COULD OUR THOUGHTS ABOUT GOD
BE AN UNEXPECTED CAUSE OF OUR VIOLENCE?

This is the last in a 4-part series of commentaries on the Connecticut events, and the larger implications of them.

In Part III of this series, I called upon all of us to join together in launching what I have called a Civil Rights Movement for the Soul as an antidote to the slow poisoning of human society that has created the environment within which something as horrific as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School could take place.

As I have observed in the past, I believe we make a mistake if we view the Connecticut event as only and just the tragic playing out of the twisted thoughts of an unstable mind. It is that, for sure, but it is not only that.

Many people seem to limit it to that. One comment entered by a reader of my blog on this topic at Huffington Post appeared to be typical of this group: “Wow! Talk about a writer being out of touch with reality. I can answer his question as to how the Newtown Massacre happened. A woman who had a mentally ill son that was obviously also out of touch with reality had weapons in her house that never should have been there.”

But it is not — it just is not — as simple as that. That is the outcome, but more than one input produced that outcome.

I believe the event at Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as all the gun violence (and, for that matter, all the violence of any kind committed in this world) is the outgrowth of a society in which there has come to be an inordinate and consistent focus on, and portrayal of, Violence as Solution. This portrayal is seen in all the ways that we tell stories about our species to our species; in the myriad ways that we tell each other about each other.

I know that many are beating this drum now, but I am not opposed to getting on a bandwagon simply because others are on it.  So I will agree with many others who say: it is true that everything from movies to television programs to pictured story books unfortunately called “comic” books (although there is nothing comical about them) to electronic video products for children regrettably called “games” (although killing others should never be thought of as a game) tell our culture about our culture in such a dramatic way that it cannot help but create more of that culture.

We did not tell stories around our campfires in the earliest days of our existence simply as a means of entertainment. We told stories around the campfire as a means of informing ourselves about ourselves. Stories have a larger impact than passing time. They pass the baton to a new generation. To suggest that they have nothing to do with any of this is disingenuous at best.

The complete desensitizing of human minds  — stable minds and unstable minds alike — produced by the unending onslaught of vivid, ugly, bloody, gory violence everywhere we look cannot help but produce a society in which the playing out of those storylines in minds that are not stable leads to the acting out of those stories in real life.

And that, as much as the instability of one person’s mind, is what produces, ever more frequently, events of unimaginably tragic consequence such as the Sandy Hook shooting. Especially when one has easy access to assault weapons designed for rapid-fire killing.

Now what I am going to say next may feel like a bit of a stretch, but follow me here for just a bit and see if in the end you can agree with me. I begin with a question.

How do you think it has come to pass that we have found our way to a place where we find depictions of overt violence perfectly okay?

I believe it is because we have equated Violence In The Name Of Justice with Righteousness under Moral Law.

Movie audiences cheer when the Good Guys (the ones who have “Right” on their side) end the lives of the Bad Guys in the most graphic, revolting, violent ways. Video game players pump their fists in self-congratulations when the Good Guys (the ones who have “Right” on their side) blow the Bad Guys to pieces, literally — their body parts exploding all over the screen. Television viewers give higher and higher ratings to programs in which shooting and killing by the Good Guys (the ones who have “Right” on their side) bring an end to the lives of the Bad Guys in the most horrific ways.

What is it within our culture that allows us to cheer violence — to actually crave it in the name of “justice” —  as we do, for instance, in countries (America perhaps most rampant among them) that continue to tolerate the Death Penalty?

I believe these are all the behaviors that might be expected from a species that has been raised to believe that indescribable, horrific, and painful punishment is entirely appropriate as a response to what has been judged to be “bad.” Especially when this idea comes to us from the most authoritative source of which our human society has conceived: God.

From the time of our youth we have been told of a God who judges, condemns, and punishes in the most gruesome, ghastly ways as payback for (or, if you wish a more gracious label, as the consequence of) the deeds of humans that God determines to be unacceptable.

The Bible — to cite just one powerful cultural source of this Gory Story — tells us of over one million people who have been killed at the hand or the command of God. (You can take out a calculator and do the counting. It’s right there in black and white.) And if that isn’t evidence enough, notice that we have heard, over and over again: “Vengeance is Mine, sayeth the Lord.”

This is the God in whom we believe.

And even those who do not believe in this God at all live in a society in which the vast majority of people do — and have created a social milieu in which justifiable violence is reflected in both the entertainment industry and the justice system, to say nothing of international politics.

It is this deeply engrained Cultural Story about God from which emerges our idea that violence is fine when it is used as payback on behalf of that which is Good. This is what has led us to a Content Code for our motion pictures in which depictions of graphic violence are totally and completely acceptable — while depictions of, say,  passionate or romantic sexual love are not.

(Humans do not, you see, imagine or think of God as romantic and passionately sexual, but we do imagine and think of God as punishing and violently vengeful. Therefore, in our culture, publicly making war is more acceptable than publicly making love.)

Small wonder, then, that unstable minds use violence of a means by which the perceived injustices in their own lives are paid back through vengeance.

I believe that the next evolutionary edge for Earth’s people is the creation and the embracing of what I have called a Civil Rights Movement for the Soul, freeing humanity at last from the oppression of its belief in a violent, vengeful, and vindictive God.

Humanity’s Team has created just such a movement. It focuses on the same thing that Martin Luther King Jr. sought to produce for blacks, that Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan sought to produce for women, and that Harvey Milk sought to produce for gays. In a word: freedom. Freedom from the impulse to use violence as our means of punishing what we perceive to be evil, even as we cite God as our moral authority for doing so.

The Civil Rights Movement for the Soul specifically invites members of all religious, spiritual, political, economic, and cultural groups to join together, to dialogue together, to explore together, and to examine together, with sincerity and honesty, the question: Are our present beliefs about God and about Life working? Are they producing the outcomes for which we have yearned — and for which they were intended?

Some of the activities we can pursue as part of the Civil Rights Movement for the Soul…

1. Engage all levels of media — including Internet media and websites, as well as brick-and-mortar media…newspapers, magazines, television and radio programs and networks…and, of course, today’s pervasive social media (Facebook, My Space, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) — in platforming the driving message of The Civil Rights Movement for the Soul…which is that humanity now needs to be freed at last from the oppression of its belief in a violent, vengeful and vindictive God, and from its slavery to a dogma of separation from Divinity and punishment by Divinity that has divided the world for thousands of years.

One idea is that we form a Special Project Team to be engaged in writing articles, news stories, press releases, and interviews and sending them to all media, challenging humanity to release our species from a global doctrine that creates separation and competition, and replace it with an ethos of unity and compassion.

2. I would like, further, to encourage people all over the world to form Spiritual Discussion Groups, on-the-ground as well as on the Internet, inviting close examination in every community of the beliefs we have been holding about God, about Life, and about Each Other, and to honestly ask ourselves, “Have our beliefs been working? Are they producing the results for which we have yearned?”

3. I would invite local HT groups to join in spiritual activism at the local level in other ways as well, in addition to regular weekly or bi-weekly meetings discussing and sharing the New Spirituality. These other ways could include sending Letters to the Editor of local and regional publications, posting the Five Steps to Peace (mentioned in Part I of this 4-part series of commentaries) on community bulletin boards, natural food co-op boards, new age bookstore notice boards, etc. throughout their region, all on a given day (Oneness Day?) around the world….so, suddenly, the Five Steps to Peace “show up” everywhere, simultaneously!

4. Local Humanity’s Team Speakers Bureaus could be established, making persons available to give short talks before Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Lion’s Clubs, Exchange Clubs, etc. throughout the year (these clubs generally meet once a week and are always looking for speakers and topics to fill their calendar), as well as longer Thursday Night Lectures offered within the community, on the topic A Civil Rights Movement for the Soul.

5. Bumper stickers could be made and distributed, saying:
JOIN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT FOR THE SOUL
and
ARE YOU A MEMBER OF HUMANITY’S TEAM?

6. The Spiritual Activist Project of Humanity’s Team could send members every Saturday to local shopping centers, flea markets, sidewalk shows and galleries, etc. to hand out booklets titled: Humanity’s Team and the Civil Rights Movement for the Soul The booklets would alert people to the amazing opportunity now within the grasp of all of us to recreate ourselves anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about Who We Are. It would talk about the Five Fallacies About God and the Five Fallacies About Life that stop us from doing that (also highlighted in Part I of this series of commentaries), and it would then list the Five Steps to Peace and invite people to embrace them — and to join and support Humanity’s Team in its work.

There is much more that could be done as well, as the project team gets rolling and moves deeper into the year, leading up to Oneness Day 2013. These are just some beginning thoughts and some opening ideas.

If you have an interest in joining the project team, simply write to me and tell me what you are moved to offer in terms of assistance. My address for this project is: neale.walsch@HumanitysTeam.org

All of this is part of what I hope will be a constructive, healing response to the event in Newtown, Connecticut — and to violence all of the world. I send you all at this very special time of year my personal wishes for a special holiday season.

Love and blessings…Neale.

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  • Loral Orow

    Hi Neale,
    I like your idea of Civil Rights for the Soul and Humanity Teams. I do believe the incredible violence in our games and movies creates illness in the mind. I have had to turn my tv off several times in the past year because the story became so vivid I knew it would keep me awake and I love that I never have nightmares. I try to put my mind in pleasant places before even attempting to sleep.

    I also think many young people are terribly confused about the God idea. I know I was for much of my younger years. Actually until I read your Conversations with God books. They took me exactly where I needed to be – I found the God of my understanding, and that was not a violent, vengeful Creator but a Creator who loves his creations beyond all else.

    I’ve learned much from the Christian religion – the Ten Commandments and Seven Deadly Sins are a ‘must’ for a good life, so I never discourage the religion. I just take those parts that I find to be very helpful in my life, and continue with the God of LOVE that I believe is our Creator because that really is our very substance & everything in between is confusion…..and with no Higher Power we are lonely, disconnected and sad people.

    Just my two cents here because since I changed my vision of God, I’ve never been lonely, or disconnected and only minimally sad at difficult challenges we all deal with at times.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas – Happy Holiday – December 25th and beyond.

  • Sinclair

    Neale: Mr. Lapierre, the VP of the NRA, whom you castigated the other day, agrees with you about violence in the media and computer games:

    There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bullet Storm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Combat,” and “Splatterhouse.”

    And here’s one, it’s called “Kindergarten Killers.” It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research staff can find it, and all of yours couldn’t? Or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it? Add another hurricane, add another natural disaster. I mean we have blood-soaked films out there, like “American Psycho,” “Natural Born Killers.” They’re aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every single day.

    1,000 music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke and they play murder — portray murder as a way of life. And then they all have the nerve to call it entertainment. But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior, and criminal cruelty right into our homes. Every minute, every day, every hour of every single year.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/transcript-the-nras-press-conference-reacting-to-the-sandy-hook-shooting/article/2516626#.UNd3k65VX0R

  • mel

    I do think Neal from my own personal observation and from my family’s share of violent behavioral outcome by others, (just imagine your father being stabbed to death; “Dear God, bless my father’s soul) and the “murderer-s” have the guts to carry his body and dumped it in a “rice field,” how can someone do that? It’s unfathomable to me!!! Violent crimes for me has a kind of degree of its “evil-ness” because comparing the Connecticut Massacre and the death of my father, there is a big gap in understanding about violent crimes especially in taking people’s lives. Now Neal, a murderer carefully planning to execute a crime that maybe someone had asked him/her (as the case of my father in court, they did not know who did it) to do it, comparing it in the case of Adam Lanza, there is a very different motives and/or perhaps, these two crimes have their own stories to tell. This is what I mean when I comment about that “master forgive their murderers.” Can we differentiate between the two?? Thanks for letting us comment!

    Love and peace

  • Pam

    Personally, I do not believe in a God of ‘judgment’. I believe in the God of Christ, the Christ Consciousness, the Highest that is good, and available to all, and LOVING. This is the God/Father that I believe Christ came to teach us of, and the God that I espouse to all I can.
    The God is judgment is the Old Testament God, which many so called ‘Christians’ mix up within their Christianity, coming from their churches, very little of which teaches Christ.
    If I sound angry, I am. That is a seeming contradiction coming from someone who espouses love, but like Christ, I am angry at the hypocrits, the money lenders in the temple, the Sadducees and Pharisees who use their versions of God’s ‘law’ to control the people rather than teach them truth.
    THAT is the way of this world, and it has gotten progressively worse over these 2000 years, to the point where people no longer use their own personal connection to God/All that Is to understand their place within the Universe, and our connection to each other.
    Until people are ready/willing to leave the dogma that destroyed Christ’s true message….. We live in the illusions of this world, not connected to the truth of All that IS.

  • Stephen Speller

    Hey there I would love to help but I dont know what I could possibly do? I’m in central Florida Palm Coast to be exact if there is anything that comes to mind that I can do to help humanitys teram please e-mail me

  • Pam

    I have to add another comment, if you will indulge me, thank you. Since the Newtown happening occurred, my thoughts have been centered around the young man who lost his life in this tragedy. IMHO the children, being innocents, are being well taken care of, in Heaven (whatever you wish to call that place to which we go – by the Highest beings). I believe they are souls of high wisdom who gave their lives that there might be the opportunity for an awakening of others to the crisis point that America’s cultural norms have come to – the culture of violence.
    Christ, when asked, spoke of 2 ‘laws’ by which we should live: 1. The love God (our LOVING FATHER/ABBA) above all. 2. To love our brother as ourselves.
    This teaches our interconnectedness, and that LOVE is the answer to ALL.
    Christ forgave the thief on the cross. He forgave those that put him on the Cross. He asked our Father to forgive them because ‘they knew not what they do’. In our ignorance, we have the knowledge of our true inheritance from God backwards. I believe the message of the Cross was NOT crucifixion, but the Resurrection – that we are Spirit/Soul and that soul SURVIVES.
    When we live from a standpoint of this Earth, we forget those teachings, if we were, in fact ever taught them.
    Jesus FORGAVE his murders. THAT is what the crucifixion taught us.
    Our love & compassion should be given to this young man, who lived, God only knows what HELL on this earth, for how long, that he actually contemplated and carried out this horrendous act.
    YES, the ACT is evil, but this young man is a child of God, as are all of us, and deserving of our love and compassion. HE is the one we most need to be praying for, IMHO, and all those who believed, prior to this occurrance, and continue to believe that such as him are UNDESERVING of such.
    THAT is the ‘sickness’ of our society – that so called Christians judge their fellow brothers & sisters, find them wanting, and condemn them to death, LONG BEFORE they actually leave here – instead while they are trying to ‘live’ here.

  • Phyllis Williams

    THIS IS A GREAT MOVE…BLESSINGS

  • Ruchir

    I am joining Humanitys Team, because I want to create a different world.

    My observation is that most people are simply apathetic, irrespective of their belief. They think that they are powerless anyway and someone else (for example the government) must set things right. They do not realize that they are the ones creating the God experience. Only a major calamity will cause them to wake up.

    But we must do whatever little we can, and do it with enthusiasm.

  • Nicole

    Dear Neale,
    how come, in my society, which is mostly of christian orthodox church (like russians and greeks have) – i’m romanian, we don’t have such horrible and disturbing events in our schools and public places?
    how come, according to our belief, we do fear God, but the world around us doesn’t reflect the “madness” of our fear to God?
    There is one missing point which you guys, generally in western spirituality don’t like to talk about it, pretending it’s not there; no, you don’t have this “problem”. That is evil.
    We do believe there is evil existence which can corrupt a person’s mind (up to terrible behavior) and yes, the relatives of a person with mental problems or even just behavior problems do consider taking that person, with all the love in their hearts, to a church. Yes, to a church, where we have special prayers, held by 7 to 12 priests, for these people. I have seen some myself; it raises the hairs on your skin, and need a good heart to watch.
    And i know cases of people healed, before the doctors had a chance to put them on some pills and keep them locked.
    We also have one saying, as old as our churches: “the devil’s best trick is to convince you it doesn’t exist”.
    You need education in this matter. You cannot keep your eyes closed and say: no, that is not true, we don’t have this problem, or this is just imagination. It is in the Bible a story when Jesus took out a demon from a young man; so what’s the story? this was just invented by the ones that wrote the Bible? don’t think so.
    I am not finding here an excuse for the young man that did the horrific act of killings, i am saying that his mother/relatives, if had more education on the matter, could have considered this as well. After all, before we go to doctor, we should always, always address God first.

  • mewabe

    What came first, the chicken or the egg?

    There is no doubt that a belief in a vengeful, angry, condemning, blood thirsty deity has been used widely to attempt to validate human persecution and violence.

    But where does such a belief come from?

    It is not just Christian. Christianity picked up and mixed quite a few pagan beliefs in its story. Even the strange idea the someone they call Jesus would have had to die to pay for humanity’s “sins” is totally pagan. It’s another human sacrifice to end all human or animal sacrifices, only a slight improvement.

    Many pagan religions sacrificed human beings or animals to appease their deity.

    Why would such a crazy belief be so universal? Shouldn’t we question this?

    Shouldn’t we look at the cause behind the cause, peel the layers in order to get to the source and not merely expose more symptoms?

    According to what we currently know or theorized about early humans, we evolved in adversity (harsh climate and glaciation periods) and a certain amount of brutality and violence, which began with protected ourselves from very dangerous, large predators.

    It is additionally possible that early humans, while frightened by natural occurrences such as lightening and thunder, stricken by natural disasters such as floods or droughts, and driven by the chronic guilt that violence and killing engender (even killing animals), gradually imagined that these events were punishment from a supernatural force.

    They then began to barter with this supernatural force they thought was punishing them (actually bartering with their own conscience), and developed the belief that sacrificing something precious (a virgin, an animal) would adequately express their regret and make up for their “transgression”.

    Sort of like criminals today are made to pay their “debt to society” by earthly authorities, and may get a reduced sentence or parole if expressing proper sorrow.

    The whole mess is simply about humanity inadequately, primitively dealing with its pain, guilt, death and its own conscience. That’s what it comes down to…

    It would appear, then, that global healing could come when facing these things (pain, guilt, and one’s own conscience), rather than by merely addressing another layer of symptoms, the false beliefs that emerged at the dawn of history in humanity’s psyche as a coping mechanism for pain and a guilty conscience.

  • mewabe

    Nicole, in my opinion, these healing have nothing to do with the existence of “evil” or a “devil” but with the power of consciousness, belief and focus.

    Most Native Americans did not believe in any devil or demons, yet their shamans performed “miracles” of healing (even mental illness) through the power of belief that astounded and even frightened Euro-Americans, as they could not explain them.

    As they say, believe and you will see.

    You will see and experience whatever it is you believe.

    If you believe a pill will cure you, it will. If you believe a blessing or prayer will cure you, it will.

  • mewabe

    (Humans do not, you see, imagine or think of God as romantic and passionately sexual, but we do imagine and think of God as punishing and violently vengeful. Therefore, in our culture, publicly making war is more acceptable than publicly making love.) Neale.

    What a shame…because, really, here is a shocker: there is sex in Heaven…there is the spiritual equivalent of a loving expression of intimacy and bliss…guaranteed (oh my!)

    And for all traditional Christians who imagine a God devoid of any sensual characteristics, look at the creation: everything reproduces, doesn’t it?

    Eros governs the creation.

    Furthermore, human beings were made for love, not war (look at the tender, vulnerable human body, do you see claws, fangs, a thick hide, horns, a poisonous skin?)

    Just more disturbing food for thought.

  • Erin/IAm

    idk…I have witnessed ants at war. I have seen videos of chimps tearing one of their clan to shreds…literally, tearing one of the arms off & beating them with it. I have watched different species of male/female who eat their young…seen some who killed the children who were not of the loins of the new male leader. I have witnessed plants who choke the life of those around them…know many that bleed poison. My cat brings home birds & chipmunks, even though he does not know hunger. My neighbor’s dog will kill a cat just because it’s there. A co-hort of home kitties killed our parakeet…seemingly for fun & play. I know a horse who goes out of his way to step on chickens (both are ‘free-range’). I witnessed my wolf’s reaction…she did not think that challenged people should exist, and was ever-willing to ‘help’ in that regard. Many have known the pains as microscopic entities ‘search & destroy’ our bodies…often ‘cloaking’ themselves to accomplish their ‘purpose’.

    Many have seen the devastation of Water in many forms…the burials of Earth in many forms…the tearings of Air in many forms…and the feeding frenzy of Fire birthed in many forms.

    Nature is not un-violent…and Human is not ‘supreme’ of any thing of this Nature. All of this, & All of us, are part of All That Is. We ‘think’ therefore We are greater? Please ‘think’ again, as this is obviously not so.

    However! We have the fabulous ability of ‘Excuse’…No other creature or element defiles with excuse…They do not blame games or guns or music, & they certainly do not tolerate mental or physical incapacity (except for those domesticated to)…but they do possess ‘reason’…often not understandable by human points of views, but their ‘purpose’ is served nonetheless.

    idk…The older I get, the more experience I become of, the Oneness is there…it always was, always is, & ever will be. This stage, this place, this time, we are present in at this moment, is fear-full indeed…but I See most are fear-filled of Humanity more than the Nature Ways of here. So, yes, I agree that a ‘shift’ in peep-thinking is a grand ideal to aim for…in fact, Nature is looking forward to our re-membering, our re-minding, & our re-visions. But if one thinks that ‘violence’ will depart the premises because of that shift…again, please think again…It will simply shift our perspective of ‘reason’…and That will be Amazing!

    Isn’t All of this quite Amazing!?!:)
    Loving Celebrations!:D

  • Stephen

    People are always going to project their own traits onto a god no matter what. That’s what idols are for. If there’s no god or devil in the mythology then there’s no one to project negative traits upon. That’s what makes Budhism superior IMO. If you don’t create a diety to project upon you’re forced to take personal responsibility. In fact I’m surprised Budhism is so popular throughout the world. 🙂

  • Stephen

    “We also have one saying, as old as our churches: “the devil’s best trick is to convince you it doesn’t exist”.”

    LOL. That’s not surprising since it’s also
    the priest’s best trick to convince you the devil exists. Small minded pastors, the Government as well as the media have a vested interest to keep you fearing a boogie man. Learn to listen to the Holy Spirit.

  • Marko

    Isn’t the New Testament all about love & forgiveness?

    Isn’t this punishing God more of the old testament?

  • Theresa

    The thing that is often missed about the Bible is that it isn’t a factual account of what God is really like; Rather it’s an account of the human understanding of God. It is the story of how we created God in our own image and then had t he stories of Jesus attempt to free us from such concepts. From the Old to New Testaments, you observe the evolution of human consciousness, something that is missed by many who choose to take the Bible literally.

    I’ve read two very different stories this morning involving guns. One was of a gunman who killed two firefighters and injured several more in upstate New York. Another was of a man who shot and killed his 17-year-old granddaughter’s boyfriend who was viciously attacking her. He gave the guy the option to stop, and instead he threatened him and continued. It seems a lot of perpetrators in violent crimes are young men. I’m making an assumption about the first story, but it seems that a lot of the most shocking shootings of the last couple years have been done by men in their late teens through early 30’s.

    While it is shocking, that is the demographic that has played the most violent video games, watch the most violent TV shows, and enjoy the most gory movies. They also witness how men act in their own homes. On top of that, these young men after often given some kind of antipsychotic medications, most of which could have adverse affects on young people. I personally think that is a very deadly combination.

    People tend to get really insulting when I talk about how awful video games are nowadays. I remember the games of the 80’s and early 90’s that were very cartoonish and unrealistic. There was no blood, and there is no way what could be done could be construed as reality. Since then, games have taken a very violent turn, where everything is realistic. In some games, violence is depicted against women There were a couple where the character in the game could rape women if they had the correct codes. It also seems that movies are increasingly violent, trying to shock people more than tell a story. It’s also hard for me to get hooked on TV shows. Even those with interesting premises end up b being so violent I can’t stand to watch. It seems to me that young kids, especially boys, are exposed to this extreme and realistic violence at a younger and younger age. it’s little wonder why boys become desensitized to violence by the time they’re in their teens. It’s just been normalized too much in our society. While we’re no longer watching gladiators, public hangings, and animals eating people, we really have not progressed that far.

  • sylvia

    It always amazes me that an actor or actress will be so desperate for work that they will participate in making movies/tv shows that are violent. If all actors would refuse to take those roles, the producers would be left with nothing — but the actors always justify their actions by saying, “If I don’t do it [take the role], somebody else will.” Let’s hope nobody else will!

  • Maribeth

    Neale – Your call for action has been heard. There are many others who have called for similar actions such as http://birth2012.com. I see your name on the list of people endorsing that event. (I see you endorsed that event how did it go?)

    John Lennon said it 40 years ago:

    Imagine there is no heaven
    Its easy if you try
    No Hell below us
    above us only sky.
    imagine all the people living for today…

    You may say I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
    I hope some day you’ll join us
    and the world will live as one.

    I hope the shift will happen in our life time Neale. I am ready and willing to join Humanities Team and help to write our new Cultural Story. To create what it is that we are all seeking….peace, security, health, happiness, fulfillment, and most of all unconditional love.

    Erin – Yes, Nature is violent and Life as we know it on this planet IS difficult. Perhaps the bloody games and violent movies are a way for humans to deal with what we see happening in nature…hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes…acts of God?

    I am frustrated with the media, almost always focused on the negative; murders, car chases, death and distraction. It’s what sells. At least National Publc Radio (NPR) is willing to report in depth human interest stories. Maybe people dwell on the violence because it is what they HOPE will not happen to them…as long as it is happening to the Other. A defense against what we fear?

    Imagine…life without fear.

  • Anne

    As usual, Neale, I agree with you. Our violence-oriented “entertainment” and culture cannot help but promote the kinds of horrors we have recently seen. The only effective change to that is a complete change of mindset where things to not have to be a “battle”, a “war” or an “attack” on anything, but a peaceful, thoughtful approach to problem solving. Certainly I cannot see any way on the planet that weaponry solves a problem effectively. It only creates more sorrow, suffering and hatred.
    So, yes, we need to change our mindset and our cultural approach. We need to get rid of anthems such as “Onward Christian Soldiers” as our theme of righteousness. We need to get back to the idea that morality cannot be legislated, it must be an internal value system that says violence is NOT the best answer.
    It certainly can be done, and those of us with a different understanding can really stand up and make a difference now. The NRA and their adherents are operating out of fear and profit-balances. Let’s see if we can’t get them to see that kindness and reasonableness produce a far better kind of profit.

  • mewabe

    To put it simply, within the context of mainstream society and culture, all issues, all problems, all solutions have been politicized, and assessed to either be “conservative” or “liberal”, even when such definitions are totally absurd and arbitrary.

    They need instead to be “spiritualized”…we need to speak in terms of the human Spirit, of human consciousness, of Life, not of irrelevant and obsolete political ideologies.

    I totally agree with you Theresa. It all begins with the children at a young age indeed. Unfortunately women values are devalued in this moronic, machismo culture.

    Anne, I agree, “morality” cannot be legislated…and spiritual growth cannot be forced…all must come from within indeed…but seeds needs to be planted.

    But…can we do anything about violence within a society while supporting violence against nations and populations who did not attack us?

    Can we end violence within the US while some still believe that bombing other nations into the stone age means “fighting for America”, “fighting for freedom”, “protecting America”, and being some sort of a hero?

    Violence and death by government (wars) is a cultural endorsement of mass murder. Why are we then so surprised that mass murders occur within our borders?

    Why are we so surprised to see violence everywhere when so much of the Federal budget is dedicated to war and war preparation, when so many resources and so much money are used to develop ever more lethal weapons, and when many corporations that own or control part of our mainstream media derive a great deal of profit from weapon manufacturing and from the war machine?

    We can’t be blind to any of this any longer, we have to finally connect all the dots and take full responsibility as a people.

    Because of everything being so politicized, I don’t see this happening anytime soon. The political machine which is owned and controlled by the military-industrial complex which is itself promoted by the media got Americans exactly where they want them…at each other’s throats and completely incapacitated.

  • Nicole

    I believe there are several planes of consciousness, not just one; and each plane of consciousness (or awareness) IS REFLECTED into the reality of one human on his/her outside world.

    In terms of cause and effect, i see it like this:
    – the cause, is our inner world, the level of consciousness on which one person is, which is, higher or lower only according to his/her inner, direct relationship with God (or how much that person made peace with God – in a sense that His relationship with us is perfect, He loves us beyond what we can conceive with our minds but our relationship with Him can be very affected, mainly by wrong beliefs about Him).
    So, these planes of consciousness can differ, from a level where the duality is very vivid and alive, where evil can interfere the mind, is welcomed by a person (I learned that our eyes have to be corrupted, evil, to be able to see and JUDGE that which is evil, answer back with evil) – up to planes of consciousness where the duality is no longer, oneness is felt within the heart, where a person can see the love of God practically everywhere, in what other consider the good and the bad.
    – the effect: is the outer world, as a reflection of the inner world.
    To be mentioned: one person that has a higher consciousness, his outer world is necessary only milk and honey! but he can easily pass thru the hardships of the world because the inner oneness, the inner light or fire of Love is all-accepting and fueling an immense joy of life as it is, and love for the entire Creation, as it is. (that is also the point when a person can truly co-create!)

    People can live on the same planet, be neighbors and have a completely different reality, or view of the world around them.
    So, if the outer world is merely an effect of the inner world, then obviously the violence in the outer world is a reflection of the “violence“ in our inner world and that mainly comes from being angry at personal destiny, having too many expectations on others and desires for a better life that are NOT supported by one’s capacity to love more.
    Now, just as an epiphany is a Divine intervention, Neale is a living witness of it; a divine intervention that can bring one’s consciousness high enough to understand and LIVE oneness, I do believe, on the opposite side, when a consciousness lowered enough, can be influenced by what we call an evil existence.

    Yes, you are true when you say there is no evil and yes, you are also wrong.

  • mewabe

    Thank you for your opinion Nicole.

    Words are always tricky when used to describe a very subtle spiritual reality.

    The way I see it, duality is necessary for life to exist, and duality will always be, in all realms, as only the divine or God is one (the creation is one too, but in a different way, in unity, in multiplicity, in interdependence and interconnection)

    What can change is our understanding if polarity, and consequently our experience of it.

    We currently perceive all polarities to be made of “opposites”. By doing this we create separation and conflicts within our minds, and consequently conflicts in our world.

    When we understand all polarities to be COMPLEMENTARY rather than made of antagonistic elements, we will have progressed a great deal towards the knowledge and experience of unity and harmony.

    It’s very simple…the day and the night are not enemies. Neither are life and death, neither are “good” and “evil”, except in the mind that is conflicted by judgement and driven by fear.

  • Trisha

    Are these Humanity Team booklets available?

  • Trisha

    I just read all our comments. Okay, now what are we going to do about this? We can talk here all we want but what on the ground are we each going to do to change our story?

    I know what I’m gonna do and I’m doing it. Let’s all hold each up other up in courage to say these things not to just strangers we don’t know on the internet but to those we do know but are afraid to speak our truth to.

    I know it’s hard, I’m being called a lot of bad things and family are dropping me off Facebook because I’m no longer sitting quietly so they think I agree with them. It saddens me but at the same time giving me definition of what I must step forward to do.

    Let’s go get after it!

  • Nicole

    Dear mewabe, the question actually is not about how to understand polarity with our mind, but rather how to move from the mind to the heart.

    years ago, i had a strange dream: there was a crown of thorns, suspended in the air, nothing around it, but inside, perfectly trapped, there was a frozen teardrop (quite large, like the size of a pigeon egg)… then it started to melt, and the teardrop was FREE… I woke up with an amazing feeling, had a joyful day, my heart was simply happy… although my mind couldn’t decipher the dream.
    I needed 7 years, until one day, something happened and i made a click with that dream, i long time forgotten about:
    – we need to have an eye that is “corrupted” by evil, to see and JUDGE the evil around us (that eye is always of the mind)
    – we need to have Love’s eye to see God’s love in all that surrounds us (that eye is always of the heart).

    So, in my opinion, you cannot stop a person from answering with evil to evil, as long as he sees it with his internal evil eye; he can fake it for a while, he can bottle it up, he can pose positive quotes on FB, but at the end he will explode!

    WE HAVE TO LEARN TO CHANGE THE LENSES.

    We need to train our internal eye to see God’s love in every situation; this is the most lovable possible way we would love God back!!
    I would encourage everybody, to persist, to stubbornly try, ask God to help in this manner, to learn how to see God’s love in EVERYTHING.
    In this way, we bring a contribution of love to our outer world (gratitude, compassion) and not judgement.

    If people need something, they need to SHARE with each-other personal stories, memories where although it looked bad in the beginning, years after, they could see how it turned out to be a great gift of Love from God.

  • Nicole

    I will give you an example from my life:
    When i was 16, i lost in an accident, a very dear friend. The day before he died, he told me this: “Nicole, life is beautiful and is worth living it”!! I could feel the joy in his eyes and in his voice, he said it from his heart. Imagine… and the next day he died!!

    After he died, i passed from depression to suicidal thoughts to anger at God and so on… it was only this phrase that he said the day before, that kept me going… i felt that, at least, for honoring our feelings, for his memory, i have to search and search and feel at least once that life is beautiful and is worth living.

    This took me on a path of studying and self-exploration, a path that i started to enjoy, only about 11 years after… until one day, when i did feel and see the reality different, i saw it with my own eyes and felt it with my own heart, the joy of life… call it an enlightenment moment, as if another reality door opened, i had a glimpse then closed back; that was 7 years ago, and i couldn’t really get back there

    But that is not all… i always thought it was thanx to my friend, to what he told me before he died, that got me there… until this year i realized: it was God, it was Him all this time, making in all of this, in all the setup so far, including in the loss, in my friend’s words… in the search after, the clues along the way… it was an amazing feeling of being guided and taken care of, in “the only thing that matters” 😉 : my inner path to making peace with God and find freedom

    There is always God’s love in everything and there is only one path: to learn how to see it again, and love Him in return

  • mewabe

    Thank you Nicole for sharing your dream…although I do not think anyone can legitimately interpret another person’s dreams, just for fun I want to share with you what I see in your dream:

    The large frozen tear drop surrounded by thorns seems to me to represent the large unhealed pain you held inside yourself…the thorns are defenses against feeling this pain.

    The melting of the teardrop represents the opening of your heart and healing of this pain.

    How do you see God’s love in everything? In my opinion, you need not even being preoccupied with God’s intentions in your every day life: the way, the truth and the life are already within you, within your own heart when you trust in love, and follow love wherever it leads you, even when it leads you through a dark night, at the end of which you know yourself much better and are once again greeted by a new dawn if you surrender to your heart.

    Indeed God gave us this permanent gift, this light…we may be blind in every other way, but in love we see. LOVE NEVER DIES.

  • Nicole

    Hi mewabe, Happy New Year!
    I’m appreciating your words, i think we speak of the same things in different ways… you asked me: “How do you see God’s love in everything?”, I’ll ask you: how can you trust in love if you don’t see God’s love in everything?

    I’ll give you a kind of illustrative view: imagine God’s love emanating as rays of light (constantly, uninterrupted, unconditional), and us, humans holding in our hearts, each of us, one transparent or colorful piece of glass, or lens; as these rays of light (love) shines thru each glass/lens, it projects on the “screen” of life for each individual… creating his/her reality, as he/she sees it…
    Now, each individual, can look at the “screen” of life with his mind only, and as a reaction of fear, create lots of things, little pieces of sand or little stones that will cover the lenses and not allow the entire light to shine thru and hence project the full potential, most loving option of an individual’s life…

    When an individual can look at the “screen” of life with his heart only, he can allow whatever the next ray of light (love) will project on his screen of life, joyfully staying in the present moment of each experience as it is, as it comes; he will not add his/her own “filters” by: not projecting onto his/her lens a specific future outcome, or warring about what the future ones will bring, nor will he get attached of desires or have unsolved needs. This way, the lens is “clear” of any blockages and filters 🙂 to reflect the maximum of the light/love on the screen of life…

    This way, every moment is real, is alive, look at it and just live it in joy. Don’t worry about the next minute or regret the day that passed. Just allow.

    That’s how i see it in everything… well, most of the time now;
    Every time i find myself like that frozen drop, stuck inside the thorns, related to a specific situation or a person, i look inside to find that little piece of sand or maybe even a stone, that i placed myself on my lens and is not allowing the full light out 😉

    It’s all in our inner world, the problems, the “issues”… the best part is: THERE IS ALWAYS THAT BEAM OF LIGHT (love) for each of us, (nobody has more or less) constantly, uninterrupted, unconditionally shining thru…

  • Nicole

    Not to mention, that once that internal lens is clear and free of any “obstacles”/personal filters, you can willingly direct it towards different directions, where this amazing rays of light/love will be of great comfort… that’s the area of co-creation already…