the harvest moon- peace in the desert
Last evening a harvest moon rose over the desert. It was one of the most beautiful and peace-filled moments I have ever experienced out here - a soulful sense of heaven and earth, everything and everyone, all moving together in one harmonious flow.
As I sat in the peace-filled light of a moon that had turned the night into day, I was also struck by a sense of darkness - a feeling of also being torn apart. The senseless gun violence once again repeated in Washington DC this week is a symptom of a soul-sickness that has infected this nation. Every time these violent acts occur, the fabric of our soul becomes more and more frayed.
The "soul" of any individual is not something inside a person. Our soul is our relationship. We are a complex web of relationship - created as harmony, designed to be in harmony. When that relationship is violated and torn apart, we lose our soul.
An op-ed column in this morning's New York Times laments the "ghastly ritual" that keeps repeating itself in this country:
Another mass shooting. Another round of shock, sadness and outrage. Another pitched discussion about rights and responsibilities, mental illness and background checks. And then nothing.
When 1000 people were murdered in Syria, we were ready to go to war to stop future killings. When 3000 people were crushed in the bombing of the Twin Towers on 9/1l, we did go to war. And yet, an estimated 8,255 people have died in gun violence since the Newtown massacre on December 14, 2012, and nothing is done about it.
Apart from the "mass shootings" that are reported in the national news, heinous acts of gun violence occur every day in virtually every part of the nation. Just yesterday, one person was killed and four were injured in a grocery store shooting in Stockton, CA; an 8 year old girl was injured by a drive-by shooting in Shreveport, LA; a 17 year-old boy was shot by a fellow student in Peoria, lll; a 67 year-old man was shot and killed while waiting for a bus in Chicago - and this is just a partial list (just from yesterday alone).
The "ghastly ritual repeats" itself every day in this land and nothing is done about it. We are suffering from a debilitating soul-sickness that needs to be healed, because left untreated the sickness is fatal.
The latest chatter on gun violence in America has focused on "mental illness." The pundits and the politicians are now claiming that since most of the shootings have been perpetrated by mentally ill people, guns should not be sold to mentally ill people (as ridiculous as this sounds, even this proposition is getting resistance from the gun lobbyists).
In some sense, I believe that the whole country is suffering from a form of mental illness when we witness the daily repetition of this "ghastly ritual" and do nothing about it.
Albert Eistein once said:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I think maybe we are all suffering from a soul-sick "insanity."
Marin Luther King once said:
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period was not the strident clamor
of the bad people,
but the appalling silence of the good people.
Dr. King also said:
Somehow this madness must stop!
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