My dear Friends,
What is the spiritual response of a person who wishes to live, on-the-ground in everyday life, the messages of Conversations with God in the face of what is now happening in America around the issue of race?
How can the person on a spiritual path best react to the recent ambush killing of police officers by a black man, and the killing of black men by police officers using deadly force while on duty?
There is little question that racial tensions have rarely been higher in the United States than they are today. Peaceful protests led by Black Lives Matter have filled the streets in cities across the nation. The organization’s founders issued statements strongly and unequivocally condemning violence of any kind for any reason. Police and public officials likewise have called for peace.
Many participants in the Black Lives Matter movement have carried signs bearing the slogan: No justice, no peace. Others have shouted this phrase as they staged their protests.
Sadly, these words have been interpreted by some of BLM’s critics as a threat of, if not a direct call for, violence. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The four-word statement is an abbreviation of the words of one of the greatest pacifists in the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It was Dr. King who said on December 14, 1967: “There can be no justice without peace, and there can be no peace without justice.” His words were not meant to ignite violence, but just the opposite. They were originally uttered as part of a protest of the Vietnam war. The quote has been carried forward to the present day as a simple statement of an obvious truth: Without justice, peace is impossible to fully realize or experience. As Dr. King put it when he went on: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
This is the point that protestors of violence against blacks by police are seeking to make. Is it true that a tiny minority of angry protestors misappropriate Dr. King’s words to justify their own breaking of the peace? There’s no question of that.
While the vast majority of protestors in every city march peacefully, there are those few who throw objects, overturn police cars or start them on fire, smash windows of storefronts, etc. Yet just as those who say it is wrong to condemn all police for the misbehaviors of a tiny few, so, too, is it wrong to condemn everyone in the Black Lives Matter movement for the misbehaviors of a miniscule percentage.
From a spiritual perspective, with regard to the response to both police and those who protest against misuse of force by law enforcement, it seems useful to embrace the following message (that comes not from Conversations with God, but from much older writings): Judge not, and neither condemn.
It is difficult, for sure, not to condemn when we see videos of what looks to all the world like sad and blatant police misconduct. And it is just as difficult to avoid condemning the actions of street protestors who use violence and destruction to make their point --- to say nothing of those who would actually ambush and kill police officers.
How do we not condemn despicable acts?
How can the average person not feel real anger and true indignation arise within the mind, deep hurt and profound grief assail the human heart, and not respond to these feelings?
To the spiritual student, those are two different questions. Feelings are part of every spiritual expression. Condemnation is not. At least, not according to Conversations with God.
CWG asserts that there is no condemnation in the mind of God. Not of anything. Not of killing. Not of cruelty. Not of anything. CWG also declares that every human being is an Individuation of Divinity.
If these two statements are true, condemnation of violence and killing by either police or protestors is out of place as a truly spiritual response. Feelings, on the other hand, are “the language of the Soul,” according to CWG. They signal whether anything in the Physical Realm is aligned or misaligned with the Soul’s essence – which is the Essential Essence of the Universe. Or, if you please, the Pure Energy of God, the “stem cell of the Universe.”
When something in our Exterior Environment is not in alignment with our Essential Essence, human beings will feel it interiorly. It is not the arising of a feeling that defines the level of one’s spiritual development, but one’s response to it. Our response to feelings is what demonstrates how far we have evolved in realizing Who We Are.
The purpose of feelings is to signal the Soul when there is a “disturbance in The Force” (to re-purpose a marvelous line from the wonderfully percipient script of Star Wars).
Be careful here to note that not all feelings signal a disturbance. Some feelings signal an amplification. The Force is the Essential Essence of the Universe. In Conversations with God we are told that it can be described, in human terms, as Love. This is what everything is. This is who you are.
Whether any exterior energy pattern is at variance or in harmony with Who You Are, your Soul will signal you in the form of feelings. You are then offered an opportunity to respond to the exterior energies in a way that announces and declares, demonstrates and reflects, expresses and fulfills, how you choose, in any given moment, to experience your Self.
CWG famously said that the purpose of life itself is to recreate your Self anew, in every golden moment of Now, in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are. In this way, God experience and expresses Divinity as a constant act of continual creation.
Taken within the context of present day events in the United States, humans get to decide who they are in response to the killings of, and by, police officers. If you choose to demonstrate Divinity as I, Neale, choose to define Divinity, you will condemn neither. In the reality of my creation, Compassion replaces Condemnation in the Mind of God. Understanding replaces Forgiveness in the mind of the Master.
What, then, is an appropriate spiritual response? Remembering that there is no such thing as “appropriate,” but only what we decide, on our own authority, is apt or apposite in any given moment or circumstance, I have decided that compassionate understanding shall be my response, coupled with a renewed promise to do everything in my power to bring peace and love to every thought I entertain, to every word I utter, and to every deed I perform.
I am sorry to now be so trite, but I am speaking here of a commitment to follow Gandhi’s extraordinary invitation to “be the change we wish to see.” We may be tempted to think that in the larger world this will make little or no difference at all, but there are those who have proven otherwise.
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of them.
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.