Today is a day to cry for Israel. Today is a day to cry for the Palestinians. Today is a day to cry for all of us.
Today is a day of war.
War anywhere, at this point in our history, is an action that threatens peace everywhere. Particularly when it comes to the Middle East. From its spiritual significance to its political significance, it is humanity's hot spot. It always has been and probably always will be. It's where all the rivers of human perspective meet, to become either a cauldron of hatred or an ocean of love.
While it might be tempting to "take sides" between Israel and the Palestinians, spiritually there are no sides to be taken. God does not give us victory in battle but rather lifts us above the battlefield. As a generation, our moral imperative is to end war period, to somehow move beyond the idea that war is an acceptable means of solving problems. Anything less than that makes us attitudinal conspirators with a line of probability leading to nuclear catastrophe.
According to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, humanity's biggest problems cannot be solved; they must be outgrown. Our task is to create a field of consciousness in which the idea of war has dropped from the ethers.
So how do we outgrow war?
The first thing we do is to accept the possibility that the end of war is possible. In fact, in the words of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, "We must challenge the belief that war is inevitable." We must embrace the possibility that a world without war could exist.
Secondly, we must mature beyond the belief that the thinking that got us into this mess is thinking that can lead us out of it. "The problems of the world will not be solved on the level of thinking we were at when we created them," wrote Einstein. We must realize that the mortal ego will not provide us with a solution to the existence of war, because it itself is the problem. Notions such as, "The Israelis have a right to defend themselves," and "The Palestinians have taken so much abuse; what do you expect them to do?" are both insidious drivers of war masquerading as principled stands. They keep us attached to the very duality that is the root of separation and war.
On a spiritual level, our greatest service to both Israelis and Palestinians is to reach for a higher truth within our own minds. An essential principle of metaphysical reality is that all minds are joined; as any of us are drawn to higher thoughts, then all of us are drawn to higher thoughts. As we ourselves embrace a higher truth, we help create an anti-gravitational force field that lifts all minds above separation, hatred and war.
For all our talk about wanting to be the change, how many of us are siding now against one side or the other in the current Mid-East conflict? If you really want to help the situation there, ask God to remove from your heart any judgment you have against the Israelis or the Palestinians. Any thought of judgment you hold is like a gun that you yourself are firing.
The human race is evolving to the realization that what is happening on the level of consciousness both precedes and determines what happens in the world. War is just an effect, not a cause. With the power of our minds, we can move beyond the level of effect to the level of cause. There, and only there, can we wipe out what President Franklin Roosevelt called the "beginnings of all war."
As Americans, we have a creed -- a set of principles enshrined and institutionalized in our founding documents. First and foremost among them is that "all men are created equal." Period. End of story. Don't be lured into thinking that either Israelis or Palestinians have been either the perfect innocents or the perfect victims here; such thinking serves neither. The greatest gift you can give to both is to realize that on a spiritual level, Israelis and Palestinians are one. Their only true reality is the reality of whom they are in this moment, freed from any thoughts of the past.
Complexity is of the ego; do not linger there. Of course there is a complicated history to the struggle currently playing out in the Middle East, and that complicated history has significance and relevance for traditional political formulation. So leave that to the traditional politicians. Our task as seekers and purveyors of a higher human consciousness is to move beyond traditional political notions, to a holistic politics that embraces the relevance of psychological and spiritual realities to the political issues of our time. As students of Gandhi and Dr. King, we know that moving beyond the violence in our own hearts is essential if we are to be conduits for the creation of a world at peace. The truly new politics goes beyond mere "post-partisan" hand-shaking and collaboration among former rivals. It takes us to a new kind of thinking as a basis for the creation of a new kind of world.
Traditionalists can call us naïve all they want to. But anyone who thinks that human hatred can simply be bombed away... they are naïve. Anyone who thinks we can continue to tolerate violence on this planet at ever-increasing levels and have such conflagrations not lead to the ultimate cataclysm of nuclear catastrophe... they are naïve. Anyone who thinks that the narrowness of a rationalistic, mechanistic human perspective can lead us out of the hell which that perspective itself has created... they are naïve. And those who see prayer as merely "symbol, not substance"... they are naïve. Prayer is hardly just symbol; it is a mover of hearts, and thus a mover of mountains.
Mountains we now need desperately to move.
Through the grace of God we are not powerless; according to A Course in Miracles, moving mountains is small compared to what we can do. War is at heart a spiritual problem and it can only be eradicated with a spiritual solution... a solution that lies within all of us.
Martin Luther King Jr. said there is a power in our hearts more powerful than the power of bullets. He described Mahatma Gandhi as the first person in the world to take the love ethic of Jesus Christ and turn it into a broad scale social force for good. (To Gandhi himself, non-violence was not just the love ethic of Jesus, but rather the heart of all religion and the heart of reality itself.) On today's geo-political landscape, we see hatred turned into a political force all around us; the politics of non-violence turns love into a political force. The question for any conscious human being, much less spiritual seeker, is, "How can I help do that?" Only the power in our hearts will be able to eradicate the idea of war, then the reality of war, from the experience of the human race.
According to Gandhi, the problem with the world was that humanity was not in its right mind. And arguably, we still are not. War, quite simply, is insane. For those of us who wish to be part of the solution to war -- not part of the problem -- it is time to change our own minds, to accept a healing of our own war-like thoughts, in order to create a new field of possibility. Whether dealing with the transformation of the individual or of the transformation of the world, only what is changed on the level of consciousness becomes a fundamental change in the conditions of the world.
For five minutes each day, be a spiritual activist.
You probably already know what to do. Turn off the TV; neither CNN, MSNBC or FOX know the news. They only know data.
Turn off the bright lights. Put down the newspaper. And go within.
However you do it, turn your attention to the God of your understanding. Surrender your own hatred, give over your own wars, and ask that this year you be lifted above the violence that still lives inside your heart.
With your eyes closed, see on one side of your inner vision the Israeli people. See their physicality, their mannerisms, as you recognize them on the material plane. Now see a light within their hearts, and slowly watch that light expand, extending beyond the confines of their bodies. See the bodies begin to fade before the greater light of their eternal selves.
Now with your inner eye look to the other side of your inner vision, and see there the Palestinian people. See their physicality, their mannerisms, as you recognize them on the material plane. Now see a light within their hearts, and slowly watch that light expand, extending beyond the confines of their bodies. See the bodies begin to fade before the greater light of their eternal selves.
Now using your inner eye -- your greatest source of power -- bear witness to what happens as the inner light of the Israelis begins to merge with the inner light of the Palestinians. Bear witness to the merging of their spiritual selves. Simply watch and focus, for what you focus on grows stronger.
You are bearing witness now to a higher truth, thus using the power of your mind to draw a heavenly truth into material manifestation. In the presence of higher thought forms, lower ones fall of their own dead weight. In the presence of light, darkness disappears. In the presence of eternal truth, temporal lies begin to fall away.
In the words of Dr. King, "No lie can last forever." The idea that the Israeli and Palestinian people are truly separate, or have separate needs, is simply a lie of the mortal mind. Spiritually, we are all one. Israelis and Palestinians were created by the same God; in Him they are equal and they are joined eternally. Only thought forms have separated them. Thought forms of guilt and separation have been handed down to children born innocent of such lies, generation after generation; those are the true enemy here, not either group of people.
As any of us move beyond the fear-based thought forms of separation and guilt to the truth of our eternal oneness, it becomes easier for everyone else to do so as well. Let's give up the way-too-easy, so-American way of chiding either Israelis or Palestinians for their difficulty in forgiving the past. What both peoples have endured is almost unimaginable, and only the truly sainted among us should even for a minute consider judging either side.
We don't have to; and when in our own right minds, we don't want to.
Use the power of your mind to create a new possibility... a miracle in the Middle East.
As the poet Rumi wrote so eloquently, "Out beyond all ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. I'll meet you there." So go there now. Such thoughts are not just poetry, or even symbol, any longer. In the world that's being born, they're the stuff of a new politics.
No more simply asking, "But what can I do?" Go even further, to "What can I think? What can I pray for? What can I meditate on?" Pray for the removal of all walls that separate any of us from any of us, not only on our earth but also in our minds. Pray for the removal of the guns that still fire within your own mind as you accuse or withhold your forgiveness from anyone. And pray that at this perilous hour, those of us whose lives have not been touched by the horrors of war can be of service to those whose lives have been.
Dear God, please deliver them.
And dear God, deliver us all.