A Safer And Better World With Or Without Osama Bin Laden

The world is not a better or safer place because Osama bin Laden is gone from it. Nothing has changed. Violence has created violence, which has created violence, in an endless chain whose origin is insignificant. What matters is what we do now. That is always what matters. Shall we hate those who hate us or shall we love them? If we hate those who hate, what is the difference between us and them? Shall we love only those who deserve it? Who look like us? Who believe like us? If we love those who, like us, are born and will die; who, like us, cry when they are frightened; who, like us, lash out in pain when they feel powerless, who would we not love?

From the distorted perceptions of fear, forgiving the unforgivable is unforgivable. The choice between love and fear is always with us. Often we choose fear, but we do not need to. Unchallenged fear of the pain of powerlessness, of the pain of humiliation, of the pain of loss moves us forward and we create more violence and the chain grows. Forgiveness does not mean freeing a killer or ignoring a bully. It means putting down the burden of your hate and relieving yourself of the pain it creates in you. Bin Laden is dead but you are alive. Who is suffering from the pain of your hatred for him now? How long will you continue? Who else are you not forgiving? Out of the past fear encircles us, emerges into the present, and from there grows into the future where our children will reflect our own fear back to us in the violence that they will do when they encounter the unforgivable. But they do not need to. They could reflect back to us a world of love if we are willing to show them a world of love now.

What would that world look like? How would it perceive Osama bin Laden? Would it rejoice at his death? Would a world of love meet fear with fear or would it replace fear with love? How much courage would it take you to do that?

Gary Zukav

  • Published: May 6, 2011
  • Filed in: Blog

23 comments on “A Safer And Better World With Or Without Osama Bin Laden”

  1. Mark Gagnier says:

    I am a 12 year flight attendant for one of the airlines hyjacked on 9/11. The events deeply impacted me….. my life, my work, my wounded spirit. It activated fearful parts of my personality. Still, I continue striving to work through this profoundly painful experience with compassion and love. It is not easy. Not even these many years later.

    I feel we must all reflect on our actions as; individuals, communities, nations, and as a species that lead us to that very dark day in human history. I choose to try to understand Bin Laden, forgive him, and even try to be grateful for life lessons. Needless to say, this concept has met viament opposition from my colleagues.

    Nonetheless, I expected to feel some measure of comfort from the capture or killing of Bin Laden. Instead, I had a surprisingly hollow feeling. As if to say, so NOW what? The hate continues. The killing continues. A sense of disconnectedness continues. Until we understand on the deepest level; we are all the same…. all connected, nothing changes. And it starts with ME.

  2. Maya1970 says:

    Hello Gary – I live in Australia- would have loved to have been able to come to your soul retreat at the end of July – hope you have a wonderful time. I see it a bit differently – I think we repress our hate, our rage, our anger and then it sneaks out when we least expect it – thus making Bin Laden a personification of the repressed hatred in the U.S particularly. I think only by admitting and looking at our hatred can we truly find peace and acceptance and the energy of love that does sustain and nourish us all. Up until that point its just semantics, expressions of love and peace are or can be just words, just what we want everybody else to see, not necessarily how we truly feel within. So many times we attempt to be loving and kind and compassionate on the outer as this is what we deem makes us a good person, yet on the inner we are hiding lumps and bulges of unacceptance and discord. Being honest, should take precedence over all else,then we can see clearly and accurately both sides, then we are free to choose love over fear. You have been an inspiration Gary – cheers xx

  3. Holly says:

    I believe we have created a snowball affect by the death of Osama Bin Laden. I was not happy about his death, I was sad. Yes he’s done a number of terrible things in his life but his death was not the solution. He was still a human being obviously in a lot of pain. He was still someone’s son, brother, etc. Loved by many. Now those people will avenge his death and create more violence in this world. This world will never be a place of love if we choose to end violence with violence.

  4. skbennetts says:

    I believe that Osama’s soul is an unusual one, one that took on a journey so great, a journey that most would not take. His soul came to this world to allow for all of us- that chose- to experience the ability to forgive, the part of “special” that is forgiveness. An amazing soul chose to be born into Osama. Osama, a person that would do unthinkable things, had to be carried by a soul that knew it was bringing a gift so great to the world. The risk that only some would understand, the soul chose to do something terrible so that those who chose could experience ourselves as someone who forgives.

    1. Phyl says:

      Such profound understanding and compassion are contained in your words.

      It would be interesting to know what Osama”s life review reveals.
      Peace to you,

  5. william b says:

    It is a hard lesson. I know I have been deeply bothered by the thought of Osama bin Laden being free and plotting attacks over the past ten years. I have hated him. It has been a huge challenge for me to believe in a compassionate universe when such destructive actions can occur. So I am still struggling with it.
    But I pray that Osama chooses a better path, takes the opportunity to be compassionate when his soul creates another personality. Some part of him was capable of love and he chose not to support those messages from his soul. We all fail to listen to those messages at times. I have soul work to do myself. But I try to hold the idea that someday Osama’s soul will heal too. The universe will not let us avoid our soul work.

  6. peacefulangel1957 says:

    As you may have guessed by my nickname I have spent a long time searching for peace. Gary’s books have been a tremendous help to me. I have finally found a place inside myself which has led to a personal peace for me. I pray everyday that we can somehow find a way to bring peace to the world. I did not rejoice in bin Laden’s death. I do not believe there is a justification for violence. I know those who lost loved ones from his terror attacks feel a little bit of justice and that is why I struggle so much with not rejoicing in his death. He hurt thousands of innocent people. And I am sure that he planned to hurt many more. But two wrongs do not make a right. I am a Christian and I believe we are called to love and not hate. Anger and fear produce hate. So while the world may feel a bit more at ease with bin Laden being gone, I fear there will be more violence and their excuse will be avenging his death. It has to stop somewhere. I just don’t know where or when.

  7. Asoral says:

    Who are we to label any death “unnatural”? Osama Bin Laden’s death could have been the “natural” consequence of the decisions he made and the life he chose to lead. The Universe is comprised of endless forces of energy, all interacting simultaneously in ways that we cannot necessarily understand. Just as much can be learned from death as can be learned from life.

  8. shaggiangel says:

    I am not the judge of whether we are safer or not. That decision will be made by a power far greater than me. I do know it saddened me that we rejoiced so loudly to the world over the death of a human being. It hurts no less to family members whether you are considered “good” or “evil.” Hurting others only hurts ourselves in the long run. As I look at the state of the earth, the weather catastrophies, I only see the turmoil that presently exist in the minds of men being reflected. Will mankind learn before it is too late…or is it already?

    1. binra says:

      I recall Ram Dass saying “safety is an inside job”. I feel so. It is the thoughts I accept into my mind that deny the embrace, guidance and presence of the Heart.
      I recall in Emanuel’s Book, something like: “fear says it will make you safe. Love shows you , you are safe”.

  9. sunshine7 says:

    I feel sad that everyone is portrayed in America as being happy about the death of Osama Bin Laden. I feel that ANY LIFE that is taken un-naturally is a SADNESS for our community of souls. Love and forgiveness through education and advancement of our souls while on this earth plane is the path that we should be on.

  10. Vera_T says:

    I believe that Barack Obama is a man of peace and I believe that he is a wise man…how difficult it is to be the president of the USA and maintain one’s integrity. I wish him all the best.

    1. peacefulangel1957 says:

      I too feel sorry for anyone who is a leader of a country. They make decisions daily that affect millions of lives. I admire anyone who can put his personal beliefs aside and do what is best for the country he runs. I pray for Obama’s success and for him personally.

  11. Kelley says:

    My mind has been spoken; when I hate Osama bin Laden, immigrants, or GLBT folk, I am the one who is truly tortured by the hatred. When I feel angry (hateful) towards a person or circumstance in my life, I ask “What am I not forgiving myself for, and what do I need to do in order to be kind to myself?”

  12. Terrie says:

    It seems to me that any action driven by fear and hate can only add to the challenges of the world. I do not see one person’s death as being the solution to any problem. People will just find another to serve as the screen upon which they can project their own personal pain and fear.
    For a real and lasting change in the world, we must individually do the inner work which brings peace to our own inner state. Then we must act from that state of peace.

  13. cls_ashland@yahoo.com says:

    I believe that not only some people’s suffering may have been eased by the death of Bin Laden, but more important I hope his suffering was relieved. We all would benefit from a path of Loving-kindness toward all beings.

  14. doctorj says:

    What action do we take in Love and Truth toward someone who wants to kill us?

    1. binra says:

      Any action guided by love and truth will arise from a true assessment of what is really present. Rehearsing situations that are already pre mapped or defined is like programming life to try to get it to protect and fulfil OUR definitions. (Head) When we act out of such a mind we blindly act out selfishly in a way that creates opposition from others. In any war – on any level – truth is not allowed in unless it suits. Truth is not a matter of war or might or coercive ability. Truth is a matter of revelation to a capacity to listen, trust and communicate honestly. (Heart). I offer this in case it is found helpful. The head level is not interested in truth unless it serves the heart. War between head and heart is the war we CAN be healed of right now.

  15. Gee Gee says:

    The demise of Osama reminds me of this quote: “The Holiest place on Earth is where Love has taken the place of an Ancient Hatred.”

    1. cathrynmc says:

      Oh, I love this quote! I have personally experienced this and it is empower-ful.

      1. Chiefie says:

        Gee , such a profound quote, may I ask the author ?

        1. binra says:

          It is taken from A Course in Miracles.
          “The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love”. Feel it and know it true.
          ACIM suggests that the essential ‘separation’, ‘fall’ or descent into the experience and separative consciousness of guilt, fear, limitation, scarcity and war, is way back beyond possibility of recall – yet reenacted in every moment. For we act out the core separation script and then experience it as if it were done unto us and feel justified in asserting our will – which is coercive upon life rather than aligned with the Living.
          Opposition is the fuel for keeping the fire going. The real ‘enemy’ is never out there but in the wish to see guilt outside our own heart and mind. But until we own our own fear, we can not dissolve it, move through it, become free of it and then see with an undistorted vision.

  16. Robby says:

    I have heard osama’s replacment say ” we will not stop until the US pays us back for all of the damage they have caused …. ” , but I could see in his eyes a deep regret and a deep need for acceptance and love !, and I wondered how many of their childrens – children… would buy into that befor they realize that they can just stop and be happily in love and peace if they simply decide to be … i dont think that they will go another generation if they are given a free choice

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