Spirits In Rebellion
BY JUDITH PENNINGTON
The anniversary coverage of 9/11 was at times moving but mostly recapped what everyone knows: that we’re singing "God Bless America" at ballgames again, airport delays are longer, policemen and firefighters are at last heroes, and terrorist fears abated somewhat with the U.S. war on Iraq and in Afghanistan.
I was very touched, however, in hearing a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, a great lady who modeled "old world" civility in saying, "I learned to conquer each of my fears, one by one, and only then was I brave."
Is this your experience, too, as it is mine? I was sitting in meditation this morning, seeking guidance in writing this column, and up from my deeper consciousness came the movie "Contact," a science fiction yarn by the late, great astronomer, Carl Sagan. In it, scientist Jodie Foster has a burning desire to travel into space on an inter-dimensional craft designed by ETs of higher intelligence, but is thwarted by her spirit-led loved one, who saves her life by blocking her voyage because she doesn’t believe in God.
Sagan’s book and movie play out the duality of science and spirit and the extremist forces operating in each, just as we are doing today in the wake of 9/11. If Nostradamus were to envision these times, he would surely see a legendary battle between the towering forces of good and evil. Indeed, many religious fundamentalists see exactly this and support bloody war as a precursor to the "end times" predicted by ancient prophets as the revelation, rapture and spiritual awakening of a thousand years of peace.
And so it is, in many ways, as war horrifies even its warriors, and ordinary people look within their heartsbeyond patriotic hysteriato the reality of killing other human beings and, to finance it, starving the one in five American children living in poverty today.
And yet, just as in the movie "Contact," a current of divine order carries us, like twigs on a river, toward peace and understanding.
Many of the families of people killed by 9/11 created an intelligent, informed and active organization called Peaceful Tomorrows and have visited the people of war-torn countries like Afghanistan to mourn the killing of their civilian loved ones by U.S. bombs and fighting.
Dennis Kuchinich (D-OH), winner of the 2003 Gandhi Peace Award, is running for the U.S. presidency on a peace platform. Spiritual leader Marianne Williamson is working with him and others to create a U.S. Department of Peace. Recently, 27 Israeli fighter pilots signed a pact not to bomb civilians in the Gaza Strip. Eleanor Roosevelt would approve of these strides toward courage and healing.
Here is the spiritual awakening so long awaited by the world: It is within us and we see our spiritual ordination in the celestial sky: first in the Grand Fixed Cross of August 11, 1999, during a solar eclipse, and soon again, on November 8, 2003, in a lunar eclipse and Star of David formed by the sun, moon and four planets. The cosmic energies flowing through these starry portals carry a powerful spiritual message to our world. This message, according to my inner teacher and that of many others, is to take comfort and strength in the healing energies of meditation and keep faith with the divine order in everything.
We cannot help but grieve our losses and the pain of suffering in the world, but we can take comfort in knowing that the open, hurting heart receives the greatest amount of love and healing. Scientific studies on prayer have definitively proved this, and the love surging through our hurting world proves it again. Our job is to increase that Love by leaving the healing to God and the open-heartedness to humankind.
The greatest good that we can give to this planet is our peace and understanding. This is not to say that prayer alone must do the work, since we can take prayer into action. It is within us to be "spirits in rebellion," like Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Sr. Like these teachers, we can hold the light in conflicted times to further the spiritual awakening of peace on Earth.
I am inspired by the words of Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who calls us to spiritual rebellion. "The fact is," she declares, "we were made for these times…for years we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement."
Our plain of engagement is the loving, peaceful unification of all hearts and minds into one world, one planet indivisible, so that every soul on Earth may live in peace and prosperity. September 11 called us to this. May our open hearts be the answer to that call.
Judith Pennington, editor and publisher of OneWorld, is an internationally published writer, workshop leader and author of The Voice of the Soul, a universal spiritual journey recommended by Larry Dossey and Barbara Brennan and said by "Venture Inward," the national Edgar Cayce magazine, to be "packed with gems of wisdom and enlightening ideas."