Since our first 2017 Re-Boot Session last month, I have been consciously focusing on the intentions I set, one of which is becoming more dedicated to my spiritual practice. For me, that means using Conflict REVOLUTION® to stay in a place of compassion no matter what comes my way.
Where I need focus is on applying compassion to people who are doing evil things. It’s easy to be loving to those I agree with but equally as easy to project my righteous anger over those I see committing injustices and taking actions for the good of the few at the expense of the many (Einstein’s definition of evil).
My biggest challenge right now is the US political environment. In the first Re-Boot I named my conflict “The Trigger of Trump.” So many people are so angry about the new president and his sweeping orders. And why not? They truly are evil. Last week, he instigated a travel ban on Muslims, leaving thousands of people stranded, sometimes in their home airports. When they left the country with their green cards, they were legal; when they returned, they were not. This is outrageous!
Arriving back from a short trip to Jamaica, I turned the corner from customs at the Baltimore International Airport only to find throngs of angry people protesting the injustice of this travel ban. I was simultaneously shocked and delighted to see so many people standing up to support those being unjustly impacted by this presidential action.
But the travel ban was not my trigger. The challenge came when a friend said something about the “haters.” She quoted someone who said, “Don’t try to convince the haters … you’re not the Jackass Whisperer.” This triggered me.
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As I grapple with these issues, I am constantly reminded of what Albert Einstein lived through during WWII. He must have struggled deeply as he watched the haters gain control of his government and eventually destroy millions of people in the holocaust. He has often said that it was Hitler who brought him off his stance of pacifism and inspired him to urge the development of the atomic bomb. Who can blame him? What else was he to have done in the face of the evil that Hitler was manifesting?
But what are we to do today?
If I am to uphold my spiritual practice, then to call [fill in the blank, in this case the “haters”] [fill in the blank, in this case “jackasses”] makes me judgmental, too. Yes, even this small morsel of expression becomes projection of my judgment and needs my loving attention. But what am I to do with my anger at the real injustices of evil without becoming ineffectual to it?
I know, it’s exceedingly intricate and intimate. But if I believe we are all one organism then what I give is my legacy to my fellow humans. Why would I want to do unto others what I do not want them to do unto me?
This doesn’t mean I allow myself to be abused by haters. It means to feel and breathe my anger, revolve my perspective, and take responsible for my own thoughts/decisions /judgments first. Detaching my anger from projecting judgments on others is exercising compassion. I literally become the change. Instead of projecting judgment, I marry that anger through breath to compassionate, positive intellectual messages and set my intention to be a part of a creative solution for the good of all.
By taking control of my own thoughts, feelings, senses, and intentions in this way, I practice self-love and align to compassion. Now that compassion can intuitively guide me to the action that will help right the evil in the world around me.
After Einstein arrived in the US (an immigrant), Joseph McCarthy, the right-wing senator who was conducting the communist witch hunts targeted him, calling him an “enemy of America.” Einstein’s response was that he was willing to go to jail for his convictions and compared McCarthy’s fascist rise to that of Hitler in Germany. He also advised others targeted by McCarthy to simply refuse to answer the questions. He never advocated hate or violence against anyone.
Below is Einstein’s comments made during a five-minute CBS Radio Network program hosted by journalist Edward R. Murrow sometime in the 1950s. Here he says that “service to our fellow man needs to take the place of the glorification of power” (another way of saying “making decisions for the good of the whole”):
Let’s face it, there are no easy answers. I certainly don’t have the answers to this current crisis of compassion going on in my government.
I will say that we need to find solutions outside the level of thinking at which the conflicts are being created. For me, this means experimenting with my own energy to become love as much as is humanly possible.
From there I will choose to stand up and project that love out into the world, without losing sight of the realities of the rising fascism we are now faced with. It means refusing to hate the haters. Or even call them names.
I have succeeded in re-focusing on my spiritual practice, just like I intended. The byproduct is I am more at peace. I sleep better knowing I am self-responsible, committed to compassion and to taking action for the good of all. This makes me part of the solution.
And that’s a gracious plenty.
February 4, 2017
For Heaven’s Sake Bookstore
4900 W 46th Street
Denver, CO 80212
2 – 4 PM.
If you are around the Denver area today, I will be signing my new book Einstein, et al. and chatting with people interested in deeper discussions about Einstein. Much thanks for Sara James and the staff at FHS for hosting me.
2017 Re-Boot #2
Sunday, February 26, 2017
9 – 10:30 AM CST
Access code 866255
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