There has been a lot of talk lately about the shooting in the Colorado movie theater; a lot of talk about the shooter, a lot of talk about what should happen to him in a state that allows the death penalty.
In a discussion group last week, we talked about righteous anger and justice. Here are some thoughts about that.
Lesson 181 in "A Course in Miracles" says
"We enter in the time of practicing with one intent; to look upon the sinlessness within."
"We recognize that we have lost this goal if anger blocks our way in any form. And if a brother's sins occur to us, our narrowed focus will restrict our sight, and turn our eyes upon our own mistakes, which we will magnify and call our "sins." So, for a little while, without regard to past or future, should such blocks arise we will transcend them with instructions to our minds to change their focus, as we say:
It is not this that I would look upon.
I trust my brothers, who are one with me."
Another passage from "A Course in Miracles" states, “Our only calling is to deny guilt in all forms.... To accuse is not to understand.” Failure to learn needs teaching, not attack.
Here is one more passage, this time from the "Tao Te Ching."
"Therefore when the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
When kindness is lost, there is justice.
When justice is lost, there is ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion."
You can see that justice is pretty far down the list!
All of this says to me that my judgment of someone, even if it is righteous judgment, serves only to perpetuate a reality that will loop forever in a cycle of fear and blame and vengeance.
1 Corinthians 13:1-2 says
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."
I think from all these passages, we learn that our highest calling, really our only calling, is to love each other, to see everyone as a perfect child of God. Only that will dispel the illusion we have created of separation and sin.
When I read about the shooting in Colorado, I think that my challenge is to find compassion in my heart for all, not only the victims and their families, but also for the shooter and his family, and for all of us who sit in judgment. All of us deserve all our love, without reservation.
Buddha said, “Hate never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.”
Such love is not only possible, it is inevitable. All of us will achieve it. It is our destiny, our way home.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." –Matthew 5:7