LOVE SONG OF AN OLD PILOT TO HIS PILOT WIFE

The family when Nancy soloed the Taylorcraft … and fifty years later still flying!

LOVE SONG OF AN OLD PILOT TO HIS PILOT WIFE
March 22, 2016

Gordon and I are watching a spectacular sunrise following a sweet rain that poured steadily through the night. Mists are rising from the valleys and white and grey clouds are scudding across the sky, illumined by the rising sun.

With his deep voice, he comments how this would be a great morning to fly, and begins to recite the first lines of the famous poem, ‘I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced on laughter’s spangled skies….”

The memories flood in of our years of flying together.. of our first plane, a Taylorcraft with broad wings, as close to a glider as a plane can get, a sweet and honest airplane, simple and unadorned. We both loved to fly this plane and it required skill. The 65 horse aircraft was a two seater, side by side, and we often made ‘go arounds’ for landing, taking turns trading the controls back and forth with practiced ease.

“You and I together,” he mused, “ caressing the sky with our wings, feeling the lift and solidity
of the air under them, under us, yet it was so insubstantial, too.” His voice trailed off. Then with warm light in his eyes, he continued, “What we did was sheer poetry – poetry in motion, feeling for the validity of the air beneath our wings….yet so delicate… testing the buoyancy of the air, easing down on final to land, making the translation with the touch of our finger tips, the delicacy of that touch in creating the interface between sky and earth, “Hold it off, hold it off, hold it off!” till the magic moment of touchdown,when flying is ended and the ground run on solid earth begins. He smiled, “It was poetry, it was sublime.”

The caress, the delicacy, the interface, the sublime and wondrous translation… and the joy.

The thoughts are poignant ones. The skills to fly are now past for us and not too long from now we will be making the transition,the translation, the delicate testing of how we are moving
forward into the unknown, leaving the firmness of the ground (and the body) to slip back again into new flight, into the light and air of the heavens. God willing to heaven itself! May the memories of a life fully lived be the buoyant, caressing air beneath our wings!

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UNITING CULTURES FOR THE NEW YEAR

It is pretty wonderful to be elders living out in the hills of the California Sierras and be able to share New Years with families from China. Eight friends came for an overnight celebration and a fine one it was.  Minfeng and Wiedong are dear to us as their infant daughter, Francisca, won a special place in our hearts in her all too brief life on earth.  She brings us together in the spirit across  cultures and across the world with the love of our children  that unites families everywhere.

We celebrated  Chinese New Years a month early as they brought and prepared the full traditional meal, beef bone  soup and three types of delicious traditional  dumplings. We learned that red is worn for that holiday  to scare of the monster, Niam, who haunts the day and hates fire  crackers (so they are set off in abundance), while grandparents give “lucky money” in red envelopes to the children.   We  danced to beautiful piano music by the young men present, sang ‘Silent Night’ and other songs around the tree with candles lit for loved ones on the other side. Vanessa brought a gift of her art of paper cutting with an original design of red  monkeys for the “Year of the Monkey ” coming up! They brought us delicious Chinese delicacies, including a cookie called “Buddha’s Hand” as it is the strongest possible hand as the Monkey King found out in his arrogance. We learned that story and how Buddhism came to China where it endures despite years of communism.

More warm, unhurried conversation and sharing followed at breakfast on New Year’s Day and Gordon always impresses visitors with our building and his test flying of our airplane.  He taught the enthusiastic teenagers lessons in driving the stick shift pickup and they helped us split and carry in firewood. Seven year old, Ding Ding, can count us his ‘American’ grand parents and he loves to come to the ranch.  So it is, one by one, we begin to know each other and forge the bonds of friendship. We began this New Years Day by reciting together the prayer of St Francis with the beautiful universal thoughts in those words that promote the peace, joy, respect and spirituality that can unite us all. Happy and blessed New Year!

 

LOVE, THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS

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Our son Cameron and his wife Carolyn had two strapping boys, Nathan and Jonas,before adopting their little girl, Marianna. The boys are now wonderful young men, both well over six foot and accomplished classical musicians among their many talents.

Marianna has special “needs” but also brings special “gives”. She came to the family as a precious infant, tender, sensitive, yet distanced and so tenuously connected to herself and everything around her. In eight years she has surmounted many challenges with the patient care of her amazing family.

At school Marianna made the art piece on the wall which says “Love”. You can see it in her beautiful eyes as she is hugging her big brother, Nathan, on his 18th birthday.

And LOVE is what Christmas is all about.
So for this season we share this story of a dear little girl who has created so much love for those in the world around her, and of her family whose selfless unending love has surrounded and nurtured her to do so.

May the spirit of the Holy Child of Christmas touch your lives with loving inspiration in the years to come.

Nancy and Gordon Poer.

THE INNER LIGHT OF CHRISTMAS BIRTH
The Advent Spiral celebration is a profoundly simple, yet deeply touching winter festival – an inclusive and beautiful community sharing. Advent is the season marking the days before the ‘birth of the light’, a soul awareness of the rhythm of the year that applies to the Winter Solstice as well as to birth of the holy Christmas Child. After the winter solstice the longest night of the year has passed and the turning point has come when the sun will take its ascending celestial reign in our universe again (for the Northern hemisphere).

In the ritual of the Advent spiral, a path to the central candle is marked with branches of fragrant evergreens. The traveler to the light, be it child or adult,carries a candle, often held in an apple, a symbol of life and knowledge, and transformation to a higher consciousness.

In darkness, in silence, and then surrounded by gentle lyre, string or flute music, the journey to the light begins. The seeker steps out on the journey to perform the deed of lighting one’s own candle. The flame that rises, never before lit by that hand in just that unrepeatable moment in time, will be a sweet and new flickering of light to shine out in the surrounding darkness. It can be seen an outer representation of the inner fire of one’s own spirit, and the spiral path as the journey of the soul in growing inner awareness. Then the seeker turns back, reverses direction on the path and the treasure of light is carried spiraling back outward from the Source of light. There it is given away, placed on the sweet scented greens, a picture of giving one’s own unique gift to the swirling spiral of life.

With each individual candle laid on the path of the spiral becomes ever more luminous. The wonder of the ritual builds slowly until everyone’s candles are there shining brightly and harmoniously together. The darkened room becomes filled with the flowing light and warmth that a community of souls can create together. Wondrous!

The power of this simple universal community festival was the genesis moment in bringing a most beautiful healing impulse into the world. The compassionate exemplary work of the Camphill movement, an international movement arising from the humanitarian ideals of Rudolf Steiner, is dedicated to serving those individuals with special needs. It has been a profound inspiration for the curative work of our age.

In the 1920’s, a young Viennese born doctor, Karl Koenig, was spiritually awakened by this winter Advent celebration and the timeless archetypal truth within it. He was a brilliant and precocious Jewish boy who, on his own as a young child, found his way to the New Testament and was always impelled to serve those in need. He read, and was impressed by Steiner’s work, but did not get to meet him in his lifetime. Karl Koenig was an unusually short man, but great in bearing; a high sweeping brow, deep set, intense eyes filled with world wisdom and world pain, and the firmest mouth, evidencing a powerful will and unwavering dedication to fostering societal awareness of the deeper spiritual humanity of every individual.

He was invited by Dr. Ita Wegman, a co-worker of Rudolf Steiner who had begun a clinic for handicapped children in Arlesheim, Switzerland, to come and join her. One of Koenig’s first impressions was attending the Christmas Advent ceremony at the clinic. The children (regarded as feeble, inferior, and incompetent by many) came, some limping, hobbling, wide eyed, innocent and receptive, and walked (or were assisted) into the spiral to the light. There in this magical setting the holy quickening for them became apparent.

Their wonder-filled shining eyes, if only a flickering moment, reflected an enhanced knowing their own timeless inner light, the imperishable spiritual individuality that is our highest humanity. They knew they were supported and recognized by the loving souls around them. Dr. Koenig describes the impact of this experience in these words:

“In this hour the decision was taken that I would dedicate my life to the care and education of these children. It was a promise I gave to myself, to build a hill upon which a big candle was to burn so that many infirm, handicapped children would be able to find their way to this beacon of hope, and to light their own candles so that every single flame would be able to radiate and shine forth.” He spoke of this light as the ‘holy of holies’ of the human spirit.

Koenig and his co workers would individually escape Austria just as the Nazis occupied the country, but in parting made the promise they would later meet up to work together. They did so in Scotland and there the Camphill movement was born, with the dedicated workers eventually taking the impulse for compassionate curative work all over the world.

For each of us, we can ask will be be born of our experiences in this winter’s night – in this mighty season of birth? What will be born for each of us out of the womb of winter’s darkness, out of the womb of our own seeking soul, out of the longing for wholeness and connectedness?

For ready or not, we will birth something! Will it be cynical and careless excesses, despair, wizened disappointed loneliness, or the wonder we can become gently and greatly loving despite our handicaps through the cosmic outpouring of Love that is there for us? Can we take heart, that like Dicken’s immortal tale of Scrooge, the miser’s icy heart can experience awe inspiring transformation and become the warmed and vibrant source of the joyful largesses that followed when Scrooge found his true spirit?

The pain of our present day loneliness is for awakening – the awakening is to make a choice – and how blessed it is if the choice be for the loving embrace of the all accepting Holy Mother, the benevolence of the Father, and a heart made radiant and open to all the world through the unceasingly and timeless gifts of Love from the Holy Christmas child. And Joy…oh, yes, JOY!  May we rise up singing the grand old song, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!”

Nancy Jewel Poer,
Winter Solstice, 2015

THANKSGIVING AT WHITE FEATHER RANCH, 2015

What a wonderful gathering we had for Thanksgiving here at White Feather Ranch this year.  Our International events, often an ‘American first’ for many visitors, are such a fulfillment for us and happily we were both up to it and Gordon led the Virginia Reel as I played and we piled 20 on the old truck for a ride with Grandpa driving over the ranch to the delight of all.

We gave thanks that here we were people of the world coming together while in so many parts of our dear suffering world people are being driven apart.  A guest wrote:  “There is really something magic when a diverse group of people comes together to celebrate life!”   Indeed it was magical and blessed, all ages, ethnic food of all kinds, singing, giving poetry and music as we shared the lovely talents among us.. and dancing…  Fun and joy for one and all.  We are looking for ways to pass these thirty years of community work on to the next generation as we look toward grace 2015IMG_1058IMG_1082

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white feather thanksgiving 2015
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friends from all over the world, many from China, others from Denmark, Scotland, Canada, England, and New Zealand – fifty in all
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sharing song and laughter
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grandpa gordon and anara and calendula
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grandma and the accordion

the future of White Feather Ranch.  Ideas welcomed!

 

MICHAELMAS JOY AND CELEBRATION!

2ND GRADE MICHAELMAS PLAYMICHA-EL CHILD

Michaelmas Joy and Celebration!
Twenty six years ago I was the founding teacher for Cedar Springs Waldorf School which began here at White Feather Ranch on Michaelmas Day, September 29,2989.   The next year I wrote the Michaelmas play that has been performed every year at the school for 25 years! It now includes four of the grades and the children are just wonderful.

Each year I give my art prints of the Michael-Child to the second grade that will be the brave knights to fight the dragon ( made by the 6th grade) and tell them how with kind thoughts and good deeds they can ride their winged horse over the abyss, conquer the dragon and follow St. Micha-el way of golden light. Here is this year’s 2nd grade and the fine young lad playing Micha-el, Cadence, told me, “This is a mighty picture and you are too.” How heart warming!
A verse/song from the play.
HERE I STAND, STRONG AND BRIGHT, FOLLOW THE WAY OF SHINING LIGHT. HERE BELOW, AS ABOVE. SUN IN MY HEART WITH GOLDEN LOVE, BRAVE AND CLEAR, THANKFUL, TRUE, COURAGE IN ALL THE DEEDS I DO!

MICHA-EL – THE GUARDIAN SPIRIT OF OUR TIMES

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MICHA-EL,THE GUARDIAN SPIRIT OF OUR TIMES

Micha-el is the archangel of our age standing behind individuals of initiative who do courageous deeds of love
and good will in the world. Holding up his sword of light, fiery strong with meteoric iron of the sun and stars,
he challenges us to lift up our thoughts to UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL TRUTH beyond all that divides us:
nation, race, language, gender, age, and politics and work together for the future of humanity.

Micha-el is the archangel of Freedom leaving us free to choose the gift of his power (without and within us)
to conquer the dragon of fear, hatred, apathy,intolerance, ignorance, egotism, and our lower bestiality so that our true higher nature triumphs.…

The archangel Michael is celebrated in all major religions and we do so in Waldorf schools to honor heroic
strength for our lives and give young people the confidence that the light overcomes the darkness.
Strength to you friends for Michaelmas Day, September 29th, 2015. Go Micha-el!

AWAKENED BY A STAR

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AWAKENED BY A STAR

September 22, 2015
Last night I was awakened by a star. The night was late, only an hour before the lightening of dawn. I rolled over and there was this point of brilliant light in the sky shining through my bedroom window…moving it seemed. A plane? Oh, yes, it was definitely moving. But no, it stayed too long, not really progressing quickly in its flight across the sky.

“Was it the late rising moon?”, I pondered, as I peered among the dark silhouettes of the trees weaving in the gentle night breeze. Groggy and confused, I questioned that it couldn’t be the moon rising, for only the night before it had stood, a yellow orange perfect half of a moon like a cut out decoration in a stage play, hanging low in the western sky. This bright glow was east toward the dawn.

The star seemed to be where Sirius often stood.. But it was so intensely bright, even for Sirius? Irresistibly beckoned, I got up and went out into the night.

The stars were brilliant, every constellation crystal clear against the indigo sky. Orion’s belt was especially prominent from where I stood, chiseled radiating light encircling each star as they commanded their appointed space on the stage of the universe…all in full dress as though assembled in homage to this brilliant one among them.

What was this stunning point of light there in the Eastern sky?? It was in fact the planet Venus in all her glory! And what glory!… (next morning I would read she was just then at her most brilliant ever, seventeen times brighter the Star Queen, Sirius, the brightest star in all the sky.)

Venus winked among the leaves of the pines and oaks… I was fascinated…
Never, except for the sun, have I seen such celestial moving brilliance. She radiated, she displayed…she moved, she danced … Her beams of light came into my room and across the bed, sending warm gold rays of penetrating light to me like loving scepters, magic wands, bestowing cosmic blessing. I held my hand up to see if I could see it in this light…Almost… I was riveted.

I recalled the words of the verse by Rudolf Steiner laid into my heart by a dear friend, Willi Sucher, who loved and knew the stars with an awareness few in this world have.

The stars once spoke to man
It is world destiny that they are silent now
To become aware of this silence can be pain for earthly humanity
But in the deepening silence.
There grows and ripens
What humanity speaks to the stars
To become aware of this speaking
Can become strength for Spirit man.

Then as I watched the compelling celestial light disappeared, gone behind the trees. Only blackness prevailed. I felt overwhelmed with a longing for the beautiful presence. Suddenly I felt alone, bereft. Abandoned. What a spell she wove!

My logical mind took over. It is you who have lost this shining planet. For you are on a moving earth, turning on its axis. It is you on your planet earth who have turned away from the light. The metaphor was stark… personally, collectively, universally. “Turned away from the light.”

The deepening darkness of materialism, the unspiritual view of ourselves and all around us is so pervading in our thinking and so much of our doing. The discord that prevails across the world as myopic money and power crazed world leaders exert cruel dominance over fearful, denying, disconnected citizens in our war besotted countries on every continent, with all too many of them often poignantly fleeing into drug numbed isolation or fleeing for their very lives. Materialistic outlooks such as the idiotic destruction of our planet earth for short term gain,egocentric thinking that block us off from each other and universe, blocked from the universal light of love and connectedness.

Here was Venus calling from the Universe giving us the message… brilliantly! It’s about love and life and connectedness, people. Stay united with the holy universe and the blessed earth that gave you life in the first place!

What was so amazing is that it only took a few dozen minutes for her to go in and out of my sight as she danced across the sky as I alternately basked in wonder in her light or longed for it in the darkness. One could tangibly see how the earth was moving in relation to the heavens. Waves of cosmic stardust seemed to fill the room enlivening me, a vital warming, loving presence to the room.

The words set to the Russian folk song rang through

If we people live our lives, as if it were song for singing out of light
Providing music for the stars to go dancing circles in the night.

She was there, dancing and radiating Venus love circles in the night… With the rays, the light, waves of healing touched me. I was blessed with her rays, over and over…the wonder of it.

So how does humanity speak to the stars?
For me, at least in that moment, they rose in my heart like with the first simple stammering words of a star struck child, wide eyed with the wonder of our world,and echoing back the loving light she so graciously bestows, especially so this night.

“I love the stars.”

Nancy Jewel Poer, September 22,2015

IN THE NAME OF MILLIONS

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IN THE NAME OF MILLIONS
THE MISSION OF AYLAN KURDI, AGE 3

A spiritual hero, only three years old, has come forward with a mission to awaken humanity to the insane trajectory we are on.

His tiny body washed in from the sea and exquisitely placed in death lay poignantly still, face down at the shore line in the rhythmic lapping tide, both arms at his sides and his palms up as if waiting to receive an answer from all of us regarding his sacrifice. The little feet were still clad in shoes, so sweetly placed together in repose. The photograph Immediately went viral on world social media. it has been an image to strike to the core of human conscience crossing all divisions of nations, religion, status and cultures.

Aylan Kurdi, one of the thousands of refugees fleeing war and devastation in their countries, died at sea in a drastically overloaded boat with his father and mother trying to escape from Syria, where much of their remaining family was massacred by terrorists. His father, Abdullah, was desperately trying to save his two young sons from drowning in violent seas, and felt them going, releasing one to try to save the other. His wife, Zehin, whose delicate beauty is mindful of a Muslim Quan Yin, seeing her precious sons slip into the ocean, followed them into the turbulent waters and drowned as well. A passionately devoted mother crossing the threshold with her two sons in the primal waters of the sea as there was no safe home on this earth for them.

In a handful of childhood photos, Aylan, looks at us with innocent yet wisdom-filled eyes and in one picture, very formally dressed, he opens his small hands as if offering a proclamation of world blessing. In several others he is squinting, eyes closed, grinning perhaps somehow inwardly amazed at the magnitude of the impact he is about to make on the world. He wears a shirt with words to ponder.. ‘Mysterious space riders’.. In another he cocks his hand to his ear as though asking if we are hearing what is the sound of suffering around the world.

Aylan for the moment has brought together East and West, a nearly impossible feat. He has struck the common heart chord in humanity. The cry of ‘Humanity Washed Ashore.’ and “Humanity Failed,” has accompanied the event around the world.

Even the tabloids interrupted their vapid fare of celebrity scandals, cellulite, deranged and decadent behavior we so crave for entertainment, to feature the moment of real human confrontation with what we are doing.

With his death, Aylan speaks for millions who have so tragically died with a clarion call into the deaf distancing of our collective responsibility with the cruel phrase, ‘collateral

damage’ given to the innocents, women and children who die and die everywhere in war. All those who die tragically resulting from the manipulations of those who are exploiting the world and its peoples. His death challenges the ever present war profiteers who, skunk like, radiate the unremovable stench of insatiable greed, the Koch’s, Haliburtons, Rothchilds, and others throughout history who profit on tragedy. His death challenges the many leaders and countries who colonized the world the way they did with rapacious use of power, cheap labor, and ransacking of local resources. It all now comes home to roost in Europe as the refugees from those mistreated colonies stream in. His death challenges the hideous customs of old cultures that cruelly degrade and destroy women and hold them, and thus their countries and economies, in poverty and servitude. His death challenges the corporate undermining of small family farming with industrial agriculture (instead of supporting families with local sustainable self sufficiency) and that leads to starvation, poverty and migration.

This is the 21st century, surely a time to take our honed sense of individual self consciousness and apply the zeal of battle to the transformation of our own inner demons so the world will stand a chance. Face up to the demons of fear, prejudice, greed, jealously, apathy, depression, chauvinism, nationalism and hatred. A time to abhor the parading of race hatred as a political tool, the antithesis of a moral stance (read Trump)

This is the Michaelmas time of the year. The archangel Micha-el, the angel of truth, courage, cosmopolitan awareness and spiritual courage, is honored in all major religions,Hebrew, Islamic and Christian. He battles the dragon, transforms the soul, and emerges victorious.

The message of Micha-el is that we must strive for greater spirituality, our highest humanity and he challenges us to line up our lives with the higher moral universe. He stands for finding world brother and sisterhood and strengthening our spiritual individuality so our moral conscience can begin to transcend all the barriers that would divide humanity from one another. Aylan has stepped into world leadership, for this moment in time, to accomplish just that.

Nancy Jewel Poer, Michaelmas, 2015

AS OLD AS SIN

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It’s as old as sin. Humiliation and dominance of another human being. Not human really. It is behavior at the animal level but worse because there is some degree of human consciousness behind it that knows better.

Texas traffic officer Encina dragging Sandra Bland from her car is only one more visible example that has made it onto film. He clearly provokes her, threatens her. He can’t stand it because she is not passively submissive to him. On a near empty wide highway, Encina stopped Sandra’s car. He had just made a quick U turn to go after her and was speeding up fast behind her. The film shows that Sandra, driving ahead of him, had pulled into the right lane, as we all would do, to let patrol cars and emergency vehicles pass. There were virtually no other cars on the road. After leaving her waiting in the car for the better part of ten minutes, he comes back and taunts her with the question “ What’s wrong?” when she appears irritated. She tells him the clear truth in short clipped sentences. He later described how she looked straight ahead, wouldn’t look at him. Definitely not submissive enough. He was going to change that. He told her to put out her cigarette she had lit while waiting. She knew her rights, she was in her own car. He escalated it and forced her out of he car threatening to ‘light her up’ with his taser. He was literally going to take her down and he did, hand cuffed and shoved to the ground. When she called out she had epilepsy he cries, “Good!” as he slams her down.

Sandra Bland had done nothing wrong, in fact she made the lane change as we all could have done. But she was black, she was a woman, and she spoke up to the dominating violence of a man arrogantly abusing his power. She taunted him back with angry crude language for using humiliation and his domineering position to be a so called man. In calling in his report he will further reveal his chauvinism in the snarky guffaws when asked if she had done physical harm to him.

She’s dead now. Died in the jail by hanging. They will focus on the fact she had other brushes with police, used some pot, etc. She was an activist in raising awareness about police brutality. In January she had prophetically stated in angry dismay regarding the slaying of unarmed African Americans,… “ we’ve seen of late, you could stand there, surrender to the cops, and still be killed.” Samuel DuBose, for example.

But the real deal is she stood up to the degradation with defiance when she had done no wrong, because in her soul she knew such humiliation just cannot be left un challenged anymore and she had the guts to speak up. Even if this degrading humiliation is world wide, even if it is very, very old and represents the way racism and slavery and domination of another human being, especially women, has worked for a long, long time it needs to run its course. For more than ever before, it is very, very wrong. Sandra spoke up.

Is the officer all bad? One could say he is representative of many human beings. Lacking self knowledge and basic levels of self mastery, he was triggered in lower reactive parts of his brain to take control and overwhelm her and did so with obliterated thinking, with below the belt gut reactions, to a perception that he was losing control. Fight, fright, flight- all primitive responses that gave rise to brutal responses to perceived confrontation. Ugly. When devotional human capacities and the higher capacities of sound moral judgement have not been nurtured and supported, then higher sound decision capacities will not prevail. Examples abound. Isn’t it time we acknowledge that people raised with hatred and prejudice, humiliation and mistreatment bred into them at base level that can become constant festering wound? They can then grow to be adults with a lot of darkness in their own souls, of self loathing, of cruelty, of outer arrogance? And as it festers within they can project it, throw it onto someone outside themselves, especially if that individual has a darker skin which would mirror for them the dark shadows inside?

It happens all the time. We are all triggered at primal, basic, unthinking, reactive levels in our brains. When this is not recognized and faced we end up with a unraveling culture as we have today and many untrained, uneducated or unaware individuals, conditioned by video games and armed with lethal weapons and no wisdom how or when to use them. Add to that the pervasive drugs in the mix and it is a bleak picture indeed.

It is time to wake up to our human nature with its potential for spiritual strength and all too base weaknesses and all the toxic substances that make us weaker. It is long past time. African Americans and anyone having to endure unwarranted hate and prejudice have disproportionately had to take all this. Further, we bear a legacy in our collective American consciousness that belongs to this country for we have participated in the worldwide sin of slavery from our founding days. The fearful gut instincts of those in power had to keep slaves ‘under control‘, to keep inner and outer darkness at bay, by any means, brutally, physically, fearfully, financially, socially, through taxes, or voting laws, incarceration, whatever works. To this day. (Dear God, if only we could spend a fraction of what we do to jail people on supporting mothers and children in their earliest years of life when it matters so much!)

It is truly inspiring to know there are so many African Americans who have endured this and triumphed as human beings. We can and should be in awe of the deeper humanity they can model for us. Truly evolved soul capacities. Can we recognize such individuals can show the way for all of us in what it means to be truly human? oldest black church in America. That evening they had welcomed an unknown white man into their circle. He sat with them awhile before slaying them.

What a group of special individuals they are! Young, old, doctorate in biology, beloved town librarian, brilliant dedicated ministers, legislator,long time cleaning woman of the church, speech therapist, coaches, achievers in outer careers and their communities but more than that, they were achievers as moral human beings. Together they have sacrificially in their death given spiritual light to shine on a deep, deep problem. Surely they are welcomed to the other side favored by God No doubt some of them had faced inner and outer obstacles of hatred and humiliation but instead of turning it to hatred and darkness in the soul, with the power of the spirit they transformed it into love and service. Can we realize how such souls shine with the white light of compassion, devotion and the love of God like a beacon of love made human? For warmth and light shone through their deeds. Those describing their lives are describing love in action. This was a group of people with the common knowledge that a caring and open heart in service to God is the most precious possession a person can have. And they knew to be filled with hatred is to poison the heart. Georgette, the mother of the twenty six year old Tywansa the man with the radiant smile for everyone, puts it so clearly, “You can’t have love and hate residing in the heart at the same time. We’re just going to have to love one another.” The timeless truth of St. John’s words spoken from her compassionate soul in the face of the murder of her son.

Even in the tragic moment of the massacre, some of them could forgive the heinous deed with their firm spiritual wisdom. I deeply admire this. True humanity has graced these lives,with the higher, greater moral qualities given selflessly to the world around them. Tywansa (center) in a last post to social media, put the question for us all to ponder now… “Ever notice how the mainstream media treats black protesters and white rioters differently?” Tywanza died trying to save his Aunt from the gunman’s lethal barrage. He left on his Facebook page the words of Jackie Robinson: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Sandra’s life has left its impact. The nine martyr’s lives have left their impact. Can we be aware of the soul searching asked of us all to acknowledge and address the darkness in our own hearts and labor to transform it and put it into the service of higher loving powers as they did? For in the end the question asked of us all will be: Did his or her spirit choose to express the highest humanity? Did they choose the domineering humiliation of others or strive for the the kind, the loving, and the good and put it into the world?” We write the script of our lives as an answer to those eternal questions.