I wrote this morning’s Sober Up post, not as a final word on the subject of Peace on Earth, but as an interim moment. I wanted to demonstrate for myself and others the enormity of what we are “up against,” when we set our small sails for peace in unity with each other.
And by peace, I do not mean the absence of war. No. The word peace, for me, conjures up visions of beauty and aliveness, with all of nature and cosmos present within each of our souls and in charge, guiding us to express ourselves fully into the world while accepting and celebrating the manifold unique contributions other humans provide for the common good, a common good that includes all species, not just ours, and all elements, not just biological, all orders of creation, all dimensions and principalities. Nothing and no one left out.
So much more interesting than the monotonous, grinding, death, destruction, and divisiveness of war: war with words, war with bodies, war with weapons, large and small, visible and invisible. So much more interesting than the one-track mind that would create ever more lethal instruments and declare that good for business.
How did we get to this terrible place? Is it our fault? Or can we blame someone else. Can we blame our family, our educational system, our own poor choices until only five minutes ago? And/or, can we assign blame to the deeper past — our ancestors, ETs, whatever, who supposedly brought it on way back when and it’s too late now to stop it, we’re all caught up in the accelerating chaos that follows our seemingly insatiable hunger to annihialate The Other, all according to the dictates of some righteous Cause — race, class, religion, nationalism, capitalism — you name it! — that renders us special, superior, better than, exceptional.
I’ve participated in these rabbit-hole researches, trying to find out where it all began, this inhumanity, this lack of caring and compassion. Back in graduate school, in the ’70s, I located it in the scientific world-view and the assumptions of western philosophy; more recently, in the Biblical fear of Yahweh, in Yahweh’s supposed identification with the Annunaki, “the gods,” not from this earth. Closer to home, I’ve traced it through my own family lineage, German, and now in the last few years I discover, my matrilineal line is secretly Jewish! So, in my own DNA I unite both German and Jew, both oppressor and oppressed. There’s no getting away from the carnage, it is inside me. It’s been inside me from the very beginning. Before I was born. Before I, as a soul, decided to step, once again, onto this suffering planet, and, as a two-year old, wake up! via hearing of the horror of Hiroshima through a disembodied radio voice. And my mother, her parents, and her sisters, all sitting there with me — they were rejoicing! They rejoiced to hear that we had bombed, with a horrible weapon never before used, an entire city in a land far away. And then, two days later, we did it again, to a different city! Supposedly, that first one was to show what we could do, and thereby stop the war. Well, then, why a second one?
Even then, I had questions, and they were questions I grew up with, as I confronted my father, back from the war the end of which they celebrated because it meant that he would come home; why, I asked him, do they keep making weapons? Why war? Well, he told me, first they make something for military use, and then they find ways to transform it for civilian use. Like radar. Really? I couldn’t believe that they had to first invent something for military use before converting it. That just didn’t make sense.
So I grew up, a Chicken Little in a la la land, pretending to play jacks, and dolls, with my little friends, and steeling myself every time I heard a plane overhead. Would that be the one that carried the Bomb? Would the world end that very day? At night, visions of apocalypse and prayers of supplication, “Please God, let there be peace.” At dinner time, even as a five year old, I waited for the porch thud of the evening paper, so that I could run outside to get it, scan the headlines for news. No news was good news. The world wouldn’t end that day. I could pretend to play for one more day.
In 1950, walking down the street, having just heard that the Korean War had begun. Unspeakable dread.
As a teenager, my boyfriend Dick and I, at my instignation, pored over maps, to see where the least fallout was expected from a nuclear war. Aha! Southeastern Oregon. Okay. We made plans to go there. Meanwhile, our fathers built the first two bomb shelters in Idaho, to help alleviate my fear. Ours was state of the art, reinforced in one of the basement rooms. Theirs was a giant hole in the ground.
When it came time to go to college, I refused to apply, saying what’s the use, the world will end before the end of the year. That was 1960. Somehow my fevered brain had figured that the Lady of Fatima had told the peasant girls of Lourdes that this was the year it would all go down.
My parents filled out the forms for me.
Then, half way through my freshman year, John F. Kennedy had been elected President, and the calendar announced the end of that climactic year. I was overwhelmed with emotion. My God, maybe it’s not true! Maybe the world won’t end after all! Especially with this special man now as President.
So yes, I could go on, talk about my own response to his death, on November 22, 1963. Where I was, who I was with, my shock, my utter horror. Comparable to yours, no doubt, if you were alive then. And how that was the beginning of the same thing all over again. The world was going to end. His brains had been blown out in public, and I didn’t believe the official story. Not even then did I believe it.
Then the summer of 1964, when I was sitting nursing my first child, hearing President Johnson come on the radio and talk about the Gulf of Tonkin. Knowing the official explanation for the start of yet another war was bullshit. Again, unspeakable dread.
So, all this time, since then, I’ve lived with a double consciousness, seeing all official stories about any major geopolitical crossroads event as bullshit, including of course, the one that transformed the entire world: 9/11. On that morning, when I received the phone call to turn on the television, and saw the first tower fall, I heard a distinct voice inside my head, this phrase, “inside job.”
Within 24 hours all the flags went up. Then talk of war on the television. Incessant, like a drumbeat. And we were instructed to “go shopping.” Within weeks the enormous, so-called Patriot Act was pulled off the shelf, where it had been sitting, waiting for the appropriate occasion to ignite the neverending War on Terror that would finalize the clamp down of those who live in the United States of America.
But something had changed. A few years earlier, I had begun to dance with the Sufis, the Dances of Universal Peace. And this time, as the war drums for, first Afghanistan, and then Iraq began to arouse, deafen, deaden mass consciousness, I took photos of Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney, my three masterminds, and placed them on my altar, to hold them in my heart along with everyone else.
Rather than continuing to polarize, I was beginning to recognize the humanity within everyone, even the most depraved, even those who had seemingly lost their souls because, they, especially, were in need of mercy.
Rather than seeing all bad things as originating on the outside, I began to recognize those same qualities on the inside, of me, and to attune to them so profoundly and so long that they could dissolve and disappear.
Rather than hating others, or myself, I began to have compassion, for both others and myself, and to see us as one, as the same, beating hearts, wounded, vulnerable beings, more or less corrupted souls.
Since that time, even all the talk about certain people being psychopathic or sociopathic has not deterred me from the tendency to see/feel all others as myself, and suffering. While some may be too deadened to their feelings to experience empathy, I do. And my empathy, my attunement to the suffering in this world is that of loving awareness, a recognition that we are all in this together, all of us, no matter how divided we think we are.
So, when Donald J. Trump ran for president, I was interested. Decidedly so. I set up his astrological chart. And that, in combination with my sense of the potential of this larger-than-life man, underneath his bloviating personality, intrigued me. I felt that he was made for these times. Just as we, each of us, were made for these times, choosing, as souls, to come in during this critical moment in human history. Yes. We are all asked to step up to the plate, not just him. Whether or not he lives or dies in his apparently grand and even heroic effort to erase the corruption of centuries, he at least is making that his mission for his remaining time on earth. How many of us can say the same? How many of us are deciding, during this extended moment of great peril, when the grinding, mechanized forces of the military/industrial/medical/educational/pharmaceutical/surveillance complex are all arrayed against us, to follow our own heart, our own soul’s call, to proceed on the path we know is ours, no matter what the cost?
Imagine what would happen if each of us did that! And what does it require? It requires only one thing, that we trust the universe. That we answer Einstein’s question, Is the Universe Benevolent? in the affirmative., no matter what the appearances.
So this, my friends, is why I continue to hold Donald Trump in my heart, to continue to see him as following his own mission, that of leading the way or serving as a standard bearer, for all of us who are also leading the way, in our own small, special worlds, by taking on, at great risk, and generating huge aliveness, the specific path that we, as a soul, are meant to follow — to a new way of life, one where we are in touch with both our own inner grace, glory, wisdom, and joy, and in communion with all others, towards paradise, that vision of peace on earth that we all hold, all of us, no matter how jaded our perspective, or blinded by negation. It is there, inside us, to reach for, each of us in our own way, without hesitation, and beyond all measure.
This is our challenge, we who were born for this time, to real-ize the vision of peace on earth.