The Powerful Desire for Revenge

mahatma gandhi

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I remember my powerful emotions when, many years ago, during the hazing period at a local university fraternity, the recruits were required to swim across a small lake on the campus. One young man had never learned to swim but he was told, ‘You don’t swim, you don’t join.’ He went into the water, sank to the bottom and drowned. Their defense was that everyone had been drinking.

For years, my chest tightened when I thought about what happened to that young man, but back then I thought, “If he was my son, I would make it my life’s mission to tear this university down.” I wanted revenge and the boy wasn’t my son! I wanted revenge, even though I believe, for the purpose of spiritual advancement, we choose our parents, our lives, and about how long we will live before we are born.

The rage at the seeming senselessness of so many incidents and the powerful desire for revenge is, to a large degree, why our world is not at peace. If you lived in a place where a wall separated you and your enemies, and they shot grenades over the wall at you, and you shot grenades over the wall at them, and members of their families died and members of your family died, could you become a peacemaker? Could you be the first to stop lobbing the grenades? If you stopped, but they did not, would you and your family just stand there and die? If they stopped, would you, also, giving up your war for . . . for what? The land? A principle? A belief that God loves you more than them?

No matter how holy any terrorist (or anyone standing on ‘God’s principle’) tries to make their attacks or justify their motives, war is war. War is death. War is human. War is hell. People standing on God’s foundation, like Mahatma Gandhi (who said, “Be the change you wish to see”) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (who said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that”) work for peace, not war. They see the never-ending cycles of revenge. They transcend their outrage. They put the problem into God’s all-healing hands and ask to find solutions in inspiration. They understand, they compromise, they heal, they make peace, but only arm-in-arm with God. Remember, where God is, there is love, forgiveness and compassion. Where God isn’t, there is war, acrimony, and arrogance.

“You shall know them by the fruit they bear.”


Ever Wonder if Angels and the Dark Lord Affect Us?

Guido Reni's Archangel Michael Tramples Satan

Guido Reni’s Archangel Michael Tramples Satan

I am a fan of fantasy stories, the kind where one person is handed an impossible task and, after overcoming incredible doubt and fear, accepts his/her calling to defeat evil; then, with the help of friends, the hero finally overcomes hopeless odds and Love and Light are restored to life–again.

Yet, I’ve often wondered why these tales are so heart-poundingly full of great battles between dragons and elves, dwarves and giants and knights, and magic that is wielded by both the forces of light and darkness. Were hobbits and orcs ever real, or are they mythological creatures of imagination? What about angels and a dark lord? Don’t you wonder if they really exist?

I wonder if some of them, anyway, aren’t characters who play all the parts of ourselves, who reflect our ongoing inner struggles to understand the purpose for birth, for life and death, and for both goodness and heartlessness. We ask, ‘Who am I?’ and haven’t all of us wondered at times if we are more good than evil, or more evil than good? And, do we have the answer right? How would we know? Do forces of goodness ever influence our personal behavior? World behavior? How about forces of pure evil? Have you ever felt the darkness within yourself? And what does who we are right now mean in the long run? And, could the ‘long run’ include living more than one life on Earth?

Ahriman Sculpture by Rudolf Steiner

Ahriman Sculpture by Rudolf Steiner

To me, our day-to-day lives seem kind of boring—no battles with dragons or meetings with elves or sweet-spirited hobbits. (Of course, I rest at home all day. I’m not out hang-gliding or skydiving; if I was, maybe life wouldn’t seem quite so repetitive.) I’ve come across some websites and blogs, though, whose authors propose that we are about to be visited by beings from other worlds, beings who have been helping us for a very long time and are about to take things to another level, transforming–with our commitment to Love–greed to generosity, intolerance to compassion, self-importance to humility.

I don’t know about you, but learning that there are doorways to higher worlds sounds pretty good to me. The evidence for evil in our world tips the scales heavily to one side. I know we each have to do our own work, but I’m also ready to meet the beings of light we thought maybe lived only in our imaginations. I’m ready for healing–yours, mine and ours–and for Mother Earth to evolve, too, just as the Light intended.

We Can Do Better

Women TogetherWe’re experiencing an epidemic of protecting our own views, without consideration for the other’s ideas–or what is best overall–and this tears apart relationships, from friendships to a government of two uncooperative parties.

If we take a look at the history of humanity, only a few enlightened teachers have been born to teach us about authenticity, intention, the power of our thoughts and actions (and their effects), and the value of cooperation. It would appear that those teachings have been wasted on us, but I don’t think that’s true. Our current situation reminds me of being pregnant and the baby, the new life, grows until it can no longer be carried and must be born. We’re in labor, at the really hard part where the shoulders have to be coaxed through an opening not quite large enough for them to pass. But they do!

When the new life is born, we’ll look at each other not as insane enemies (which I’m embarrassed to admit is how I feel sometimes) but as other parts of ourselves. Whenever we’re defensive, thinking or acting separately, we’ve pulled away from the higher truth that we’re made of the same essence, that we’re all children of the One Creative Force. Of course, we can choose to raise our own opinions up and look down on others, but it won’t solve our problems. We obviously can’t work them out on our own: We need to seek the answers from the highest and best parts of ourselves. We need quiet time for prayer and meditation, to go within, from where the problem-solving, inclusive, inspired and healing answers are born. We need to do better, and we can.