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Archive for February 5th, 2010

A slow poison has gripped the planet, a toxin far worse than greenhouse gases, the chemicals leaching into the water table, and those fouling the oceans. This is an invisible poison known principally by its effects: spiritual blindness, narcissism, solipsism, ideological extremism, jihadism, and unbridled capitalism.

The toxin is fear, and its manifestation is hatred and unthinking speech and action. Each day we are heavily dosed with this poison in diverse form, including:

  • news of dying soldiers and civilians,
  • renewed threats against innocence,
  • resistance to repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the continued march of homophobia,
  • violence committed by opponents of “a woman’s right to choose” against clinics and licensed physicians ( including a recent case of murder in the name of “saving the unborn”),
  • Congressional appetite to invest more money in support of two wars while demonstrating cold reluctance to act swiftly in support of fellow citizens dying for want of health care insurance, and
  • unthinking enmity toward our President by those predisposed to demonize and mythologize his character, personal history, and intent out of irrational fear, and the hatred it engenders.

The radicalization of the marginalized and the psychically fragile, and the actions of the misguided few possessed by evil intent, march forward with incessant resolve to harm. It has always been so. It is the march of Mordor, Saruman, Sauron, the Ork, and the Nazgul, Ringwraiths of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It is the dark advance of the White Witch and her minions in the land of Narnia imagined by C.S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe and its inspired sequels.

It is easy to fall into the pit of despair over these realities as one perceives the dying of the light. Yet, into the shadows burns brightly the flames of the hearts aroused by true fellowship, enlightened purpose and authentic love. This Light grows undaunted to meet the challenge and as the shadows rise so too does the Fellowship of the Ring and Gandolph, and the Pevensie children guided by Aslan of Narnia.

The Light is unquenchable and the more stark the darkness the more luminous is its radiance. The more cacaphonous the din and stench of hatred and evil, the more sonorous and mellifluous are the psalms of the loving.

It is good to dose ourselves each day in these psalms of love as a preventive against malaise, anger, and dejection, all of which weaken us and play into the Shadow’s game plan. Each tradition offers its own poetry in praise of the perpetual Light as treatment for anguished souls under siege.

Among them are the precious and illuminating songs and sayings of  Sufi masters such as Shaykh Sidi Hamza el Qadiri el Boutchichi whose admonitions to the penitent and inquiring heart include these uplifting and illuminating entreaties:

Love all creatures, whatever their religion might be or their race and opinions. Everyone has his place in the divine pattern. It is not for us to judge.

When love inhabits the heart, nothing is difficult and everything which happens to one can be turned to spiritual profit. This is because, thanks to love, the veil separating us from reality becomes ever thinner. One experiences thereby a deep joy from this proximity and one becomes flooded with a profound perception of beauty.

Everyone issues from the same light. There is no distinction.

Whether we look to the words of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, or their prophets and disciples, the simple truth of the powers of real love are repeated time and again in diverse forms. Without authentic love, all expressions of spirituality are bankrupt and false. Wisdom begins and ends in the heart aroused by true compassion — not the usual and all to easy sentimentality and saccharine Hallmark-card expressions typically exchanged on Valentine’s day, but the love expressed through true Knowing of the Other as Oneself.

Indeed, let us be each other’s “Valentine”!

© Brother Anton and The Harried Mystic, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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