With news of devastations in Syria and the US Government poised to take warring actions, I’m compelled to share these thoughts and send prayers toward peace.
I traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia in 2005 where I had the privilege of presenting workshops and sitting on a roundtable discussion at the 13th Annual Conference on Conflict Resolution whose theme was “Engaging the Other.” Cosponsors were the Harmony Institute of St. Petersburg and Common Bond Institute located in Michigan, along with a whole list of multinational endorsers. Aside from Russia and the US, there were participants and presenters from Israel, Serbia, South Africa, Palestinian Authority and a number of other countries.
The roundtable where I was a panel member was entitled “The Other as Both Humankind’s Oldest, Most Resilient Foe and Our Shared Identity.” My workshop session introduced the “Re-Membering Process,” the model of spiritual evolution I developed, along with experiences of working with intent. In the parallel youth conference, I focused on cleaning the energy body with the teens.
My participation in this conference was a case of intuitive guidance. While I didn’t give it much thought beforehand, there was something inside me that said it was important to go. Once I got over the initial eleven-hour jet lag and began to immerse myself in the conference, I realized it was impacting me in a way I couldn’t articulate and certainly hadn’t expected. I had to sit with it for a time and allow the meaning to come in bits and pieces.
First, I recognized that twenty-five years ago this conference couldn’t have happened. I was in Moscow in the mid-1980s as a tourist when things were still shaky between the US and Russia. The atmosphere at that time was uncomfortable, to say the least. At the 2005 conference, people whose nations were current enemies, or foes in the recent past, were sitting side by side for learning, dialogue and some fun along the way. This was a progressive group of people who looked well beyond the politics of their respective countries.
My next realization was the contrast between my focus, alignment of the individual in order to make a difference, and the majority of other workshops, which were dealing with the traumas and ravages of war, extreme social strife and disease. I quickly noted how removed my own life is from such things. I’ve had my challenges but nothing like what these presenters were discussing. I began to wonder if what I had to share would have value in those cultures experiencing such high degrees of discord.
I told the workshop group that I knew the “Re-membering Process”* to be true in my own culture. But I didn’t know if it would be valid for them and invited them to give me feedback. As I led them through the phases of spiritual evolution that I had identified, the issues that tended to arise and the path of progression, I saw a lot of heads nodding in agreement.
A number of people shared their stories. But one woman’s story in particular was quite moving. She came from an area of Russia that had a long history of hostilities. She said her grandparents had been killed and her father was jailed for many years. She gave examples of her own suffering through those times. Through tears, she then stated that the “Re-Membering Process” was true for nations as well as individuals. It gave her hope as she could identify her own progression and that of her country. Later when I led a guided imagery, meant to take the group into the Core Self and experience intent, she experienced an energetic opening, as did others, never having done so before.
The outcome of that workshop deepened a certain meaning for me. There is indeed a common thread that runs through us all. We want the same things. Some of us find ourselves in horrific situations in which we feel helpless and hopeless. Yet there is a resident resilience in the human spirit that whispers to us: Something else exists.
Yes. We need to get through the traumas of war. But then what? Dialoguing alone won’t do it—and further aggression won’t either. To leave the times of war behind, whether the conflict is internal or external, micro or macro, we must experience the possibility of spiritual evolution—and connect to it. As we step into Core Essence and remain even remotely aligned to it, we positively affect ourselves but also others. The results can then blow like a strong wind across all lands. I believe it.