My heart is full of gratitude as I think of how two of my Parvati.org friends and colleagues are now in Katowice, Poland moving MAPS (the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary) forward at COP24, the UN Climate Conference. All of us who serve MAPS do so as regular citizens, and as volunteers. We know the Arctic sea ice, our planet’s air conditioning system that ensures we have the food and water we all need to survive, is under threat as never before. Our wellbeing, and that of all life, can no longer be held hostage by political apathy. We must act now.
Thankfully, my MAPS colleagues in Poland, General Counsel Vandana Ryder and Director of Strategic Initiatives Darcy Belanger, recently told me that they have had great meetings for MAPS. MAPS is a simple solution to the massive and unprecedented ecological and humanitarian crisis that affects everyone and all things.
People everywhere are beginning to sense that something is wrong with our common home. We can feel the distress in Nature and in ourselves. Each one of us is a part of the Earth’s collective body, one whose health is suffering.
And anyone who has experienced an awakening or a spiritual breakthrough through a serious illness knows that poor health is a call from Nature to shift into a new paradigm. When I lay in my bed for four months paralyzed from the waist down from a severely damaged spinal cord, I knew that my current reality was a reflection of my thoughts and perceptions. My body was expressing what I thought to be true. My broken spine was held in that configuration because of how I saw reality, how I understood nature and what I understood my role to be. I sensed, innately, that if I was willing to suspend all disbelief about how things “should be”, in other words, let go of my thoughts that were holding my tissue within a certain paradigm, I would open myself to the power of life-force energy, which would restructure my cells into a new harmonious relationship with life.
I see the acts of violence that continue to happen around the world – be they towards any aspect of nature from animals to other human beings – as a sign of a collective illness. They call for each of us to awaken into a new way of being. If we want these incidents to stop, we must see them differently. First we need to understand that those who carry out these acts are not groups that exist only “out there”. What we see on the outside is just a reminder that the same potential exists within us. If we focus solely on what is outside of ourselves, we perpetuate the feeling of disconnection from our own shadows that it their own right add darkness to the world.
The anti-life actions of those who hate are like a cancer that exists within our collective human body. Think of each of us as being a cell within a greater whole. Each cell has its own vitality, its own health, its own vibration. The more we choose to align with joy, love and healing, the more we are of benefit to ourselves and to those around us. When we close our hearts and choose fear, hatred and revenge, we harm ourselves and the world. Painful choices are like cancerous mutations of our beautiful human nature. They wreak havoc, upset balance and seek to overtake the life-force present throughout our shared body. The cancer of terrorism reflects the profound state of disconnection and wanting that we each experience to some degree or another, until we are fully enlightened.
Cancer grows and spreads when left unattended. But what attention does it need? Does it need military strength? Does it need intense light visualizations directed its way to try to overtake or convert it? Does the cancer need to be cut out? Perhaps. But those who have lived through cancer know that removal of a tumor is often not a permanent solution. It can work for some time then return. World War 1 was supposed to be “the war to end all wars”. But then came World War 2, and many other wars since.
If we want the outside suffering to stop, we must address the suffering that we perpetuate every day, in subtle and overt ways. Whether inwardly restless and unhappy, wanting this moment to be other than it is, or outwardly reacting against the world and its people because we only see them through our own distorted perception, we all have within us the seeds of anger, hatred and revenge. It is up to each one of us to choose whether or not we act from disconnection and pain, or love and interconnection – not somewhere in the future, but now, today, in this moment.
To be a healthy people, we need to meet pain, suffering, and cancerous mutations such as terrorist groups with conscious awareness of what they truly are. They arise from ignorance and are radically dissonant with our true, life-affirming nature. Only through ignorance are they sustained. When we meet them with compassionate presence and clearly see them not as enemies out there, but as a mirror to the disconnection and wanting that exist within each one of us, we no longer give them the judgmental, angry, rageful and hateful energy they need to survive. They wither when we radically love ourselves and each other as interconnected beings within an unconditionally loving whole. They cease as we understand and accept, with deep humility, the part we each play – however tiny or large – in their sustenance.
Literally every thought, emotion and action we choose affects the whole. What do you choose?
Remember that we move towards health not by approaching anti-life energy with either disgusted attack or effortful light. Such only fuels more disconnection and causes illness to remain. Instead, healing happens as we embrace both our shadows and light equally, lovingly accepting them as the totality of who we are. We do so with courage, forgiveness, understanding and a powerful sense of profound gratitude for whatever this moment brings. Then, we no longer fight the moment wishing it to be other than it is and contribute to the wanting and disconnection that feeds any kind of disease.
As we remember the spiritual truth that we are light, we know that love is the only way. We let go of the battle of the psyche to try to conquer this moment and make it how our divided selves want it to be. We let go of the fight to hold onto illusions of separateness, which fuel suffering, hatred and revenge. We rest in our eternal light and amplify illumination in the world. We then flood the collective body of humanity with all the sweetness of grace that we can access. We become vehicles for eternal light – who we truly are.