationalism, while a natural response in such a crisis, is not the complete answer. Internationalism is. Vietnamese Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn, who has been living in exile from his homeland for 35 years, speaks eloquently of how we "inter-are" with all life. Interdependence is the key to ending the exile for all of us. We are all responsible to and for one another.

Can we now be courageous enough, can we open our hearts wide enough (courage means "of the heart") to choose to grow beyond our grief and outrage at this critical time? Will we look at the lifelong habits that have created this dis-ease, and begin to make global "lifestyle" changes that will help us return to harmony?

In "Letters to a Young Poet," Rainer Maria Rilke counsels, "Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us." To meet our indescribable suffering and fear with an outstretched heart is a faithwalk. The Bible tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Substance means that which stands under you, "sub" and "stance", and this is also the definition of understanding. That which stands under you; what you know, from inner wisdom, to be true. So as we grow in consciousness, in understanding, as we walk more and more on faith, the light of compassion will become the ever-present substance of our lives. We will begin to recognize it as the light shining forth from within our own souls.

Reclaiming is a key word for now. We can choose to compost our violence into the rich soil of compassion (literally, "to suffer with") as a new way of reclaiming our Earth body, and our relationships with one another. Soul/sole/soil are related in meaning, as are whole/holy/heal. Touching the Earth, our collective and only home, with compassion, we live into our soul's purpose more deeply. As we get the "whole" picture, we become more whole, holy, healed; more One with the All. From this soil teeming with understanding, forgiveness and love, we may cultivate a culture in which we are all welcomed home. Atonement is at-one-ment.

This is radical evolution.

Individually and collectively, we have the power. What do we want to stand for, to walk on as the essence of our substance, now? In "The Little Prince," Antoine de St. Exupery reminds us, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." This is the strongest co-creative moment in human history. We stand at a crossroads. We can choose radical evolution, a new direction predicated on wisdom, by using the eyes of the heart.

In the Light, Love and Truth of who we are,

No comments: