| 10 Oct 2006 @ 11:26, by Alana Tobin|
I was very moved by this newsletter message from Caroline, and
I felt it important to share her message here. I also wrote to her this evening sharing my thoughts, feelings and many important links as they relate to many of her points. I may choose to share that response at a later time here in NCN.
Magical Melody (aka Alana)
Photo: Picture Credit “Kathy Wagenknecht”
Caroline in Ireland Aug. 2006
Newsletter: Thoughts in Turmoil and Tranquility
Last week, my new book, ENTERING THE CASTLE, finally went to press. It’s difficult to describe how consuming is the experience of writing a book. The soul of the book becomes a roommate, a constant companion, a jealous lover, a mind-mate, a confidant of your soul. You never stop thinking about it. You take the manuscript to bed, making notes on the pages you wrote during the day, falling asleep with a pencil in your hand and reading glasses still perched on your nose. You rack up a “to do” list that practically touches the ceiling by the time you finish the manuscript, because you simply cannot dilute your focus. I didn’t want to leave the Castle. When I wrote about the mansions of the soul and the rooms located in each mansion, I entered into the experience of each of the rooms – and I wanted to remain in many of them. Leaving the Castle, a metaphor for your deeper soul – your active interior soul – became more difficult as the months went by.
Simultaneously, a war continued to shatter the Middle East. My world became split between the Castle and the war and the rest of the world outside the tranquility of my office. I continued to teach while writing my book, of course, so I remained a part of the world, and yet my focus was largely consumed with the mystical path of illumination and how a human being heard and responded to “being called” by God into an intimate relationship with the Divine. Such a relationship is so intimate, so spiritually refined and delicate, that every breath you take feels as if it is in union with God. Juxtaposed to the theater of the war and other social tensions that I observed, that reality constantly made me ponder the mystery of how one individual can be called into a path of such spiritual intimacy while a fog of madness exists within the collective consciousness. And it made me think about the effects of collective madness and denial, and how to manage a force that we barely acknowledge exists but that we still must confront on the mystical path, and that is the presence of evil.
I have noticed repeatedly in workshops that the war and its impact on the collective psyche is a tender subject. That was true even when I prefaced my comments by saying, “This is not a political discussion. This is not about Republicans or Democrats or the President or the Middle East.” Regardless of where a war is being fought on this planet, a conflict of this magnitude is a global conflict, and, so, a part of each of us is at war. Not to discuss that is like trying to ignore the elephant in the room. But this initial hurdle is a difficult one because for all of our efforts to establish our identities as “global individuals” and “light bearers,” this conflict has shifted those symbolic name tags. War brings out tribalism and that is just the way it is. In this war, however, the tribalism has many expressions that were not a part of the previous conflicts in which America engaged – add to our inherent national tribalism the tribal warfare of political parties, which can be even more ferocious. Further, we have religious tribalism, personified by Christian fundamentalism, with its smothering moral code that threatens to clip the wings of individual freedoms.
One could say that this is not the first time that America has confronted internal strife. Certainly the Civil War stands out as an example of years of internal hatred of Americans by Americans. And the nation survived that. But there is a difference between America then and now, and the “enemy” or “enemies” that America faces. A very real shift has occurred in the soul of America, and perhaps I have noticed that because of writing ENTERING THE CASTLE, a book that is a journey into the soul. On some deep, unconscious level – although for many people, this awareness is quite conscious – more and more Americans no longer trust the core soul of their own nation. A veil of paranoia and confusion about the “spiritual essence” of America has descended, as if that essence has been compromised in some sinister bargain with the forces of darkness. Consider, for example, the massive stream of information in support of a 9/11 conspiracy theory. I have no idea whether such a theory is fact or fiction – my only point is that there is a growing number of Americans – almost one-third – who now believe that their own government deliberately participated in an attack against this nation. More Americans fear their own government now than trust it, as evidenced by the negative response to the Patriot Act even by many conservatives.
Curiously, Americans – who are a very vocal people – are no longer vocal about philosophical issues in politics. Rather, the moment such concerns are brought up, the only thing that occurs is that tempers are ignited, whereas once discussions and sharing of ideas and visions of the future would have ensued. I am now far more likely to hear, “I didn’t come to this workshop to listen to anyone discuss politics,” said in a harsh tone. Sometimes it’s fear talking, sometimes frustration, sometimes anger – yet I cannot help but wonder, What happened to the open minds and respectful discussions that used to take place when people gathered? What has silenced people? And what is making people so angry at each other?
I believe that anger is so thick in our society because of a combination of ingredients, all of which have compromised the soul of America. Americans are not accustomed to feeling helpless or to turning a blind eye when they sense that their nation is not on the right path. Something is wrong about the direction of our nation and we can feel it. This “wrongness” transcends political parties; this wrongness goes to the core of the founding vision of the nation – it is rooted in the collective soul of America. The ideals and honor that once held us together as a nation have been so compromised that we can sense an indescribable shift in our collective soul, yet we fear to actually name it because in doing so we must recognize that America is now destined for a very different future. It will never again be a truly “free” nation.
Perhaps this moment in time, this turning point in America’s destiny was inevitable. After all, things change, including nations and empires. Power shifts from one culture to another – no people can hold all the wealth or all the power forever. That’s just not how heaven plays the game of life. Thus, we are living at America’s most vulnerable moment – a moment in which the destiny of this great nation is truly in our hands, and in our hearts. As I interact with people in my workshops these days, though few people are comfortable talking about the health of this nation, their avoidance of this topic alone reveals a need to deny how different this nation has become and what that means for the future of America. We are kidding ourselves if we think that there will come a day when all of our freedoms will be returned and the NSA will stop spying on us. Our privacy is gone and no doubt more limits will be put on us as time continues to pass. Americans are unconsciously realizing this clipping of their precious wings of freedom, but are not acknowledging it in open conversation – yet. They are feeling it, sensing it, responding to it with depression, social tension, and other symptoms, but few are actually talking – or writing – about the fact that this war and the people in charge of this war have permanently changed our lives. Some may say these changes were necessary. Perhaps changes were indeed necessary – but these? Were the wisest choices made? History will definitely prove that they were not. In fact, history will show that an utter disregard for wisdom was the rule of thumb guiding the decisions of this administration.
Americans are suffering after years of this war because they are psychically exhausted and because the collective instinct of this nation has reached a breaking point. How could it not? While political stress between parties is normal, the tension between the political factions in this country now is ruthless. Surely such tension has existed before, notably during the Civil War and the Depression. But the complexities of this time are so much more involved and the threads of power so closely interwoven with those of many other nations that this time is far more volatile than at any other moment in America’s former isolationist history. There are even questions about the integrity of the electronic voting systems, as reports continue to surface about how the presidential race was rigged. Americans have always relied upon their ability to vote a new party into office. But both the Republican and Democratic parties inspire the question, “Where are the truly worthy and honorable statesmen and stateswomen that we need so desperately now?” Americans are longing to be inspired once again, and not terrified, traumatized, and accused of disloyalty toward their nation for questioning the decisions of its leaders.
Americans need to feel free to be Americans again. If that freedom were returned along with a sense of pride in our actions as opposed to self-righteous rage, anger, and vengeance – which has never been the motivation of America – perhaps the collective psyche would begin to relax into a sense of trust that “everything really is going to be okay” – once again. Americans are not accustomed to being told year after year after year to be “on guard” and that everything in their world is a potential threat. Recently I was watching CNN and Geri Wallis, a morning newscaster, did a segment on, “How to Spy on Your Neighbor.” How ‘bout it? Images of Stalinist Russia flew through my mind as I listened to her interview a private detective offering suggestions on how to collect data on your neighbors, such as their financial standing, their debt records, bankruptcy information, sex offender status, etc. I was mortified as I realized how much had changed in this nation – now spying on our neighbors and reporting suspicious actions and people to “proper authorities” is considered “being responsible”. Yep – I saw it myself.
How do we respond to all of this? First and foremost, Americans need to acknowledge that their nation has changed and continues to change. The next step is each individual’s responsibility, but you should ask yourself if these past years have changed you in any way. If you assume they have not, then you have answered far too fast. These years – and this war – have changed you, both as a person and as an American. It’s for you to investigate the significance of much that has influenced your life’s compass and how you see the future of this nation.
May your life be blessed,
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