Dr. Pokea discusses how the better angels of our human nature will never be destroyed by any tragic event as they remain timelessly within us. In (deed) as most of us are rattled, stutter, pause and reflect, the better angels of our nature always do come forward in wordless, careful and caring actions. We all can remember and learn again the lessons that follow all life events that may include the tsunami and overt and covert terrorists attacks.
As our lessons transcend time and events, I begin this article with two very human quotes, one current from Asia, and one in the past from the United States.
We search not only for the meaning of life, but the purpose of our individual and collective experience as we have created it – and we look earnestly for ways in which we might recreate ourselves anew as a human species. The hour has come for us to demonstrate at the highest level our most extraordinary thought about Who We Really Are.
The Dalai Lama
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
The final paragraph of Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address two weeks before Jefferson Davis became leader of the confederacy in 1861.
We have all witnessed the shattering of so many lives in the tsunami. Before this event, terrorism was a daily story presented as clusters of events of seemingly never-ending destruction. In Iraq, the land that was once the seat of civilization, people are attempting to live without painful remnants of the genocide of old regimes, a painful war and the immediate entanglements of terrorists and insurgents. There, simply living and being are disrupted daily. Images of their painful struggles continue to be placed before our eyes.
All these images, and the ones showing the effects of the tsunami, illustrate the genuine desire we all have to just live peacefully among our fellow human beings. As videos and photos of these events are repeatedly brought to our minds, our religious and spiritual beliefs clatter and vibrate. We stutter as we attempt to express our thoughts and words in understanding these intense events that rattle our consciousness — particularly when we have fixed illusions about our very human condition. As deeply as earthquakes undulate through the surface around the earth’s core, we are further shaken when the image of a tsunami’s overpowering waves of motion flood our minds and bodies with so much emotion.
All of our comfortable sets of coping routines and habitual activities, which we thought were secure, are shaken. Just as the tsunami shifted and altered landmasses, the core of our human consciousness has been twisted. Our attention has been profoundly redirected — both inwardly and outwardly. Now, with the sunrise that begins each day, we must begin our reflection anew of who we think we are — personally and collectively. All the dislocations and change, some suddenly apparent and others more subtle, illuminate our minds and teach us viscerally how alive our planet is as it nudges our human species to evolve.
We are called upon to pause from thoughts and words. We may fumble for words and then return to quiet reflection and let it be; that is all that is required in these moments. Following such intense reshaping of the earth and ourselves, we silently observe our personal evolution. We again witness our valuing of one another, and in our many flickers of light and courage we realize again that the living earth hosts us.
Some people and many animals were attentive and attuned before the tsunami arrived. Many of us have been moving too quickly, without reflecting on our actions and our deepest feelings. At some level of consciousness, we all move mindlessly at times as we consume Mother Earth’s life-sustaining resources. Perhaps tsunami waves, moving at 500 miles per hour, are required to mirror to us what we ourselves have been doing — and catch our attention. Have we forgotten to attend to the deepest feelings that surround our inner core? Can we learn from all this that the gyrations in the waters and waves of our emotional being require conscious attention so we do not end up needlessly hurting one another?
Through all this, Gaia (Earth) nudges the consciousness that we share with her. She is keeping us alive generously and courageously — and with forgiveness. She is one in her being with our human species. Unfortunately, our species often has neglected to fully connect with her. Like the earthquakes reverberating the earth’s core, courage, generosity and forgiveness from inside our core now are called to pour out. These virtues may touch wherever the tsunami waves have swept away human beings and plant and animal life. We are all made of the same stuff; we’re all part of Creation, all part of Mother Earth. Her virtues remain constant over time. At unexpected times, they sometimes flood us with waves and gyrations of intense emotion, awakening us to the understanding that we do not realize what we do to her — or to one another.
Terrorists Response & Responsibility
Terrorists do not respond responsibly with courage and generosity towards the many human beings who have suffered the tsunami. In their group mind, perhaps they view themselves as teachers with lesson plans that violently disrupt us, but they are teachers who are so self-occupied with generating fear that they remain trapped within it. Their mutilating and self-mutilating actions attempt to destroy civilizations and cultures, while the rest of us are just trying to live and evolve. Their own un-mastered fear within keeps them generating fear without. Pseudo thoughts of mastery consume their conscience, and they are unaware of anything else except “teaching the world their bitter lesson.” Their fear-based teachings and destructive events will dissolve in time. What lingers, though, is the pain they feel, deep within, and the pain they pass onto others.
The terrorists, who ignore their own internal pain by promoting blame and shame, use innocent people as containers for that unprocessed pain. All of us, to some degree, have used the earth as a container for our pain, in much the same way. We pollute the earth when we ignore the pollution in our own minds that has yet to be mastered. Fortunately, many of us are awakening to understand again that what we do to the earth, we do to ourselves; what we do to one another, we do to ourselves. These lessons in our times are timeless and will survive in all our learning, transformation and evolution.
Some of us are not yet able to participate in the learning, evolution and transformation that arise from all events affecting our species, including natural disasters. The earth-shaking events and huge waves of human emotion that we know deeply within ourselves have not yet stirred others among us sufficiently. Even when the earth violently provides the lesson for all her students, not all of them are moved to reflect upon the greater meaning.
Those who practice overt and covert (disguised) terrorism ignore the internal rhythms of life and the lives of everyone else and the planet. The opportunity is here, now, for them to change their minds and begin constructive actions of generosity and service towards their fellow humankind. They have an opportunity to shift their attention as the Earth helps to shift ours. May they become concerned about their own healing and practice generosity and service to heal others. May they continue their self-development by extending service and their resources generously to all on our planet. There is plenty to attend to for the homeless, hungry and destitute, those who are unemployed and others who have little opportunity for education.
Covert terrorists must mourn what they have done to contribute to pollution, the extinction of species, over-consumption of earth’s resources and global warming. They also must mourn the unequal distribution of wealth that leads to much poverty, unemployment, poor education and loss of the opportunity to pursue happiness. As they mourn the effects from their previous lifestyle that was dominated by poverty of spirit, may they reverse their spiritual debt and lessen the consequences of their previous actions and inactions.
Just as important to curing their own poverty of spirit is recognizing spirit in all human beings and life on the planet, including our Earth, a living being. Every one of us must collectively remember that our civilizations and cultures may be imperfect, but human beings are continually moving closer to becoming harmonized, peaceful beings. Even now, the Earth is forgiving our disharmonious rhythms with her, with each other and with all forms of life on this living planet.
All of us have these lessons, including the gatekeepers who may have become covert terrorists or overt terrorists. As they, like us, accept courage to embrace their fears within, great transformation may take place, just as suddenly as earth quakes and the tides grow. They may begin each day seeing the reflections of light in the desolation and devastation they participated in creating. Then they may begin to serve their fellow human beings and the Earth again. The antidote is simple and the same for all overt and covert terrorism. The remedy for the poison is the same for every human being, whether they are the perpetrator or the receiver:
Always Be Careful and in All Ways Be Filled With Care.
From the core of each of us as conscious beings, we may know that the better angels in and throughout our species always remain. In the midst of all these seemingly unconscionable and devastating events, there are many throughout all of our nations and diverse cultures that contribute what they can to lessen the pain and suffering. Such courage, caring, generosity and self-forgiveness may not yet be possible for all the terrorists, but all these events invite them back to the classroom to learn and work and grow.
The better angels of our human nature will never be destroyed by any tragic event, as they remain timelessly within us. As most of us are shaken to our core, the better angels of our nature always come forward in wordless, careful and caring actions. We all can remember and learn again the lessons that arise from life events that challenge our souls.
Lincoln, both before and after the terrorizing events of his era, invited all human beings in his timeless inauguration words back to union. Perhaps we are revisiting these timeless ideas. The deepest rumbling and rattling are getting our attention so we may consciously receive and remember these deep lessons as we evolve. Even with these most life-shattering lessons, we may live in union with all human beings, with all forms of being, and with our living planet, Earth.