March 31, 2020

So much truth is being revealed now, not only politically and economically but personally too. Who among us isn’t finding ourselves thinking about things more deeply, writing or receiving emails or calls of greater authenticity and truth, ruminating or regretting or atoning, realizing, loving, crying, remembering, owning it, facing it…no matter how hard? Sometimes there’s so much noise in a room that we say, “I can’t hear myself think.” And we’ve lived in a world for a while where no one could hear themselves think. In the midst of this pandemic, there’s an oddly blessed quiet. In “A Course in Miracles” it says miracles happen “when total communication is given and received.” A lot of total communication is going on right now, between and among us yes, but also communication within our hearts and with our God. This is a period of mystical surgery, an opening up of the body of humanity, our individual and collective psyches, in ways we needed to experience. And that includes facing our fear of death. This is rocking us to the core but in ways that somehow we needed to be rocked. Hold on, my precious, fragile, vulnerable fellow human beings. The waters are very stormy but the ship will make it through.

March 29, 2020

Our society is so addictively adrenaline driven that personally and politically we tend to be guided more by reaction than by reflection. This global pause is forcing us to take the time to reflect, to think things through, and hopefully gain some wisdom. Covid-19 is a threat, but no more than our collective behavior in several other areas too. This might actually be saving us, motivating us to look at the ways we’re just as unprepared for other kinds of disasters. Our greatest power to change the world is our power to rethink it. This virus is shaking America to the core, and we need to be shaken to the core. I think our only hope is that we be shaken to the core. This is painful, and tragic, but it’s revealing things that need to be revealed. Do you think we’re not just as close to the edge with nuclear weapons? Nuclear power in general? Do you think we’re not just as close to the edge in terms of environmental disasters? Are you still, even now, under the illusion that there are all these really responsible people in Washington doing everything necessary to make sure we’re safe, so we don’t have to worry about other catastrophic possibilities? Not if you’re really thinking, you don’t. There are a lot of such people, don’t get me wrong – and they’re heroes, in fact – but they are generally starved for funding and stymied by the very government they serve. You might want to read “The Fifth Risk,” by Michael Lewis. This is not a time for false positivism, or blind trust; it’s time for mature analysis and courage and strength. It’s amazing how being faced with really adult situations has a way of making us grow up. No more women acting like little girls. No more men acting like little boys. This is the collective coming-of-age event that no one saw coming. At the end of my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, the Cantor walked her over to me and said, “You brought her here a child. I return her to you a woman.” That’s how I feel about all of us now.

March 28, 2020

At every moment, the universe is either manifesting or getting ready to. This is a huge, gargantuan darkness but it is preparing us for a huge, gargantuan light. It is forcing us to go deep, to cry our unshed tears, to look at things we had not looked at, to think about others in ways we had not thought about them before. To atone is to return to correct perception, and this is our time to atone as individuals and as a nation. As we do that the universe resets itself. Correcting on the level of cause, effects will automatically correct themselves. But this is not an easy process or a quick one. Are you depressed? Of course you’re depressed. This is as depressing a situation as can occur. But slavery was depressing, and war is depressing, all kinds of things are depressing and yet people got through them. Our ancestors survived such things and so will we. They survived and they triumphed, and so will we. Of course we cry. Of course we’re infuriated. But we’re crying and we’re infuriated together. We will not be the same people we were before this happened, and that’s not a totally bad thing. We are being honed by this, and humbled by this, brought to our knees by this, and transformed by this. But believe me when I tell you, because it’s the truth not only of every spiritual tradition and religious path but also within the experience of the world. No plague has lasted forever. No evil dictator or chapter of history has lasted forever. No matter how long this lasts, it will end. We will walk the streets again, and know joy again, and be at peace again. It will happen. There is no darkness that doesn’t give way to light. God’s Will has never not been done, and His will is that we be free.

March 27, 2020

Strawberries

It is completely unacceptable that any doctor at any hospital in the United States is lacking the medical equipment they need in order to handle this. The richest, most powerful nation in the world has a government that in the most infuriating, immoral way has let down its citizens. And it did not have to be this way. Through the Defense Production Act, private industry could have been directed weeks ago to manufacture all necessary medical equipment. Doctors, even governors were begging for it. And those responsible for the withhold of resources have betrayed this nation. This problem is not complicated; it’s horrifyingly simple. I understand Trump’s consciousness. We all do; it’s not news to anyone. But what about the people around him? There are some intelligent, ethical people there. Has no one been begging, demanding that he use his power over the last few weeks? Is their obsession with not disturbing private industry so great that they’re willing to let people die? My God, what has become of us…So much for “America first.”

March 26, 2020

The stimulus bill that passed tonight gives $500 billion to companies (disbursal to be directed by Trump and Mnuchin) and only $100 billion to hospitals. It does nothing in terms of building the medical supply chain, or helping or training doctors or nurses. It gives a much needed $1,200 one-time payment to many, but it’s worth noting that Canada’s bill gives the equivalent of $1,400 a month for as long as the crisis lasts. I want to be positive and uplifting, but the truth is sobering: The US government is telling tens of thousands of Americans to basically drop dead.

March 25, 2020 – Part 2

Part 2: How do we know when we’ve gotten it right? We feel at peace. And part of getting it right is learning to forgive ourselves when we’ve gotten it wrong. But we don’t get to any of these places without allowing ourselves to feel the pain, to recognize the self-betrayal involved in making certain mistakes we made. Revisiting those moments when we said the thing or did the thing or failed to say the thing or failed to do the thing that would’ve led us and others to happiness. When instead we made a fear-based choice. And that was it; we made an unconscious choice for suffering, thinking in that delusional moment this was the way to avoid it. Love leads to heaven, not later but right here on earth, and fear leads to hell, not later but right here on earth. There are certain things that can only be transformed if we are willing to deeply feel them, not just know them intellectually but truly feel them. There is that wonderful quote from Aeschylus: “He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon our heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.” The coronavirus is depressing. It simply is. And it triggers in us everything else we have been depressed about, and which if we had honored for what it was at the time might’ve made us into people better prepared to handle this moment. Desensitizing ourselves to our pain is not a good idea; in fact we pay a price for it – or someone else does. And now it is here, whether we like it or not. But don’t forget the last part of the Aeschylus quote, that in our despair and against our will comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. Try to be at peace with your sadness, as I’ve learned to be a peace with mine. I’m at peace with it because I know it’s a teacher. I want to learn what it has to teach me, no matter how sad I am while doing so. For there will be an end to this pain, and we can prepare ourselves now to receive every drop of glory that awaits us on the other side.

March 25, 2020 – Part 1

Part 1: There is an art to being sad. To really allow ourselves to simply be sad – to not resist it, to not make it wrong, to not label it a problem, is an act of surrender. And surrender is expansive. It’s a letting go of judgments and grievances and explanations and justifications and excuses and any form of false positivism. It’s like allowing yourself to fall into a deep pool and knowing there is nothing to do but to be there. Knowing you will not drown, although the ego says you will. The ego only says that because IT will. Sadness is an act of surrender, and what I know for myself is how much there is to be learned there. Why are you sad, Marianne? I’m sad because of what I have lost. And why did you lose it, Marianne? And that’s where the painful, even excruciating, illumination comes in. In “A Course in Miracles” it says that whenever you have deflected a miracle, it is “held in trust for you by the Holy Spirit until you are ready to receive it.” That is so unbelievably powerful to me. It means that when I have learned the lesson, when I have really made the change within myself, then the situation will come back to me and I will have a chance to get it right. It won’t necessarily come back in the same form, of course, but we will recognize it as the same lesson. For that’s all that life is: a series of lessons constantly rehearsed until we get it right.

March 23, 2020

Trump said we need to bail out big companies because otherwise it will be too hard for them to start up again later. No. Our approach should be the opposite. We should be bailing out individuals, not big companies. Now more than ever we need bottom up, not trickle down economics. Remember the part in the Titanic when upper class passengers locked the doors so lower class passengers couldn’t make it out and only rich people had a chance to survive? The point of America is for things to not be that way. The idea that part of a bailout plan would be helping the already multi-billion dollar oil and gas industry before we’d help health care workers is morally obscene. It’s like saying, “In response to this crisis, let us give more money to those who are creating the next one.” Meanwhile, European countries like Denmark & Germany are having a much more sophisticated, enlightened economic conversation than we. We’re led by political dinosaurs trying to figure out how best to shore up capitalism-as-usual, when what we need is the will & imagination to reinvent it. We need a human rather than market-based economic model. We need to shift from financial transaction to humanitarian concern. We need a massive organization of free food delivery trucks moving into neighborhoods where people will be running out of food, and soon. Our politics is reactive when it needs to be responsive. We have tens of millions of hungry people in America, but as bad as it is it’s at a level the system can absorb. If we start seeing exponentially larger number of hungry people, chaos will break out on a whole new level. Healthy people as well as sick people need help surviving this. A main weakness of our politics is that it underestimates psychological and emotional realities. In fact those elements are massively significant. If we don’t provide huge financial relief to average citizens then we could end up dealing with mass hysteria unable to contain. Our current model of doing business cannot adequately solve this crisis. We won’t be able to save our economy or our society unless we’re willing to change our minds. In religion AND in politics: put love first, or all hell will break loose

March 22, 2020

March 22, 2020 – 2 Minutes of Global Prayer

Some of you might wish to join with me in going into meditation between now and when the two minute period of silence begins, helping to prepare the field and welcome in all those who are gathering from around the world. Three long pronunciations of Om will be good resonator…Dear God, we open our hearts and welcome in the millions of wanderers from around the world now preparing to gather at the inner altar with us. In the room beyond time and space, the sacred temple within our hearts, may we join with each other and with You – interrupting the reign of darkness and ushering in the reign of Light. Join us here, dear God, where you already abide. Prepare our minds that we might receive You more, know your peace and suffer no more. May Your spirit be upon us, now and always. And so it is. Amen

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