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"May love and joy guide all my actions today."



Essay: America's Purpose

America Is Needed
Everyone Makes Mistakes
Anything Is Possible
September 11, 2001
Cause of Mid-East Conflict
Root Cause of Conflict
Part of the Solution or Problem?

 

THE DISCONNECT OR "WHY DO THEY HATE US?"

I love America.

I love our brashness, our freedoms, our energy and our insistence that we can do anything we set our minds to.

I love the feelings that well up inside me when I stand for our National Anthem because I know that there are countless heroes among us.

Millions of compassionate hearts live in America, trying to make a difference in our every day lives, giving the best they have, picking themselves up off the ground and saying: I will not quit.

Yet, at last count, forty-eight active terrorist organizations exist in the world, and a number of them do not like us. At least one of them is dedicated to destroying us.

We are told that they do not want our ideals of equal opportunity and equal justice to prevail.

How is this possible? Are we not needed? Are the ideals upon which our nation was founded no longer needed? Do we not have work that is uniquely ours, as a country, to do?


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AMERICA IS NEEDED

Yes, The United States of America is needed. You and I are needed. We have work that is uniquely ours to do. Our nation is essential to the world as a place of ideas, exchange, and human evolution.

We are also problem solvers and we are here to serve as problem solvers because the world has a lot of problems.

So, make no mistake, we will not be destroyed. Not by outside forces. Why? Because we have work to do and and service to perform. Yet, with great talent comes great responsibility.


LIVING UP TO OUR POTENTIAL OR SPINNING HYPE?

As long as there is hunger, poverty, disease, despair and the mercilessness of war, we have not lived up to our potential as a people or as a nation. Nor have we adequately assisted the world to live up to its potential.

Yet, our insistence and belief in ourselves - a quality that some have labeled arrogance - is our strength and our truth because we really can do whatever we set our minds to.

And, make no mistake, Individually - and as a nation - we are doing what we came here to do, which is to transcend concerns about survival and lift the world up into prosperity.

Yet, like everyone on earth—every person and every nation, for there are no exceptions—we have made mistakes while on our path.

So to say that America is all good is hype. To insist that American administrations can perpetrate evil (like torture) and still hide behind some banner of overall goodness is hypocrisy.

And to claim that a laissez faire "trickle down" economy is benevolent flies in the face of the evidence.

It is that hypocrisy - and the arrogance to think that we are better than anyone else or that the world should do what we tell it - that has turned us into a nation people love to hate.


FEAR, JEALOUSY, RESENTMENT, ANGER

Fear, jealousy, judgment, resentment, and feeling powerless against us - these are the feelings of those who hate us, yet we take no responsibility for what we've done to engender them.

For instance, people fear that we will impose our "values" - like being the only first-world nation without nationalized health care - upon them.

Instead of insisting that our nation take care of all it's people, many otherwise good people scorn such health care as giving something to someone who hasn't earned it.

The truth is, we have been selfish. We have been obsessed with making money and buying things for ourselves, not with making people's lives better.

When others look at how we treat our own, we look pretty bad even to those who love us.


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MAKING MONEY IS NOT BAD

Don't get me wrong. Money isn't bad. Poverty is the great evil.

A billion people are starving to death as you read this. Billions more cannot come close to fulfilling their potentials for lack of education and exposure to opportunity.

And that is the problem.

Worse, those who amass money, while making their own lives better, have often done it through exploitation.

The corporate model has been to pay minimal wages - stealing people's lives for a pittance - while taking wealth from the earth and repaying it with pollution.

Yet too many people look at life as a game of numbers to be won by any means.

The result is that America has more millionaires and billionaires than any other nation in the world even as billions suffer. Even our own citizens, people who have worked all their lives, but never made enough to be secure, are left behind to struggle.


MAKE DECISIONS FROM A SACRED SPACE

There is another way, a way that will serve all.

The solution is not to renounce money or be poor. The solution is to dedicate our businesses and corporations to Higher Purpose.

Unfortunately, there has been a good deal of controversy about starting meetings with prayer because of the need for separation between church and state.

Yet God's name need not be evoked in order to set an intention that the result of a meeting be in the highest good of all concerned.

Intention-setting doesn't need to be called prayer.

If you want to create a Sacred Space without offending anyone, ask to be guided in Right Action for All Concerned. You can create and hold a Sacred Space with like-minded people without involving naysayers.

Because, whatever we call it - whether prayer or setting the highest standards for responsible behavior - we need more of it, not less, because we all need to be guided by a true moral compass.

Every endeavor and every business decision must be made in a Sacred Space dedicated to the Highest Good for All Concerned.

When we begin doing that every day, miracles will happen and all our lives will be transformed.

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EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES - AND SOMETIMES BAD ONES

Collectively and historically we have made terrible mistakes. To deny this is to lie to ourselves, and to extinguish the possibility of improvement.

We stepped on minorities. There were times we were ignorant. Prejudiced. Ugly. Hateful. Vicious.

We put loyal Japanese Americans in labor camps during WWII.

We attempted to extinguish freedom of thought, speech and expression in the McCarthy era.

We are the only nation on earth that dropped nuclear bombs on human beings—on civilians—in two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Our nation enslaved, lynched and denied basic human rights to people based upon the color of their skins.

And it's looking, now, as though invading Iraq was a deliberate atrocity born not out of real danger, but out of arrogance and an economic and political agenda known as "disaster capitalism."

Ignoring the U.N. and scorning our friends and allies is not what the world expects from us. The abuses against prisoners have had the international community and human rights organizations shaking their heads in shock and disappointment.

They expected better from us. And we should, too.


TIME FOR APOLOGIES AND MOVING ON

But let us not ignore the fact that America, as a whole, has developed a conscience and granted freedom. It's clear that, over time, we are progressing. So let's not wallow in our mistakes.

Instead, let us admit them, apologize for them, personally and collectively, make whatever amends we can for them openly and, then, go on.

Because continued guilt over the past is worse than useless. It will cripple us, psychologically, if we hang on to it.


WE'RE ALL STILL LEARNING

The fact is that, as a nation, we are still learning and changing, and most of us want to do the right thing. So let us align ourselves, not with our egos or fears, but with love and let love guide us in doing the right thing, now.

Let us focus on a goal that will lift us up, rather than knock us down.

Since most of us believe in God, we believe it is possible to accomplish any goal; even the goal of creating a peaceful world.

The truly beautiful thing is that, once we make up our minds to pursue a goal, we will never, never take no for an answer and we will never accept anything as impossible.


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ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

We really do believe that, with the help of God, all things are possible. This is part of our strength, and look how blessed we have been.

But I propose that our engagement in conflict has like an addiction. As with addictions, we need something like a twelve-step program to wean ourselves away from it.

For too long we have embraced the idea that, because we are a large country, we can use violence with impunity.

We have also not learned that it is less than useless to justify what we have so willingly do by pointing the finger and saying "they started it."


POSITIVE CHANGE REQUIRES RESPONSE-ABILITY

Instead, we must take 100% responsibility for the position in which we find ourselves. Then we must go through a process of internal change that aligns us with our true purpose: to give God another vehicle for acts of love.

We cannot force anyone else to take this step, but we can teach by example.

And, given the events of the last few years, it is crucial that we now turn our American determination, American courage and American heart toward a truly noble and helpful goal:

Getting to the root of what causes us to be engaged in conflict.

As with the twelve-step program, each of us must make an honest, courageous and unflinching assessment of our individual role in perpetuating conflict in the world.

We must apologize and make amends, and we must commit to change and healing.

If we care about our individual safety and happiness and the fate of our children, our nation and the world, we will each of us do this.


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SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

On September 11th the tide seemed to turn against us, yet we had one of our proudest moments as we pulled together.

For many, the trivialities of life were stripped away.

We remembered what is really important: family, loving, making the most of each moment, forgiveness.

September 11th brought many of us closer to God, and God is still with us, speaking within us. You know you hear God when that still small voice inside you says: There are no impossibilities. There is a solution.

And we need it because, after the initial shock, we wanted revenge against someone.


A TASTE FOR BLOOD BACKFIRES

Our fears again awoke a taste for blood.

So we allowed our government to declare "emergency conditions" and enact policies that could have the result of turning us into a land more like those we condemn for their lack of regard for individual rights.

And, as the drama has continued, through a need for self-preservation, expressing ourselves in fear and anger, we were poised to take on the entire world.

Insulting our allies, we embraced a war that we were told would kill others, but not our own sons and daughters.

Yet, as I write this we are deeply mired in a war in Iraq that kills and cripples more of our own with each passing day.


STILL LOOKING FOR JUSTIFICATION

The international community continues to ask: Where was our justification? Where are the weapons of mass destruction?

And how dare we invade a sovereign nation under the claim of alleviating prisoner abuses, given the fact of the torture that goes on in our own high security prisons and, recently, at our hands, in Iraqi prisons?

Yet, we brought this upon ourselves when we abandoned the U.N. and scorned those allies who urged prudence. It was then that we chose to become a vengeful god unto ourselves.


SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT

Collectively, we shot ourselves in the foot because we cannot kill all our enemies. Witness the vain attempts of Israel and Ireland to do so.

Fighting tends to perpetuate itself, not end conflict.

So what has happened? What has gone so wrong? Was not America created to be a gift to the world? And what is the real cause of this conflict between America and the Mid-East?


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Part 2: The Cause Of The Mid-East Conflict


BOGUS EXPLANATION #1: IMMATURE MUSLIMS:

There are many theories in regard to why we were attacked and why we are embroiled in a conflict with the Mid-East.

Some propose that it is because the Muslim religion is only fourteen hundred years old and is at the point, as was Christianity in its fourteenth hundred year, where adherents view everyone else as "infidels" who must either be converted or destroyed.

This does not explain the hundreds of millions of peace loving Muslims who do not want to go to war against anyone.

Neither does it explain the fact that there are many modern day Christians who have no tolerance for other religions. The most powerful proof of this is the Holocaust. During World War II Christians attempted to rid the world of Jews through extermination.

So the claim that the religion and/or adherents of Christianity have matured and are more tolerant toward other religions than that of Muslim believers has no credibility.


BOGUS EXPLANATION #2: ECONOMICS

Others say all conflicts are over economic disparities; the "have-nots" hating the "haves."

Certainly desperation breeds rash acts, but Osama Bin Laden, for example, was a billionaire. He, personally, lacked for nothing material. Yet he hated the U.S. with fierce passion and wished to destroy her.


BOGUS EXPLANATION #3: IT'S ONLY ABOUT OIL

Others insist that the key to all the conflict between the U.S. and the Mid-East is the need for oil. Some believe the current war against Iraq is a power play over who shall control access to Iraqi oil reserves.

Yet, the U.S. is dependent upon many nations for goods. We haven't started a war with Canada because we want her lumber.

So, although all the these issues are significant and contribute to the over all conflict, they are not, themselves, the root cause.

So what is the root cause of this conflict?


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THE ROOT CAUSE OF CONFLICT: THE SUBCONSCIOUS

The root cause of conflict is the existence of fear and hate within the human subconscious.

Few people have known or realized that the subconscious "calls the shots" in terms of what we do. Neither have they realized that they are greatly influenced by their own emotional or biological reactions, which they then justify with reason.

People can't be blamed for this since the subconscious is hidden and one must look for clues as to what is there. Like an iceberg, although you see very little evidence of it on the surface, it is a huge presence.

Make no mistake: if the subconscious contains enough beliefs that conflict with your conscious desires, it will sabotage what you are, consciously, trying to accomplish.

The subconscious is the key to ALL self-sabotage; to plans that go wrong because we were blind to unseen forces working counter to success.

The reason there is so much discord is because the overall state of the world is a stew—a mix of, mostly, the results of everyone's subconscious fears and conflicting beliefs.


ANOTHER WRINKLE

To add another wrinkle, if a person's subconscious beliefs are not congruent with what he thinks are his conscious beliefs, there is even more discord within him that will express, in some way.

Those inner conflicts will affect how he deals with the world and the energy he sends into it, every day. The energy he creates through his thoughts, words and deeds will affect and contribute to every event that occurs in his family, neighborhood, state, country and world.

The energy that he (and each of us) contributes to a these collectives may be small, depending on how far removed they are from us, but what we hold in our minds and send out can be the straw that breaks the camel's back, in terms of making a bad situation worse.

I cannot stress this too strongly: to the extent that your psyche wrestles with inner conflict, you contribute behaviors which promote conflict within these collectives.

However, the reverse is also true, and this is where our hope lies: to the extent that your psyche is free from repressed hate, resentment, anger and the inner conflict it creates, you will have a happier life yourself and contribute peace to every group to which you belong.

And we can heal, every one of us.

We aren't taught how, in schools, but that may change.


NEEDED: A SINCERE INTENTION TO HEAL

Know this: all you need is the intention to heal. Then, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, God will show you the way.

You will be lead so you are a force for peace, healing and joy.

Yet, we must beware of thinking ourselves healed before we are.

For example, the person who labels himself a peace advocate, yet calls people names, throws stones at police, or condones violence "for peace" is fooling himself and sabotaging his own cause by accomplishing the opposite of what he says he wants to do.

He is, quite possibly, a bigger problem than the person against whom he rails, because he is dishonest. He blames others for behaviors in which he also engages.

Likewise, anyone who wages a hateful war against those with whom he disagrees is not healed. People who support any "cause," to the point of hating, insulting or trying to injure those who do not agree with them, live in glass houses while they throw stones.

Through the hate in their hearts, through their disregard for others, they contribute mightily to the situation that irks them. This is the catch–22 of being against people and ideas.

The position of power that accomplishes real change is to be for what you want, not against what you don't want.

The emotion of power that accomplishes miracles is to love so well as to be empty of hate.

And that happens - automatically - when we heal ourselves of the inner discord that plagues us.


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ARE YOU PART OF THE SOLUTION?

There was a saying in the nineteen sixties: if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem and this is still true.

There are few people on earth who will not feel fear and hate under certain circumstances, and the person who cannot be touched in a positive way by profound love is rare.

If a person never feels fear or hate it is because he is numb, in denial or has–with great intention–trained his mind to perceive the world in a way that does not require fear or hate to survive.

So which way do you think we are going, because a case can be made either way, depending upon what you are seeing.


HOW MUCH VIOLENCE LIES UNDER THE SURFACE?

The alarming increase in road rage, in occupational anger and in the overall feeling most people have that intolerance is growing may indicate that fear and anger are widely present in society, commanding greater and greater expression.

Certainly the ads we see on television for video games that extol war and violence seem to be increasing.

The fact we are engaged in a war means we have fear and anger to express, in abundance. Yet, what does it mean that we entered into a war that is debilitating us?

What does it mean when we enter a war thinking only Iraqis will be hurt, only to find that tens of thousands of our soldiers have sustained horrible injuries and are returning home forever scarred?

What does it mean when we enter a war to assert our power and influence and wind up with less of both?

What does it mean when we enter a war to reshape the Middle-East so it cannot resist what we desire and find our entire country being reshaped?

What does it mean to enter a war seeking glory and economic prosperity only to be brought low by the nine trillion-dollar debt incurred to fight that war?

It means that we had better start following the golden rule.


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NEEDED: FOLLOWERS OF "THE GOLDEN RULE"

Whatever we do to others will be done to us. More importantly, if our government hurts others in our name, it will come back on us because we are responsible for the government we elect.

In short, we are being shown we must be more responsible as voters and we must evolve as a nation and learn empathy.

We can fear this change. We can react in hate, violence, conflict or confusion - in the old ways - and bring even more negative things upon our country. We can try to deny the consequences and paint them in a sunny light. We can choose to deny that we are reaping what we sowed.

Or we can see that, given our level of sophistication, this emergence of our dark side is a call to face the worst in ourselves and heal.

One thing must be made clear. We cannot waste time blaming ourselves for feeling and expressing fear and anger.


IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO BIOLOGY

The ability to feel and respond to fear and anger is imbedded in our nervous systems as a requirement for survival. It's know as "the fight or flight response" and is part of our nature.

Up to about a hundred and fifty years ago it served us well and kept us alive. But it is not well suited to the stress of current life.

However, this is our biology. Therefore, our intention must not be to condemn or vilify our nature, or rid ourselves of it because we cannot. Instead, we are to transcend it by going the next step in our spiritual and energetic evolution as a species.

So if you want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, you must accept the challenge to transcend the conflicts within your own psyche.

Realize, also, that everything is God - everything is energy - and change is as close as your next breath.


COURSE IN MIRACLES

Teaching us how to transcend a biology rooted in conflict is what The Course In Miracles was devised to do. It is a method for changing perception so you see in a way that dissolves conflict.

It is a way of atonement that is not related to punishment in any way. It focuses, instead, on the undoing of human beliefs and "error thinking" (and the results of both) which are opposed to God's real thoughts of peace, love, compassion and generosity.

So this is the challenge each of us faces in this new century because as the Course In Miracles says in its first two sentences: "It is crucial to say first that this is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary."


OUR CALL

We are called to align with the Force that powers us and learn how not to deny nor fight the duality of our human nature but make peace with it.

As we make peace with the fact of our duality, the hate and fear within us will diminish.

As our internal landscapes change, we will both experience and create a more peaceful world.

Just as America was the land of the great experiment of Democracy and political freedom, so can we now stand up and be the land of another great experiment: Peace and freedom from conflict.

We can heal the world by healing ourselves.

Therefore, let us thirst for that goal with the same longing we have to keep our children safe.

Let us thirst for that goal with the same thirst we have to know God.

I invite every American to step up to this challenge. For no one is too old or too young or out of shape to serve in this cause. We are all needed by God for this one.

Decide today to become part of the solution to violence and conflict.

The fate of the world awaits your decision.

And, of the lives you save, one will be your own.

May you go with God.

—Clyo Beck


Beautiful book of prayers and affirmations for uplifting the spirit and changing your life for the better.

See also October 28th: I Treat Everyone With Care

Available in hard cover and softbound volumes.



America the Beautiful composed
by Samuel Ward and performed
by the United States Navy Band.
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