Friday, May 11, 2007

Lessons Of The 67 Million Dollar Lawsuit

A good friend of mine is outraged over the 67 million dollar lawsuit against the owners of Custom Cleaners in Washington D.C.

Although my friend is a very good person (who has volunteered hours helping others) and comes across as a very gentle soul, he told me he'd like to throw the plaintiff "over a cliff," especially since Roy Pearson is a judge, himself, and is using his legal expertise to create a living hell for the Korean couple who, allegedly, lost a pair of his dress pants.

And isn't that the natural reaction against outrageous injustice and abuse of power?

Yet, that is not what God is calling us to do.

The thing we must face is that Mr. Pearson doesn't have any characteristic that couldn't be triggered under the "right" - or wrong - circumstances in each of us.

Each of us is supremely capable of tunnel thinking, of becoming outraged over some real or imagined injustice and overreacting. For instance, although Mr. Pearson has not, personally, harmed my friend, my friend would like to "throw him over a cliff."

Yet, to overreact against Pearson like that is to emulate him. In overreacting against him, we feed the very problems within our psyches that he represents.

Pearson is simply "the canary in the coal mine" of our collective subconscious. He's blasting our ears with a shrill warning about our own, individual need for change. The question is: Will we hear the call to change ourselves, or will we cop out by hating him?

Of course it's easy to get angry, defensive, afraid that someone will do that type of thing to us. It's a natural gut reaction to want to "solve" the problem by just blowing him away. But we're in funny times. Get rid of Pearson - without facing our own "inner Pearsons" - and another will take his place, formenting an even bigger miscarriage of justice.

The point is, we are each members in giant systems of injustice. Can we say we are not when billions of people are living under $2 a day, 840 million live with chronic hunger and forty million people will die of starvation this year?

From World Food Program:

In southern Sudan, the hungry eat seeds which, normally toxic, become edible only after a ten day soak, while tree bark has been favoured in North Korea.

Some mothers, who don't have any food, boil stones in the hope that their children will fall to sleep while waiting for their "supper" to cook.

We each must recognize that our contribution to injustice - which can be be made through inaction - is just a matter of degree. Yet, until more people start to understand this and react differently, things are going to continue to break down into the kind of insanity we are seeing because it's not coming from one or two individuals, but from each of us.

Of course there's a part in each of us that wants to throw Roy Pearson over a cliff! We clawed up out of the mud through evolution. Our biology is violent. Our fight or flight response is engaged with the speed of a hair trigger and easily overpowers the more rational part of the brain. This is why road rage is such a problem.

Therefore, no blame is attached to having such feelings, as long as we don't act upon them.

Yet it is our responsibility to recognize that such feelings - even if we do not act upon them - are not helpful, and that we must be willing to take this opportunity to influence the whole by urging our personalities to move closer to our Higher Selves.

The goal before us - in this violent and difficult time of clashing ideologies - is to be able to see that the most extreme characteristics of humanity are expressing and calling each of us to make choices about who we intend to be.

Why? Because the goal of the each human being - whether he or she knows it or not - is to merge one's personality with one's Higher Self - the God self, known as "The Christ Within" or, as my friend says "the saintly self."

It takes a lot of patient work and there is backsliding, but there is no other path that will take us to a compassionate, fairer and safer world.

So, while we may fall on our faces with hate, it is our responsibility to drag ourselves back up into love. We must will ourselves to evolve our consciousness, and work to find ways to be fearless without hate.

Until we do that, we can expect the situation to continue to degrade. Why? Because the "high" and "low" - spiritual and material - "saint" and "sinner" aspects within us all are in conflict within each of us.

Evolution of the body was only God's first step in creating us. Now we are working on evolution of our minds.

Where Christians have failed God is through denying His process. We will get nowhere denying the facts of evolution. Neither are we helping when we avoid personal responsibility for the condition of the world by blaming "the devil."

It has been a Christian tradition to isolate oneself from the real world - hence monasteries and cloisters. In the U.S. we "regular" Christians flock to "safe" suburbs - so we don't come in contact with the "bad" stuff. We also, often, live in denial of our own "evil" professing to love and forgive everyone when we have done everything in our power to avoid being tested.

Unless one is the actual Christ, one is unlikely to have learned to love unconditionally. That's why environment is so important. We tend to conform according to our environment. Yet even in the safest environments American Christians are still self-destructing. That's why, in an October 1, 2003 poll conducted by Focus On The Family, 47% percent of families said pornography was a problem in their home and Safe Families reports that over half of evangelical pastors admited to viewing pornography.

We must stop denying that we are part of the problems we see "out there."

We must accept that we need to deal with this stuff internally instead of pointing our fingers at others. Insisting that social problems lie outside of us is supremely unhelpful and robs us of the opportunity to heal ourselves and our collective.

As Christian mystic Thomas Merton wrote, "We must come to terms with what is inmost in our own selves..." or, in other words recognize that everything "out there" is "in here" and "...take upon oneself all the guilt."

When we do that, we are living the life of The Christ. As we move into a higher perspective, we will truly begin to see what Jesus taught us - that there is no one to blame and that our main work - if we would make the world better - is almost all internal.

Perhaps that realization has finally dawned in Ireland where two sworn enemies Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness have joined to form Ireland's new government.

Make no mistake, these two men did not do this alone. There's been a change in consciousness among the people of Ireland that is allowing this to happen. And this is a great sign because if this kind of positive change can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

In regard to how to help resolve the 67 million dollar lawsuit, pray for and bless not only Mr. and Mrs. Chung, but also Mr. Pearson. Affirm the suit dissolves into the nothingness from which it came. Sit with your eyes closed, love your Source and Creator God for several minutes and then turn that great love toward the people involved. Visualize the love of God as White Light and see it dissolving the problem. I guarantee you will have a positive effect not only on this suit but on the climate of distrust that pervades the nation.

Yet, even more than sending healing to this one particular bit of chaos, if you can, through prayer and meditation, get to a place where you can "hold harmless" those who frighten you - if you can see a man like Roy Pearson as a test for yourself rather than an enemy - perhaps even see what he is doing as a cosmic joke rather than allowing it to engage your fear and loathing - you can help evolve humanity.

And wouldn't that be a nice thing to do?
I reckon that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it. I Corinthians 4:12

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

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