Reactions to Newtown Massacre by the Spiritual Community

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Deepak Chopra via Twitter:

“In remembrance of all those that have been killed in the senseless Newtown massacre, I’m observing silence on Twitter + Facebook until 12/17.”


Marianne Williamson offered this prayer on Facebook:

For those who bear tonight the unbearable burden
of unimaginable grief,
who in their agony yell at the forces of fate…
For those who moan and those who faint,
for those who rage and those who pray,
we moan and pray along with them.
For tonight, those were our children too.
Dear God, May a legion of angels come upon the parents
and bring to them an otherworldly touch,
an otherworldly comfort
an otherworldly sense that their children are well,
that they are safe with God,
and shall be with them always.
Give to those who grieve what no mortal force can give…
the touch of Your Hand upon their heart.
May all who are touched by this darkness
be Lit by Your grace.
Please wipe away all tears, dear God.
as only You can do.
Amen


Oprah Winfrey via Facebook:

“Dear Lord…help us to understand as we Stand with these families. Heal our broken hearts. Pray for Newtown.”


Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the magazine Tikkun: A Bimonthly Jewish Critique of Politics, Culture and Society and chair of The Network of Spiritual Progressives, in a regular email to his readership, shared some thoughts and a prayer after the latest mass killings, including an extreme position on gun control, writing that “banning all guns is necessary but not sufficient in light of the increasing violence in our society.” He proposes a constitutional amendment to ban all guns, and to create special holding units for hunting rifles to be held in control of locally elected officials in every neighborhood, and he wrote that police must similarly be disarmed and allowed only to use billy clubs and mace, except in emergencies in which a judge signs a warrant for the temporary use of lethal force.

Further, he wrote that “we must create a track of education in every school and every grade level that teaches non-violence both as a philosophy of life and as a practical way to live one’s life.”

“It takes a whole society to create pathological killers out of human beings who are not born that way,” Rabbi Lerner wrote, “and it will take a societal effort — plus individual efforts to get the pathological messages out of our consciousness and replace them with loving and caring messages and worldviews.”


Louis Bourgeois, founder and spiritual teacher of the Oasis Center for Conscious Living, shared this essay on disaster and compassion via Facebook:

“I feel inspired to write this essay today in response to the outcry against the violence and despair ever present in our world. For so many, every incident is a cause for condemnation, a general cry of ‘this should not be!’ This is the tribal and egoic mind hard at work, always looking for evidence to support its misery. We might fail to realize what helped two of the people we admire for their compassion — the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela — develop this very powerful gift. The Dalai Lama deepened in his ability to offer the gifts of forgiveness and compassion because of the Chinese and the ruthless treatment of his country and people. Similarly, Nelson Mandela came to thank those who ‘wrongly’ imprisoned him for 27 years. The brutality he experienced did not destroy him. Rather it transformed him.

“This transformation is a genuine awakening, whereby our consciousness shifts from what I like to call ‘caterpillar consciousness’ to ‘butterfly consciousness.’ As Eckhart Tolle so beautifully described in The Power of Now, what appears to us as evil from one perspective actually becomes beautiful from another. Or, as A Course in Miracles (ACIM) states: ‘the holiest of all places is where an ancient hatred becomes a present love.’ We can learn to love the very things we once hated, and this is the true power of forgiveness and compassion. One approach to this, as taught by ACIM, is to see every act of violence or hatred more clearly as a cry for love. What is the most appropriate and helpful response to such a cry? Love.

“Now this takes a level of consciousness beyond the limitations of the tribal mind (thank God my family is safe!) or the egoic mind (whose mantra is ‘this should not be!’). This awakened consciousness sees the ‘one thing’ going on everywhere, and this ‘one thing’ can be described in a variety of ways. The most useful way for me to talk about this ‘one thing’ is using the language of energy. Energy, by law, is always seeking to move from places of high concentration to places of low concentration. When some ‘disaster’ happens, there is a high concentration of ‘upset,’ whether this upset is felt as sadness, anger, or even outrage, and there is a low concentration of love. So, if you have the capacity to feel love’s presence inside of you, desiring to use you as its conduit of expression, you suddenly see this situation entirely differently. You see the ‘disaster’ as what it truly is…the opportunity to express love. This is the ‘one thing’ always going on.

“This is the transformation possible inside of you, to move energy, to feel love’s presence, and to respond to everything with a resounding YES! Rather than falling into the conditioned response of no! Remember that for the caterpillar, the transformation looming in its future appears like the end of the world.”

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