Saturday, September 13, 2014

Inner And Outer Worlds

I am still receiving questions or comments that reflect the perplexity about all the issues raised by the actions of ISIS/ISIL in Iraq and Syria.  These comments come from subscribers as well as those national and international readers who are picking me up from FaceBook or other social media.
I have discussed how we have a horizontal and vertical way of looking at events in this world. [Msg-5-Aug-2014; The Role Of My Higher Mind] The horizontal view has a past, present and future. It is the outer world. The vertical lives only in the eternal Now. It is the inner world. The horizontal reflects a perspective of my egoic thinking – either from my lower or from my higher mind. But both are still of my ego. The vertical reflects a perspective of Now that emanates from a conscious, palpable interaction with the divine.
Nonetheless, we have to live in this physical world of ours. We have to pay our bills and taxes, prepare and eat food, take care of our property, and take care of our young, the elderly and others who are infirmed. Doesn’t that also mean we have to “believe” in the reality of this horizontal outer perspective?
No. It means we have to be in this world but not of it.
But how do we do that? How do we live in the joy, peace, acceptance, and love that we already are – the inner world – and deal (or not!) with the brutal fanaticism that I believe ISIS/ISIL represents in my outer world?
These are tough questions – really tough questions.
The only idea that springs to my mind is to consider my motive. I’m unsure if God, as I understand God, really is consciously aware of the world as I perceive it.  A Course in Miracles (ACIM) states He doesn’t. What he sees is a lovely sleeping child having a nightmare. He doesn’t know what the nightmare is about. Before He can cuddle and comfort me I have to wake up. My perception (or nightmare of a dog-eat-dog world) generally reflects my egoic thinking, which is an illusion and has nothing whatsoever to do with the True Reality of the Now – of Eternal Love and Acceptance. I intellectually agree with this.
So what?
That being the case, the only true response I can make is to examine the inner world between my ears and ensure my motives are genuine. There are many wonderful actions people take that are admirable and acclaimed. However, if they are performed out of a sense of guilt, or fear, or pride, they count for nothing. Paul really nailed it in his first letter to the budding congregation in Corinth (Chapter 13): “I may speak in tongues of men or angels, … I may have the gift of prophecy and know every hidden truth; I may have faith strong enough to move mountains… I may dole out all I possess or even give my body to be burnt, but if I have no love, [I am nothing].”  
That’s what the God of my understanding “sees.” My motive. My energy. My desire. My inner world.
I may react to ISIS/ISIL the way many seem to be doing – bomb the hell out of them; butcher them; we should have stayed in Iraq beating them do death or converting them to be good, middle-class Americans and teaching them to love our version of democracy. I also hear people stating that we should do nothing – what is going on is a continuation of a millennium-long struggle for dominance between the Shia and Sunni factions of Islam. They need to figure this out or kill each other in the process.
Regardless of how I personally come down on this issue, I need to examine my motive(s). Do I deal with ISIS/ISIL based on fear, anger, or hate? Don’t I remember that fear is the opposite of faith? Do I deal with ISIS/ISIL based on my higher mind’s desire for altruism and fairness? After all it makes me feel good and safe to think of “higher” things. Isn’t this a little prideful? Do I fear for my stock in oil companies that are engaged in the Middle East? Isn’t this greed? For everyone who hurts us don’t I want us to beat them into submission because America is – well, just the greatest? Isn’t that arrogance or, even worse, grade-school playground bullying?
Yes, there are things to do in the outer world – and the President and others are talking about them – the political inequity between Shia and Sunni factions of Islam, working for the stability of Middle East governments, creating trust in the political processes, building respect and justice for all citizens – men, women, and all religious beliefs. Surely ISIS/ISIL has to be stopped or contained, but in a manner that will not simply give rise to another ISIS-type insurgency. However, before we Americans get too high on our moral horse, we must remember the “civilized” western nations had horrible wars, terrorism, inequity, injustice and brutality between Roman Catholic and Protestant expressions of Christianity – as late as 35 years ago in Ireland. We Americans perpetrated the most effective genocidal campaign in history against the resident Native Americans who were here for 10,000 years and had left our country much as they had found it. We executed legal, congressional treaties with them and then immediately broke them – over and over and over. We held onto the concept of slavery for many decades after European countries had abandoned it as a brutish, unchristian, immoral act of their societies and governments.
By hating ISIS/ISIL are we simply keeping the focus off our own shameful past? By treating Middle East Arab Muslims as second-class humankind, are we keeping the focus off our own treatment of those we believe remain second-class citizens here in the USA – Hispanics, urban Blacks, Asian Immigrants, the LBGT community?
I must examine my motives. You must examine yours. We, as a country, must examine ours.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#2 September 2014

Copyright, 2014

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