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Feb 26, 2006
Forwarded message from Roy C. 

Forging a Real Peace
By Marianne Williamson

Excerpted from Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens (Touchstone Books, 2000).

Just as there is a so-called art of waging war, so there is an art of waging peace. “True peace,” said Dr. King, “is not merely the absence of some negative force—tension, confusion, or war; it is the presence of some positive force—justice, good will and brotherhood.”

We need to declare peace now, with as much serious effort and intention as that with which a nation declares war. Fear-based thinking is essentially a war mentality, and who among us does not live with fear. Our efforts to be spiritually healed, to find the love that sets us free, is our effort to become not only more peaceful ourselves but also instruments of peace in a war-torn world. Gandhi said, “We must be the change we want to see happen in the world.”

Until a critical mass of Americans commits to the establishment of a nonviolent society, violence will continue to plague us ... Ultimately, only a massive change of heart will change our societal direction in any serious way.

Love is more than a feeling; it is a choice, a commitment, a stand we take, or it is nothing. A stand for heart is the essence of the new, nonviolent revolution now brewing in America. We are looking within, where we are finding our true power. And we are committed to expressing our power in meaningful, effective ways.

It is time for us to repudiate America’s culture of violence, not just by blaming others but by inventorying our own hearts. Some of us need to surrender our guns, some of us need to surrender our violent books and videos, and some of us need to surrender the unforgiveness we harbor and have harbored in our hearts for years.

Until we, the American people, fundamentally change, nothing is going to be fundamentally different. Our children will continue to kill and be killed. Our use of antidepressant drugs will continue to soar. Our water and food will essentially become poisoned. And our very freedom will become mere memory.

The American experiment, in that awful yet no longer impossible scenario, will have failed.

Unless we choose otherwise, of course ... and while there is still time.

The fabric of American society can only be rewoven one stitch at a time: one person forgiven, one child read to, one sick person prayed for, one elder given respect and made to feel needed, one prisoner rehabilitated, and one mourner given comfort. These actions, when performed sincerely, emanate from spiritual ground that is itself the healing of our problems, as our separation from that ground of being has itself been our primary wound. Like the mythical lost continent of Atlantis, there is a ground now submerged beneath the subconscious waters, visible in ancient times perhaps but not visible now, set, to rise again, to reappear. Our initial tenderness, wonderment, and innocence have been suppressed and marginalized by the world we have built—the world of modern progress It is only when we fall in love, marry, give birth, grieve openly, or prepare to die that we dare to show our real face, to shine the light that glows within us. Our failure to be more authentically human is threatening to destroy the world.

In a country where our political right to live creatively is so awesomely assured, there is yet within most of us the feeling that a beautiful instrument is in some way going unplayed. There is a saying in the Jewish prayer book, “Sad is he who does not sing, and when he dies his music dies with him.” Something goes unsung in most Americans today, though there is yet within each of us the urging of an internal conductor, exhorting and preparing us to sing.

While earthly resources are finite, spiritual ones are not. In all of us there is divine potential and the natural propensity to reach for it. In a nation of 266 million people, there is a stunning collection of unmined spiritual gold. As we each mature into a deeper understanding of our lives and why we’re living them, that understanding itself becomes the womb of a new America. As each of us awakens to the preciousness of our individual right to make a difference in this world—and the cosmic momentum that will support us when we try—we become a powerful wave of resistance to the forces of fear. It is not just our capacity to say no to what we don’t want that is our power to renew the world around us. It is our deeper power to say yes to our own creative abilities and yes to the light within others, which is the healing balm for the American soul. Each generation brings forth new life, physically and spiritually, or life will have to stop. Each of us might ask ourselves now, “Am I ready to bring forth new life, for myself, for my nation, for my world?”

When enough of us start asking deeper questions, then answers will miraculously appear ... The difficulty and heartbreak of these questions are forcing us to our knees.

And that is exactly where we need to be.

—Excerpted from
Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens
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Posted: Feb 26, 2006 9:40am


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