Spiritual Activism - March Newsletter
A message from Gord Riddell
From March 2017 Newsletter
Last month I wrote an article entitled “And then they came for me.” to which I received more positive feedback than I ever have and the Friday night energy circle to heal the planet had a very large crowd, even in a snow storm. I was deeply moved by the response and the attendance. Following up on the unsettling climate we are living in and being exposed to, we need to continue to see the role spirituality and the higher levels of consciousness, of some, and the interplay in the world of politics.
There is a vast difference between politics and government not unlike the difference between spirituality and religion. On the one hand, our ideas have the freedom to evolve, namely in spirituality and politics, on the other hand, government and religion remain institutions tied to old ways, old rules, and old thoughts. They have become more marginalized from the lack of participation or due to lack of interest of individuals each day. Their fight is not the implementation of new ideas and approaches but the very existence of these institutions as they now stand are at stake. The time has come to expand our spiritual awareness and understanding to include politics and a rapidly changing world landscape into our spiritual practice.
The early days of our awakening spirituality took us inside to discover ourselves and a deeper personal meaning to life, to develop a greater sense of compassion and peace within, it is now time to bring those ideas and qualities out into the world. Spirituality has always run the risk of being so inwardly focused that we lose sight of the greater world around us leaving its problems for someone else to clean up. If spirituality teaches personal responsibility for our actions, then we must expand this responsibility to include our communities as well as our planet.
It is important to state that spiritual activism must not only be inclusive of all human rights but must embrace the approaches of those people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. who advocated change must be through non-violence. They themselves were ultimately killed in violent acts. The fighting going on around us is only creating more violence. Armies only beget more and bigger armies. State policies are almost invariably protectionist and self-serving of that country, region or individual and rarely, if ever, reflect the greater struggle in our world.
The concept of non-violence invites our full participation, not in fighting what is wrong, but for what it is we love. If like energy attracts like energy, it stands to reason, when fighting against something with an energy of judgement, disdain and even hatred, it is those very energies we will continue to bring to us. To go out and stand up and be vocal for those things you love, honour and cherish, to rise up not in force but with great compassion and love, then we become a formidable energy to go up against. To fight and oppose will only lead to greater struggle but to take our inner experience of compassion and peace into our communities will lead to a far more permanent change for our planet. As Marianne Williamson said “Change does not happen from the top down, but from the bottom up.”
Perhaps we have all been naive enough to believe that those we call world and government leaders will be able to bring about the changes that so many of us pray for. However, if peace is self-serving, then there can be no peace. True peace for our planet must be altruistic. It must be so open and encompassing that all peoples and conditions are embraced and ultimately, changed.
“Non-violence is not inaction, it is hard work...it is the patience to win.”- Cesar Chavez.
Your Community/Our World
Martin Luther King said, “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”. We must recognize that government and economies are intricately linked and greed is at the root of most of the world’s poverty. To actualize Dr. King’s vision, we will need to recognize the need to share equally, all resources, including food, education, science, and medicine with the entire planet while being culturally respectful and honouring.
Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Grass roots politics begins with ordinary citizens informing elected officials of the need for change. It has always been the most powerful form of lobbying in a democratic society. Non-violent participation requires infinite patience and must always be based on the principles of win-win.
The harbouring of hatred, old wounds and intolerance cannot foster change. “Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is the monster that swallows it up. You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi. An attitude of love and forgiveness is the only vehicle honouring enough of the human condition to implement lasting change and peace.
The time has come to move all the work we have done on the inside, the cultivation of love, compassion, understanding, and peace and actively reflect those qualities to the outside world. We as individuals can and will make a difference. Start by focusing close to home, what we can do to make our communities reflective of higher ideals and principles. That act alone will create a ripple effect that reaches far, far beyond our borders. Don’t just pray for the homeless person you just passed, do something about it. Pray for the greedy, that they might learn to share and not hoard the world’s wealth and resources. Believe you are making a difference.
“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo.
It is in healing ourselves that we also heal our world.
Abundant Blessings to you in this month of March as we all eagerly await the season of rebirth.
Live Well and Be Well.
~ Gord Riddell