View Full Version : Gary Zukav: Fear and Compassion, 9/11
Gary Zukav, student of life, grandfather, friend and author of "The Dancing Wu Li Masters", "The Seat of the Soul", "Soul Stories," and founder of Genesis. Genesis :The Foundation for the Universal Human is an organization that strives to model its values in everything that it does. Its values are harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. ...Its goals are to support individuals in the creation of authentic power and to model spiritual partnership - partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth - in all that it does.
Compassion and Courage
What does it mean to be compassionate when unrestrained anger and hatred have suddenly taken the lives of thousands of people violently?
To be compassionate requires that you share your passion with others. The passion of others now is one of pain, of shock, of grieving, and of loss. Compassion allows you to feel those painful emotions and the fear that lies beneath them. Rage and the need for revenge are the ways that many people will cover the experience of these painful emotions. It is easier to become enraged and to seek revenge, or swear that you will, than it is to experience the pain of loss, the depth of the loss, the grieving and the fear that is now occurring. When there is unwillingness to experience the depth of these painful emotions, there is a compulsive quality to the anger and to the behaviors that prevent the experience of them. Rage and thoughts of revenge become magnetically attractive not because villains deserve to be punished, but because you are not willing to experience the intensity of the pain that is in you.
The compassionate action in such a circumstance is to experience what you are feeling - to experience the pain and the depth of it in you and then to begin to plan your action from there. Once emotional pain is experienced in that degree - with awareness - your desire will not be to inflict the same pain on others but to avoid that happening again to any individual on the Earth. That is when and how your creativity will come into focus. If you do not experience your emotions and the depth of the pain that is now within you, you will find yourself irresistibly and righteously drawn to thoughts of revenge and striking back.
The most compassionate act that you can now choose is also the one that requires the most courage - to feel what you are feeling, to feel beneath the rage and beneath the desire for revenge, if necessary, because there lies pain and it is deep. When you have the courage to feel that pain at the intensity that it is now moving through millions of individuals, then you will begin to see what is necessary to begin to create a world in which this type of pain is not generated.
Therefore, the first step in the creation of compassion is to be compassionate with yourself. Allow yourself to feel all that you are feeling. If you are feeling hatred, do not hate yourself for hating. Compassionate allowance for your human response to tragedy allows you to regain your balance more quickly. Feeling hate does not mean acting on it. It means taking the first step in allowing yourself to become conscious of everything that you are feeling so that you can expand your consciousness to the pain and fear that lies beneath the impulses to hate and to seek revenge.
Do you have the courage to do that? Are you strong enough to feel hatred and not act on it? Are you brave enough to face and feel the pain of loss, of grief, of the horror and the fear that is now pervasive upon our Earth?
Compassion is not for cowards.
10-11-2001, 08:28 PM
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Compassion and Revenge
The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are occasions of great significance. They are opportunities for you to feel inside, to find those parts of yourself that are in fear, and to make the decision to move forward in your life without fear. That is the challenge for each individual on this planet today. The pursuit of external power - the ability to manipulate and control - creates only violence and destruction. The painful events in New York and Washington are living examples of that reality.
The causal chain that created this violence is one in which compassion and wisdom are absent. Are wisdom and compassion present in you as you watch the television, and read the papers? It is important to realize that you do not know all that came to conclusion, or into karmic balance, as a result of these events. Because you are not able to know all that can be known about them, you are not in a position to judge them.
When you are able to look at the events of the Earth School from this perspective, you will see clearly the central importance of the role that you play in it. That role is this: It is for you to decide what you will contribute to this world. Many will be asking your opinion of these events. Each question is an opportunity for you to contribute to the love that is in the world or to the fear that is in the world. This is the same opportunity that presents itself to you at each moment.
If you hate those who hate, you become like them. You add to the violence and the destructive energy that now fills our world. As you make the decision to see with clarity and compassion, you will see that those who committed these acts of violence were in extreme pain themselves, and that they were fueled by the violent parts of ourselves - the parts that judge without mercy, strike in anger, and rejoice in the suffering of others. They were our proxy representatives. If you can look with compassion upon those who have suffered and those who have committed acts of cruelty alike, then you will see that all are suffering. The remedy for suffering is not to inflict more suffering.
This is an opportunity for a massive expression of compassion. It is also an opportunity for a massive expression of revenge. Which world do you intend to live in -- a world of revenge or a world of compassion?
These strike me as some nice thoughts on "can't we all get along", but woefully falls short of answering what to do when the obvious answer is "No".
I'll admit I'm not finding a whole lot of compassion for the al-Qaida and their ilk - so I guess this sets me malaligned with Gary's new humanity. I can't help wondering how Gary would handle the situation if he were in the President's position. Maybe we could let him start out small and give him card blanche to smooth over the Palestinian, Israeli spat. :rolleyes:
I don't see the statement in that light at all. The answer, for me, is NOT an "obvoius no". I think that some day we can "all get a long", just like we now "get along" with those that bombed Pearl Harbor. Or those that would have robbed us of our independance in the 1700's. But did we have that kind of foresight, or "bigger picture" mentality back then? Probably not.
I think it *is* possible to be compassionate while dispensing justice and using our military to make our world more safe. And if we're going to transform our relationship with the moderates who hate us, as a matter of their culture requiring it, then we need to think it's possible, and have a measure of compassion to do so.
Sorry. I was focused only on the present and was obviously not backing far enough away from all this. When I said "obviously no", we can't get along, I was seeing the latest terrorist attack being waged on peace. The poor wording here, on my part, is the word "can't" and should have been "don't".
As you said, we can, and that is the world we all hope and pray for. How great would it be if the everyone could look on each other with an equal amount of tolerance and compassion?
The problem is that humanity is an imperfect lot. We allow ourselves to become complacent in our "little" world. Deep-seated violent hatred toward our fellow man is so foreign to most of us, here, that we don't want to recognize its existence until - too late - it knocks on our door.
My own feeling is that a united world, through its compassion, is attempting to reach out and get a grasp on the complex issues that embroil the souls of the ticking time bombs. Unfortunately, a proposed "perfect solution" is seldom globally accepted, and, in fact, to some small faction, for whatever the misguided reason, it will serve to raise their ire to new heights. And the cycle starts again.
So we continue to pray for the vigilance, the guidance and the wisdom (and no small amount of divine intervention) to wage peace before its counterpart strikes first.
10-13-2001, 08:22 AM
How i wish i could feel the way gary and pam do.Don i am more in line with what you are asaying and very well i might add.I am only a housewife and mother have no big words.I do feel compassion for the children who did not ask for this.I have a boy over there it is truly difficult to feel as gary does as i feel many who lost loved ones might debate this issue also.A better world eventually i only belive that will occur in the second comming as there is and always will be evil and good out there.I admire you Gary as you will be one of those always striving for good.Alas there will always be those heading for evil.
10-16-2001, 01:56 AM
I have to say I agree with Gary. While there is one part of me that wants as much as anyone else to see the perpetrators of the recent violence blown to smithereens so I can return to my illusion of relative safety, security and predictability, there is a bigger part of me that sees that to answer violence with violence is no answer at all. we don't live in their world so we don't know how they feel, or what makes them feel justified in committing these acts against our nation, but whatever it is, I'm sure it is just as real to them as the pain we are now feeling is real to us. our government would like us to think that we were just sitting here minding our own business when the bully snuck up and shot us in the back for no good reason. the problem is we are far too grandiose to sit back now and examine the possibility that we may have done something that somehow elicited the hatred these people feel toward us and take responsibility for it. it is far easier to point the finger elsewhere, than to look in the mirror at ourselves. the reality is we still live in a hierarchical, divide and conquer, power and control hungry world. there is little hope of stopping the momentum toward world destruction now as long as our collective political beliefs and values remain this way, and this beast, that resides in the heart of both our nations, is never satisfied. This war is not about avenging the innocent lives of those people who died on sept. 11, it is, and always has been about power and control. It seems to me it will take some kind of miracle for this to now change directions....this war didn't just start, it has been brewing for many years, and it is just now reaching full speed. i don't believe that those jets slammed into the WTC because of someone's evil desire to maliciously kill innocent people, anymore than the bombs we are dropping on afghanistan right now are meant to kill the innocents who are inevitably in the way of our desire to regain position and "root out evil". to me, the message that was being sent from these people to us was clear....."you are not as big and impenetrable as you think you are". and our reply? "oh yea? We'll show you". though we may silence the beast in them temporarily because we have bigger guns, it will just grow a new head, unless we recognize the roots of this unruly weed grew in a ground we fertilized. whichever beast falls, one beast will still stand, and we will still have a beast to contend with. where is the victory in that? better that our beast wins than theirs....i guess.
90% of us favored an offensive military response to this tragedy, knowing full well that more innocent lives would be lost to pay for the ones already lost, including those yet to be lost in our country as terrorisim retaliates to our response. did you notice that there were no other options offered in this poll? i wonder what our leaders would have done if 90% of us did not favor this as the preferable response, and said instead that we should stay out of the affairs of those people in the middle east, we'll pay a few more dollars/gallon for gas if need be, (and hey maybe we'll drive less and get a cleaner environment to boot), let them fight their own wars, and we'll take heed their warning not to be so relaxed in our immigration policies, or let just anybody learn how to fly a commercial airliner in our country just cause they got the cash.
the way i see it, we've already lost this war. they've got nothing to lose by keeping this going, and we've got everything to lose.
they've found our weak spots, and will keep stabbing at them until we give up and give them back whatever it is we took from them.
I just hope somebody wakes up to this before anymore of our people have to die.
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