The great sadness that enveloped the people of Boston and the participants in the Boston Marathon is the same great sadness that envelopes people everywhere in our global village. The two bombs that exploded in Boston, USA, killed three people and injured 176; the bomb that exploded on that same day in Mogadishu, Somalia, killed twenty people and injured more; and the twenty bombs that exploded on that same day across Iraq in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Tikrit, and three other cities killed 37 people and injured 140. One week earlier a bomb that exploded in rural Afghanistan killed 5 people, and on that same day an American airstrike – another bomb – killed 10 children. All of these bombings had the same cause, created the same effect, and forced the same question upon us.
The cause of these bombings was the pain of powerlessness, of feeling vulnerable and not being able to do anything about it, the pain of helplessness and hopelessness, the desperate need to feel superior, righteous, and powerful for at least a moment. It is a pain so deep and terrible that we push love aside without thought or regret in order to avoid it and shatter lives and bodies with satisfaction. Who among us has not felt the depths of this terrible pain and the magnetic attraction of anything that can mask it from us?
The effect of these bombings is violence and destruction – emotional violence and destruction between family members, neighbors, and friends, and physical violence and destruction as well between nations and groups. Who among us is safe from it?
The question that these bombings force upon us is: Why should I not seek vengeance? Why should I not tear out the hearts of those who have torn out mine? Why should I stand for love while others stand for violence and death? Why should I respond with compassion to those who have none?
Two different understandings of power now present themselves to humankind. The first is the understanding of power as the ability to manipulate and control, the alignment of yourself with your time-bound personality, its five-sensory limitations, and its self-focused wants. This kind of power is the obsolete remnant of a dying human consciousness. The second is the understanding of power as the alignment of yourself with your immortal, timeless soul and its intentions – humbleness, forgiveness, clarity, and love – and the world that it longs to create of harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. This kind of power is now necessary for human evolution. Love is the energy of the soul. Fear is the energy of the personality. You must choose between them moment by moment.
Now is the time to choose love instead of fear, soul instead of personality – now while the smoke is still settling over the finish line at the Boston Marathon, now while the wailing of Afghani mothers for their dead children still hangs in the air, now while innocents still suffer in Guantanamo and prisons around the world, now as you awaken to your ability and responsibility to transform the perception upon our planet of life as a cheap commodity into the perception of Life as precious, Life as pervading everything that is.
Now is the time to feel the pain and suffering of all the terrible, horrible, unfathomable experiences of our history – slavery, holocaust, massacres of Native peoples – and use them to cultivate within ourselves the compassion and wisdom that call to us now, that always call to us now, and act accordingly.
That is how to stop the bombing.