Divinity is the magick that pumps my blood and breathes with the trees and wakes me up in the morning after a night of dreams. My dreams are the divine, and the breeze on my skin. The way my chest feels as I silently commune with a tree, a bird, a flock of white snow geese swimming art in the sky grey with rain. The divine is conversation with a friend, being immersed in a vast ocean of like-minded souls like at the Women's March in D.C. on January 21st. The divine is meeting teachers, like Bernie.
on March 13, 2017 modeled for me magnanimous spirit, compassionate
heart, what forgiveness can look like, as he sat in a Town Hall meeting
in a mining community in McDowell County, West Virginia, 75% of whom
voted for Trump. Without a trace of irritation in his voice Bernie
stated again and again that not everyone agrees with him, and that's
fine––then he firmly and clearly stated what he sees as the truth.
I see the anger and resentment harbored in my own heart. The pugilistic
anger from my fear and pain as so many people continue hurting other
people, hurting our Mother Earth, extinguishing species, destroying
through greed and ignorance. I hesitated before writing the word
"ignorance" because my anger is based on the belief that everyone sees
the divinity of life, like I do, and they just don't care that they are
destroying it. They lie and manipulate because they are cruel and mean.
But the words keep coming to me, "Forgive them, for they know not what
People tell me that because my brother is an alcoholic
he is incapable of realizing the pain he inflicted for years through
verbal and fiduciary abuse, even when I cried again and again, "STOP!"
My heart does not want to forgive him, to be a passive recipient of
abuse not only from him, but from #45 in the White House and CEOs of
Monsanto, etcetera, and brothers Koch. This brings to mind W.E.B. Du
Bois's writings in The Souls of Black Folks.
There he observes that slave owners in the South of the United States
were so happy for their slaves to be Christianized, for then they
stopped rebelling against injustice and instead longed for freedom in
heaven with the Lord after they died. "Fatalistic" was the word Du Bois
used. And oh, it was all so convenient for white supremacist
I refuse to become passive. But I see in Bernie's
actions his heart that truly wants people to be happy and have the
dignity and well being they deserve as human beings. And he understands
that sometimes we believe lies, believe false promises. Bernie said to
the Trump voters last night that he understood they voted for Trump
because they believed his promise to make their unbearable lives better.
But then Trump didn't deliver on his promises and now he's working to
make their lives even worse by attempting to repeal Obama Care, leaving
them high and dry without rural healthcare.
Bernie spoke the truth
without bitterness or condemnation when he stated that the Republican
health "plan" was actually just a way to funnel even more money into the
pockets of the super rich (who already have more than they need) by
taking it from the people who truly need it, such as the people in the
Town Hall meeting.
What if I could talk with that type of open
heart with people with whom I disagree, to truly respect that they don't
agree with me? What if I could converse in a way in which I could be
heard by SGI
"leaders" who I am angry with because they ignore the voices of the
members? This lay Buddhist organization, Soka Gakkai International, has
been my spiritual family for more than 30 years. But now so-called
"leaders" shove authoritarian orders from above down our throats, even
though our mentor Daisaku Ikeda writes "the SGI is a humanistic organization. It is not authoritarian, giving orders from above."
am in a divine struggle within, how to speak the truth while loving and
forgiving? But I'm afraid that if I forgive that would enable slave
masters to do their dirty deeds with even more impunity. How can I help
the SGI walk the talk? To practice the egalitarianism that we preach?
How can I help the U.S. government to truly be by the people and for the
people, where we welcome the world's huddled masses, yearning to
breathe free, and stop abusing folks in other countries?
There are allies. Cracks and crevices. The grass
grows through. Just keep growing and pushing the dead concrete of
institutionalized habits and things will change.