MEMORIAL WEEKEND NEWSLETTER by Caroline Myss
June 8, 2006
It’s been a long while since I’ve had the time to write a general newsletter to everyone. I’ve been more than busy writing my new book, ENTERING THE CASTLE, for months now and between that and teaching, I haven’t had the time to do any extra writing, even though so many ideas and world events have crossed my mind that I would have loved to write about. Recently I attended a conference on Sacred Activism that was held in Seattle, sponsored by Wisdom University located in San Francisco, and the combination of that event, Memorial Day weekend, and my manuscript now in the hands of my editor getting chopped to bits for the re-write process, I have the time to write a newsletter again.
Memorial Day was a big deal for my family when I was growing up because my father served in World War II. He was a Marine who fought in the Pacific and he brought us up with strong, patriotic values and a deep love for this nation. I could sing, “From the Halls of Montezuma” before I was three-years-old…no kidding. Memorial Day meant something, as did all of the values that America stood for, not the least of which were all the First Amendment Rights. I majored in journalism in college – those were the days of Watergate and investigative reporters. Remember those types of reporters? I grew up in Chicago, home of the infamous Democratic National Convention. I can still see the riots in the street that took place as people stood on the streets proclaiming their political stands against a government that had gone to war immorally. They took on the government and put their lives on the line for what they believed in and for what they opposed, like the Vietnam War. They spoke out against a government that had lied to them about the so-called righteous reasons for going to war and they took on the system. I remember that….I remember that…I remember my country – then. I remember them screaming, “No More War!” And do you remember that we weren’t afraid to speak out? That’s what I remember the most – that we weren’t afraid to speak out – then. We weren’t afraid to be Americans then. People can tell me that we aren’t afraid to speak out now, but that’s simply not true. We are afraid to express our opinions about what our nation is doing. We absolutely are afraid. We are afraid of our government and we are afraid of each other.
When did that happen? When did we stop talking politics? When did it become impolite, rude, inappropriate, “non-new age” to discuss the “unconscious” activities taking place in world governments??????? How shall consciousness ever be brought into the arenas of politics if we ourselves do not discuss politics among ourselves? You can challenge me, of course, and tell me that this is not true – to which I would say, “This has been and this is my experience. People are afraid.” And I am with far more people than most of you reading this newsletter. I am with thousands of people per month and I have asked audiences, “Are you afraid to express your political opinions in public now?” – and you know what? The vast majority says, “Yes”. They are afraid of each other and they are afraid of government repercussions. The Patriot Act? Phone tapping? Library card Watch List for the books you are taking out? They are afraid they are being “listened to” by someone and that they will be “reported”.
I remember the anti-war songs of that era…and that they were so popular. Remember that? We loved those guys…they were our heroes – then. These days if someone offers an opinion, his or her career is destroyed. Look at the Dixie Chicks…. I could care less about that group. I have never listened to their music and never will. I never listen to Country Western music. But I am an observer of responses and it’s the public’s response that intrigues me. This is a nation created on the right to express an opinion – look what happens to people who do that. They are practically slaughtered and at the very least, they are banned from places as if they had Bird Flu. What are we doing? Have we forgotten that if we respond to people expressing their opinions like that, they will do the same to us???? Will we be silenced next? Are we among those doing the silencing?
I marvel at the fact that in our contemporary spiritual culture, it is considered an absolute MUST to listen to a person carry on about their emotional past – their wounds and their painful history. You have to listen to that and not judge. My God, if you judge a person recalling a forty-year-old history, why you are considered insensitive and horrible and “unconscious”. Unconscious???? Because you are nearly cross-eyed from boredom as you listen to a person carry-on yet again about an injury that goes back 40-YEARS!!!!!! And yet, let someone bring up a current political issue that is worthy of discussion – REPEAT DICUSSION – and immediately fists get clenched and people chose sides and the “consciousness” crowd closes down. Hostilities rise and all hope of a discussion AMONG THE VERY GROUP THAT SHOULD BE CARRYING LIGHT AND INSIGHT AND HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS INTO THE CHALLENGES FACING OUR SOCIETY – WHICH ARE SO MANY AND SO DIFFICULT – turns to attacks. I’ve seen it happen more times than I can count.
Recently I was attacked via email for attending a conference on Sacred Activism sponsored by Wisdom University BEFORE I even went to the conference!!!! A few people who noticed that peace activist Cindy Sheehan was scheduled to speak were motivated to send an email to my web site reading, “How could Caroline attend a conference with Cindy Sheehan?” First of all, what’s Cindy Sheehan got to do with MY decisions and my work on this earth???? She doesn’t control or influence what I do any more than I influence her. That is what FREE CHOICE is about. Secondly, what on earth motivates someone to respond in such a hostile way to my attending a conference? I was hardly going there to promote anti-American activities…What on earth were these people thinking??????
Why would anyone comment about my attending a conference because another speaker was going to be there?
Now let me just report – as a journalist – on this conference. About 350 officially registered. By the time the four-day conference was over, 1,000 had come to attend the various events. The idea of being “active” once again in America had become an inspiration to them. They were seeking a voice, a means to make their Robert Kennedy, Jr. spoke at this conference (no comments about his past, please. I am not here to DEFEND his past or to PROMOTE his politics!) He spoke about the environment and he spoke about this government. He was direct and he was blunt. People found it refreshing to listen to him as he revealed the backroom agreements that had been made among the media moguls who promised to reduce all investigative reporting and upgrade all entertainment journalism. No reports of returning coffins from the war would be allowed on air; no interviews with angry soldiers; minimum coverage of anti-war protests, should they begin; absolute minimal coverage of all the proof that the government has that going to war was planned before 9/11; maximum coverage of celebrity divorces and scandals, etc. etc. etc. Keep America entertained – that was the goal. Americans would hardly notice that slowly but surely they were getting less and less foreign news reports and quality investigative reporting at home. No journalists challenged the White House at all. All questions were rehearsed. Anything that challenged this was considered “anti-patriotic”, a card that would be conveniently played by this Republican political administration again and again and again and again until it finally silenced America entirely.
Other speakers did presentations on various topics related to Sacred Activism or to their related fields. The topics were intriguing. I, however, was more interested in speaking to the audience members. I wanted to find out what motivated them to attend the conference – to “come out” of the passivity that has gripped America for years and once again become active in the future of their nation.
NOW LET ME BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT SOMETHING: By ACTIVE, I DO NOT MEAN BECOME A REVOLUTIONARY!!!!!! Active means to become a person capable of discussing the future of this nation and the issues and problems facing this nation with the intention of finding ways of initiating positive change. These gatherings are NOT about choosing sides – that is, Democrats versus Republicans versus Libertarians versus Independents versus Whatever’s. These gatherings are about DISCUSSING THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY AGAIN!!!!! They are open forums for the sharing of opinions and fears and options for change. That I would even have to emphasize these points is sad to me, but I feel I have to lest an onslaught of letters arrive in my mailbox admonishing me for being part of an underground revolution instead of attending an open forum of discussions about the future of this – MY nation.
I have thought long and hard – more than I can even begin to tell you – I have anguished about the political atmosphere in this country. I have wanted to write about it for years now, but have hesitated and that in it and of itself has left me infuriated with myself. This spiritual culture of which we are a part BEGAN during the era of the Democratic National Convention and the Hippie Days and the Free Love Days and the drug culture days and the Vietnam Era. That’s when Guru’s and meditation and mysticism and eastern religions and Vatican II and the mystical transition of the sacred ritual of the mass shifted into the language of those present.
The roots of who we are and the desire to be spiritually liberated go back to a REVOLUTION, just as the roots of who we are as Americans go back to a revolution. We took to the streets in the 1960’s because we wanted the right to express the “second wave” of power – the power of our soul to co-create our interior world. We wanted the right to LOVE who we wanted to love, to PRAY to the God that called our soul, to PERCEIVE REALITY without social, ethnic, and religious parameters, and to CREATE A PEACEFUL WORLD because we believed that conscious people could accomplish such a task. This was, after all, the Age of Aquarius…the age of light and we were the light bearers. We would become a conscious generation, bringing consciousness into all walks of life, which meant at the time that we would bring consciousness INTO THE WORLD, not just into our own worlds.
But as the decades passed, we took the more cautious routes of consciousness. We took the internal healing path, the internal spiritual path (which for the most part is the same as the healing path), and we withdrew from creating too much commotion in the outside world. In fact, we started to have babies and families and, well, the rest is history. Now I hear people say to me, “I don’t listen to the news or read the newspaper because the news is just ‘too negative’”. What am I supposed to say to someone who tells me that? This type of comment comes from individuals who, at the same time, consider themselves “conscious”. How can you be “conscious” and not look at the world that feeds you? How can you not care about the world that you walk upon? If you, who say you are dedicated to living a conscious life, are not devoted to walking directly into the center of the social and political activities of our world, then who should? Is not the center of darkness exactly where the light should penetrate? We MUST open ourselves up again not as critics, but as people who want to listen and share ideas and become active agents for change when they feel called to make a difference. No one should be allowed to get away with saying, “But what can I do?” any more – not when you realize that this world is being run by but a hand full of individuals.
Oh, at the conference, an announcement was made just prior to a guest speaker coming on stage that Karl Rove is up for indictment. It was on the blogs and still unofficial, but even at that, the crowd exploded with cheers. One woman said, “Finally, after five years, I can once again smell the sweet fragrance of justice in America once more.”
So – that’s my report and those are my thoughts on this Memorial Day. As Americans, we have the RIGHT to express ourselves, the RIGHT to challenge the actions of our government. Our government serves US – that is the brilliance of the American system. When corporations run the government, however, that should send an alarm off deep in our American fiber. I remember hearing President Bush slip up (imagine that) in one of his talks – He referred to America as a “company” and not a country….I heard it myself. Caught….
Happy Memorial Day, everyone. God bless this nation. May we return to the vision of our Founding Fathers and Mothers: the land of the free and the home of the brave.