A Prayer For the Heart and Soul of America
Time to Gather Under One Big Intent
September 10, 2007
by Steve Bhaerman (aka Swami Beyondananda)
As we approach the sixth anniversary of the day America lost her political virginity, there are many disheartened among us who fear the enlightened republic founded two centuries ago doesn’t have a prayer. To this, I offer two pieces of good news. America does indeed have a prayer, and we the people are the answer to it.
Looking at it from the perspective of six years, our loss of innocence has had as much to do with the choices we made (or more accurately, the choices that were made for us) in response to the event as the event itself. At a moment when we had the world’s attention and empathy, a great healing could have taken place. An enlightened leader could have used the tragedy as a breakthrough in promoting justice-based peace in the world, and isolating the sociopathogens that seek exploitation or destruction.
Well, that probably did happen in a parallel universe. In this universe, however, it was used to mobilize this country for permanent warfare and created a “safe” environment to institute fascism at home. According to a recent Zogby poll, 51% of Americans want Bush and Cheney investigated regarding the 9/11 attacks. As David Ray Griffin articulates so well, once the halo of “religious mythology” is lifted from the official story, it seems like an unlikely story indeed.
At the time, things happened so quickly and it was such a shock to our collective system that all we seem to remember is the video of the planes hitting the building, over and over again. And then over and over and over again until we could see nothing else. Didn’t see much of the aftermath of the Pentagon attack for some reason, the one where the plane came in at an impossible angle just so it could hit the most fortified and least occupied section of the Pentagon.
There wasn’t much conversation about how and why the most heavily armed air force in the world stood down, and ultimately no one was held accountable, and no one so much as lost their job. There was a little buzz about the “puts” placed on American and United airlines stock a day or so before the attacks, but it was never revealed who made a financial killing by selling off their stocks before they plummeted. No one questioned that the greatest crime of the new century was “solved” in less than 24 hours, before any investigation had taken place.
Instead we had a carefully planned and orchestrated ceremony where the President offered an unofficial declaration of war (remember, the Constitution tells us only Congress can declare war) from the pulpit of the National Cathedral, with representatives of four religious faiths stamping the “war on terror” with their “amen.” At a time of profound sadness and vulnerability, our so-called leaders used the attacks to start a war that had been planned long before any attacks took place. And a month or so later, anthrax was mysteriously sent to Democratic Congressional leaders and in the panic and fear, the orwellian “Patriot Act” was passed without very many legislators bothering to read the 342 page document. Another unsolved crime you never hear anything about anymore.
The bottom line is this: Whether or not you believe 9/11 was a “false flag” attack, even the most die-hard “coincidence theorist” has to concede that even if this wasn’t America’s Reichstag fire, it was sure used that way.
The Good News Is … We’re Facing the Bad News
OK. So where’s the good news, and where is the prayer? The good news is, we are finally willing to face the bad news.
Last month at the IONS conference, I had a frank and enlightening conversation with a woman who is a religious educator for a “new thought” denomination. In this particular group, every year they celebrate the “season of nonviolence” to commemorate Gandhi and Martin Luther King. I asked her if she knew anything about the civil case brought before a jury in Memphis in 1999 by the family of Dr. King. She didn’t. I explained to her that the jury found that King was killed not by James Earl Ray, but as part of a conspiracy perpetrated by the FBI, the Mafia, the Army special forces and the Memphis police.
(As Casey Stengel used to say, “You could look it up.” There’s a book written by the attorney who brought the case Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King. I know. You haven’t heard of it. Nobody has. This book has never been reviewed by any mainstream media outlet, and probably never will.)
And that, my friends, is the problem. Not health care, not abortion rights, not even the war in Iraq. The real problem is we are not in control of our own government, and the media has used weapons of mass distraction to keep us from noticing.
The solution? I saw that in the eyes of the courageous woman I was speaking with. As she absorbed the devastating news, there was tremendous sadness in her face. Yet I could see that she had no doubt what I was saying was true. Facing this inconvenient truth took courage. She realized that to celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday publicly and not acknowledge he was murdered by forces in our own government, would be a lie and a disservice.
Many of those in the new age and new thought movements have gone out of their way not to “take sides” in “political” conversations. But as we are coming to see, there comes a time when not taking sides is … taking sides. It is taking sides with denial, and it empowers and emboldens the kinds of people who plotted Martin Luther King’s assassination and got away with it. At a time when our nation’s moral compass has gone south, we need spiritual and religious people to have faith in their faith and stand by their stand. Or, as the Swami says, “It’s time for the meek to boldly step forward and claim their inheritance.”
Gandhi was meek. So was Martin Luther King. But they were boldly meek, and that is how we need to be. This is not a time to use our religious faith or spiritual practice to run from the world, it’s a time to use that powerful energy to heal it. Doing so doesn’t even require having a faith, just an impulse towards love, harmony, coherence and goodness. As an opening exercise at this time for prayer, please check out this month long experimental prayer for peace at commonpassion.org. Rather than designing some uniform prayer, these folks encourage people to use whatever form of prayer and devotion they already practice—and imbue it with this particular healing intention.
It’s just one example of building the field of truth and clarity. Consider that the more we communicate with others—regardless of their professed political beliefs or nonbeliefs—the more we create a new field of awareness that opens up new possibilities. Regarding the dark side of our history and current events, the most powerful thing we can do right now is to create a safe space to speak and hear the truth. Perhaps you’ve known about these perpetrations for some time and have “metabolized” them in some way. Most people have not. On top of all the other things we are occupied with in our daily lives, having a criminal regime to deal with on top of that is just too much.
From Big Brother to Bigger Brotherhood
It’s too much for each of us, but not for all of us together. We haven’t even begun to measure our true power. We’ve been too fearful. Imagine a Zogby poll asking the following question: Do you believe it is appropriate for we
the people to be disenfranchised from our own government, and our government to engage in criminal activity? Sure, it’s a leading question, but it’s not a misleading one. Would 75% to
95 % of Americans agree that we should have genuine say in our governance and not have to be afraid of our own government? That’s good news. It means some 150 to 200 million Americans agree that regardless of how they feel about abortion rights or universal health care, they prefer to live under the rule of law.
America has been divided and just about conquered. What this next most challenging phase in our history will require is for us to rise above the “dueling dualities” in our heads, and focus on the humanity in our hearts. We do indeed have a prayer, once we realize we are praying for our own clarity and courage. The vibrations of those words establishing our right to “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” and the notion that all of us are “created equal” are still ringing in our collective awareness, faint as the reverberations might seem.
Our task is to rekindle that fire, finally establish those principles in reality, and be the beacon of example to the rest of the world. There is a reason why there are no leaders on the horizon today. It’s because the old form of leadership no longer serves. The new leadership cannot be assassinated because it is an idea that springs from 50 million souls at once. That is the super-duper power. Again, to quote Swami: “The only sure way to overgrow Big Brother is through Bigger Brotherhood.”
Here then is a prayer. Use it, modify it, make up your own. The importance is intent … so let us … as many of us who realize we are all in this together … may we gather together under one big intent … the healing of America, and the healing of the world.
May the power of love and courage be embodied in each of us as we face darkness as beacons of light. May we light the way for others with joy and laughter, the weapons the darkness fears the most. May we gather together locally with the global idea that we are each a precious cell in the body of humanity with a loving gift to bring. May this wildfire of truth burn from the grassroots up, and may it vaporize the structures that no longer serve us. May the new leaders arise—humble yet bold—and may the structures emerge to help us create the maximum happiness using the minimum resources. May we understand that heaven is a practice, not a destination, and may we practice heaven until heaven becomes practically real. May we also understand that we choose which game we play in life, and now we must choose the world game as the only alternative to the end of the world game. We cannot know for sure the outcome, but we can know in our heart of hearts that it’s the only game worth playing.
May we commemorate the next anniversary of 9/11 as a free people with nothing to fear from our own government, and may that government be a reflection of our highest aspirations for both good and freedom. May we do this for all humanity and for all our relations, and may we celebrate a new convenient truth … global heartwarming.