Journeying Back to Oneness–Where Peace Lives?

On Waking Spirals, Gary Rosenberg’s posts recently have been exploring questions about how to balance spirituality and compassionate action, positive thinking and knowing what’s wrong so that you can help. This is territory to which I return often in my journey. I keep coming back to the same answers for myself – I don’t claim to have the answers for anyone else.  I’ve appreciated that his posts are causing me to think it through again.

I was a hippie a long time ago—well really I still am in many ways—and became politicized and radicalized by the Viet Nam War. Over the next couple of decades I marched for solar power and against apartheid, spent my short-lived legal career as an anti-nuke lawyer, volunteered at environmental organizations; well, you get the picture. Activism and me, bff’s.

Before I even started exploring spirituality I started observing that often my activist friends seemed to be very good at working on behalf of the faceless masses but weren’t all that nice to the people in front of them. And then, as I listened to conversations in which they mapped out the best solutions for people in far away places I marveled that they felt they knew what these people needed without ever asking them. They seemed startled that I even questioned it and the attitude seemed to be “of course we know the right thing to do.”

Soon I was meditating and searching and I drifted away from the activist scene. But wars and violence and injustice kept on happening and I began to struggle with how to fit my new spiritual viewpoint with the liberal/left, let’s get in there and fix it attitude that automatically arose. For quite a while I convinced myself that the righteous sense of righting wrongs went hand in hand with being spiritual—of course you’d fight for the downtrodden, etc.

But as I wound my way into Buddhism and vipassana I became more uneasy about how that balance could work. In the lead-up to the Iraq War several things came together to really change my view. One was the degree of vitriol in the many e-mails I received from various groups to which I belonged that purportedly aspired to peace. Words of battle, fury at anyone who disagreed, they felt like they breathed hatred and bitterness into my being as I read them. I questioned how all that anger could help. I questioned how I could imagine that I know from my human vantage point exactly what is right and what is wrong. And, even assuming that I know how God would define what’s right, how can I presume to define solutions for others?

My intuition started nudging me to the lovingkindness chant*. I’ve written a longer post about this elsewhere but to make it short, several weeks of chanting for President Bush and Sadam Hussein, et al., shifted me into a different space. I could feel their hearts and sense our connection. Suddenly the idea of the web of all life meant much more to me.

Around the same time, I read David Hawkins’ Power vs. Force. His theories about the scale of energy that exists among humans and the power of those who have achieved high levels of energy being able to balance thousands or tens of thousands of others (depending on the level of energy) helped me to see the web, or oneness, in the light of what space each of us holds within it.

If you clear yourself of anger and bitterness and raise your vibrational level to 500 or more** you can hold a space of peace strong enough to be a counterbalance to as many as a million people (again depending on how high the level). So enough people who even get to 540 (his level of “joy”) could tip the balance of the whole world to a higher energy. And if there are too many people living in anger and recrimination and battles and struggles relative to those who counterbalance, then the world descends into more chaos and hatred.

I believe that everything is energy and that in spite of all our evidence that we exist as separate beings, the reality of us is that we are all one. We are all part of the same web of energy that is all life. Because of that I believe that the most important work anyone can do to create peace and justice is to do everything possible to raise their own vibration, to learn to be peace. So for me, that’s the journey. Find my way back to seeing that any thought that separates the world into a “me” and a “them” is an illusion because we are ONE.  I like action like Buddhist’s who sit and meditate in the midst of protest.  But I haven’t really figured out if there’s more that works for me.  I’m not peace yet, so I figure that’s my work for now.

*The version I use: “may I be filled with lovingkindness, may I be well, may I be peaceful and at ease, may I be happy”.  I often make it an affirmation “I am filled…”

** I accept that his theory is true, I’m more skeptical as to whether his precise scale will someday be proven correct. But I do believe there is a scale of energy.

This post is for Jenny Matlock’s AlphabeThursday, which is “J” and for ABC Wednesday, which is “B”.  Tenuously connected, I know.  But they are in the title…


40 thoughts on “Journeying Back to Oneness–Where Peace Lives?

  1. The path you describe is the one I’ve also chosen. If you haven’t read the book Oneness by Rasha, I think you would find it most interesting. it’s about all the universal changes taking place and the affect on us. Namaste

  2. Wonderfully informative post ~ wish the ‘world’s people’ would read it ~ You feel like a kindred spirit ~ cept I am not a group activist and never have been ~ do it my own quiet way ~ (like having a labyrinth installed) LOL ~ Great to have you visit ~ wishing you peace and happiness ~ thanks, namaste, (A Creative Harbor)

  3. Food for thought here. Even if the precise energy scale turns out to be inaccurate, finding peace within oneself and moving away from a we-them outlook are ideas that sit well in my mind. The first sentence of your third paragraph caught my attention. As an adolescent, I made a similar observation about some of the more passionate members of church congregations. Hope you continue to post here.

    • Yes, I think the same kind of thing happens in religious groups. I’ve been a little sporadic lately but I’m working on getting back on track with regular posts here.

  4. Thank you. It reminds me that we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. As for 540 etc, I prefer to leave numbers out of it.
    Go well and live well.

  5. Beautiful post today. Your thoughts on people who want to help save the world but are unkind to their own family members, friends and neighbors resonated with me. I’ve known many such “good hearted” people.

    I believe in the power of prayer… similar to your thoughts on chanting. I think it works similarly in different religions and belief systems, but the net result is the same. When we all turn our thoughts in a particular direction with good as the aim, I believe it has the power to make great things happen by small means.

    Thanks for your kind comment on the photography in my blog. Hope you have a wonderful day.

    • I actually wound up deciding Buddhism isn’t my path though as I cobble together my own path there are aspects of it that hold a strong place. Lots of different threads of Buddhism, so it’ll be interesting to see which type you decide on. Theravadan has always been the one that spoke to me, but many choices… Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. I like the idea of humans with vastly different levels of consciousness. It makes sense. Some very astute observations about the activist scene too.

    • Thanks. I understand a little bit more why people plant opinions on their friends and family (though I’m trying hard to quit) but making decisions for unknown people without figuring out what solutions they would choose blows me away. Thanks!

  7. Beautifull written post, thank you. There are so many paths to take. And I have been on many of them as I think many of us have. For me, it has boiled down to a weeding process of what works for me. Paying close attention to what practices affect real change in me, bring me closer to the core of my being and is it possible for me to bring it into my daily life in a way that really does serve those around me. And how to really do that? One of the hardest things, or the real, challenge for me is bringing these practices to just regular folk. The people that immediately roll their eyes when meditation is mentioned or words like consciousness or unconditional love are used.
    The best answer that works for me so far, is to be mindful of opening my heart to the moment of interaction, noticing and using my breath to come into the now of this moment and trusting that that really is enough. Loving for no reason at all.

    • I think it has to be personal choice for everyone. Being loving to everyone because love IS, because love is what you are sounds good to me. And I have a soft spot for those who do good in the world; it’s just for myself I have too many questions about who decides what’s good and how solutions are created to want to be an activist again at this stage. Thanks for again making such thoughtful comments.

  8. I am a praying woman and I really enjoyed your read! I think we all find what sets us on the right path. I always enjoy the posts of fellow bloggers and hope you will continue to write here as you have a gift for it! Thank you.

  9. In your own way I think maybe you are an activist but not in the traditional sense. As you bravely share your journey you bring us with you. You create space for acceptance, contemplation and inspire dialogue. And you acknowledge and honor those who have helped you along the way. By doing work like this, I believe you are an active part of the solution. Thank you

    • I would love to see this as the new activism — and to bring as many people as possible over to this form. Thanks — it’s great to hear that my posts seem to be doing what I’m trying to do.

  10. Inspiring, courageously candid, beautiful expression. Kudos!

    I humbly offer the following two insights that I’ve gleaned from decades of research into and often gut-wrenching application of these concepts: First, ‘whatever you declare a war on (fight, struggle with, GIVE ATTENTION TO) increases’, because ‘energy flows where your attention goes’; therefore, the best way to ‘protest’ or diassemble a system of thought or governance or control is to do whatever you can to withdraw your energies from it AND, as R. Buckminister Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” . . . . Second, the most effective ‘affirmations’ by far are those that begin with ‘I AM . . . .’ (as you indicated at the end of that footnote — perfect!). Why? Because time does not actually exist, and your higher mind knows that. Therefore, any affirmation that reinforces a FUTURE desired event (versus a NOW status), or that assumes a current status that is NOT what you want (like using ‘I want’ or ‘I desire’, which assumes that you do NOT currently have that thing or situation) shall backfire. Equally, one that appears to be asking permission or simply opening a door to that possibility, but not its now existing reality (like ‘May I . . ..’ ) would not be as effective. Since we ARE all One, and since there is no time in Reality, manifestation techniques must be founded on those truths in order to be maximally effective. Using ‘I AM so-and-so’ does precisely that.

    What you and I and most awakened souls have been working towards for decades is now coming to fruition. The seeds we all planted over the years with our ‘blood, sweat and tears’ are finally sprouting, and shall soon take over the entire landscape. Finally!

      • Absolutely! Check out this new short video by Graham D of InLight Radio. VERY encouraging! (P.S. – I myself have recently felt the ineffable radiant joy Graham can’t keep from bursting out of him as he recorded this message. It’s very obvious to me that he has just gotten a clear glimpse of where we are heading, as I have, several actually, in the last few weeks). BTW, I wrote the above BEFORE I saw this video, which was posted by Kauilapele on his blog. LOTS of parallel experiences and synchronicity these surreal days . . . . .

  11. I’m just getting back to some of the blogs I missed while on vacation.
    What a great blog post this is!
    I’ve come to the same conclusions as you, though through a different route. It was when I was working in the sustainability arena when I noticed that desire to fix others without having the energy of peace and love at the base of transformation. It began to bother me not only in others, but in myself. I didn’t want to be driven by anger and judgment. I wasn’t completely conscious of all this at the time, but it became clearer the more spiritual work I did.
    I dropped out of doing big sustainability projects though I care very deeply about the earth and restoring ecosystems. In many ways, I’ve been working on upleveling my energy in the last four years so that I can do better work.
    Thank you for this post because it helps me to see the deeper value of my spiritual work, which can’t be guaged in external accomplishments, only in our own heart and mind and soul, knowing that we’re adding to the joy and peace in the world, rather than detracting from it.

    • Sounds like we went through a very similar process (and mine was in Chicago in the 80’s so even in the same general place). That’s very insightful about the internal vs. external — I have to remind myself too that all this work I’ve been doing has value even though not so much shows yet externally.

Please add your thoughts; love a good discussion!

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