Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Love, not terror, is contagious
With today's latest news of yet another attempted school shooting, this one thwarted by a courageous school administrator, buzz about the contagious nature of these copycat acts of "playground terrorism" seems to be reaching a feverish pitch.
At the same time we are already being overwhelmed by a flood of well-meaning recommendations that we get early flu inoculations to preempt the contagious nature of viral elements that seem especially prevalent during the winter months.
Both of these concerns, virulent in their ability to move through the system of social consciousness, are quite aggressive and frightening to parents and children...therefore, to families...locally and globally.
But there is a way of looking at contagion that leaves us feeling the dominion and authority that Light must feel in it's association with darkness.
There is an old tale of three elements (and many versions of this tale, so please bear with me if this version is not consistent with the one you have heard)....water, cold, and wind...these three pals are walking in the wilderness one day when they come upon a cave in the side of a mountain. Sitting a the edge of the cave is their friend, Heat....trembling with fear. "Why what's the matter dear friend, why are you so afraid?" they asked. Heat could barely get the words out, "Darkness..." he whispered. "I went in and turned up the temperature of my heat as high as I could and still I could not get rid of it....it wouldn't budge!"
So sure of her abilities to roust out such demons, Water says, "I will go in and drown darkness." So, in she goes and before long she comes dribbling out with her droplets scuttling into the corners...."I poured every drop of myself into that cave and filled it to the brim and still the darkness wouldn't budge...this is one very scary enemy."
Wind, the blustery blowhard of the group, says with a flourish, "Well, show me the way because if there is one thing I am sure of it's my ability to blow anything out of my path..." So in he goes blowing with all his might...but after only a few moments, out he comes with a gasp....reduced to a little puff, and says with barely a breath, "Oh my goodness...that is one immovable foe!"
Cold, with her frigid stare and icy touch has had enough. "I will freeze this darkness until it shatters and lies in cold shards on the ground" and in she stalks. But it is not long before she darts out in terror. Her icy touch melting in the heat of her own fear. "I don't know what that is, she says, but I can't seem to make it even shiver, much less shatter."
So there they sit on the edge of the cave's opening licking their wounded pride and terrified of an adversary they cannot budge when along comes Light. Full of warmth and radiating her love for everything her hand touches... revealing its inherent beauty, she sees her comrades broken and afraid. Her heart leaps to warm them and she asks, "dear friends, what could have possibly left you so unsettled and afraid." "Darkness.." they whisper. "Hmmm...I don't know of this darkness," she marvels. "And you don't want to" they murmur in hushed tones. Then they begin to tell her their story. "Oh," she says, "I will go in and see if I can find it and talk with it about sharing the space with us." "Oh no, please don't" say her three comrades, but Light is fascinated. She has never seen Darkness, so in she goes. A few moments later she returns to the opening of the cave, perplexed and baffled. "I couldn't find this darkness you are talking about," she says, "everywhere I went, it was not there...not even in the corners."
Water, Cold, and Wind, being the smart (and now humbled) elements that they were decided then and there to join forces with light and enter that cave...today they live in one of the most beautiful places in the world....the Grand Canyon.
Now, before you jump all over this sweet story and point out all of the inconsistencies...yes, at night there is darkness in the Grand Canyon...etc....just take the point intended into your heart for a moment. When we are "walking as children of light" we cannot detect darkness...around us or in others. When walking as children of health (this word comes from the root word "whoelth" which is "wholeness") there is no disease....absence of health. Are we trying to freeze out terrorists, are we attempting to blow the cover off hatred...or... are we walking so completely as the very light of love, the very light of goodness...illuminating the inherent beauty, spiritual reality, and grace in every situation, person, season...that we can't even find darkness, fear, harm, terror, hatred.
Mary Baker Eddy says, "To light there is no darkness, all is light." To love there is no hate, to appreciation there is no criticism, to the presence of health (wholeness, wellness, well-being) there is no dis-ease...no absence of health or well-being to antidote. This is not a blind denial of a problem, quite to the contrary, it is an acknowledgment and appreciation of the presence of the truth...the truth that at any given moment and in any given situation we can find the presence of God...the presence of Love, Principle, Soul...in the concern of a family member, the orderliness of nature...all trees grow towards the light, root systems seek out water....in the precision and reliability of a mathematical equation. And since there is only one "measure" of God ... infinite ALL....each (however faint) instance of God's presence is the promise of His All presence...no matter how obscure at that moment...keep watching, keep your focus on presence of the light...because it indicates the presence of the Sun....the full radiance of the day.
So....what about contagion....don't be as concerned with what the news would try to spread or what it is trying to convince you is spreading....be so occupied with what you are broadcasting, spreading...are you spreading joy, love, appreciation, goodness, kindness, compassion....then like our friend Light, not only will you never find the darkness...even in the corners, but those who accompany you in thought or experience....those whom your thoughts dwell on (intimately, locally, or globally) or who share your company....will be thereby benefited.
Spread light...remembering how fast it travels and how pervasively it reaches...if you need a reminder of how quickly and broadly joy and laughter spread visit this wonderful video in which a very serious yogi shares his practice of Laughing Yoga