|Per Lachaise University|
epiph·a·ny | \ i-ˈpi-fə-nē \
Definition of epiphany
3a(1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something
(2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking
(3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
b : a revealing scene or moment
In light of this recent mass shooting - not done by a US citizen, but according to his manifesto, inspired by hatred, inspired by people who espouse or engender hatred, I wanted to share a conversation I had this morning.
|Mick's epiphany. First Day of School.|
My wife Sherry had an epiphany. After reading the reports of what this angry man in New Zealand spoke of, what inspired him to murder 49 church goers and wound 20 others, she reflected on the source of his anger.
He claimed he was furious over the death of a young girl who had been murdered in anger. (Leaving aside his identifying her, what country she was from, and who killed her). It was a death caused in hate.
|"Realize we don't die."|
Which made her think of the other murders that have been done in the name of hate. Whether it's a mass shooting in a nightclub in Orlando, or a mass shooting in Vegas, or a man shooting up a high school or an elementary school - mass shootings can be anywhere, everywhere; the roots of the event are most often mired in that one emotion; hate.
"If what you're saying is correct," she began her thought to me - "that we do choose to come here, that people reincarnate and come back to Earth, they do so because it's a school. It's a beautiful school, but a difficult school - it's filled with many possibilities for anger and hate and cruelty. But it seems to me that the lesson that we learn when we come here, is to rise above the vibration of hate, to rise above what causes people to react in such a violent way - and respond with what hate is not."
Which got me into this post.
If we can respond with an idea of what love is - allowing for people to make mistakes, to work out their anger and hatred and fear, then we've learned how to respond with love.
The logic goes like this:
Earth is a school. We choose to incarnate here for many reasons, including teaching and learning lessons in love. We come here knowing that it's a rough and difficult location for a school, that the lessons can and will be difficult, that the school itself is complex, complicated and difficult to attend.
|Tortured for 30 years, outlived all of his torturers.|
Because he meditated on love.
There's great beauty here, there can be episodes of courage, of tender moments of love, there can be great acts of compassion - but when events happen that challenge our concept of love, challenge who we are as a human, if we choose to respond with hate, then we are just perpetuating that hate over and over again, and have learned nothing.
If we respond to hate and anger with hate and anger - its what keeps us mired in the muck and desolation and cruelty, sadness and pain.
|School of Hard Knocks.|
But if we respond differently - respond with a concept that this is a school that we've all agreed to attend, and that when a difficult lesson appears before us, we see it for what it is - a temporary state of ill will, a temporary state of confusion, fear and desolation - a class in anger and hate if you will - then we can respond in the way that will allow us to "succeed" or "graduate" from that lesson.
|A note from Garry Shandling to himself|
To overcome that lesson by responding with "love" - in the true essence of that word. When love is given freely, unconditionally, it's something quite different than love that is given conditionally, or based on the idea that you can't love unless you're "loved back."
So the only logical, lesson learning way to respond to hate and anger and violence - is by not allowing ourself to be mired in it. Further, if we can wrap our minds around the research that no one dies, that we only bring a portion of our conscious energy to each lifetime, that when the lifetime is over we don't disappear, aren't "gone" - we transform back into who we were before we came here, before we walked into this university.
|University of To Be or Not To Be|
And when we're outside the classroom, or "back home" from the university, we are able to reflect on all the things we learned, shared, gave up, or gave into - all the things we set out to learn and teach and share, and what we failed at in terms of our progression, and what we succeeded at.
So in essence, every tragedy, every difficulty, every illness, every setback in terms of the classroom, in this university we all participate in - is a form of a lesson in our curriculum. We've set the curriculum ourselves (according to this research) in that we have "agreed" to come and participate in this university even when some of us are aware of how short or long we're going to be in on the campus grounds.
|Hard to, but try.|
In essence, every tragedy is a lesson in love - not the kind of "throw my hands in the air and dance among the flowers" kind of love, (although nothing wrong with that either) but the kind of unconditional love that is tested, that is honed like a piece of rough gold, polished and smoothed by each experience that we go through so that at the end of all of these classes we take, we emerge this solid gold piece of jewelry - so bright as to blind the eye, so beautiful as to elicit gasps.
Those 49 who died - and the 500 in Vegas, and all those children in Sandy Hook, and all the people who sacrifice themselves to teach us lessons in hardship and love, have all been given merit badges, have all been graduated to a higher level because they sacrificed their journey for this profound teaching, and this profound example of what love is, what love can be, what we can learn from their example of courage.
It's around us always - courage to endure illness, courage to endure hate and racism, and anger, and to get through these damn classes without falling off the bus that brought us here.
|Graduation gift; epiphany|
So while I may enjoy posting comedic commentary about the idiots who claim to be in charge of the classroom - the fools who can't see that they're destroying the university with every tweet that promotes hate, chokes the air, pollutes the water or kills the planet - while I may enjoy poking fun at their insanity - part of this journey is to respond to hate with the opposite of hate.
It's the thing that permeates the universe, it's what our consciousness is part of, it's what two thirds of us is always aware of "back home." And so while we're in class together, let's take the time to embrace each other, enjoy the sunshine, and say a prayer for those folks who left the planet early in order to teach us all a lesson about unconditional love.