When Witnessing An Approaching Disaster, Are We Not Hardwired to Scream?

April 21, 2017

The Viet Nam War did not go well; it was an ill-conceived unmitigated disaster. The Iraq War did not go well; it was an ill-conceived unmitigated disaster. Yet our current administration now talks about North Korea and Iran with the same saber-rattling, delusional bravado with which past administrations led our country into those unnecessary wars and thus thousands of souls to their deaths.

The issue is not whether or not the governments of North Korea and Iran are dishonorable entities; about that, unfortunately, there is little dispute. Yet military action is not some magic pill. The argument that a military solution to our problems dealing with those regimes is even close to a sane conversation is itself insane. Americans must avoid psychological vulnerability to a new set of warmongers now holding the reigns of power.

Ill-conceived US military aggression over the last few decades has brought nothing but death and destruction that continues to this day. Yet phrases now uttered by our President, Vice-President and Secretary of State in relation to both North Korea and Iran echo the same militaristic propaganda. These statements are not just troubling; they are hinting at catastrophic possibilities to come.

George Bush was not kidding when he talked about Iraq, and neither is Donald Trump when he talks about North Korea and Iran.

What are we to do? There is obviously no easy answer at this point, but what we should NOT do is acquiesce to the same falsehoods and misguided thinking that led us into wars in Viet Nam and Iraq. This is not a time to concern ourselves with ultimately meaningless things.

In those two wars, while thousands suffered and died abroad — and continue to, in the case of Iraq — the homeland of the United States remained physically intact. It is deeply naive of Americans to believe we would be so spared the third time. As it says in A Course in Miracles, there is “a limit beyond which we cannot miscreate.” Individually and collectively, you can behave insanely just so many times before reality starts to catch up with you.

Let us atone now, and pray now, that a miracle might emerge from the depth of our humility before God.

Wake up, America. We are on a war path already, and it’s a path to hell.

Blog Post: Blessing Is As Blessing Does

God doesn’t love one person more than He loves another, or one nation more than He loves another. It is true that we have been a blessed nation, but only because our national creed has been a blessing on the world. The moment our blessing on others stops, so will our experience of being blessed.

America is on a very perilous course politically because we are on a perilous course spiritually. We are acting as though by some divine right Americans matter more than others do; that while putting ourselves first is clearly considered selfishness in the life of an individual, for some reason it should now be considered virtuous in the life of a nation; that building walls to divide us is somehow more righteous than the work of tearing them down.

I understand how important it is to protect American workers, and I support any changes in policy that do that. But a ban on Muslims, a ban on refugees, a wall against Mexicans, the demonization of the press….where does all this meanness come from? And by what reasoning do we think that any of this will bode us well? The Biblical injunction that “God shall not be mocked” means He ISN’T. And karma simply is.

We are proactively causing unnecessary human suffering when our spiritual mission is to ameliorate such suffering. Innocent men, women and children are in pain and despair right now, as we speak, their lives thrown into chaos because of policies that do not reflect the higher mind or moral conscience of the American people. These are policies that reflect the workings of an unstable mind, not the convictions of a courageous heart.

May God help those whose lives have been cast into unnecessary chaos today. May all of us help Him help them.

Blog Post: On Casting Out the Stranger

When I was a little girl, my father used to point out that the entire concept of national boundaries was made by man and not by God. He would have us look at an atlas, or a globe, in which the boundary lines weren’t present and see what the world actually looks like geographically. God didn’t draw a line between France and Spain, or the United States and Mexico. The whole idea of national boundaries is simply a man-made material category.

National sovereignty has its place in our material functioning: but it should be used to organize us, not to divide us. The modern concept of nation-state has done as much to create violence as to create peace in the world. In the Middle East, for example, for centuries tribes wandered around and among each other representing different religions and ethnicities and things were in many ways much better than they are now.

Most Americans can’t relate to the idea of being a refugee with nowhere to go, though in many cases that was the plight of our own ancestors . In both the Old and New Testament, we are told to greet the stranger with respect and with an open heart. Now, however, we are allowing our hearts to close, our moral compass to be driven off course, and our minds to be propagandized with the notion that Muslims, for instance, are our enemy from whom we must be protected. No. It is simply untrue. Islam is one of the great religions of the world. It is an Abrahamic religion. It is not our enemy.

Are there radical, insane people using Islam as a cover for their death cult? Yes. But we simply play into their hands by taking the position currently promulgated by the Trump administration. Make no mistake about it: such policies will only make us less safe. And we must resist this.

Michael Weiss will be speaking brilliantly about this issue at SISTER GIANT. I hope you will be there to contribute your energy to the field of conscience now emerging. We must educate ourselves. And we must take a stand, for a politics of conscience and compassion and love. www.sistergiant.com

Blog Post: On Public Morality


Traditionally, conservatives have focused on issues of private morality and liberals have focused on issues of public morality. But over the last few decades the Left has become overly secularized, rationalistic, corporatized in its conversation. We will argue things on an economic basis but have acted as though words like “morality” are almost beneath us. In fact, not all moral issues are relative and some things are simply right or wrong. At the very least, the debate over moral issues is worthy.

Now, policies that strike at the heart of the moral core of our nation are confronting us, and we need to reclaim the moral argument in order to challenge them most effectively. Mass incarceration, for instance, is not unwise only because it is an absurd waste of money. Mass incarceration is unwise because it is WRONG. It is evil. It morally diminishes who we are as a nation.

Similarly, the issue of torture is not about “whether or not it works;” the problem with torture is that it is simply WRONG. And we can go down the list. Economic justice is a moral issue. Environmental sustainability is a moral issue. Immigration is a moral issue. For decades we have bought into the evil lie that if something appears to make economic sense, or appears to be effective in terms of sheer brute force, then somehow it should be seen as our highest good. But in fact, such arguments are often reflective of our basest instincts. And anything that tears at the moral fabric of our nation will in fact weaken us, not strengthen us. It is in God and God only that we are strong, and God is Love. The line “God shall not be mocked” means that He will not be. It is the sheerest form of arrogance to think we will not reap what we sow, as a nation as well as as individuals. And each of us has a part to play in proclaiming a higher good.

Prayer of Apology to African Americans

On behalf of myself, and on behalf of my country, to you and all African Americans, from the beginning of our nation’s history, in honor of your ancestors and for the sake of your children, please hear this from my heart…
I apologize,
please forgive us.

With this prayer I acknowledge the depth of evils that have been perpetrated against black people in America.
From slavery, to lynchings, to white supremacist laws, to the denial of voting rights, to all the ways both large and small, that abuses have occurred — all of them evil, all of them wrong.
For all the oppression and all the injustice…
I apologize,
please forgive us.

For the denial of human and civil rights, for inequities in criminal justice, for instances of police brutality, for the denial of opportunity, for economic injustice, for all ways that racism has fostered these wrongs…
I apologize,
please forgive us.

With this prayer I acknowledge the beauty and genius of your culture, the power and genius of those who came before you, of your children and all your descendants. With this prayer we pray that you, your children, and especially your men be blessed and protected.
May your men be blessed and protected.
May your men be blessed and protected.

May all your men, women and children be surrounded by angels at this time.

Dear God, may a great healing occur.
We place in your hands the relationship between black and white Americans.
May we be lifted high above the walls that divide us.
May our hearts be awakened to our truth of our oneness.
May racism and prejudice be no more.
May they dissolve in the presence of Your love.
Please come upon us and heal our hearts.

To you, my African American fellow citizen, please accept my apology on this day. It is to you and your grandparents, and their grandparents before them, and their grandparents before them.

May the screams that were not allowed, be allowed now.
May the cries that were never heard be heard now.
May the tears that were never heard be heard now.
And may the healing begin.

In this sacred container, may the healing begin.
May the Light of love now heal us all.

Blog Post: July 17, 2016

All of us are innocent children of God, and deserve to be honored and cherished as such. Neither our color nor our profession nor anything else about our material circumstances adds or detracts one iota from how much God loves us, and asks us to love each other.

A spiritual perspective eschews an “us versus them” mentality; that only adds to the polarization, and thus to the violence. Today we pray for everyone. The way to bring forth light is first and foremost by surrendering our own darkness, consciously giving up any judgments we have of anyone. Reject all violence, particularly in your own heart. Let us hold to the middle, in our hearts and in our minds: A golden middle that reflects the truth of who we are, and where all of us are one. As each of us holds to this, thinks of this, and prays for this, it will become a great and glorious light that dissolves all darkness from our midst.

Blog Post: July 11, 2016

In A Course in Miracles it says there is a limit beyond which we cannot miscreate. What this means is that when we are using our minds in a loveless, i.e. miscreative way, it will only be so long before the whole thing falls apart.

Modern civilization is in many ways predicated on miscreative thought, the realities of love and brotherhood and justice and mercy far too often pushed to the side by our blind obeisance to principles of greed and domination. In that sense, nature has needed to rebalance itself. It was an illusion to think things could continue as they were.

What we are experiencing now are signs of a reckoning, which of itself is neither good nor bad. If we place this period in a sacred context, enough of us rising to the occasion of co-creating miraculous possibilities wherever we are, then this will one day be looked back on as the time when humanity began to wake up. If, on the other hand, we allow ourselves to use contemporary dramas to simply bolster the ego, tempting enough of us to keep crouching within the self-created cages of our narrowness and fear, then this will one day be looked back upon as a time when humanity lost its mind.

If you’re wondering where the leaders are, then that’s a sign you are to rise up and be one. If you’re wondering what the Answer is, that’s a sign you are to answer Love’s call. If you’re wondering where the love is, that’s a sign you’re being called upon to look inside your heart.

The world is falling apart in many ways, because humanity has not cleaved to love. And in our modern arrogance, we thought we could get away with that. Alas we cannot, and the time has come when the moral order of the universe will re-assert self — with or without our cooperation. Denial and distraction can numb you to the revolution, but they can no longer protect you from the revolution. On the level of consciousness, it has already begun. There are only two choices for any individual: to join the revolution of love, or endure the revolution of fear.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you’re imbued with a mission: to be the presence of the Alternative, the uplifter of energy, the worker of miracles, a conduit of love. No one but you can determine whether you will accept this mission. But the time has come. Nothing is more important now than that we commit more deeply, and support each other, in doing our best to go all the way… to join our forces in co-creating with God the massive wave of cosmic love that will dissolve our fear and purify our hearts, that tears shall be no more.

The light within is the light of a new horizon, if it’s the light we choose to follow now. The outer eye reveals all kinds of trouble, but the eye within reveals trouble’s end. As God said to Joshua, “Do not be terrified, do not lose hope, for I go with you wherever you go.”

The New York Primary

April 19, 2016

If New Yorkers didn’t declare that they were Democrats or Republicans by October 9, they were not allowed to vote in yesterday’s primary. 27% of all eligible voters in the state were not allowed to cast their ballots because they are Independents. This process is so rigged, and the people of the United States can see it. It serves us to remember that political parties are not even mentioned in the founding documents of our country,and George Washington actually warned us about them in his farewell address. His predictions regarding the potential of political parties to negatively influence our democracy have come to pass.

In effect, the two major political parties now write the rules for our democracy. And no one gets to overrule them. This cannot and will not lead to anything good, because 47% of eligible voters now consider themselves Independent.

It has all become little more than theater, I’m afraid — produced by a shadowy elite for the entertainment more than the actual empowerment of the electorate. This is a sad and trying time for those who love democracy, and who fear for what will happen in this country if we continue to degrade it. All I know for sure is that we should not look away. We should not distract ourselves or divert our eyes. We should not pretend that if we disengage, the problem will take care of itself. It will not. But as we continue to recognize what’s happening, and hold in our hearts the vision of possibility that is still yet the essence of America, then answers will come. We will reclaim democracy for the people it was intended to serve — and that means all of us, not just some.

From Tel Aviv to Ramallah With Love

April 10, 2016

Anyone who isn’t confused or conflicted on the topic of Israel probably isn’t looking into it too deeply. There are two distinctly, almost surreally different narratives in Israel and Palestine… and to a great extent, both are right and both are wrong. Both peoples have suffered greatly and both have legitimate grievances against the other. Holding that juxtaposition is itself a challenge. But things get even thornier when one adds to the mix the most essential fact of all: that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are going anywhere.

The us-versus-them paradigm articulated by both far right and far left on this issue does more to exacerbate than to solve the problem. And in their own ways, they’re both delusional. The extreme right sees Israel as all angel — all victim, no demon; while the extreme left sees the Palestinians in that same light. Such positions range from the intentionally false to the ridiculously naïve. Neither position feeds the angels of our better nature, so much as the jackals of anger that inhabit the landscape of all unthinking extremes.

Anyone seeking a real solution in Israel and Palestine rejects the us-versus-them mentality entirely. The solution to the problem is not on the level of land, but on the level of consciousness. The fundamental polarity in that region is not between Israelis and Palestinians, but between those who hate and those who love. Among both Israelis and Palestinians — people actually living with the problem on a daily basis, not just spouting off about it in swank hotel ballrooms or on college campuses — there are heroes who demonstrate the true fundamentals of peace-making: that any possibility of a sustainable future belongs to those who refuse, in their hearts, to reject anyone. What we need to reject is hatred itself.

The problem isn’t just that the situation is so crazy; the deeper problem is the crazies on both sides.

The extreme right is filled with those refusing to acknowledge a legitimate right to dignity and respect for the Palestinians, much less the legitimacy of their desire for a homeland for themselves. Certain facets of the extreme right in Israel are unquestionably as racist against Arabs as extreme Arabs are racist against the Jews. They display at times a profound mean-spiritedness — the willingness to grab land that does not belong to them, tolerate oppression, and put their own perceived needs before the needs of others in a way that is neither politically nor morally justifiable. One of the most tragic aspects of their position is that it counters every core Jewish value, thus making a mockery of the spiritual legitimacy of a Jewish State.

The extreme left in America, however, often refuses to acknowledge a legitimate right to dignity and respect for the Israelis. Many Americans parroting lines about “a more balanced approach in the Middle East” are promulgating the message, whether they’re conscious of it or not, “To hell with the Israelis; if they die, they die.” One wonders how some of them would react if Al Qaeda was amassed along our border with Canada — a legitimate analogy to the presence of Hamas in Gaza, by the way — building huge underground tunnels through which they could launch a military invasion of Seattle or Detroit. One can’t help but think many of them would be the first to panic, their cries of “Save us!” drowning out any pleas to make sure the response is proportionate. It’s not Israel’s fault that Hamas forces use human shields. And oh, did I tell you? Hamas and ISIL are bros now.

So what are we to do? Some of the most intelligent people have just thrown up their hands in despair, simply assuming at this point that the status quo will have to hold. But fortunately or unfortunately, the status quo never holds forever. What we have to do is rethink this. The biggest problem in the region is a mindset, and the only answer in the region is a new one. Only when we have a new mental filter will we have a new Middle East.

On a recent trip to Israel and Palestine, I was struck not by the hatred I saw but by the love I saw. I visited a school called Hand in Hand in an Arab village in Israel — one of seven throughout the country — where every classroom is headed by two teachers: one Jewish and one Arab. All Jewish students learn Arabic, and all Arab students learn Hebrew. They learn not only each other’s language, but also each other’s culture. Their families are involved in creating a community of inclusivity, an honor for each other’s differences combined with the cultivation of shared values. Hand in Hand teachers and school administrators are committed to providing the children with that most critical aspect of peace-building: genuine affection of the other, based on familiarity and understanding — especially during early childhood.

People such as those who created and maintain the Hand in Hand schools exist all over the Middle East. They are educators, businesspeople, politicians, journalists and more. While they aren’t the ones who grab headlines in Europe or America, in both Israel and Palestine there are smart, intelligent, deeply humanistic, ready-to-do-things-differently, tired-of-all-the-fighting, know-we-have-to-compromise-so-let’s-just-figure-out-a-way-to-do-it, wanting-a-better-future-for-their-kids-just-like-we-do, wonderful human beings who don’t need any of us to support their attitudes of anger or victimization.

It’s often not people who are the problem — it’s governments that are the problem. No, we shouldn’t always agree with Benjamin Netanyahu, but neither should we kid ourselves about the deep corruption of the Palestinian Authority or the terrorist threat of Hamas.

The real partners for peace are everyday citizens — Palestinians and Israelis who represent a survivable and sustainable future, not only for their children but also for all humanity. They are those who can listen to the righteous pleas of the other, who can genuinely acknowledge the pain of the other, and can recognize the legitimate aspirations of the other.

They meet in a field of consciousness beyond the past, and beyond guilt. “Out beyond all ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, there is a field. I’ll meet you there,” wrote Rumi. And that is not just poetry. It is a description of the only place where we can meet. Those in both Israel and Palestine who are preparing that field – day after day, despite the rejection of a world that does not understand – are the true deliverers from the insanity of our times. They know the only survivable future for their children is in a land that’s called Forgiveness.

I have no further listening for the naïve and simplistic voices on either side of this argument. Only those who honor equally the aspirations of both Arab and Jew deserve credence, and the newly minted pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel stance so in vogue on the Left these days is no less imbalanced than the previously accepted pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian position it seeks to replace. Hate is hate, and it ultimately serves no one. No mother’s son is more precious than any other mother’s son. No people have more of a right than any other to a homeland. And in both Israel and Palestine, there are enough people in both places who know that. Let’s support them.

As it says in A Course in Miracles, “The holiest spot on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.” I felt that holiness in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. I saw it in the eyes and heard it in the words and felt it in the handshakes of the people I met in both Israel and Palestine.

Those who don’t understand this conversation have little to offer at this point; those who do understand it, need to start thinking about this issue and engaging it more forcefully. Politics as usual doesn’t even begin to provide a context for any real solution, because the biggest problem is inside our hearts. The last thing we need is more people pointing their fingers at either side; the greatest enemy is that pointed finger.

The struggle between Israelis and Palestinians is a perfect reflection of the struggle between fear and forgiveness that rages within us all. A spiritual perspective doesn’t choose sides in this battle, but rather hovers above the battlefield. For only there does the battle end. The relationship between Israelis and Palestinians lays bare every wound and every yearning of the human heart, encapsulating both the tragedy of our humanity and also the potential for our redemption. The search for the Holy Land is above all else an internal journey. We shouldn’t expect it to be sweet all the time; just expect it to be real.


From the LA Times: How Marianne Williamson Advocates For Mindful Activism

January 30, 2016

In this election season, a yoga studio is encouraging patrons to get off the mat and into citizen activism. On Saturday, Wanderlust Hollywood is hosting “Mindful America: Creating a Mindful Policy For a Healthy, Prosperous America.”

The six experts on the panel will pose answers to a provocative question: How can the personal practices of mindful living — living sustainably, buying organically and cultivating personal spirituality — be applied to public issues such as healthcare, energy and incarceration?

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