| 11 Sep 2008 @ 07:27, by David Bartholomew|
[In attempts to provide a “fair and balanced” side to this eternally optimistic warehouse of writings, I take my first opportunity to really Rant! as the anniversary of 9/11 looms in the air, the heads of at least half of us continue to be stuck in the sand (or somewhere else where the sun doesn’t shine), we still consent to the ridiculous practice of having drinking water taken away from us at the airport in the name of “national security” and more. Consider this the equivalent of the old practice of taking your car out on the highway once in a while, “punching it” and really clearing/blowing out the carbeurator of all its caked-on gook. Upon completion of this we will return you to your regularly scheduled smiling "Cheerleader for Humanity"]
The approach to the anniversary of 9/11 is the time of year when, for the last eight years, people have traditionally stumbled upon the One World Flag, in the seeking out of “a bigger flag to fly”; that is-- some tangible representation of that higher ideal they embrace which, sadly, doesn’t seem to have yet taken hold in the majority.
The most impassioned heart-testimonials arrive from those brave enough to continue to entrain to this larger idea-- of the possibility within us all-- rather than get “sucked back” down to the lower vibration contracted unto by those who would give away their discernment and personal power, and those who gladly continue to take and use that. These higher-minded compassionate beings are the truly embattled and discriminated minority, more in alignment with the persecuted, right-minded indigenous ones throughout the history of the world, than their “Taker” oppressors (as defined by Daniel Quinn in his “Ishamel”-- please read it).
The “reality of what is”; the neverending wars with unseen enemies toward undefined objectives; the constant barefoot reminders of the color-coded need to “fear the faceless other”, relinquish all drinking water and any shampoo or lotion in excess of 3 fluid ounces, and continue to give personal power away to the benevolent institutional/ corporate/presidential/religious father figures of the day… is as lost on “us”…
… as pulling one’s head out of the sand, overcoming denial of cosmic proportions, thinking through these half-hearted ploys, applying equally discriminative processes of evaluating and forgiving friend and foe alike, bringing a little more Christ into our Christianity, Mohammad into our Islam, and taking some action beyond waving a national flag and pointing our innocent, undereducated youth (who have been stripped of most other options) in the direction of hapless citizens on their own soil, in order to fight these corporate battles under the ruse of “democracy” and smiling Uncle to the world… is to the one who only knows this as a path toward “patriotism”.
There are days when I think that-- that one more beer-swilling, country-singing, gun-toting Nascar fan with an “America: Love it or Leave it” bumper sticker, denying that torture issued on our part negates our righteous cause in going after the other torturing guys, and pre-emptively at that … or that next indoctrinated “Christian” foaming at the mouth to (forget that pesky “Thou Shalt Not Kill” commandment, this is an exception) Support the Troops in their mission to do everything other than turn the other cheek… might just put me over the top like some symbolic Martin Sheen as Capt. Willard, sacrificing himself in calling in an airstrike on his own beloved countryman Col. Kurtz for going too far “off the reservation”. I can almost be swayed to think we are missing the mark by that much, that the grand experiment has failed and we just might not get it.
Thankfully, I am entrenched enough:
… enough so, that my “going postal” doesn’t ever seem to be an actual possibility.
- in my own sense of not wishing to become the other;
- in my faith that this is all being played out as scripted;
- in my knowing that God or the Creative Force in the Universe is big enough to handle things and watch in the role of silent, compassionate witness as each of us learns our life lessons, right on schedule… patient in the knowledge that none of us “gets it” until we are ready to get it, despite the desire of some among us to be God’s hall monitors and henchmen-- faithless, petty weasels; slighters, negators; keeping close track of the missteps and imperfections of God’s perfect creatures;
- in the law that states matter can neither be created nor destroyed, that no Godstuff is truly getting lost, on the way to everyone finding these Truths to be self-evident for themselves…
But I do need to occasionally vent my frustration in as non-destructive of a space as possible, and work back around to this remembering I have worked so hard to reclaim.
I tire of intentional, prideful ignorance: period, and especially when based on some construct that never was. News Flash: going back to… the Fifties… or whatever glorious, conservative day… would be to go backward. Past days entailed cumulatively more ugliness the farther back you went-- a lot of ugliness. It was just easier to hide it on the other side of matching curtains, sequester such across the wrong side of the tracks, and muffle so many cries in the dark.
These days (i.e., yesterday, today and tomorrow), believe it or not, are the most enlightened times in which we have ever lived. We continue to shine a brighter light on discrimination, oppression, abuse and the like-- international, national, familial and self. We might see more of any of the dark, unresolved stuff than before… because we have more media by which to spotlight this; but we also have more tools, more consciousness, more of a network and web by which to find resources to amend and correct such inequities.
We have at hand more ability to meet and greet, honor, assess and transform/transmute the shadow than ever before. And I guess I sometimes just get flabbergasted that we aren’t doing more of it. We can’t do it by sweeping it under the carpet; we don’t do it by cutting ourselves off from those other people in preference of those just like us… because it all boils down to the person in the mirror in the morning. As push comes to shove, those of us who need to divide and separate ourselves from those who don’t think like us… ultimately discover we can find disagreement within the smallest gathering, down to a group of two. That is, we find what we are looking for. The observer affects the observed. So what about, instead, looking for the good?
It disappoints me that so many use a spiritual arrogance to cut away so much of God. If it is all God and all Godstuff and nothing is outside of that… which part don’tcha like? Which part is imperfect, such as it is? Could it be a lack of dedication on the part of any of us-- to seeing, witnessing, experiencing… empowering… the divinity in any other-- that could be the larger lesson at hand? Could this be the way back to… the Garden? To heaven on earth?
“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one,” John Lennon sang. And I assume each of us has some combination of songs or poems or proverbs or quotes that allows us to experience… the ideal. So how about us calling our selves to task on remembering these… on programming them into our cellular structure… on setting some alarm that goes off with them ringing in our heads just as we are about to forget?
I keep coming back to some sense that there needs to be some version of an international atonement, repenting, asking for forgiveness, copping to our shadow and making amends kind of day. In addition to Thanksgiving, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, every Sunday at confession and whenever the anonymous addicted get around to Step 8 of the 12… what might it look like if we could all address our biggest “shamey”? And get it off our chest? What would it be to just sit with each of us being works in progress? What could the day after this look like?
I believe it is absolutely the unaddressed shadow that kills us, and causes us to keep killing others (to whatever degree of soul-killing or -stealing that continues to look like). In a black and white world there isn’t really a place for gray shadow. In a hypocritical world others have a lot of it, to our little or none.
To those who feel the only way to exemplify my way or the highway “America” and “patriotism” and “democracy” (or your own country/philosophy/ideal)… or that the only honor (or option) to be found… is in war… I beg you to check in with yourself on where you stand with shadow. Hiding behind an ideal, and acting out of accordance with that ideal, sullies and soils it and renders it meaningless. One becomes complicit-- an accomplice-- in the bloody act allowed… out of ignorance, the self-serving agenda, apathy, etc.
To elevate the holy ones-- Jesus, Mohammad, your deity here-- to espouse their ideals… and to then invoke them in actions completely out of alignment with those ideals… out of some groupthink bumper-sticker identity or limit or laziness or inability within the imagination to construct a solution other than that which only destructs and/or divides-- well that is the karma, the “what goes around, comes around” that shall continue to be the lot (the cross to bear as it were) of those who continue to choose spiritual/ideological smugness over… pulling out the family dictionary and looking up the definition of the word irony.
We have it in us to do better. We have it in us to rise up, take the lumps for our past wrongs, and begin cleaning the slate. We have it in us to “get right with God” and to answer honestly to ourselves “What would Jesus do” and all the rest of the slogans that no longer need be hollow homilies mindlessly stamped into neon rubber bracelets or crafted into ribbon-shaped magnets stuck to the hineys of our gas-guzzling cars.
I remember what we-- my wife, a friend and I-- did that first 9/11-- the one that restarted the clock: we got together and prayed/meditated/contemplated. We cried for the souls, yes. But we also sang and chanted them to the light. Then Joan went down to paint. I drummed, and went on to finish the rowboat I was restoring for her. We cooked, gave thanks for, and ate a homecooked meal. We knew instinctively to give attention to compassion, understanding and healing… and then to commit ever more deeply to beauty, creativity, acts undertaken in the name of love… and possibility. We recognized our sacred duty to hold the highest vibration we could achieve.
We keep this tradition alive and attempt to align and entrain with this highest frequency… and look for those also wishing to resonate with the best in us all. Whatever you do to commemorate this day, we hope you will see the fear and bluster out there for what it is, and instead find your own way to honor a day where we--mankind-- didn’t get it right, by firming yourself in the idea that we still can and shall.
This is the “bigger flag” that we fly. “Spread the World!”