Friday, August 3, 2012

To Have Or Have Not

As I read over Facebook posts since the tragic shooting at the movie theater in Colorado, I am overwhelmed by the controversial debate over gun ownership. If gun controls had been more strict, the shooter may not have been able to buy weapons. If people in the theater had been allowed to carry concealed weapons, the killer might not have been able to kill and injure as many people as he did. Guns create violence. Only troubled people pull the trigger. And the debate goes on...and on...and nauseam (this is the correct spelling of what is usually spelled ad nauseum--sorry, I have a tendency to be a bit anal with spelling). The whole argument just spins around in one big circle--and that's the point. The controversy is a never ending cycle of separation!

Why is it that we look at others and automatically place them into categories? Why do we judge others based on beliefs we have been taught to be "right" or "wrong"? Are people, cultures and societies truly good or bad? We are taught that they are. Most of us are so convinced of the truth of our beliefs we are willing to die for them!

The thing is, the judgments we place on others generally stem from those things we have been taught by the world around us. Throughout history, cultures have done things I have been taught were "wrong"--ritual sex in various religions, drugs to induce euphoria or different consciousness, stealing food or other necessities, etc. We judge these things because we are so much more evolved now and can see the error of their ways!

I grew up in a devoutly Christian home. Being the "good" little girl I was, I had a tendency to stay away from drugs, alcohol and non-marital sex, and I was often secretly repelled by people who did them. Even now with my understanding of what judgment creates, there are times when I find myself pulling away from people who make different choices from the ones I make. Does pulling away from others make me a better person? Is separation a good thing?

It is separation that causes us to fight. It is separation that keeps us involved in wars. It is separation that keeps us from unconditionally loving our fellow human beings.

Many of us say we want peace, but what is the price of peace? The price of peace is the willingness to give up our ideas of what constitutes good and bad so that all those things we have previously allowed to come between us no longer separate us. The price of peace is to end judgment. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up your beliefs. It does mean you have to forget them when you look at other people. Peace is not about forcing others to your belief system. It is about allowing them to be the people they have chosen to be.

To dwell on separation is to keep yourself trapped at the level of duality. In order to ascend to the level of the Source of all things, we must focus on becoming One. It is not about having or not having. It is about looking beyond your earthly ego to the sacredness of the whole.

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