Sunday, September 16, 2012

Part 1 - The Spiritual Message I Find in the Libyan Murder of Our Ambassador

A Course in Miracles tells us we cannot achieve peace through conflict. AA taught me that I cannot achieve serenity through agitation, anger, inflammatory speech and holding on to resentments.
I’ve said before in these messages that thoughts are things and words really do matter. As one on his spiritual path, I know I am to be in this world without being of this world. It is difficult at times for me to draw the line between the two. Nonetheless, this is an “…in this world…” message.
Let me tell a brief story: There was this “naughty” boy who swore often and said awfully mean things about siblings and student friends. Trying to correct him, his father told him he had to drive a nail in the outside fence every time he said offensive things or used bad language. He did this for several months. To repent, his father told him for every day he went without using abusive language, he could take a hammer and remove one of the nails. After 4 months the boy had removed all the nails and was quite proud of himself. The father took him outside and, together, they observed the fence.
“See,” the father said. “Even thought you’ve removed all the nails – and I’m very proud of you for your change of behavior – the holes are still there. The results of your actions are still visible. The same is true for the words you use and say. You may apologize, but the hurt may linger long after you’ve removed the nail.”
We’ve just seen an adult example of this “nail hole” principle.
I’m not going to get into the Romney debacle using the Cairo Embassy press release – issued 6 hours before the targeted attack in Libya, and issued to ease perceived growing tensions in Egypt over the vitriolic anti-Mohammad video – as a political attack on Obama. Romney believed the Embassy issued its statement in response to the Libya attack. When confronted with the truth, he doubled down on his initial statement and continued his public political criticism, while the crisis was still unfolding and new corrective information was flowing..
I’m also not going to talk about the facts pointing to the Libya attack as a well-planned operation, not a spur-of-the-moment mob action in response to the U-Tube video. There were some “mob-ish” actions, but they were unrelated.
I do want to talk about how inflammatory words only add flame to the fire. They do not quell it.
A Course in Miracles tells us we cannot achieve peace through conflict. AA believes we cannot achieve serenity through agitation, anger and holding on to resentments. When we try, all we do is hurt ourselves. It’s like ingesting poison in order to hurt someone else.
But we continue to do it. If an Ambassador or a President tries any avenue, other than brute force and saber-rattling, the political opposition calls this approach weakness and stimulates the fear-based impression that we are now vulnerable.

Continued in Part 2 

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