LEARNING FROM SILENCE
 
By Robert Rabbin
 
 
 
 
In my heart, I know that all people want peace, in spite of the seeming evidence to the contrary. Therefore, on behalf of all people, I want to call for peace: total and absolute peace throughout the world, without further thought or consideration or calculation of any kind.

It is a universal human experience that suffering, tragedy, and death can awaken us from the surface of life to its depths, from the superficial to the meaningful, from the crude to the beautiful, from the selfish to the selfless, and from the mundane to the transcendent. As we awaken, we are drawn towards deep reflection, inner Silence, and wisdom. It is through deep reflection, inner Silence, and wisdom that we come to know peace. And now, in this moment of escalating passions and convictions, in this moment in which the world is trembling and reeling from past passions and convictions, we must seek that peace, know that peace, and become that peace.

To honor the truest expression of humanity, we must all call for peace, stand for peace, and act for peace. We must accept only peace. But first, we must become peace itself, not an idea or image of peace, not the rhetoric of peace, not the passions of peace, but actual peace, the peace in which violence cannot arise, because its true causes have been seen, understood, and transformed. There are many among us who have given their lives to such peace, who have become such peace, and who can speak for such peace. We must listen to them, learn from them, and give them seats in those rooms of power in which government and military officials now decide our nation's priorities and course of action.

This is a crucial moment in human history. What we do now, as individuals and as a nation, will lead our world down one path or another. The path we choose now will create our future for years and generations to come. Our every thought, word, and act holds the power to create or destroy. In the simplest of terms, our choices are between the paths of war and peace, between violence and nonviolence, between hatred and understanding, between fear and love, between retribution and reconciliation, between aggression and restraint. It is of supreme importance that before we retaliate against those we believe sponsored the attacks, before we choose one of these paths, we reflect and learn. We must learn, because what we already know, what we already think and feel and believe, the ways in which we already behave—are all links in the causal chain that culminated in the catastrophe of September 11. In order to learn, we have to empty our cup of these things—the already known. We must create within ourselves a sky of uncluttered awareness, in which we can rest in the clarity, equilibrium, and peace of our purest essence and deepest truth. We must allow our first and second thoughts, our inflamed feelings, and our habitual reactions to dissipate in this sky of awareness, into stillness and Silence.

Wisdom flows from Silence, and we need wisdom. We need a clarity of perception and understanding beyond what we already know. Differing points of view and perspectives are useful, but a higher level of consciousness is essential. Beyond thoughts and words, beyond concepts and beliefs, beyond all that is known and imagined, beyond the mind itself, is Silence—the sacred hub of the universe, the place where all differences dissolve, where all conflicts cease, where all fear turns to love, where all souls shine with the same single flame of radiance. Silence reveals what we don't yet know, and Silence will teach us what we must learn. From these teachings we will understand, and from this understanding we will grow wiser, and as we grow wiser we will act wisely. Henry David Thoreau wrote, "It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things." If we do not grow wiser, then we will do desperate things, and our desperate acts will cause violence to escalate in ways we cannot even imagine. I pray that we will not take our world down this path.

Sitting in Silence and deep reflection, we will find a wisdom that is not diminished by the dualism of the mind, not driven by surface appearances, not defined by the commotion of passions and convictions, not ruled by the chaos of habitual thoughts and reactions. In times of crisis such as we are now experiencing, we instinctively pause, reflect, and seek the solace and guidance of Silence. But for how long? For a moment? For a day? For a weekend? Typically, that is what we do, and it is not enough, because when we again take to the streets of "business as usual," the quiet voices of reflection and silence are overcome by the louder noise of habit and convention, of thoughts and beliefs, of anxiety and tension, of ego, fear, and separation. Instead, let us forge an enduring and unbreakable relationship to Silence and deep reflection, one that is constant and sacred, one that is attended to and cultivated in each moment, so that we may be ever and always guided by that to which we too rarely turn, and even then only in times of crisis, loss, and grief. We must surrender to Silence as a way of life, for it is in this Silence that we find the true heart and spirit, the true soul, of our humanity. Silence is the supreme summit from which we can see the past, present, and future of the human drama, and what lies behind it. It is upon this summit that the saints and sages from every country and culture have stood, and it is upon this summit that we must all now stand.

Within this Silence, we learn much about the deeper nature and purpose of human life, about the nature of the world, about cause and effect, about immutable laws of existence. If we are to know peace, we must learn from Silence. So far, we have not. So let us begin now, together, in our call for peace.

Let us learn from Silence.


Robert Rabbin, founder of RealTime Speaking, is a contemporary mystic, keynote speaker, workshop leader, and executive coach who is currently living in Australia. He is a pioneer of practical mysticism and a leading exponent of Silence and self-inquiry as a way of revealing our authentic being and of living in wisdom, love, and peace. For contact and further information, please visit : www.robertrabbin.com

Copyright © 2005 Robert Rabbin, All Rights Reserved

http://www.circlesoflight.com/spiritual-activism/

 
 
 
 
 
 
THE WAR ON TERROR
 
By Gina Rabbin
 
 
 
 
In London, a 27-year-old Brazilian man, named Jean Charles de Menezes was shot and killed by police who followed him from his home to a subway station in the mistaken belief he was a suicide bomber. Witnesses reported seeing an obviously terrified de Menezes running from gun-carrying plainclothes police officers as they chased him through the underground station. As he stumbled running onto the subway train, two police officers pushed him to the floor and held him down as a third shot him in the head seven times and once in the shoulder, in front of other subway riders. Police have since admitted he was not a terrorist and in no way connected to the recent London bombings.

While they have apologized for the tragedy, the police will not accept responsibility. The Mayor of London stated that police killed de Menezes because they were doing what they believed necessary to protect lives. The Police Commissioner said that police could shoot more people as they continue the hunt for would-be suicide bombers.

Tears come to my eyes at the thought that more innocent people might be killed at the hands of those who are searching for terrorists. Who will be held responsible for those deaths? In many op-ed pieces and letters to the editor across the country, people blame the terrorists for making the actions of the police necessary. Is that true? Are the terrorists responsible for how we choose to respond to acts of terrorism or are we responsible for our own actions?

We are, indeed, engaged in a "war on terror," as we have been reminded repeatedly since September 11, 2001. Nevertheless, "terror" is not an action, it is an emotion, and the emotion we are at war with comes not from outside of ourselves but from within us. Can we really blame someone else for how we choose to respond to their actions, even if those actions are devastating? Can we win this so-called war on terror by reacting in a way that creates even more terror? Will terror win over compassion, fear over understanding, vengeance over justice? Or is it possible to change how we respond to terrible acts committed against us?

These are questions that pull hard at my heart. I reach for my tarot cards, looking for answers and understanding and, hopefully, a new way to respond. I'm not certain of how many cards to pick, so I pull one at a time from the deck until I feel it is enough. I end up with seven cards.

The 3 of Swords and the 9 of Swords reflect where we find ourselves in relation to this issue. The 3 of Swords represents the heartache we continue to carry with us at the events of September 11, 2001. The tragedy of that day left scars of sorrow that many of us have not been able to heal. The way in which we have chosen to express that sorrow is through the energy of the 9 of Swords - fear. Fear has been born of sorrow, and out of fear flow behaviors that permit terror to be our response.

Can we continue to respond in this way? Or can we find another way? The Queen of Rods and the Queen of Cups both tell us yes. Let our sorrow give rise to compassion, the Queen of Rods says. Understand that those on whom we inflict the expression of our sorrow also feel sorrow. Is our own pain truly lessened by causing pain to someone else, she asks? Can we feel our own pain, and not realize that someone else is feeling the same way? When we can begin to empathize with the pain of others, says the Queen of Cups, when we become aware that our pain is no less than theirs, we have reached the place where we can understand how important it is to shift the response to our pain and fear. From this place, we begin the healing process.

How do we accomplish this shift? By facing our fears. The Strength card is our ability to look at our fears, to stand up to them, to recognize where they come from, and to not give in to them. When we can openly and honestly acknowledge our deepest fears, they cease to have power over us and we can begin to find a new way to respond to them. From this place of Strength, we can call on the energy of Temperance, the card of balance and harmony, of connection to our highest, most loving and compassionate self. This is the place from which we can now respond, and from this place, we find that terror has become an impossible reaction for us. We want to find another way.

What next, you might wonder. What do we do with this newfound awareness and compassion? The 3 of Pentacles tells us to begin building something new in the world. We can build a new way of dealing with our terror, one that does not create terror for someone else. We can use the energy of the 3 of Swords in a different way. Now, we can use that energy to feel compassion for others, for those innocents like Jean Charles de Menezes and his family who have been caught in the net of our fears and suffered because of them. By using our new awareness to respond in a new way, we can allow resolutions that spring from the well of compassion. Out of that well, we can build a world of compassion, and bring an end to the war on terror.


Gina Rabbin is a life-long intuitive and catalyst for clarity. She helps people clarify and resolve their personal and professional issues in order to create more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Currently residing in San Francisco, CA, Gina is available for tarot card readings in person or by telephone. For more information, please visit : www.ginarabbin.com

Copyright © and Trademark ™ 2004 Robert Rabbin/All Rights Reserved