Thursday, September 11, 2008

Terrorism and Love

I wrote this essay the day of the attacks on 9/11 in 2001. I think it bears repeating. I hope I haven't broken any copyright laws with this image. If you enlarge it, I like what it says.

Well, I had a column set to post tomorrow, but it seems wrong to let the day of these terrible bombings go unacknowledged, to not speak a word of grief for all the innocent dead, people like you and me who just got up this morning, put on their clothes, drank their coffee and headed off to work in the beautiful sunshine of an early Fall day. I feel such grief not only for the dead, but for those who were there and survived, for all of us who watch this horror broadcast around the world and will live forever with it seared into our eyeballs and our hearts. I feel such grief for the firefighters, policemen, doctors, and just regular folks who courageously put themselves into the path of danger to save those who can be saved, and who in the days and weeks to come will put themselves through the horror of rescuing the dead. I feel grief for all of us not just in the United States, but all over the world, whose sense of decency and innocence has been dealt a wicked and cruel blow. I pray for us all, the living and the dead. I believe that all people are connected, that on some level the good and evil each of us does touches everyone. So many people from all over the world have written to me in pain and love today, that I know more than ever the truth of that belief. We really are one world, one people. Maybe this act and these dead will, in giving their lives, remind us of that.

But I want to say that I also feel grief for the people whose souls are so wounded and dead that they can deceive themselves into thinking that mass murder is noble or honorable. When I pray for healing for/from this vile, cowardly, mass murder of innocents, I will pray also for those who caused all this pain. In some ways, I think they above and beyond all of us, need our prayers.

In Christian churches all over the world, people repeat the Lord's Prayer every week: "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." The words are repeated with so little thought. Now is the time to think about them. Now is the time to meet hate with love, violence with peace. Otherwise hate and violence win. The innocent don't need our love nearly as much as the lost souls of this world do. It is those who are lost in darkness who truly need our prayer and when we won't or don't or can't pray for them a little of their darkness casts it's shadow into our light. Maybe this sounds crazy. Maybe it sounds like airy-fairy nonsense. I don't mean we shouldn't be angry. How could we not be enraged by such incomprehensible evil? We are human. The pain of such an act is excruciating. I lived in New York until a year ago. Many of my closest friends live there. I don't know yet if any of them were killed in this horrible thing that was done. But I know that if I become consumed with hate, then it all becomes even worse.

Jesus said that, "Even as ye do it unto the least [and worst] of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." I believe that includes hate and love, that it includes assassins as well as innocents.

I do a kind of healing called Reiki. Reiki practitioners learn that the energy we move through ourselves to heal others also heals us. This is also true of our thoughts. If we send thoughts of hate and anger to others, we move that energy, those thoughts first into and through our own body and spirit. We send anger not just to one recipient, but through our own being and out into the whole world. The world doesn't need anger right now. It needs love. It needs love especially where it is wrapped in hate. Hate is a wound in the spirit of the world. I guess I'm asking us to put a bandage of love on it and not add more poison to the wound. That's what I'm going to try to do.

I pray for us all.


Akelamalu said...

Just for today I will not anger.

Dianne said...

that's beautiful and true, thoughtful and true, insightful and true, hearbreaking and true.

thanks Raven. I love you.

Anonymous said...

Those days will live forever. I watched like we all did in utter disbelief. I still have not been able to forget it and now how the politicians are trying to use that to make personal hay.

My Sky Watch Friday blog is at my Canon Pixels blog. If you have time I would appreciate your having a look at the sky peeking through the oak tree leaves.

Travis Cody said...

I keep expecting the images to fade with time. They haven't yet. They recede, but they never really go away.

There is still pain and tremendous sadness. And anger. And I do still have hatred for those who would do such a heinous thing.

I guess it's just going to take a little longer. I can only do my best to practice tolerance and respect.

This is a wonderful essay. The idealist in me is drawn to try harder to set aside the hatred.

Carletta said...

This was a beautiful post for today Raven and still so very poignant.

Thank you.

(been having computer problems or I would have been here sooner - now blogger is being a pain)

rebecca said...

i had also posted a piece on an essay i did six days after the towers collapsed. back then we all came together as one, void of color, ethnicity or religion and we were all Americans comforting and supporting each other. sadly, we have reverted to our divisive ways once again. but the thing about remembering 911 on each of its anniversary is that it gives us pause to think once again of how we felt then and hopefully put us back on track once again.


Art and Poetry said...

Good posting and very true!