First, I wish to apologize for sending posts of late that have errors of name (names of some of you that I have addressed), name spelling, and flaws of netiquette and courtesy in forwarding things without permission. Yesterday, I came to realize that this atmosphere of crisis in this country and the world is affecting me more than I know--or, to take responsibility for my actions, I am letting it affect me in ways that lead to lack of concentration and confusion sometimes...sometimes, and for this I do apologize.
Also, some of you (some, not all) have said that you found some of my posts surprising, confusing, strange, offensive, sick, or unclear in some way. I assume you (some of you) refer to posts in which I say that I advocate peace, at least that my own actions should be peaceful, for I cannot tell another what to do. I also assume you refer to parts of post where I have talked about what I might have referred to as a kind of violence practiced by corporations and agencies of the U.S. government, a violence that, while not excusing the horrible actions of hijackers/murderers on Sept. 11, does help create a chain of poverty and suffering, of desperation in much of the so-called "third world" and among the poor and otherwise suffering in this country, as well. Some of you have felt confused or offended or put off by what you think you have heard me say. I am sorry if my writing has not been clear. ---And, also, I am not sorry for my conviction that war is not the way for me to go (again, I do not tell others what to do, but speak for my own ideal way and course of action).
I am *not* sorry for my conviction that I must look for peaceful solutions, for what Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate from South Africa, calls "not retributive justice, but reparative justice." Aho! Reparative justice! In the case of South Africa and other places, this has involved listening to the confessions of those who committed horrible acts of murder and torture, for example, listening to them, listening for the light of God in them, for, even in the worst murderer, there is a light, I would believe (and yes, it is not easy for me to know this, but it is my ideal). There are more creative solutions than war. I don't have a full set of answers as to how peace works, but it is my ideal to pursue this, within myself first of all, and to accept and respect those whose views are different than mine, even the views of soldiers and government leaders who talk of war.
Some see the work of peace as no work at all, as cowardly, as doing nothing. Some of you have said that if someone were attacking your loved one, you would jump in and even kill the person. Well, that is your way and I must respect that that is what you see as best. I do not condemn you for that. But, ideally, it is not my way. In such a situation, frankly, I don't know what I would do, but I hope that I would, as the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh says, BE PEACE. Or, in the Christian tradition, of which we have ample example--and in esoteric Christianity, I believe--of the Christ event and the Mystery of Golgotha. Here we see the example of the disciples called to be awake, to witness, though they slept. They are not called to defend the Christ, to take up arms and stop the crucifixion. They are called to witness, and we are called to take up our cross. (In the esoteric teachings, the 12 were part of the One, and each was to suffer what the One suffered...and eventually perhaps even the Judas being, too...although I do not claim to understand all of this). Over and over, the Christ being called for "turn the other cheek", "Love your neighbor as yourself." "Love your enemy." Not us and them, not dualism that creates wars. Some of you have said there are wars of angels in heaven. I don't know what that means. I only know that in the Christ example, we are called to take up our cross and follow him, which is, to follow his lead, which is "love your enemy." I do not fully know how to love my enemy. Yet, that is my ideal.
Some of you have also testified to forgiving and listening to those who have raped or abused you. Thank you for your bright courageous example. Courage, to me, is not the opposite of fear, but the practice of love so that fear does not rule. Fear is human, but need not rule. The desire for retaliation is understandable, but need not rule. Animals retaliate. We are called, in Christ, to be upright beings, ego-beings, calling down the Divine into our very members. In this realm, I believe miracles occur, things unseen. "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard..." Thus, I pray to be open to the way of the Christ, in the midst of violence, not to respond animalistically in the Old Way of "an eye for an eye", but in the new way of Love your enemy, whatever that might mean (and I do not have all the answers, but am guided by an ideal). For the expression of this, I do not apologize.
This country and people round the world suffered great loss on Sept. 11, and with many, I do grieve. Oh, I may not grieve the way that those who felt and feel direct loss do, but still I do grieve. I *also* grieve the atmosphere of hysteria and terror that has arisen in this country, where those with dissident voices (those not for war) are called cowardly, unpatriotic, cold, etc. and are harrassed and threatened with various forms of violence (take the threats against the life of California Congresswoman, Barbara Lee, the only dissenting voice, who did not vote to give Bush unprecedented powers to enact war). Civil liberties are being threatened in this atmosphere of patriotic, nationalistic hysteria. How is this different than National Socialism under Hitler? What has happened to the democratic ideals we cherish when a woman cannot vote her conscience? When a brown skinned person must fear being scapegoated because of the murderous acts of those who look like her? or him? When an advocate for peace is beaten and arrested by riot police? To answer terror with terror, to silence dissent, is, to my mind, no solution. We become what we abhor, at least in my view.
And yes, the whole agenda of the World Bank and the IMF (Internation Monetary Fund), all in relation to elite corporate globalization is an issue here, as I and many others see it. And so the WTC (World Trade Center) represents that corporate global elite who enact policies that impoverish the Earth and the citizens of so many poor countries. No, nothing excuses the hijackings and murders of Sept. 11, and I am deeply sorry for the horrible loss of life there. Those who hijacked and murdered committed, in my understanding, acts of evil. But nothing excuses a response of terror on the part of the U.S., not in my view. Also, the repeated bombings of Iraq by U.S. forces, bombings and sanctions have resulted in the loss of thousands upon thousands of "civilian" lives. One act of terror does not excuse another. This is not about blame--it is about taking responsibility for our actions, we who pay taxes for war, we who support sweat shops run by elite global corporations, etc. Not blame--but taking responsibility, and doing what we can, led by conscience and higher SELF, to create a harmonious world where greed is overcome and resources are shared and the Earth is allowed to fulfill its mission, as Steiner reminds us, of LOVE. This is the work of Christened Ego-beings, in my view. This is what I wish to learn and to practice, though I am far from perfect (obviously).
Well, of course, any of you are (obviously) free to practice something different than me, to see the crisis, the world, evolution, etc. differently than me, and when you respond that my posts are "offensive" or strange or unclear, I will look to see what might be my part in this, and hope that you can point to specifics that I may look at these and we may discuss, as appropriate and helpful. --Also, I would ask you to look at your own part, to own up to your own feelings, and I would ask you to consider that what you feel is YOUR feeling, based on YOUR interpretation of what you read, based on what you bring to the reading, and I ask you to consider that each of us is responsible for our own feelings and views. I ask you to consider that, if you will.--For example, if someone finds my posts "sick" (as one of you said), I ask you to consider that it is you who are finding the sickness. The sense of sickness is in the feeling of the feelr, in the eye of the beholder, I would say, is in your own interpretation of what you read or mis-read. --Of course, it can also be true that there is a sickness within me, and if you genuinely feel that, then I would ask that you either ignore, delete, or that you choose to engage me in a caring helpful way. This is what I ask.
Name calling--calling another or another's posts--"sick" or "offensive", etc.--in my view, does not help, and in my view, says more about the name caller than about anything else.
I think even we as anthroposophists (me included) can take some lessons in how to speak and relate to each other, in Goethean conversation, if you will, in conflict resolution, in Christ mediated sharing, lesson in how to take responsibility for our own feelings instead of calling others or others' posts names, lessons in how to respond to someone with whom we disagree, and, in my case, particularly --I have been a failure here-- also lessons in getting peoples' names right and in respecting other people's identities and ethics of forwarding mail. Or, when I am tired or feeling stressful, I need to learn to recognize this, take a break and not write.
I pray to listen, and if or when I am unable to listen, to delete, respectfully. If I listen, may I open to the questions in my heart, to the questions in your heart, to engage the other, to seek clarity and "the peace that passeth all understanding."
Let me trust that the Third Way, the True Medium, the Christ (called by whatever name--Anointed, Immaculate One, Divine in the Human, Peacemaker...) lives among us, and that "where two or three are gathered in that name, there I AM in the midst"--thus, the "peace that passeth all understanding."
In hopes of that peace, your servant--
Shalom, Asalaam aleichum, Dona Nobis Pacem,
elaine (who will take a break and be quiet for now)