Friday, November 14, 2008
YES WE DID
By Marianne Williamson
America has had a non-violent revolution.
As long as there are historians writing about the United States, this moment of fundamental re-alignment of our national purpose will be remembered, pored-over and analyzed. It will be seen as one of the shining points along the evolutionary arc of the American story. Yet it will never submit itself to being summed up in a nice little package that reason alone can understand.
It's been noted before that Americans get excited about politics every forty years. Then, in the words of comedian Will Rogers, "We have to go sleep it off."
We were certainly excited in the l960's. And this is 2008; exactly forty years since the most dramatic and violent year of the Sixties decade: the year when both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were literally killed before our eyes.
At that point, a generation of young people -- looking much like the youthful army so out in full force today, only grungier -- marched in the streets to repudiate an oppressive system and to try to stop an unjust war. And then bullets stopped us. The shots that killed the Kennedy's and King carried a loud, unspoken message for all of us: that we were to go home now, that we were to do whatever we wanted within the private sector, yet leave the public sector to whomever wanted it so much that they were willing to kill for it. And for all intents and purposes, we did as we were told.
According to ancient Asian philosophers, history moves not in a circle but in a spiral. Whether as an individual or as a nation, whatever lessons we were presented once and failed to learn will come back again but in a different form. For the generation of the Sixties and for our children, the lessons of that time -- as well as its hopes and dreams and idealism -- came back in 2008.
During our forty years in the desert, we learned many things. Then, we marched in the streets; this time, we marched to the polls. Then, we shouted, "Hell no, we won't go!" This time, we shouted, "Yes, we can." Then, we were so angry that our anger consumed us. This time, we made a more compassionate humanity the means by which we sought our goal as well as the goal itself.
In the words of Gloria Steinem, "I feel like our future has come back." And indeed it has. For in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "No lie can last forever." What Bobby Kennedy tried to do, and was killed for trying; what Martin Luther King tried to do, and was killed for trying; what the students at Kent state were trying to protest, and were killed for daring to; Barack Obama and his army of millions of idealists with the audacity to hope have now succeeded at doing.
Praise God. Praise God.
And that praise to God didn't just go out last night, when Obama's election to the Presidency was finally achieved. That praise was part of what allowed the waters to part here in the first place. Millions of Americans have been deeply aware that this kind of historic and fundamentally positive effort has not gone well in the recent past, and the spiritual understanding of this generation of Americans -- an understanding not yet fully formed forty years ago -- created an invisible light around the Obama campaign. How many people over the last twenty-one months have posted, in their own way, angels to Obama's left and angels to his right, angels in front of him and angels behind him, angels above him and angels below him? I know I have, and so has everyone I know. Hopefully we will continue to do so.
The Obama phenomenon did not come out of nowhere. It emerged as much from our story as from his -- as much from our yearning for meaning as from his ambition to be President; as much from our determination to achieve collective redemption as from his determination to achieve an individual accomplishment. And those who fail to recognize the invisible powers at work here -- who see the external drama of politics yet fail to discern the profound forces that moved mountains by moving the American heart -- well, they're just like Bob Dylan's Thin Man to whom he sang, "You don't know what's going on here, do you, Mr. Jones?"
Back then, Mr. Jones didn't know what was going on, but many of us did. We knew what was going on then and we knew what needed to happen; we simply weren't mature enough and we were too wounded then, as people and as a culture, to pull it off.
This time, we both knew and we did. We knew who we had to become and we knew what we had to do. The violent American revolution of 1776 entailed separating from another country. The non-violent revolution of 2008 -- a non-violent revolution that did not quite fail, yet also did not quite succeed in the l960s -- has entailed separating from who we used to be.
In the l960s, we wanted peace but we ourselves were angry. This time, after hearing Gandhi's call that we must be the change we want to see happen in the world, we came to our political efforts with an understanding that we must cast violence from our hearts and minds if we are to cast it from our world; that we must try to love our enemies as well as our friends; and that when a genius of world-historic proportions emerges among us, we cannot and we must not fail to do everything humanly and spiritually possible to support him. For his sake … and for ours.
Having gone to a higher place within ourselves, a higher level of leadership began to emerge among us. A higher level of leader now having emerged among us, he calls us to an even higher place within ourselves. And from this spiraling dance, these two forces together can and will, as Obama has told us, truly change the world. Having moved one mountain, we will now go about the work of removing the ones that remain.
With God's help, yes we can. Yes we did. And yes we will.
--- by Marianne Williamson,
author of Healing the Soul of America
sets/72157608716313371/show/ -- Nov 4, 2008, the President- and Vice President-elect and families
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Lay Yourself Open
When you want to lay yourself open for the divine,
like a snare that is hollowed out to its depth,
like a canopy that projects a shadow
from the divine heat and light
into your soul,
then go into your inner place physically,
or to that story or symbol that reminds you of the sacred.
Close the door of your awareness to
the public person you think yourself to be.
Pray to the parent of creation, with your inner sense,
the outer senses turned within.
Veiling yourself, the mystery may be unveiled through you.
By opening yourself to the flow of the sacred,
somewhere, resounding in some inner form,
the swell of the divine ocean can move through you.
The breathing life of all reveals itself
in the way you live your life.
-- Neil Douglas-Klotz
(The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus)
King James Version of Matthew 6:6:
"But you, when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Greetings all! Doin' a show with 9:00am-10:00pm hours! Stopping by long enough to express gratitude for the vision of Alice Walker and share her Open Letter:
An Open Letter to Barack Obama
Nov. 5, 2008
Dear Brother Obama,
You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.
I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.
I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.
A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.
In Peace and Joy,
Friday, October 24, 2008
This scripture from the Bible has always echoed in my consciousness as a finger pointing toward the kind of love that marks a purifed consciousness.
We begin within, each of us, with this immense practice. If it expands to nations, we may see the "(world) peace that passeth all understanding." But never before. As usual Sri Easwaran captures it perfectly -- "it is only by loving people who oppose us and learning to bear with them that we can heal ourselves and heal them too." --
"In every veil you see, the Divine Beauty is concealed, making every heart a slave to him. In love to him the heart finds its life; in desire for him, the soul finds its happiness. The heart which loves a fair one here, though it knows it not, is really his lover. "
"It is very difficult for most of us to understand to what extent our love can be expanded. Everybody has a few people with whom he can be friendly, with whom she can be tender, but the Lord tells us, 'That’s not enough. If you want to become whole and never be separate again, you should have love and respect for everyone.'
"Jesus said, 'What is the special achievement in loving those who love you? Even selfish people are prepared to do that. Bless those that curse you.' I can see the twinkle in his eye as the gathering gasps. This is the daring of Jesus.
"Today we talk about revolution, but I think there has never been a greater revolutionary than Jesus the Christ. He tells us that by loving those who hate us, we can win our freedom, because we will no longer be dependent on how others act towards us. The person who practices this can reach the summit of human consciousness, for it is only by loving people who oppose us and learning to bear with them that we can heal ourselves and heal them too."
-- Eknath Easwaran
Monday, October 20, 2008
This is why there are poets:
Why wonder about the loaves and the fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into the many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don't worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it was all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.
-- Mary Oliver
(Why I Wake Early)
Get An Email Alert Each Time VALERIEMAHA Posts