We all want peace. We all say that, and yet our actions show a different desire. Vengeance, retaliation, revenge—what a great dance. The dance of hate. I have more in common with my brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith who love than I do with my brothers and sisters of the Jewish, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist faiths who hate. How can I stand by my Buddhist family that kills Muslims? How can I stand by my Hindu family that kills Muslims? How can I stand by my Christian family that kills Jews and Muslims? How can I stand with my Muslim family that kills Jews, Hindus and Christians? How can I stand with any of my family who rapes women, abuses children, attacks and kills?
Where is my family? My family is scattered across the earth, hiding. We are a family of lovers no longer identified with our religions or nationalities or ethnicities. We must now rise up and love. We must still any hatred and anger that remain within us. Our task is to love, just love. If enough of us actually allow love to shine freely, without the cloak of hate that tends to lurk within us, then we have a chance. We are to give up even survival over love. So much of the fight these days is because we believe we will not survive if we do not kill the other. Even this idea of survival has to go so that love of God shines here.
Swami Muktananda was of the family of lovers. The scriptures I read and share are the scriptures of love. And yet the family of hate will use some of these scriptures to justify their hatred. We are all saying we worship God. But there is a difference: we are either the lovers of God or the righteous of God.
When we love God with all our Heart, mind, soul and strength, we are a family that brings joy and sees that there is one God for all of us though we praise and worship God in different ways. We are not attached to our way or our ethnicity because God is our focus.
When we are righteous, God takes a back seat to our individuality. We insist that we worship the only correct way. The belief is that the only true God is ours, and everyone else’s God is a false idol. We know our language and expression and rules are the only principles to live by. Convinced that we are right(eous), we forsake God.
The more we forsake God, the more involuted we become. We are now lost in our righteousness. We attract others who are also lost in their righteousness, and now we can dance our dance of hate. That is our greatest form of worship: to hate and kill the “other”. Fundamentalism and rigid righteousness from all religions, ethnicities, and nationalities brings us all into battle. To come to the love of God, we must give up our righteousness. That is true for all of us.
The funny thing is, there is no “other”. We are only looking in a mirror. We are seeing ourselves across those lines. We are seeing our own reflection.
I have been told that, had I been in Germany during the Nazi era, this “other” would have killed me. I have been told that this “other” will come for me in America. I know this “other” is me. I am here. I am looking in the mirror. My task is to remain nonattached, discern the appropriate course of action from moment to moment, and follow it. If it is appropriate to fight, I will—but without righteousness or hate. If my fate is to die by my own hand in the guise of an “other”, then it is God’s will. So be it. I will go loving God, not losing myself in the “other”, no matter who or what that apparent “other” is.
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