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A Catalyst for Change

Since the tsunami occurred, I find that people are suddenly and conveniently religious. Closeness to God requires a constant commitment to prayer, practice, study and living by the ethical codes that scriptures tell us. Can you advise those who will be mindful of God today, but forget Him tomorrow?  Maybe if they, like me, did not miss a day of practice, they would not have been victims of tsunami to begin with.
Detroit, MI

Dearest Robert,

Today my words of advice are in part for those you accuse, but firstly for you.  You suffer severely from an ill called “spiritual arrogance”, that is common amongst many who choose a spiritual focus in life. Cumulatively, this ego-driven righteousness has been at the root of more war, bloodshed and suffering than all the tsunamis in history. Although your level of commitment is admirable, the tone with which you describe your practice sounds as severe as a jail sentence, and a self-imposed one at that. Boasting that you never miss a day of practice hints that you are most likely are not fully engaged in life, but stuck in the maya, or delusion, of believing your practice makes you superior in God’s eyes.

As for your theories of deservingness, I do believe that atrocities are the universe’s boomerang of the negativity we heap upon it. The Vedic laws of karma, the Christian verse “…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [Galatians 6:7] and even Einstein’s theories support that energy cannot be destroyed, but merely transmuted. Yet I do not believe these same tragedies are God’s punishment or a momentary lapse of His compassion.  Those are strictly human weaknesses, which have no application to the perfection that is divinity. We needn’t suffer tragedy to have awareness, yet it is a choice many make unconsciously each day. Tragically, catastrophe acts an effective device to awaken compassion for those whom we cannot know personally, but can learn to love, support and attend to in the spirit of human brotherhood.

A point to consider is that a tsunami is not something we can change by rallying against it, but stopping genocide, war and disease by collectively demanding more consciousness from corporations and world governments is possible.  The fragility of human existence is highlighted by tsunami and calls us as a world and communities to imbibe all sectors life with nothing less than expressions of caring love.   

In the weeks to come the media will find a new subject.  By then, we have either integrated what has surfaced or we wait for the next fire bell.  Sometimes it is easier to be charitable to strangers than our own kin, but there is much to the tender, enduring spirit of compassion that says, “Charity begins at home.” Do we play a petty chess game of power in our own domicile by measuring our attention and deed, or are we magnanimous within the microcosm? Do we reach out with a brave heart to those near and dear expressing love or do we opt for the safety of our shell, hiding from the vulnerability of each other’s emotions? The leap from an automatic peck on the cheek to a present, thoughtful caress of another’s face is a small one, yet it holds in it the sentiment that ultimately will have to preserve us as a species.  In closing, Robert, remember the great words of Mahatma Gandhi: “We need to be the change we want to see in the world.”

-Yogi Marlon
  Om Shanti

Om Shanti,

Yogi Marlon

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