Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Reflection: A Call for Compassion

How can you hear the voice of the people when you are deaf to yourself?

This goes for calculating cynics like Reid and the yes-Dems as well as for despots like Bush and Cheney (I cannot buy the line that the former are merely spineless cowards--they are cowardly like vultures; otherwise, they are just as calculatingly carniverous as their opponents on the other side of the aisle).

It is times like these when I have to remind myself that all these people, demonic as they may appear to the family members of our military personnel in Iraq or the innocents trapped amid the slaughter, are vibrating strings of energy like me and you. They have stilled their energy, wrapped themselves in a stone shroud of institutional hatred and self-aggrandizement, so they only appear evil, as their cloak of death splinters and drops its murderous fragments onto the lives of the unwilling participants in their crusade of tyranny.

How many more must die; how many more families must be desolated by an irremediable loss, between now and September, or by yearend, or by 2009? How many more social programs and helping extensions of government must suffer or themselves die while our nation continues to fund its cruise into the hell of unremitting destruction?

There are no ready answers to those questions. As I have said before, we can only wish that the proponents of desolation, both Donkeys and Elephants among them, be led to retreat from their greed, the lust for the poison of fame that fuels their connivance and their cynicism; that they be removed from their seats of falsehood and taken into themselves, where they might find the way out of their acculturated ignorance and back to their true nature.

But if you have aligned yourself with inner death, the way back is perilous and often difficult. It must begin with the forced escape from the institutional and the lies with which it covers your true self. This is the way back to a natural compassion--not "compassionate conservatism" or the calculated compassion of group affiliation, but the compassion that comes out of the core of the individual, the heart of uniqueness.

Therefore, we will offer the Friday Reflection space to Mr. David Carson, who presents the symbol of the "Deer Man"* as a metaphor on the path from ignorance to compassion.

Deer Man is keeper of the heart. He embodies the marriage of compassion with wisdom. He has the power to melt every conflict in life...There are many old tales of meetings with Deer Man. One old tale tells of a cruel tyrant who makes life miserable for all those about him. He pillages, murders, and joyfully inflicts pain and sorrow on others. When the tyrant meets with Deer Man, he realizes his own self-loathing and fear. His heart suddenly opens and great compassion is born within him. He does his best to make amends to all he has harmed. The rest of his life is dedicated to service and loving kindness to others...

Compassion streams through the universe riding the thrumming rhythm of life. Time, space, and movement can be collapsed into one universal resonance because it is the first sound of creation--the great Om. Deer Man speaks a common language that links us all...

Compassion is the milk of experience. Compassion is courage to face and fight with yourself until you are rid of false beliefs. It is a self-compassion as well as the compassion for others. Compassion is the courage to find, acknowledge, and love your true self.

Culture traps one in the game of self-importance, to strive, to get to the top. Deer Man is humble even with his great ability and strength. He knows that the intellect can be proud. He knows that true humility is one of the most difficult of all powers to carry. Deer Man knows that he doesn't know within the paradox of knowing. Compassion is beyond belief systems. It is finding your lost heart, realizing your deep love and giving it to all of creation.


*My fellow Potter devotees will no doubt notice the parallel between the symbolism of the "Deer Man" and that of Harry's Patronus symbol, the stag. The Carson quote is from the 2013 Oracle, a book based on Mayan and Native American prophecies of a cosmic transformation at the end of 2012 (NOT the end of the world, as many presume these oracles portend). Whatever your view of such teachings, there can, I think, be scarcely any question over the human value of Carson's message.

No comments: