you sow, you
What a collective sows, the collective reaps. What the human family sows,
the human family reaps. These overlapping dynamics combine to form the experience
of individuals, collectives of individuals and the human experience.
Within these dynamics, individuals, collectives and humanity encounter the
consequences of choices that they have made, and are offered opportunities
to choose again. With each choice, more consequences are created, and more
opportunities to choose again present themselves. A year after the
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the consequences of the
choices we made in response are becoming visible.
The brutality of
the attacks shocked millions and gratified millions. Around the world,
individuals who were able to feel the pain of others grieved. Those
who could not watched numbly or celebrated the humbling of an evil people.
Those who could feel the suffering of others cried for them. Those
who could not rejoiced in the pain of villains.
This is an ancient
pattern. It has repeated itself countless times, and the sum of these
experiences is the chronicle of human history - brutalities imposed
upon humans by humans.
who attacked us could not grasp our humanity - the humanity of those
they attacked. They could not step into the horror of a family suddenly without
a father or a mother, a loved one gone without goodbye, or terrible thoughts
of those who were dearest in terror and pain. They saw instead inhuman, unholy
infidels, blasphemers of the Holy, scourges of the Earth, and enemies of
Good. They struck mercilessly because they believed themselves to be
superior, to be right, to be good, and to be warriors with the Divine on
because, at last, revenge was theirs. They rejoiced because, at last, the
pain of others was great. They laughed because, at last, the humiliation
of others was deep. They danced because, in their powerlessness, they found
a brief moment of relief, of bringing righteousness to the unrighteous, of
They could not
feel the pain they created, but we did, and so did many others around the
world. In the tender weeks following the attacks, Americans opened
to each other and the world opened to America. Deep bonds of mutual suffering
replaced impoliteness, competition, and animosity. The impact of so many
souls suddenly gone from the Earth, and the malicious intention behind their
deaths, made us vulnerable. Our arrogance disappeared. That was our
moment of hope. That was our opportunity to change the course of American
history, international relations, and human evolution. It was the
opportunity to see our brief collective experience of grief and loss - of
the consequences of brutality - as another wave in the ocean of grief and
loss that has washed over millions upon millions of humans, including those
who struck us without mercy.
This tender moment
was our opportunity to return compassion for violence, kindness for brutality,
and humanity for inhumanity. It called to us in our pain and our
horror. It said to each of us, in the intimacy of our inner lives,
This is what revenge feels like to those who receive it. This is what cruelty
feels like to those who experience it. DO NOT INFLICT THESE TERRIBLE EXPERIENCES
UPON OTHERS. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE EVOLUTION OF VIOLENCE. CREATE
ANOTHER PATH THROUGH HISTORY. DO YOU HAVE THE COURAGE?
If we had heard
that call, the consequences that we are now encountering would have been
very different. If we had the courage to feel our pain, our humiliation,
and the agony of our losses we would not have been able to create those same
experiences in others. Instead, we saw ourselves as victims. We sought
revenge. We imposed ourselves righteously upon the unrighteous. We
perceived ourselves as right, as good, and as warriors with the Divine on
our side and, in the process, we created more families without husbands and
wives, more loved ones gone without goodbyes, and more memories of those
who were dearest in terror and pain. We became like those who attacked
The tender moment
after the attacks is gone, but another tender moment can be created.
It can be created in you by you. It requires the courage to feel your pain
instead of hiding it from yourself with rage, to feel your humiliation without
concealing it from yourself with righteousness, and your humanity.
It requires that you see with compassion even those who have no compassion,
because if you have no compassion for those who have no compassion, you become
one of them. On this anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon the compassion that millions in every nation felt for the
United States has turned into condemnation. Bitter judgments have replaced
open hearts and the experience of our common humanity.
On this anniversary,
is your heart still open? Can you still feel the pain of others? Do you care
about the pain of others? What do you feel? What do you care about?
What do you want to create next?
Now is the time
to create the tender moment again. Now is always and forever the time to
create it, to live in it, and to act in it.
Copyright © Gary Zukav
September Soul Subject reprinted with permission from
Genesis: The Foundation
for the Universal Human is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization co-founded by
Gary Zukav and Linda Francis in 1998. Its mission is to assist individuals
in the creation of authentic power - the alignment of the personality with
the soul. Genesis is sponsoring a Seat of the Soul Workshop with Gary and
Linda October 25 - 27, 2002 in Kissimmee, FL. For more information or to
register visit www.universalhuman.org or call 888-440-7685.