Together!

Last week I saw a message posted on Facebook claiming that Muslim parents at a Maryborough School in Australia (unclear whether in Queensland or Victoria) had demanded that pork be removed from the schools’ menu along with a strident response from a council official.  It was a hoax, originally perpetuated in Belgium, then re-phrased in various countries to reflect the local circumstances.

I saw people up in arms and indignant about this so-called demand, with no effort made to check whether it was true or not. I saw something similar a while back which claimed to have been written by the Prime Minister of Canada/Australian Prime Minster Rudd and Prime Minister Gillard. So easy to believe the worst of those of Islamic faith without bothering to check the truth.

These circulars are written by hateful people trying to stir discord and prejudice, which is disgraceful in itself. But just as sad is the fact that people rise to the bait and circulate these hoaxes without even bothering to check facts, because it appeals to their prejudices. Even worse, when it’s pointed out that these messages are hoaxes, too many people say it accords with their beliefs and won’t delete what are basically lies – just like the lies peddled every day by Trump in the United States.

At a time when all too many are trying to foment divisions between various sections of society, the reality is that together – Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, people with different sexual choices, the poor, the marginalised, the disadvantaged, the middle classes – we are far more powerful than the forces which try to divide and rule.

This sort of hatred and division led to the horrors of the Third Reich, World War 2 and concentration camps. I believe that those of us with good faith, embracing  love, compassion, tolerance and truth can do far better than the hate-mongers. We can speak truth and love, we can hear truth and love, we can live truth and love.

 

“I Have a Dream”

In the Wake of Martin Luther King Day

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“The tensions are not between the races, but between the forces of justice and injustice; between the forces of light and darkness.”

                                                                        – Martin Luther King

 

Psalms 15

Lord, who can be trusted with power,
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people’s trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.

(A Book of Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell)

 

The Life and Loves of Stones

I
Do not
Want to step so quickly
Over a beautiful line on God’s palm
As I move through the earth’s
Marketplace
Today.

I do not want to touch any object in this world
Without my eyes testifying to the truth
That everything is
My Beloved.

Something has happened
To my understanding of existence
That now makes my heart always full of wonder
And kindness.

I do not
Want to step so quickly
Over this sacred place on God’s body
That is right beneath your
Own foot

As I 
Dance with
Precious life
Today.

~ Hafiz ~

(The Gift – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

The Soul’s Song

 

This is what you should do:
Love the earth and sun and animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people…
reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
dismiss what insults your very soul,
and your flesh shall become a great poem.

~ Walt Whitman ~

 

(Excert from Preface to 1855 edition, Leaves of Grass)

 

From Here to Eternity

I created this image from a photo of the Standing Stones of Callenish. This stone circle really calls to my heart and this image represents the timelessness of universal energy, the messages of truth which call to us at the spiritual level even more strongly these days, with the cracks representing the openings to alternative universes which can fire up and light our dreams.