One World Wisdom


Michael Moore

On September 11, 1906,
Mahatma Gandhi launched the first mass campaign of nonviolent
struggle the world had seen, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

I am writing this exactly ninety-five years after Gandhi's actions, the day of the terrorist attacks. I feel sad, shocked and tremendously shaken up by this. At times I also feel quite calm, as if I was the center of a hurricane, an Eye of peace in the tumultuous storms around me. My focus has been to breathe in the suffering of those in pain and breathe out my love and blessings to them. A Course In Miracles teaches us over and over that all perceived attacks are a call for love in disguise, and that miracles happen when that love is given. Today I am sending love. Today I am asking the question of God: How can I relate to this event in a way that brings healing to the world? And the answer comes in a gentle, powerful and earth-shaking whisper: Extend compassion and empathy to everyone involved. And everyone is involved. Nobody on earth can pretend they are separate from this event. It is that big. What potential for joining and healing, movement and evolution! Rather than just labeling the terrorists as evil, can you imagine the consciousness of those who would give rise to such behavior? Can you begin to empathize with the pain that would inspire people to hate that way? I can. And I believe we must, if healing is to come to our world. It is said that if we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all our hostility. I am not saying we should accept violence because these people have suffered so deeply. Empathy is not an excuse to condone terrorism. It is a way to create the climate for healing so it is not repeated. Those who have experienced horror after horror and know not how to grieve, to process the layers of their pain, find their un-cried tears hardening into bullets and warfare. All energy moves to expression. If at all possible, I believe these people must be caught and prevented from taking further actions of terrorism. And if force is needed to undertake such prevention, so be it. But force as a means to punish or to regain power only continues to feed the problem. In Gandhi's words: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." My hope is that we all allow ourselves to be shaken up by this, shaken out of our comfort zones that tower us Americans above the suffering and poverty that most of the world experiences. Perhaps all ivory towers of separation have to come crashing down for the healing of separateness in our world. If healing is to come, it will come through the consciousness of oneness. I am one with the hearts of all the people affected by these events. I am one with the people who lost their mates, the children whose fathers and mothers didn't come home. And I am one with the tortured hearts of those who took these actions. We are all in this together Here is a question I am pondering: How do these terrorists reflect a part of my consciousness? Is there a part of me that believes that acting out my anger is justified, and that sometimes it is necessary to violate someone to make my point or express my frustrations? Have I ever thought that inflicting pain on someone would wake them up, teach them a lesson, or accomplish something of value? Do I ever feel so hurting and helpless that the best I can do is throw a tantrum? Of course! My actions may not ever be as dramatic as what has been acted out on this day, but I do own the shadow part of my consciousness that has contributed to such events. The United States has a shadow too. We stampeded across this country through the genocide of the Native Americans, and we have contributed to violence all throughout the world since then. To the extent that this shadow is disowned and denied, a large part the world feels compelled to hate us and some even attack us. Just like an individual recovers from an addiction, we as a nation need to hit bottom, come out of denial, make amends for those whom we have inflicted violence upon, and own our weaknesses as well as our strengths. My hope is that the twin towers crumbling down can serve as our national bottom. Are the terrorists evil and is our country an innocent victim? Are things ever that black and white? I would like to quote the words of Michael Moore, who made the movie Roger and Me and has been a prominent political and social activist: "WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA! Don't take my word for it-I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that showed that when the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained bin Laden and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet forces. We abhor terrorism-unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing. We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador). Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes? Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate, let's examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in. It doesn't have to be like this... Michael Moore.