It may seem ironic, but most of us don’t readily want a deeper love and healing. Why? There is fear of losing what securities we feel we now enjoy. A deeper healing and a joining love is one which is able to forgive and let go resentments and angers. This understanding is quite foreign to the world in which we live. For some to gain heaven, others must go to hell. For some to win, others must lose; for some must live, others must die. It is a world of dualism in which we live; light and darkness, winning and losing, good and evil. Coaches of winning teams are loved; coaches who don’t win are sent away with nary a word of thanks! Winning quarterbacks are loved, but then “retire” and go to another team. Returning to the “hometown” team which loved him for years, he now receives boos! The US Women’s soccer team, which won the Olympic Gold Medal in the 1996, told how they feared losing to the Norwegian women. They overcame their fear by renaming them “Bitches” and punching pictures of the team members in hated!
The Bible has a verse which goes, “Perfect love cast out fear.” It’s a difficult realization. How could we not fear losing our freedoms and securities? Fear seems so deeply ingrained in this world of time and space, because it is a world of losing. Indeed, fear is deeply ingrained in most religions. We think of churches and organized religions as purveyors of fear, judgment, arguing, castigating, excommunicating, shunning, burning, bombing, and shooting. (I realized I missed some!) To have life, there must be death and crucifixion; someone must suffer if I go free. Freedom is only given on the foundation of blood and sacrifice. How else can it be?
This duality of continual opposites is a given in our world of bodies and forms. Forgetting we came from dust, arising to live out a few years upon the “stage” and then returning to dust, we live the dream of opposites. We feel trapped like the bee which came for honey, and then got stuck! We seek to avoid and deny it. Health and life are ours if we exercise, eat well, and develop positive thinking, and hate our enemies. If not, we must have sinned and done something wrong. We will pay in losses. To change such thinking, to let it go, frightens and leaves us feeling naked in front of reality. Who loves “faith ventures into the unknown?” Yes, it can be a brutal world but what other reality or world is there?
Spirit! Could this be our reality? In the shift of identity, the road to healing and love can be embraced. If we are spirit in essence, one with the Creator God, Tao, Bahaula, or Whatever, then our essence is eternal. Spirit isn’t something we bargain for, work for, shed blood for; it’s our Nature! True, we are so accustomed to our bodies and forms it’s hard to make the shift. We seek to spiritualize forms and beliefs. We listen to our bodies, to the world of nature, gazing at 100,000,000 galaxies for wisdom. Nature and the universe seem so perfect, so full of wisdom. Yet is it? Form is only temporal. Planets and asteroids crash together. Earthquakes erupt and destroy hundreds of thousands. Animals, including us, either eat or are eaten. Drought strikes, floods rage, and bodies wither from disease and old age. Thus as we lay loved ones in their graves we say, “Now they go to a better place!”
What if the better place is with us here all the time but we don’t see it or understand it as so? What if Spirit is the only Reality and the world of form and time is not? What if the unseen world, as the apostle Paul wrote, is real and the seen world is unreal? What if we could forgive and let go, not out of pity and defeat but because of the truth that in Spirit we are all win? What if we could forgive ourselves for mistaken identities and purposes, and just see ourselves as free? But we feel fear if we do so.
We are so accustomed to feeling as victims in life. We have grown comfortable using our victim power over others. We assure ourselves there is no other way. We scan the news daily, proving to ourselves there is no way out. We have no choice other than death. It’s a world of death and so much bad news. It’s hard to believe we can be free. Freedom is hard becomes it depends on our choice to see ourselves and the world differently.
We fear being one with our enemies. We fear being wrong and another right, of losing while another wins. We grant pardon to a few, the few who see and accept our ways and forms, pitying or hating others who are lost. But in Spirit, how can pardon and hurt coexist?
Several months ago I saw an interview with a man named Azim Khamisa. Azim’s son Tariq, had been senselessly murdered by a gang on January 21, 1995 in San Diego. His son was 20 years old, engaged for two months to another art major at San Diego State. Delivering pizza late one night, a 14 year old named Tony Hicks, shot him in order to be accepted into a gang. Tariq’s parents and family were naturally devastated. Azim was a very successful businessman, coming to this country with his wife and doing very well. He practiced regularly his Muslim faith. In the interview, Azim told how he had come to forgive his son’s killer. Today, along with his killer’s stepfather, they present seminars and workshops in San Diego schools on the futility of violence. How did such a change of attitude occur for Azim?
In his deep grief and anger, a friend had offered his cabin for Azim to use for refuge in the weeks following his son’s death. Located on Mammoth Mountain, he went there listening to a tape by Deepak Chopra. After staying several days, he felt an epiphany of renewal and love. In the healing, a deep love began to form for the killer of his son along with the killer’s family. He felt confused but compelled to go to them. By understanding a higher essence and love than experienced before, he was able to let go and form a deep love with the killer’s family. Azim has now written and published a book called “Azim’s Bardo”, Bardo being a Buddhist term meaning “the end of one chapter in life and beginning another.”
In trying to understand we are the Eternal Children of God, it will be a “Bardo” for many if not all of us. We fear letting go of usual forms and beliefs. We fear losing friends and relationships. We fear giving up being right rather than being happy and loving. This is a common trait in most belief systems. We want to win family and spousal arguments and fights. In the reflection on ourselves as Spirit, we can forgive ourselves for such ignorance, and be free. Jesus taught and modeled this as a free person. “Forgive,” he taught, “seventy times seven,” or endlessly. Dying on the cross, he was portrayed as uttering “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.” No revenge, no armies, no harsh, eternal anger. He just let it go.
A teacher of the Course in Miracles, Gary Renard, tells how in his first marriage it was coexistence amid continual conflict and control issues. Later, after learning the principles of Love being our Essence, he remarried. They live, he describes, with a “live and let live” principle of forgiveness. Their needs are met eternally. There is no need for control and arguing. There is no absolute need to be married. Each one does as he or she sees fit and the other seeks to respond in love and forgiveness. Differences in form and temperament don’t matter too much; only love is eternal. Let it go!
Do we want to see, really see? Do we, like blind Bartimaeus of old, really want to cease being victims for life? Shift your thinking and things will look so much differently. You’ll begin to live with a deeper level of “Whatever!” even while playing golf! Fears will fade, love will enliven, and this short walk will become a deeper one of being and sharing love to all, especially our “enemies.”
Breathe in Eternal Love each day! Let yourself rest in perfect acceptance, perfect love, perfect peace. Bless you as you give it that little willingness that begins the Bardo we each need.