Is there another way of looking at the
Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman tragedy?

No one does anything inappropriate, given their model of the world.

Conversations with God brought us this startling message now nearly 20 years ago. In the aftermath of the trial of George Zimmerman and the Not Guilty verdict that was brought back by the jury — and in the whirlwind of feelings that many people are experiencing in response to that verdict — we might do well to examine that message from CWG.

The point that it made: everyone ultimately does what he or she thinks is “right,” based on their beliefs about Life and how it is and what that means to them; their understandings regarding their relationship to other people; and their truth about God — assuming they believe in God at all (which, of course, is also a “truth” about God).

In this tragic case both George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, the teenager he stood accused of killing needlessly until the jury found him innocent of that charge, had a less than favorable “model of the world” that may have led them to regard each other with suspicion — and that seems to have been at least part of what led to this tragic situation.

Mr. Martin apparently labeled Mr. Zimmerman a “creepy-ass cracker” when describing, in a cell phone conversation with his girlfriend, the man who was following him. For his part, Mr. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was recorded on his phone report to the police dispatcher as apparently lumping Mr. Martin in with “punks” who previously have robbed the neighborhood, adding that “these **** always get away.”

The spiritual opportunity here is for all of us to change a model of the world that declares some people “guilty” and others “innocent” for doing exactly the same thing: what their understanding of circumstances and their experience of life led them to do, feeling strongly that, from their point of view, they were “right” in the doing of it.

In a highly advanced civilization, there would never be a “trial” (an interesting word in this context) to determine a person’s guilt or innocence. Rather, a public hearing would be held before the entire community (in this case, the whole country) in which a person would be invited to plead regretful or not regretful (and the reasons for it) regarding an action that was taken that hurt or damaged another — and to demonstrate and prove their regret, if that was their plea, by offering service and recompense to the injured party and/or the family of that party, if a death was involved. If they pleaded “not regretful,” the community would respond in a non-violent way that it felt appropriate in the circumstance.

If a person pleaded “regretful,” a lifetime of service to the deceased’s family, or to the person injured if a death was not involved, together with honest reparations to the degree appropriate and possible, would do more for everyone involved — and more for society as a whole — than placing someone behind bars (much less killing them) for an action that came from their deepest inner sense of what was needed, given their model of the world.

If that model of the world is so twisted and distorted that its assessments as to what  is appropriate make no sense to anyone else at all, even our legal system allows a jury to find a person innocent by reason of diminished capacity.

If that model is not so twisted or distorted, how can we rationalize placing someone in a cage for the rest of his or her life for doing what they, in a non-distorted way, thought was right? Shouldn’t our argument be with their model of the world — and the model of the world of our entire community as well?

I realize that this is a very radical way of thinking, and so I just propose it as one new way of exploring and examining the emotions that tragedies such as the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident bring up for all of us.

Trayvon Martin might have simply continued walking — perhaps even running — to his father’s house, just a few hundred yards away, rather than turning back, heading for the person following him, and allegedly confronting that person.  If I’m afraid, and not looking for a confrontation, I move away from, not toward, the other person in a situation like that. George Zimmerman might have simply stopping following, or never gotten out of his truck to follow to begin with. If I’m not wanting to potentially confront another (much less possibly hurt another), I move away from, not toward, another person is that kind of situation.

Bad judgment — by my personal measurement — may have been used by both persons in this situation. Yet, using the model of the world of each of them, as best we can guess it judging from the words they spoke just prior to their confrontation, we might be able to see that both did what they thought was right and necessary for them to do.

“No one does anything inappropriate, given their model of the world,” CWG says, and that is what I hold in my heart in the aftermath of the verdict in this trial. And, certainly, deep compassion for the family of Trayvon Martin, whose loss is incalculable, and whose pain can never truly end.  I will work until my final day to assist our planet’s people in changing their model of the world, one by one, so that hatred and non-forgiveness does not emerge from tragedies such as this…and so that such tragedies themselves might one day never again occur.

We can start changing our world model by releasing at last our notion that we are somehow separate from each other, and embracing the cosmic truth that We Are All One. That in itself would halt more violent confrontations that any other single shift in thinking within our society.

I send you love on this day.

Hugs…Neale.

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  • Deborah Roberts

    with all due respect, the only person’s word we have that Trayvon turned and confronted is the word of the killer…….that is the ONLY version we have the version of the person who killed an unarmed young man trying to get home to watch the NBA Allstar game..with the son of his father’s fiance.. we don’t know if Trayvon actually used any bad judgement at all……

    • beebee

      THANK YOU! to me this article feels really really miseducated and full of privileged assumptions. it is unfortunate.

  • Gwenna Hunter

    I savored every word here. I am in total alignment with this article. Its time we all get to work. Thank you Neale.

  • Kymberlee della Luce

    Can you please tell me what this post is trying to accomplish? Is this suppose to soothe all the hippies who want to pretend that racism doesn’t actually exist? With all due respect, this perspective seems far more naive than enlightened. I have repeatedly seen one too many New Age, spiritual “leader” dismiss the injustice in this case and I find it utterly maddening, filled with denial and overly transcendent.

    Once, when my daughter was young and was being bullied by some boys on the way home, I told her teacher that I wanted her to feel safe in the world and didn’t want her to be afraid. He looked at me with deep wisdom and said, “I know you do but it’s more important that she IS safe in the world.”

    Neale, our bodies bleed. This isn’t make believe. We might be “One” as you suggest (and I don’t disagree) but we came here to learn from one another, not to ignore this human experience and play pretend on the internet. The kind of world you mention here so idealistically will come through inner AND outer work and some of that outer work is going to happen through difficult conversations and deep courage. The kind that you find by walking in the trenches, not floating in the clouds. It also takes the kind of love that a mother brings. A dark, fierce mother that doesn’t want any more children being shot down, regardless of skin color.

    • Maurica Zimmerman

      I hear you, Kimberlee. What I got from this article is that we are ALL culpable for our culture’s racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, etc. We have all created this worldview, so some extent, and we all have great work to do to change it. George Zimmerman could be a posterboy for our culture’s fear, ignorance and anger. He is as much a victim of it as we are, as Trayvon. It’s just tragedy all around. This post gels within me the idea that we cannot judge. It takes a very strong and courageous person to challenge their worldview, especially when they see “proof” of it’s validity every day. What can we do? We can challenge our own world views, we can forgive ourselves & others for doing the best they can with what they’ve got, we can do our best to not fuel the anger, we can educate, we can lead, we can serve. It’s not all new-agey fairy dust, it’s hard & dirty work sometimes, for those of us called to it.

      • Kymberlee della Luce

        I agree wholeheartedly. It has taken me many years to strip away the social conditioning of my white privilege to see more clearly what my brothers and sisters of color go through every day.

        Acknowledging that racism exists is not the same thing as looking for “proof”, if that’s what you are trying to say. We can’t truly forgive something that we are too blind to acknowledge.

        Yes, there are fractals all around us and yes, we need to look into our own hearts and acknowledge where these things exists and forgive ourselves and others. I’m well-acquainted with the idea of H’oponopono. It’s also true that Neale is being ignorant here. I understand and forgive him. He’s human. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to challenge him.

        • beebee

          it is so important as we are all moving to new dimensional levels and spiritual heights to be ready to review what needs reviewing and release what needs releasing. Kymberlee you are a rare breed. I have not met many white people who are able to not only walk the spiritual walk but also acknowledge the humanness that is sometimes difficult to look at within us. a big one is racism and privilege so many people choose a spiritual path to avoid and deny that there is pain and separation. yes it feels better yes it is nice and soft but at the same time these same people are walking around in a bubble of privilege that is affecting so many others and they dont even know it. and to me the greatest expression of WE ARE ALL ONE is shown in the black community where the loss of one young man creates pain in the hearts of hundreds of thousands because there is an understanding that what happens to one of us happens to all of us and THAT is waht oneness is.

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            Thank you, beebee. The perspective I have comes both from education and training AND from deep love for humanity in general and for the people in my life. I am blessed to love and be loved by people all over the color and gender spectrum.

            Yes, that IS what oneness is. It’s embodied love.

            I really appreciate hearing your voice in this conversation. Thank you.

        • Kymberlee della Luce

          Yes, I know I should. I will tell you right now, Neale, that you are being ignorant of the use of blogging technology with the way you are posting your comments inline. I responded on another thread about why this is a problem. Please stop it.

          I also just responded to a different comment about why I think you’re being ignorant about the injustice in this world. I imagine you’ll find it.

        • Cat

          I’m sorry but I see nothing more evolved in your thinking than that of the typical, “bleeding heart liberal.” You’re accusing Neale of precisely what you are doing and are bringing what could be a enlightening discussion right back down to the ego level. Why Neale is playing your game, I have no idea. I guess neither of you want to allow victims to take personal responsibility for their view of the world. All people who view themselves or others as victims are the ones who are deluded. They are the ones who are seeking power or self-righteousness in a dysfunctional way. Games people play.

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            I can’t speak for Neale but I am certainly not here playing a game. I don’t believe in the victim/perpetrator/rescuer paradigm. Personally, I come here both to understand and to be understood. I come here to learn and grow. I truly do believe that we are One and that we learn much more profoundly when we allow ourselves to have courageous conversations. That’s how I personally take responsibility for my views of the world.

            From what I can tell, Neale is living his values and taking responsibility for his, for which I commend him. If he weren’t engaging, I wouldn’t be wasting my time here. I am here because, like Neale, I care deeply for humanity, including you, Cat.

          • Cat

            With regard to the topic. Everyone gets what they want. Trayvon gets to die in a blaze of glory like Tupak and Biggie. Zimmerman gets to continue to live a life of fear and suspicion. The Martins get to be millionaires. Black “leaders” get their free publicity. The media gets their chance to race bait the people. Everything is in divine order. When people want something else, they’ll get something else. Who knows, maybe even some day people might actually prefer to turn off the boob tube and mind their own business.

            BTW, much more good would be accomplished if you cared for, “the man/woman in the mirror” than for me or humanity. But thanks just the same! 🙂

          • I do indeed care about and work on the “woman in the mirror”.

            And you’re welcome for caring about you too. 🙂

          • Jeanette Traylor

            What does Trayvon Martin have in common with Biggie, or Tupac as you know him, other than skin color. So who is making this about race. I hope Trayvon’s death is akin to a blaze of glory…so far it appears that way.I’m sure his soon-to-be-millionaire parents would forfeit their compensation if it meant they could watch their child grow into the man they saw in his aborted future. Thanks to black, brown, red, yellow, and white leaders who are stung by the injustice and lawlessness of the “stand your ground” laws. Are you a Parent, or if you are, do you believe these parents valued the life of their child as you value the life of yours. It doesn’t sound that way. When I hear from a spiritual person that all things are in divine order, somehow I don’t think of it sounding this way…cynical and hateful. You are angry. I suggest you go to the mirror. Hopefully, you will be disgusted by what you see and make a decision to beautify your reflection before another has to encounter it… Is it ok that Zimmerman walks out of the courtroom with the same gun he used to kill an innocent man while he still walks in fear and suspicion of young black males? Well, that’s exactly what has happened.

          • Jeanette Traylor

            Cat,
            GOD help your miserable, hate-filled soul. This is supposed to be a forum, at least I thought, for those seeking a more gentle and loving way. How does it feel to be trapped inside the venom you are spewing. I am calling on my highest angels so as to respond in a way that is in alignment with who we are trying to be, and not to “react” to your harsh, angry words. Are you a reader of Neale’s books? If so, his words, I am afraid, were lost on you. My dear, if you believe you are enlightened, egoless, then you are the one who is delusional. A bleeding-heart liberal? Do you mean people who accept responsibility for others feelings, who believe there is a possibility that they may learn from another something they may have missed? When I heard your anger at Kymberlee, I thought to myself WOW! What do I do with this? I remembered something I heard years ago. Sometimes we encounter people in our path who are tormented, and in turn, torments others. Perhaps they are there for our spiritual processing, for our growth. It would have been easy to react. My growth has shown me that I can reasonable with those whom I feel are undeserving of it. You are the person who appears to be spiritually dysfunctional.

          • Cat

            You’re calling me “miserable” and “tormented” and I’m the one who’s spiritually dysfunctional? I understand projection. I understand the Truth often hurts those who judge and is not always as gentle as some wish it were. I understand your reaction. Stop watching TV, study ACIM, then reread this in a few years and hopefully you’ll see it differently. Hopefully you will see all is in divine order and tire of tormenting yourself with unnecessary judgment.

          • Jeanette Traylor

            I see divinity. You see an ugly reflection in the mirror. If I only projected, I would not be able to see the malice that lives and breathes in you. Yes I will read and re-read, and pray incessantly. You write and react as someone who is probably psychotic, therefore my, and everyone else’s words for that matter are also lost on you. I will pray for you, though.

          • Cat

            Call me a name then pray for me. You must be born-again. 🙂 I know I laid it on a little thick in my original post. I don’t presume to know what these players wanted out of this drama, but I do know they all got what they wanted. As a white member of the NAACP for over ten years I’m here to tell you you’re not helping anyone by giving Trayvon a free pass. You need to heal the guilt within you if you truly want to help black people.
            Contrary to the self-serving statements the NAACP releases to the public, the actual members have their act together. They will tell you in private that the white liberals have done more damage to their people than any racist ever has. They don’t want a free pass from whites. They don’t want your hand outs. They don’t want you sleeping with their men. They don’t want integration (that is they don’t white teachers/role-models teaching their children). They don’t want or need your pity. They know the so-called black leaders that get all the media attention are not there to help them. What they really really want is you white do-gooders to mind your own business and clean up your own back yards, for God’s sake!!! …or so I’ve been told in no uncertain terms.

          • Jeanette Traylor

            My dear, more than ever I believe you are psychotic. ‘Nuff said! Bye-bye, now. Take your meds and go to sleepy now

        • Cat

          “It has taken me many years to strip away the social conditioning of my white privilege to see more clearly what my brothers and sisters of color go through every day. ”
          Next you can work on that, “white guilt.” That can take even longer to strip away. 🙂

  • Rachel Lisette

    From the highest spiritual perspective, these two beings created actions that each of theme, as souls, could learn from for their individual spiritual progress. From the perspective of humanity, every reaction from other human beings towards this experience is valid only in how that reaction serves their own individual growth spiritually, psychologically and emotionally.
    Our manmade laws distort the truth and condition us to believe in guilt and innocence, right and wrong, justice and injustice. If we were looking at this situation from the spirit world we would be saying what a powerful experience this is for both souls to learn from according to their life’s karma.
    The problem we humans have is that we look at these kind of experiences from a distorted point of view..a three-D point of view, a human point of view, devoid of spiritual perception, spiritual awareness and spiritual understanding. And yet that is ok as we as a species have not fully evolved into beings who understand their true nature is spiritual and as i often see in posts on facebook, ‘spiritual beings having a temporary human experience’.
    The question we need to ask ourselves in regards to this experience, is ‘what did it trigger in me and how can i accept, understand and forgive myself to help me grow’ -because if as Neale says, we are all One, then there is no one outside us to forgive, there is only learning and growth for each of us that have been affected by this experience.
    God bless one and all

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      We can ask all of those questions AND actually DO something to change the system we find ourselves in. This overly transcendent viewpoint is simply not helpful. It’s only one half of a very important equation.

      We are having an experience on many dimensional levels and what’s happening on this one is very important, equally important to the rest.

      There isn’t just “learning and growth” for Mr. Martin’s family: There is also deep loss and blood shed. It is in the acknowledgement of this loss that we find compassion not it keeping an “eagle’s view” perspective about it all.

      If you lost a child or a limb, you would deal with that loss for the rest of your life. Life is bloody, messy and very, very real.

      • Rachel Lisette

        it may not be helpful to you and that is ok, that is your business. I never spoke directly about Mr. Martins family. You have interpreted my sharing as you want to see it.

        • Kymberlee della Luce

          You said, “there is only learning and growth for each of us that have been affected by this experience.” I’m thinking that Mr. Martin’s family would be included in those “affected” by this experience.

          All the internet “God blesses” and “hugs” in the world aren’t going to bring that mother her son back. Something to consider when we wax philosophical about it all.

          • Rachel Lisette

            People die every day in many ways…death, as brutal as it may be in some instances, does provide learning for each of us involved. Yes, we lose physically the ones we love, but they still exist, they are still alive in spirit, as i have learned through my own losses. And we will be reunited again.

            Learning to look at life from the highest point actually soothes the soul and helps us accept things we cant change. And i am sure this young mans parents will need as many hugs and blessings as people are willing to give them. No it will not bring back their son, but love in any form does lighten the load, does ease the suffering.

            We dont have to get emotionally involved in every ‘injustice’, as it does nothing to help. The only ones that truly know what really happened in that situation are the two males involved, and the man left here, will never, ever escape his actions, regardless of how he is judged by other people or the system.

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            I couldn’t agree about how nobody truly knows besides those two men which is why I am challenging Neale writing this article so steeped in assumptions and ignorance. He is a privileged white man and he’s acting like it.

            We each get to choose how “emotionally involved” we are and we do this for our own reasons. Denying the experience of another is not spiritual, it’s misguided.

            I agree that a spiritual practice can soothe us. I have one. I can see from this viewpoint as well but it’s only one aspect of existence. Living there isn’t why we came here. Empty words from a white man is not going soothe the hearts of the people who love the black boys that are being profiled, killed and incarcerated.

            Unless we begin to acknowledge the truth of others and begin to act , we will never live in the world Neale describes here.

          • Rachel Lisette

            wow that response is incredibly racist… What can you tell me about Neales personal life story to make such a judgement? What intimate details do you know regarding the story in question do you have access to that does not come from the media? Do you know what was going on inside the minds and hearts of the two men involved…or is everything you are saying just your opinion? I see no love in anything you have said so far, only aggression, rascism, ignorance, judgement and hatred

          • What happened to “God bless one and all?” 😉

            Whether you see love in my words is not something I can control, Rachel. We all know our own truth. Let me remind you of your own words:

            “…what did it trigger in me and
            how can i accept, understand and forgive myself to help me grow?”

            If the slightest bit of challenge provokes such a triggered responses and takes you away from your feelings of “Oneness”, you may want to consider your foundation a bit.

          • Rachel Lisette

            I stand by God bless everyone, always…your responses actually trigger compassion in me towards you precisely because i sense such negative energy coming from your responses, and i see that your only interest in this conversation is to twist words and turn them back on the person sharing, so i no longer want to particpate. God bless you Kimberlee

      • Jeanette Traylor

        Thank you Kimberly. We are hurting now…today.

  • Lakiba Pittman

    As a teacher, I realize that I have George’s and Trayvon’s and more in my classes… 4MyStudents – whom I treasure – my goal2getThem2c their Biases – get them 2 b more consciously aware of their world views & send them consciously Down A Path Where humanity&compassion Trump Ignorance & racism – and all of the isms. We must share and honor each others stories as we remember who we are and follow our breadcrumbs of wisdom, love and truth home. 2 Deborah’s point, it does appear that we have only heard one version of one story … with sketchiness of Trayvon’s story … though I ‘feel’ strongly that FEAR was the culprit and N the heart of both. #WeAreOne

  • Jeanette Traylor

    Kimberlee della Luce, and Deborah Roberts, I want to thank you for acknowledging the pain that is in the heart of the parents of this young boy, and many like them who are hurt and killed by someone else’s world view of who they are and how life is showing up for them. Words are words, but Trayvon didn’t show up with a gun to make right what he thought was injust or wrong. Only Zimmerman did that.
    Please, Neale. I follow and respect your teaching. Please acknowledge the pain that I feel, being the Mother and aunt of young black males who are without a doubt, profiled and criminalized by a people who don’t share our love for humanity, or GOD.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      You’re welcome. I am sorry for your pain and I understand. Many blessings to you and your loved ones, Jeanette.

  • beebee

    My concern with this article is that you do not acknowledge Trayvon as A MINOR, A CHILD. He more than likely did not have the reasoning capacity of an adult as suggested here in comparing his actions with Zimmermans who is an adult. Also, as an affluent white male with many privileges it is a reflection of that privileged perspective to suggest that you have the answer to this issue and make the judgement of what Trayvon should or should not have done whether he should have run home etc. he was a black BOY and as an adult woman who has been followed by men at night I can tell you that making the decision to run or not is a difficult one. I wonder if you have ever had anything similar happen in your life to give you context to make these assumptions. I also did think that those men following me were CREEPY and to be honest I doubt that you would have a different reaction when being followed on a dark street in the rain. Not everyone in this world functions at the same level and to suggest that what Trayvon did in reaction to being followed caused this mess is absurd as it is obvious to most that one of them was literally looking for trouble and it was the one who grabbed the gun before leaving the house (which by the way you do not acknowledge at all in your article) As a white male OF COURSE your actions and choices would have been different from a BLACK BOY’s and who are you to say that his choices were in part responsible for his death. Zimmerman’s decision to bring a gun was left out of this entire conversation and that is what is responsible for Martin’s death. I am certain your tone would be very different if it were your child or family member. I came to the site read this article because I hoped to find some solace from the spiritual community and clearly there is a disconnect here and your biases are apparent in the language chosen. the biggest issue i have with the spiritual community is that so many leaders are so eager to skip to the “we are all one” which is true of course but not acknowledging differences in order to avoid any kind of self examination of the oppression we participate in unconsciously every day and the privileges we receive that others may not. Until the messages of the spiritual community are inclusive of all experience it is difficult to believe that you will change anyone’s model of the world.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      Beautifully-articulated. Thank you.

    • beebee

      yes i completely agree that we are all doing the best we can. and sometimes even though we are doing our best it is still hurtful and comes from our own perspective that doesnt always include others. that is the nature of being human and none of us are immune to that. i feel that there are some ways that it seemed that your language and presentation suggested bias. perhaps that is not your intention or feeling on this issue and am open to discussing that in a private message if you’d like. i would love to see a paradigm shift for our world and in my life i actively vision and create that with every thing i do and part of that is telling the truth as i see it and allowign others to tellthe truth as they see it.

      • Kymberlee della Luce

        Very well-said, beebee.

        Neale, perhaps the biggest issue here is that you are inserting your human opinions in writing while also claiming to be a conduit for “God”. That’s problematic. This post from you and the post previous to this by Lisa McCormack show a lot of ignorance of the reality of others and to how injustice is getting perpetuated. The comments are showing how these posts are fueling racism. Why? Because both you and Ms. McCormack are not qualified to be talking about these issues and it shows.

        It’s okay to have a foot in both worlds but you are ignoring one to your own peril (and to the peril of your devotees for that matter). If you want to be able to be a spiritual leader who talks about issues related to racism or other forms of oppression, I suggest you educate yourself a bit and get a bit more receptive.

        Critical thinking and spiritual awareness are not mutually exclusive but so often religious zealots of any faith get caught up in throwing out reason and go straight to the self-righteous stances of “we are one” and “you just need to elevate and forgive” as the answer to every problem. Important elements but not the whole solution.

        • Therese

          “Critical thinking and spiritual awareness are not mutually exclusive”

          An idea that Neale put out in great detail in “The Only Thing That Matters”! In fact, he said, essentially, that the mind gets a bad rap! and that mind/body/soul are equals.

          “you just need to elevate and forgive”

          Neale didn’t stop there. He gave consequences that are appropriate to his “elevate and forgive” stance. He also invited us to simply consider what he proposed as one option, but not the only option. Without someone putting out the first germ of an idea, there is nothing to build upon…I see this column as suggesting something upon which to build only.

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            It’s unfortunate that so few people who are commenting here are using the advice you say he has given, including Neale himself.

            Yes, it’s good to have something to build on. Jesus gave some good ideas to build on. Some follow them, some don’t. Ultimately, love is a verb and we’re either embodying it or not. If we’re truly all one, what hurts one, hurts all. This paradox is difficult to live with, isn’t it? It’s much easier when we actually DO live it. RIGHT NOW.

            I hear your need to defend Neale’s teaching and I honor that. It’s clear that you have a loving heart and I have no doubt that you act from that place a good deal of the time. I don’t have an issue with you. I DO have an issue with this very flawed, human being separating himself out from humanity and talking about things he doesn’t truly understand as though they are facts. We have to hold leaders with influence to a higher standard and I do.

        • Kymberlee della Luce

          Thank you for your responses. I hear that you aren’t wanting to sound self-righteous. I would say mostly you’re not but, not unlike followers of the Bible, your followers are using your ideas to uphold their own righteous beliefs so they can feel “right”. This is problematic. You may not think you are a conduit of god but you have zealous devotees who clearly treat your books as “higher truth”. The immense amount of influence you have makes you more accountable for your representation of “truth”.

          You said, “I am not qualified to talk about how peoples’ model of the world may play a role in their actions? What, exactly, disqualifies me from making such an observation? May I ask? That is, by the way, the main observation that I sought to make in my entry above. I’m sorry if it came off any other way.

          This is the only and last thing I will say about this: Your “model of the world” is playing a role in seeing how your words are insensitive to issues regarding race, power and privilege. You won’t ever be a black man or a black mother who lost a son. That is what you don’t understand.

          What could you do differently? Talk to people of color, hear their stories, listen deeply.

          Using this tragic situation as a way to promote your ideas of a better world model was a bad idea says the goddess in me on this day.

          With Love,

          Kymberlee

          • NealeDonaldWalsch

            Kymberlee, above, said: “Using this tragic situation as a way to promote your ideas of a better world model was a bad idea says the goddess in me on this day.” To which I respond: My gosh, if using a tragic situation as a way of promoting ideas of a better world is not appropriate, then what of all the siren calls for a better world in the aftermath of the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr? Or John F. Kennedy? Or Harvey Milk? I am so sorry to have been so misunderstood here. It seems to me that the aftermath of all of the above tragedies — and many more — was precisely the moment when speeches were given and articles were written urging that ideas be considered for making ours a better world.

            If a tragic situation cannot be used as a case-in-point, then are we to learn nothing from the tragedies of our past? I am confused here. It seems to me that the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman offered us all what has been called a Teachable Moment. The fact that one may not agree with a particular point of view being expressed does not mean, ipso facto, that the timing of the expression was somehow wrong. Trayvon Martin did not die this week. The verdict in the trial of the man who shot and killed him was delivered this week. If a spiritual commentary in a aftermath of such a verdict — which has brought thousands to places of high emotion — is somehow not appropriate, when would it be?

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            Thank you for honoring the communication conventions by replying here rather than inline.

            I hear what you’re saying about the timing. The issue is that you are not honoring the whole story with your ideas which causes more pain to an already painful situation. Myself and others have mentioned this more than once in these responses. In fact, you continue to ignore what is being said about how your “model of the world” is affecting anything and defend yourself instead.

            Your heart is in the right place but you are stubbornly refusing to see (or honestly even address) other perspectives which, to my mind, is a great tragedy considering your influence.

          • NealeDonaldWalsch

            Kymberlee has said above:

            This is the only and last thing I will say about this: Your
            “model of the world” is playing a role in seeing how your words are insensitive to issues regarding race, power and privilege. You won’t ever be a black man or a black mother who lost a son. That is what you don’t understand.

            What could you do differently? Talk to people of color, hear their stories, listen deeply.

            What makes you think that I have not?

            I was the only white disc jockey at an R&B radio station programmed primarily for the black audience in Baltimore, Md in the 60s. Every other DJ was black. We spent tons of time together. We worked, lunched, and shared stories of life together. And that was far from the end of my experience and interactions with my black brothers and sisters. It is inaccurate to assume that my life experience is as limited as you seem to imagine it to be.

            The thrust of my original commentary in the entry above was simply that I believe the model of the world held by both Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman may have played a role in the terrible tragedy which occurred. I do not see how this sentiment is “insensitive to issues regarding race, power, and privilege.”

            And now you are saying that my model of the world is what stops me from seeing this. So, fair enough. If that is true, I invite anyone else who agrees with this to tell me: How do you believe that my model of the world stops me from seeing that my statement that the model of the world held by both Mr. Martin and Mr. Zimmerman may have played a role in this tragedy is insensitive to issues regarding race, power, and privilege?

            I believe that Trayvon’s model of the world (that is, his ideas about Life) had been formed, in part at least, by his experience of Life Itself — including the prejudice, pain, and oppression to which he and others of his race have been subjected, or that they have at least witnessed, throughout most of their lives.

            I likewise believe that George Zimmerman’s model of the world (that is, his ideas about Life) have also been formed, in part at least, by his experience of Life Itself — including the ideas of his upbringing and culture.

            All I have been trying to say here is that it is our model of the world that in many cases contributes to our choices and decisions. I would have thought that this relatively modest philosophical observation would have been non-offensive to anyone. And it did not occur to me that I would have to be a black man or a black woman who has lost a son to be able to make such an observation.

            I believe that the model of the world held by most of humanity (a point I also made in my original commentary) may be a contributing factor in our collective experiences. Must I be a black person or an Asian, an Indian or a Mexican, a member of every race or culture on the planet, in order to legitimately offer such an observation about every culture on the planet?

            I do not think so. People offer observations cross-culturally all the time. Barack Obama consistently speaks for what he characterizes as the feelings of all Americans, and thus consistently makes observations about my experience. Having never been a white man, how can he know what my experience is? Or is it possible that, within the outlines of our basic humanity, there is a common denominator that can be found?

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            You said, ” I would have thought that this relatively modest philosophical
            observation would have been non-offensive to anyone. And it did not
            occur to me that I would have to be a black man or a black woman who has
            lost a son to be able to make such an observation.”

            The reason you likely didn’t think it would be offensive is that you are a white man who has never endured the kind of prejudice that is part of the social construction that we find ourselves in. That makes your words unwittingly insensitive.

            The “I have some black friends” is also often used as a way of saying you understand. You just don’t.

            Of course there is a common denominator, Neale! I would like think it is love. Love is found when we release ourselves from the power structures that have been informing us for a couple of thousand years and tap into a high consciousness; I hear you advocating for that. In order for us to deprogram ourselves from this and become truly liberated, it’s imperative that we acknowledge where, in the matrix of this life, power is not being shared. White people, men and people with affluence often just don’t get it. Why? Because they hold the power. Since Obama holds a great deal of power, I am including him as part of the problem. He is SO not every black man.

            None of what I just said invalidates your point about creating a new world model in which power is shared and “wrongs” are “righted” in more enlightened ways. The question is, who decides and why?

            Thank you for this conversation. It’s good. Tangled, but good.

      • Kymberlee della Luce

        Neale, I cannot speak for beebee, but I can for myself here. What you are showing is extreme ignorance about the reality of others. Your white privilege blinds you to the truth of the daily reality of black men and women who are followed, profiled and treated unfairly by the systemic, institutionalized racism that exists in this country. That you come forward to tell us what YOU WOULD DO is an example of this privileged viewpoint. You aren’t being “fair-minded”. You DO have a biased and very human viewpoint and you are conflating that with some kind of higher truth.

        No amount clever wording on your part or ours is going to change the bleak reality of many people of color in this country. However, deep listening will. Acknowledgment will. Embodied love will.

  • trayvon was a man not a child. the media loves this and the whitehouse too. pitting poor against poor. what about the hundreds of black on black murders of kids ? meanwhile and obama is getting ready for a month vacation in all white martha’s vineyard. phony.

    • Jeanette Traylor

      You’re sad.

  • Jan Laman

    Love you Neale. Thank you so much for this perspective.

  • Alice

    George Zimmerman was not found innocent, Neale. The jury said he was not guilty, and there is a huge difference.

    • beebee

      thankyou for making this important distinction

  • Trisha

    A lot of people are being judge and jury on this one and they are missing a lot of information about what they are really seeing. This is to show us who and what we are in regard to this situation. I am seeing a lot of people who are not looking at who they are being in this regard. If they are I hope they are not enjoying who they are and will take a courageous step to change to become a better version of themselves. They, too, are being judgmental, convicting another and hoping the worst for another instead of having compassion for the world we live in that this “cracker” (who looks Hispanic to me, not White) and this “nigger” are to be defended by the color of their skin. This is us treating God pretty disrespectfully for what God has created us to be. And why do we use * to block out one word but cracker is okay to say? Whites can be denigrated for being racists but not another race. Why is that okay? Why are we not looking at how other races are racists to Whites? None of it is a good thing. I don’t feel good my brothers and sisters on this planet are against me because I was born a ‘cracker’ and they say I’m doing bad things to them because of the color of my skin, which is not my truth but theirs.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      I hear you and I used to have those same thoughts before I learned a lot more about oppression, white privilege and institutionalized racism.

      Please consider reading “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn or “A Different Mirror” by Ronald Takaki and educate yourself a bit.

      It helps to talk with people of color and hear their stories. Our stories are very connected and we much compassion and awareness can come through hearing another’s experience.

  • I really like the idea of a highly advanced civilization perspective. That’s a topic of great discussion. We should have more around that topic.

    The question we can ask about any or all our problems is “What would a advanced civilization do?” We don’t seem to ask that question because it may seem so absurd given our present condition of our planets many primitive mentalities.

    Yet if we continue to add such questions seriously to the mix of our encounters, we just might move toward living, being & creating that higher, more beneficial perspective. Even if we do so imperfectly.

    Have a magical day,
    -Marko

  • beebee

    Neale i appreciate your taking the time to respond to my thoughts, however,i find it interesting that rather than allow my thoughts to be seen in their original form, you interrupted my original piece not allowing it to be posted in its entirety and instead inserted your opinion throughout. again very problematic to me.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      I cannot agree with this more. The response also puts all of his comments in bold which give them more weight AND don’t allow people who are part of this thread to see that a response even happened. Bad form.

      • beebee

        yup. privilege and its unfortunate.

      • Kymberlee della Luce

        I understand that your comments being posted this way is a way to differentiate. It’s also true that underscoring is used as a way of giving words more weight. I am suggesting that you use a different method for that reason.

        What I mean is that when you respond inline as you have, it doesn’t show as a “new” comment so that if we are following the thread, we are not alerted to your response. There are standard communication protocols used in blog culture that you are not following. I have never seen anyone respond inline and there’s a good reason for that. I hear that you thought it was a good idea. It’s not.

        Finally, your response to both beebee and me saying “I can’t seem to do anything good here,” is unnecessary and calls you out as some sort of misunderstood creature. This is a tactic I find often from people who are trying to avoid accountability and who are having a hard time listening to others. This isn’t about you doing “good” or being seen as “good”, it’s about you standing behind your words and actions and perhaps owning your ignorance.

  • Ione Lake

    I have been so conflicted with the hate people have for George Zimmerman. I agree that what he did was terribly wrong. I agree that he must account in some way for this but I also belive that putting someone in a cage for an extended amount of time is not going to solve any problems. Society must be protected from dangerous people and George Zimmerman did a horrible thing. I can’t speak for Trayvon Martin since he is dead he has no voice. The same people who call themselves liberal and want mercy for those involved with what we call terrorism want to put Mr. Zimmerman in prison. I guess mercy is usually for people we agree with. To me our whole system of justice is punitive. We must try to understand what we call criminals and do what we can to change their hearts. A cage won’t do that.

  • Therese

    For me, this article is not about yet another opportunity to discuss what was, nor to take sides and analyze this particular incident.

    For me it is about examining what is at cause in all such incidents…the illusion of separateness. This illusion causes us to be fearful of one another to the point where we run from, or pursue strangers based on preconceived notions of what the other’s intent may or may not be.

    I chose to turn this into a sharing opportunity with my husband and two teenage grandsons. I explained what “no one does anything wrong, given their model of the world” means, and even put it into the “Hitler went to heaven” context.

    I explained how, even when someone does something that isn’t working, THEY think it is working…so and look at WHY they do what they do, so they might UNDERSTAND what they do. From that point my grandsons hopefully understand, they might be able to input new data to that other person, OR, (and this is a big OR), see how they, themselves, may have been thinking/behaving in a way that doesn’t work!

    I take the concept into my own life by doing my best to not react to what people DO, but take a mental step back and work at understanding just how that person believes their action works for them. The words, “I can see why you think that way, but might it also be (this) way?” come out of my mouth much more frequently than in the past. Way before Dr. Phil I was asking the simple question, “Is that working for you?” and going from there. When people feel seen, and their lives feel at least understood, if not accepted, they are more likely to reconsider who they would like to Be…their next grandest version can emerge more gracefully, and it needn’t be more grand to anyone but them.

    From this point forward, I believe we should look at the Martin/Zimmerman story in the context of Everything is Perfect. This story has gotten many, many conversations going! We can now choose to stay in the energy of determining who was the biggest victim in the story, or move into raising the energy and give Trayvon the ultimate tribute…making it so that his death was not just not in vain, but was the catalyst for real change, one conversation, one person at a time, in this world.

    • Thank your for this wonderful share & how you actually demo this in your own life & the lives of those around you.
      Magically,
      -M

  • Mike Brown

    I think we can all wait for a little more distance from the wounds this trial has added & let the boy to rest a while in his grave before we start sermonizing. I can only hope Neales material is true and this boy lives on after his translation.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      Thank you for this.

  • Tierney Evonne Hamilton

    It is always interesting to me that enlightened spiritual people and communities tend to trivialize the idea of racism. Racism is real because it impacts other human beings in a negative way. Black people cannot be racist because we as a whole do not have power in the United States and some would argue not even in Africa. Black people like anyone else can and do have prejudices, but racism is related to power. To me, the question is how do we move radical spiritual thinking into public policy. While it nice to read this material and attempt to move our individual selves along the spiritual path, how do we integrate this into daily life, because this is where most people live.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      Yes. Thank you.

    • Christopher Toft

      The nation of Islam seem pretty racist to me. Of course black people can be racist, like every other “type”(If we must insist on dividing people by stupid idiotic things like colour) of person, they are subject to the same separation consciousness, the same ignorance as the rest of us. Racism is related to power, but this does not mean that a “victim” cannot or does not feel as much rage & hatred towards their “perpetrator” as the perpetrator does. Racism as real as we all allow it to be. If we develop compassion & wisdom in ourselves we can remove our own racism, when we act with compassion we are naturally colour blind. Working together as communities, or rather as one community hatred & violence can be ended.

      • Kymberlee della Luce

        I would love to hear how you see that happening. Practically.

        • Christopher Toft

          If you are asking me, my practical response is to be mindful of my thinking, as to whether anything remotely racist is present & to aim to treat all people as I wish to be treated. And to confront racism when I see it in the media. If we all acted in this way, racism would cease to be. Obviously I am just one person, we must all do what we can.

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            Absolutely. I hope you can hear that what I am doing here is confronting racism in the “media”. White privilege is really hard to see but once we see it, a whole world of compassion and an urge to be an ally comes forward. Also true with issues related to sexism and homophobia. Our status in society affects our behavior, our assumptions and how we operate in the world. Once we see how it’s constructed, we can deconstruct it more mindfully. My challenge with Neale is that I hear him trying to deconstruct and rebuild without and acknowledgement of the current paradigm and how it is harming people.

            Thanks for sharing your views.

    • mewabe

      In my opinion, there is no doubt that it will take a complete change of consciousness, and not the “fixing” of our world but the creation of a brand new culture…racism is but one of the problems we face, which all seem to have to do with having chosen aggression, dominant power and exploitation over cooperation, love and respect, in other words which have to do with the patriarchy.

      Perhaps women can save the world…what do you think? Men have proven, so far and generally speaking, to be good at only two things: building things and blowing them up.

      • Michael L

        Mewabe,

        Let me add two more, sowing their seed and moving the furniture.

        • Also strength, courage, tenderness, holding, gentleness, discernment…so many things to adore about men.

          • mewabe

            And so many thing to love about women 🙂

            But I was principally addressing the imbalance between men and women as is experienced in patriarchal power structures, in the cultures and societies we all live in, that betray or suppress love in the name of power.

          • Yes, of course! The same things quite often, in fact. I just wanted to be sure that one of our brothers wasn’t feeling diminished. I know a lot of men that feel all they are appreciate for is money and brute strength. I want to change that story a bit.

            I know you were talking about these structures, dear one. This is a topic of great interest to me. I am blessed with many strong, courageous and tender-hearted souls in my life that all all across the gender spectrum.

            I have been working for some time on balance my own Inner Masculine and Feminine energy and to raise my girls with the same intention. I believe that the future we have talked about will be changed through this rather than through the external male/female polarity. My sense is that this will right itself externally as we do the inner work.

          • mewabe

            I totally agree with you, and this has been my personal path as well!

          • Kismet!

      • The Feminine in all of us will bring forth much grace.

        As for men, I’m a fan of them. 🙂

        • mewabe

          Yes, we have to honor the feminine in all of us, I agree. The world is crying for it.

  • Kymberlee della Luce

    Neale, you’ve asked with what I will assume is true contrition or at least humility for what you could do differently so I I’ll tell you. You continue to respond inline to what is being written. Please stop it. It’s confusing to the reader and doesn’t allow us to keep track of what is being said as a thread. Hit the reply button like everyone else. That’s how conversations happen on the internet for a very good reason.

    I understand that you think your comments being posted this way is a way to differentiate. It’s also true that underscoring is used as a way of giving words more weight. I am suggesting that you use a different method for that reason.

    What I mean is that when you respond inline as you have, it doesn’t
    show as a “new” comment so that if we are following the thread, we are
    not alerted to your response via email. There are standard communication
    protocols used in blog culture that you are not following. I have never
    seen anyone respond inline and there’s a good reason for that. I hear
    that you thought it was a good idea. It’s not.

    Again, please stop it.

    Also, saying, “I can’t seem to do anything good here,” is unnecessary and calls you out as some sort of misunderstood creature. This is a tactic I find often from people who
    are trying to avoid accountability and who are having a hard time
    listening to others. This isn’t about you doing “good” or being seen as
    “good”, it’s about you standing behind your words and actions and
    perhaps owning your ignorance. Not helpful.

    You asked beebee about what words you used that were biased.

    What you are showing is extreme ignorance about the reality of
    others. Your white privilege blinds you to the truth of the daily
    reality of black men and women who are followed, profiled and treated
    unfairly by the systemic, institutionalized racism that exists in this
    country. That you come forward to tell us what YOU WOULD DO is an
    example of this privileged viewpoint. You aren’t being “fair-minded”.
    You DO have a biased and very human viewpoint and you are conflating
    that with some kind of higher truth.

    No amount clever wording on your part or ours is going to change the
    bleak reality of many people of color in this country. However, deep
    listening will. Acknowledgment will. Embodied love will.

  • Maria

    Enlightening comments. Thank you everyone. Neale, I think you are wonderful for trying to suggest a spiritual response to this heart-wrenching situation. However, and with all due respect, you missed the boat on this one. As has been pointedly pointed out by Kymberlee and beebee, there is a deep wound that has been revealed in our collective group consciousness. A point that I think needs to be mentioned again is that the black community seems to be pretty united in their response. I would find it difficult to find any “separation” in their group consciousness. THIS IS MAJOR. When a large community feels a great injustice has happened, this community world view needs to be acknowledged first, and then addressed because it is a community world view that is filled with pain.

    Perhaps the purpose of your post and these responses is simply to reveal a deep wound that has been ignored, denied, and/or swept under the rug. Yes, we have come a long way in race relations. Yes, we have a long way to go. Racism is something that is taught starting at a young age. Neale, perhaps you can do something to help teach love at a young age? Spirituality and practicality are not separate, yes? God works in mysterious ways so, I’ll wait for the next Global Conversation post. 🙂

    Just as an aside, The Southern Poverty Law Center has a wonderful program called Teaching Tolerance which is a program aimed at teachers of elementary school-aged children. They also have programs in teaching race relations to law enforcement officials. They also keep track of the hate groups in the U.S.A. Unfortunately that number is growing.

    Love to all my brothers and sisters.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      Beautifully and eloquently-articulated. Thank you.

    • Christopher Toft

      A group that operates from a position of “Us V’s them” or the world or whatever is not operating from a position of unity consciousness. Yes the black community should be heard, all points of view should be heard with an open compassionate heart. There is indeed a deep wound in humanity’s heart

      • Kymberlee della Luce

        Please stop using “unity consciousness” as some sort of band-aid. It’s revolting. I challenge you to sit in a room full of black folks and listen to their stories without bias and with a compassionate, open heart then come back and report to us.

        • Christopher Toft

          There is nothing revolting about seeing humanity as one race. I believe the cultivation of unity consciousness is not a “band aid” it literally heals all divisions.
          You do in all fairness have a point in that I do not know many black people. I am however, unfortunately becoming intimate with prejudice & hatred regarding sexuality so I have some admittedly limited experience of being a “minority”. I am very familiar indeed with growing up & viewing oneself as a victim, as less than others & whilst I cannot exactly say I “know what it’s like”(obviously I don’t) to grow up as a black person, I do believe there is some commonality of experience & that I can relate to some degree. What I am finding as I have grown as a person is that I am noticing colour a lot less, I am literally becoming colour blind. When race is not an issue, then we will no longer have racism I think,

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            Race is a social construct and, as such, discrimination is real as you are pointing out. I, too, see us all as one. What I’m saying is that to use the words “unity consciousness” as a band-aid or fix-is solution is naive and damaging. It doesn’t get us through difficult conversations. Empathy does. That’s why I made the suggestion I did.

            We absolutely have commonality in our shared stories. I’m a huge advocate of that. We can learn a lot from each other. Thanks for sharing your story here.

          • Christopher Toft

            Kymberlee, Using the words “unity consciousness” as a band aid is a bunch of hippy crap. Practicing unity consciousness is what I am advocating here. Perhaps we are in agreement here? Please consider the possibility that thinking in terms of ingroup/outgroup, oppressor/oppressed, good blacks/ bad whites is separation consciousness thinking. Draw your own conclusions, if you disagree that’s great, it’s possible I’m in the wrong & missing something that you aren’t.

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            I don’t assume I’m right at all, Christopher, I just poke around and try to figure things out. 🙂

            And yes, I suspect we are in agreement for the most part.

    • NealeDonaldWalsch

      Maria…it is clear to me that I was not very effective in making the point that I was hoping to make above. You have said…Neale, I think you are
      wonderful for trying to suggest a spiritual response to this
      heart-wrenching situation. However, and with all due respect, you missed
      the boat on this one. As has been pointedly pointed out by Kymberlee
      and beebee, there is a deep wound that has been revealed in our
      collective group consciousness.

      Gosh, that is exactly that I thought I was saying also. I thought I was saying that it is our model of the world that produces — or could at least be playing a part in producing — our choices and outcomes in life. And I thought I said that we ALL could benefit from changing our model of the world. If that isn’t nearly the same as saying that “there is a deep wound that has been revealed in our collective group consciousness,” then I don’t know what is. It is this deep wound, as revealed in our model of the world (or what you call our “collective group consciousness”) that I am talking about here.

      I was trying to say above that it is this wound, this world model, that is causing so much of the pain that everyone keeps pointing to in their comments here. And I was suggesting that this deep wound is the idea that we are separate from one another — and that the healing of this wound would be the embracing of the awareness that We Are All One.

      And for suggesting this idea itself I have, in the comments, been roundly criticized, and even been told that I was being “righteous.”

      Hmmmm….

      • Kymberlee della Luce

        I saw your message about external links which is why I posted it differently the second time. As it is would add a necessary dimension to this conversation that would help expand our seeing, I’m surprised you didn’t approve the comment.

        Neale, you created a post that included racial slurs in the text. I’m really surprised that YOU seem so surprised by these responses. The continued defense of your position that you are doing is not helpful.

        There is a wound. It is activated because it needs to be acknowledged. You can’t seem to do that and it’s sad. Oneness will move along a lot faster when voices are heard and wounds acknowledged.

        There is a huge gap between where we are now and where we know we can be. We’re all doing our part to close that gap in our own, I suppose.

        Peace.

      • Therese

        Righteous…another one of those words that has gotten a bad rap, along the lines of progressive…

        righteous |ˈrī ch əs|adjective1 (of a person or conduct) morally right or justifiable; virtuous : he is agood, righteous man, I am sure | feelings of righteous indignation aboutpay and conditions.

        Yes, yes, I know about the use of the word “right”, but in the world’s vernacular, the context is not one to be made offensive to me.

      • Maria

        Neale, I’m encouraged to know that in your model of the world, we are saying the same thing! In fact I like your comment here better than your original post. Why? Because in your comment you use the words “deep wound, ” and “healing of this wound.” For me the acknowledgement of pain is crucial. In fact it is the door and key through which healing actually begins. (at least in my model of the world). The words “model of the world” lack empathy and do not necessarily acknowledge pain as opposed to the word “wound.” Also the word “healing” implies a recognition and acknowledgement of pain. “Changing our model” is a course of action. It is not an acknowledgement of pain.

        As someone suggested in another post, now is perhaps a better time for grieving rather than suggesting a course of action. What you wrote about in your original post was “step two” in the healing process. You suggested a course of action. You missed step one: the acknowledgement of great pain in a large community of our brothers and sisters. Your comment here does acknowledge this, and I thank you for it. 🙂

    • Therese

      Maria, I don’t think Neale missed the boat. Racism has a deep history in our country, not the least of which was proffered in the name of “spirituality”. By way of example: The Calvinists (whom many Southern Baptists leaders now claim to model much of their religion upon) declared that Blacks had no soul. This to justify enslaving them. I think that Neale’s pointing out practical spiritual solutions, or thoughts about issues such as this, is exactly the point. As “The Storm Before The Calm” points out, we have tried, over and over, the solutions of war/politics/religion/economics, but these don’t address the source of the problems. Spirituality does, and getting us to recognize what is going on might just propel us into declaring a different way to Be, so that we will do something, collectively, different so that we may have a world that we consciously created, rather than accept, blindly, what others tell us it has always been like…so it must always remain that way.

      • Maria

        Therese, what I meant by Neale missing the boat had to do with missing the first step of acknowledging pain. In his column he suggests a course of action which, in my model of the world, is the second step to healing not the first step. I don’t disagree with his suggested course of action at all!

        I like what you wrote. More power to you, sister!

  • mewabe

    Interestingly enough Neale, and speaking of “advanced civilization”, this is exactly how some so-called “primitive” tribal societies functioned in North America and parts of Africa: many Native Americans used this system of voluntary reparation to the injured party or/and their family by a perpetrator. In South Africa, they used a process called Truth and Reconciliation after Apartheid, which was based on an old tribal custom.

    These societies had no police, no judges, no written laws and no jails. They had cultural agreements, traditions, and values that everyone understood, that defined the interests of the group and of the individual to be the same (what a breakthrough idea!)

    They consequently understood that the interests of the group were best protected when the dignity and freedom of the individual were respected, and the individual was given a chance to voluntary heal the pain or damage caused by his/her actions.

    Civilization may some day catch up with “primitive savages”!

    • Christopher Toft

      I hope so!

  • Christopher Toft

    “The spiritual opportunity here is for all of us to change a model of the world that declares some people “guilty” and others “innocent” for doing exactly the same thing: what their understanding of circumstances and their experience of life led them to do, feeling strongly that, from their point of view, they were “right” in the doing of it.”
    Yes precisely Neale. The insistence upon painting white people as oppressors & black people as passive victims is from my perspective, revoltingly racist. The universe is interconnected & to claim that any one person is the sole cause of any event is as far as I can see, inaccurate. This does not imply a acceptance of injustice, racism, sexism homophobia or whatever, on the contrary it frees people to see events as they are, empowered & without bias. It is not racist to be impartial & offer valid & balanced comments!

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      More white privilege talking! Wow. Political activism and spirituality are not mutually exclusive, sir. It’s the system that is the problem not “one person” and, whether you wish to acknowledge it not, it’s owned by white people.

      • Christopher Toft

        “Political activism and spirituality are not mutually exclusive”. indeed they are not. I would say that one follows from the other. I think “the system” is humanity as a whole, not the “goodies v’s the baddies”. The problem of racism is owned by everyone, me you, all of us. To suggest that an entire race of people are magically immune from racism is racist is it not?

      • Tom Fowler

        Whether you’re aware of it or not, Kymberlee, you’re comments reek of racism. Everytime you say “white people”, you proclaim the separation, and you’re doing it a lot.
        Do as wish of course. I agree that ‘white people’ exist in the most responsible position for today’s political climate, but we need to stop feeding the divide.

        • Kymberlee della Luce

          I hear that this is your version of reality. I don’t hold that view. I understand how race has been constructed. I understand institutionalize racism. I understand white privilege. I am not racist.

          When you say, ” I agree that ‘white people’ exist in the most responsible position for today’s political climate” I don’t know what you are talking about. I didn’t say that nor do I believe that to be true.

          • Tom Fowler

            Sure thing, thanks

        • Jeanette Traylor

          This conversation isn’t about white and black. It is about listening to each other’s cry, and owning our contribution to it. Regardless of the reason or race. We responded to what sounded like insensitivity. Are we allowed to say “ouch! that hurts” without being called racist or be accused of being not ready for the high road, or attached to our barbaric nature? We are a loving and spiritual community. Right? Keep talking. It’s a good thing. I’m on the East Coast, just getting in. Be gentle with each other. Talk to you later. Tired. It’s been a long weekend.

          • mewabe

            To clarify Jeanette, I did not mention a “barbaric nature”, only barbarian CONCEPTS, and these are UNIVERSAL, I thought I made this clear.

            I understand your statement about insensitivity…when a person (or a group) is horribly wounded, whether physically or emotionally, even a loving touch can cause intense, unbearable pain.

            This is why it is sometimes best to let some time pass before addressing an issue, to let some healing occur.

            I do not think Neale was insensitive, and I think his intention was spiritual and noble. But there is so much pain around this issue, and so much pain leads to anger, and anger very often leads to a need for blame.

            As Neale’s message was not about blame, it has been perceived to be insensitive by those who are hurting, and those who strongly identify with those who are hurting.

            Again, it often proves to be a mistake to make a statement addressed to a person (or a group) who is not ready to hear it.

            But when will the world ever be ready to move past accusations and blame?

          • Jeanette Traylor

            Hi Mewabe, Thank you for the clarification. Neale has done a sufficient job of explaining and defending his position. I know Neale is good and noble. As I told him, he is such a messenger. There were other conversations, other postings in which I responded .Some were meant to offend. Of course I am not speaking of Neale here. In the case of Zimmerman and Martin, we are speaking of legal blame, not spiritual blame. There is a difference. We live in a world where we are held legally, and morally accountable for our actions. I would never attempt to judge another spiritually. Because we are living in human conditions, where not everyone feels a moral obligation for his brother or sister, courts of law are still necessary in order to avoid anarchy. That is where we expect justice. It doesn’t always happen. George Zimmerman’s gun was returned to him without even a reprimand. What do you think he’ll do with it. He has been calling 911 for people as young as seven years…approximately 46 times at last count. I am totally with Neale, spiritually. I, too long for the days when all will be free of hatred, when, as someone said on my facebook page, a Zimmerman will see a Martin and ask if he needs a ride home as oposed to what are you doing here. That time has not yet arrived,

          • Jeanette Traylor

            But the conversation has started.

          • mewabe

            Yes, if we are talking about the system functioning as it is, without changing it, there is no doubt that there is no justice within this system (one only has to see the disproportionate numbers of African Americans, Native Americans, etc, incarcerated).

            Such a “justice” system is a cruel joke, it has always been.

            I think Neale was addressing the possibility of changing the system in a very practical way.

            Such is not an impossibility. His idea is very similar to what was done within many Native American tribes before the Euro-American invasion of this continent (reparation rather than punishment), and to what was done in South Africa after apartheid in the Truth and Reconciliation process.

            All that is needed is for all parties to be WILLING to HEAL themselves and society, rather than pointing fingers and perpetuating endless blame.

            At some point, we will need to jump off this merry-go-round, and the past proves that it can be done.

            Of course, when a person is not willing to admit to having injured another, or feels justified and ready to to it again, then some other option must be contemplated, such as restraint (prison?).

            Our societies and cultures, and the entire world for that matter, are upside down, It will take some work to put it all right side up, but we can’t continue on this path, I think we can all agree on this, and I think that is what Neale has expressed in many different ways, him and many others.

          • Jeanette Traylor

            Neale has probably been my greatest spiritual mentor aside from Jesus. I understand and stand with him. I am constantly having my conversations with GOD. I stand ready with all who are walking this path of onenness, unity, and love. I am so thankful that we are having this conversation. Let it be a new beginning for humanity with a cup of love overflowing. Namaste
            Thank you, Trayvon, for opening this up.

          • mewabe

            I did not mean to come across “defending” Neale, I know he can defend himself, and I don’t think he was under attack, just some of his approach was questioned.

            I agree with Neale on some things, on other I disagree, and I am always real about it, and express it.I have no “teacher” at this point in my life, only my heart and soul, which I trust completely.

            I know love is the way to the only knowledge, or “knowing”, that matters. And I see so much pain in the world, so much that gets in the way of this love, which is our true identity, who we are.

            When hearts are closed, under lock and key, something must BREAK them open…it is a difficult process, as an opening heart lets out everything, the beautiful AND the ugly, but it is a necessary healing process.

            In some way, I do believe humanity is currently having a healing crisis, letting out some of its wounds and ugliness for all to see, for all to relate and look within, and heal the self as well as their vision of the world.

          • SO well-said, Jeanette.

          • Yes. Thank you.

  • Gina

    In a more evolved society the whole thing wouldn’t have happened, but even in a less evolved society like ours letting Zimmerman walk away inevitably evokes much a sense of injustice. People are simply not articulating this feeling but are thinking of it as racism. The simple fact of two people getting involved and one killing the other (however involuntarily) and the killer getting away is outrageous. It takes two to tango. Only one lives to tell his side of the story. I feel in this particular story Zimmerman is violating some fundamental unspoken universal laws by shooting someone he knows is not armed. Even feeling his life was in danger could he have not shoot to scare Martin away or shoot in a way not fatal or simply threatened him with the gun??
    As in Neale’s hypothetical jury and verdict it would be beneficial for everyone involved to make Zimmerman review his actions , decide if given the same circumstance what he would do differently or not, and seek to make amendments. It would help to heal both parties as well the public then for him to demonstrate this decision via some formal action rituals. In a highly evolved or primitive society ending it with not guilty bye bye does nothing resolve it. Our model of the world is so far from our true nature and is in serious need for repair.
    Just days ago a 17 year old boy killed a 16 year old girl and cut up the body in hundreds of pieces in South Korea. The police immediately suspected a copycat crime by a Chinse guest worker who kidnapped and killed a girl and cut her up in 280 pieces. He was suspected to be connected to larger organizations of illegal organ traders and providers of human meat. The 17 year old boy turned out to copy the movie Hostel not the human trafficker. This single news headline revealed so many aspects of so many models of the world that I see wish to see changed and also the interrelated nature of them. The article had so many external links and tags that led to articles about cannibalism, target murder FOR fcannibalism and organ harvesting, deceiving of the public by the Korean government to cover this up, Chinese oppression and mass murder of falun kung practioners just to name a few. There are wild things happening all over the world far more outrageous
    and sick and crazy. There is no sanity much less justice.

    It is inspiring and hopeful to read this entry and to know that there are more and more people who are moving to put some sense in people’s Godless mind.

  • mewabe

    It seems Neale has unleashed a firestorm here…where is the rain when we need it?

    Sadly, it demonstrates that we, humanity, are not ready to take the high road yet, to understand healing, to look BEYOND the superficial issues to get at the CORE of our problems, and are desperately attached to barbarian concepts of “justice” and injustice”, “guilt” and “innocence”, of PUNISHMENT.

    Look within, and you will see the entire world, including the guilty and the innocent, the victim and the perpetrator, and all human history, past, present and future.

    Go beyond the surface and the oversimplification of issues, and you will know that if ONE is found guilty, WE ALL ARE, so the point is not guilt but HEALING, of the self, of others, of society and culture, of the world.

    I understood Neale to be suggesting just that, HEALING, not the perpetuation of a system of guilt and punishment, which has HISTORICALLY been proven to lead to MORE guilt and punishment, more fear and paranoia, more prejudices and hatred, and more imbalance of power.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      The rain comes in the tears of people whose children are dying or rotting away in jail.

      Fear gets dissolved through love. Love comes through an open heart. A heart is opened through compassion. Compassion comes when we listen. Listening happens when we’re ready. The rose blossoms when it’s ready.

      • mewabe

        Yes, with compassionate listening comes healing. Who is the most in need of healing, in your opinion, the “victim” or the “victimizer”?

        Who is the sickest, the one who can cry, or the one who is compelled to hurt another because s/he cannot express his or her pain IN ANY OTHER WAY?

        Native Americans pray for those who hurt them. They understand that they are the most in need of healing.

        • Kymberlee della Luce

          I don’t hold the victim/perpetrator/rescuer viewpoint, actually. We all need healing and forgiveness. It’s both an inside and an outside job.

          • mewabe

            Agreed, that was my point. Healing is ALWAYS mutual, we never heal alone.

            To repeat:
            Why is healing so hard to accept? BECAUSE WE ALL NEED IT. And this alone destroys a PRIMARY belief in the innocence of one and the guilt of the OTHER (whoever it may be), a belief that literally causes humanity to act insane, AS WAS THE CASE IN THIS VERY INCIDENT, in which each party perceived the other to be guilty.

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            You have a beautiful heart. 🙂

            Do you have an idea about how to hold someone accountable for their actions if they have harmed another because, for now, we aren’t so good at being self-governing? There seems to be an gap to close between where we are now and where we would like to be. What steps would you take, practically speaking, to close that gap?

          • mewabe

            Thank you Kymberlee, so do you…

            I will think about it and reply more in length later. For now I would say that some individuals are too damaged for healing, given that healing has to be voluntary, it cannot be forced.

            Sadly some people seem to be beyond repair, and may need to be restrained so they won’t hurt another.

            But I think that a number of people can heal, and that communities can heal. And the solution, between individuals and between communities, is communication…TALKING, keep talking, slowly opening hearts and souls, breaking through assumptions, conditioning, prejudices and fears, and the pain and suffering caused by mutual alienation and lack of empowerment.

            If LA gangs can talk and choose reconciliation, most anyone can.

            Native Americans did it during a trial of some of their own activists in a very racist mid-western town…they reached out and talk to the community, to break through the prejudices that were inflamed by the local media. And they succeeded, to the point that these activists (Butler and Robineau) were found not guilty.

            The same goes in interpersonal relationship…as you mentioned, healing comes with heart to heart talking and listening. All pain can be healed when hearts open.

          • Kymberlee della Luce

            Yes! I agree so much with this. I look forward to hearing more of your ideas. <3

          • mewabe

            Thanks, I will be back in a couple of hours…

  • Mike Brown

    Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep

    He hath awakened from the dream of life

    ‘Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep

    With phantoms an unprofitable strife,

    And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s knife

    Invulnerable nothings. — We decay

    Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief

    Convulse us and consume us day by day,

    And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.

    excerpt Adonis: Shelly

  • Jeanette Traylor

    I know now that Trayvon’s death is not in vain. Listen to the conversations . We are trying to hear each other, maybe for the first time to this extent.

    • Kymberlee della Luce

      Yes! <3

  • mewabe

    Yes, there is profound institutionalized racism in this nation. There is no doubt about it.

    I can’t speak for Neale, and would never attempt to speak for anyone or anything (except perhaps the trees, the oceans and the mountains), but from what I understood, he wrote that no one does anything “wrong” given their own worldview.

    The question is, then, how can anyone have such a distorted worldview that they feel compelled to cause pain on another, to be so paranoid, so fearful, that they think their only option is violence?

    Sometimes, violence IS the only option, for self preservation. Most of the time it is not. It definitively was not in this case.

    What then, is the source of all pain? Isn’t this the ULTIMATE question if we seek to heal ourselves, our societies and the world? What cause us so much pain that we have no choice but to automatically, mostly unconsciously, inflict more pain on others, including our own children in spite of all our best intentions, or, alternatively, on anyone whom we perceive to be the “enemy” and with the worse possible intent?

    What will bring humanity to its knees, what will break its defense and attack behavioral models, what will demolish its inner and outer walls so all hearts and souls can be opened and reached?

    Perhaps nothing short of the implementation of hell on earth, towards which we are all (mostly all) eagerly contributing. Only when we are ALL sick and tired of suffering will we stop.

    We may have to experience the global failure of our ideas, beliefs, choices and actions before we admit defeat. Global despair might turn out to be our only door to actual healing, in the same way an addict who hits bottom is confronted with a simple choice, to live or die, because we are intensely, desperately addicted to our beliefs, our fears, our suffering, and actually fear love and peace more than we fear death (by “we” I mean humanity in general).

    The alternative to this grim scenario is for the people to mend the divides between cultures, races, classes, genders, generations, etc…

    Governments, leaders, institutions, medias and the elites that profit, in terms of ever more control, power and wealth, from the division and alienation of the people, will never do this, the people themselves have to do it, at a personal level, neighborhood to neighborhood, group to group, they have to reach out to their “enemies” and start talking, start communicating, honestly, openly.

    Such a healing movement could grow, from neighborhoods to nations.

    But then, is humanity REALLY capable of living WITHOUT ANY ENEMIES, without something to fear and hate, whether it is a “devil”, a person or a group? Is humanity really capable of healing, of understanding the meaning of peace, which is that there is absolutely nothing to fear?

    Time will tell…

    • Yes. The world you mention is worth striving for. Baby steps, I guess I spent a fair amount of time on this site today to have some conversations about all of this openly. I use my real name so that there is no hiding. I challenge sometimes and I don’t mind being challenged for the sake of growth.

      I do believe that it is through communication, as you mention, as well as love of both self and others that we will do the collective healing.

      Tonight, the sun is setting in the West hear in Seattle. My daughters are safe and I am connected to at least one heart that seems to be cut from the same fabric as my own. This is a good moment to be alive.

      Thank you for the conversation, mewabe. Blessings. 🙂

      • mewabe

        Thank you for the conversation Kymberlee…miigwetch…pilamaye (other ways of saying thank you)

  • Cat

    It’s not about behavior. It’s about motive. Loving motive or hateful motive. Those who can’t see love will perceive a hateful motive in everything they witness. Those who see love understand what’s behind all the ego layers and all the games people play. Including the game of killer and killed.