Today we celebrate Canada Day. And as Americans are fond of saying lately: I love my country – it’s my government that I’m afraid of.
A few days ago, the Toronto Police (shall we say) “bent the rules” a bit in their zeal to protect the G20 Summit from hearing any voices of protest. While TV news crews focused their cameras on a handful of vandals (torching cars and smashing windows), the police arrested hundreds of pedestrians and peaceful protesters who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some police went so far as to break into homes in the middle of the night and hold the occupants at gunpoint, without a warrant, until they could prove that there were no protesters in the house.
Yes, this was Toronto. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
Now, I could say a lot more about the politics of the situation, but that is not what this blog is about. Like my post about how we killed Robert Dziekanski, I want to talk about what I’m learning spiritually in all this, instead of focusing blame on certain people. After all this violence that I cannot control (out there), I am learning valuable lessons on how I can let the anger go and achieve inner peace (in here).
I am learning about taking my power back.
As a spiritual person, I talk about how I manifest my outer world, according to my thoughts, beliefs and actions. And all blame aside, I believe we are manifesting our current political climate.
We live in a democracy. And I’m not talking about our nations – I mean the democracy of this Universe. We as human beings collectively determine – consciously or unconsciously – what our reality is going to look like. Our intentions create our reality. Our outer world reflects our inner world.
Do I mean that we collectively want to be subjugated by viscious police officers? Not consciously. However, there are things going on in our outer world that seem to be a reflection of humanity’s level of consciousness.
But what part of me, as a good and decent person, would be so savage as to create a police state, and then subjugate me and others to it?
I have a part of me called Ego. Ego acts like my internal government. It tries to protect me from perceived threats. But I’ve learned the hard way that it is not my friend. I did not elect it – it has been with me since birth. It pretends to be me, even while it attacks me from the inside.
It is that voice in my head that creates self-doubt, self-criticism and other negative thoughts, to promote feelings of anger and powerlessness. It then blames these feelings on situations that other people have created – especially people I have never met, who have never done anything to hurt me (such as Toronto Police officers).
Ego justifies these thoughts by claiming to be an agent of justice: that it is on the side of the victims and wants to help. But it doesn’t really care about the victims – it just wants to punish the perpetrators. It wants to find the criminal responsible for my bad feelings, and prosecute to the full extent of its own law. It wants revenge. It needs someone to blame.
All the while, Ego is manufacturing its own pain, hurting me worse than anyone else ever has. It makes up its own stories filled with guilt and anger, creates bad feelings in me, and then frames someone else for the crime.
And now, it seems to me that society has collectively created a similarly hateful government to reflect the role that the Ego plays, as an outward manifestation of our inner reality.
The government claims to be on our side, protecting us from the evils “out there” (communists, terrorists, protesters). But after all its stories, it still can’t find the WMD’s. Like the Ego, our governments are making enemies so that, out of fear, we will submit to being disempowered and locked up. Egos and governments take away our freedom in order to “protect us,” but then carry out the very savagery it claims to thwart.
The police and the government need to be reminded that they were hired “to serve and protect” the people, not to serve and protect themselves. And my Ego needs to be reminded that its only valid role is to support me as I interact with my physical world. It is not an end in itself.
So, now that I am aware of the source of my suffering, what can I do to achieve inner peace?
The first step is to realize that I am not the voice of guilt and blame in my head. To identify with that voice is to make me psychotic. I am not my Ego. I am a spiritual being having a human experience.
When I meditate, I choose to watch my thoughts go by, without attaching myself to them. I choose to go deep within to the place of compassion and forgiveness that is closest to God. I remind myself that I am that compassion and light, not the darkness of fear and anger. I choose to shine a light into the darkness, and watch it dissipate as I focus my attention on what is kind, loving, creative and expansive.
Spending time specifically on meditation is helpful, but I can also carry this attitude with me throughout the day. Sometimes all it takes is a few deep breaths and a mental reminder to put me back in touch with who I really am, and reclaim my power.
I am here to love and support humanity (the Son of God), not Ego. Ego seeks to prosecute and imprison; Spirit seeks to love, grow and create.
Let us all remember, regardless of all the tyranny in the world, that we are here to create in a spirit of compassion and grace. Let us be the change we seek.