We live in a world of conflict. It’s everywhere we turn.
It steals our peace and threatens our future. And it seems like everyone wants to fight.
Yet somehow we have to move through these situations in ways that enhance our ability to advance on the spiritual path, rather than relegate us to the karmic wheel to come back and try again.
So what is the role of conflict for awakening souls? How might it serve their upliftment toward Oneness? What does it show them about themselves? How does it impact (and reflect) their ability to love and be loved?
These questions and more we’ll explore in our discussion today.
My thoughts are triggered by the affairs of our outer world, most notably the political battles playing out over who will control the reigns of power.
It’s hard not to take sides. As our solar system moves deeper into the photon belt, the ever-increasing energies are pulling us more and more toward the extremes of our personalities and locking us into the perspectives they bring.
Even listening to anything other than that which resonates with our polarity is a challenge. As a result, middle ground is becoming harder to find. For those caught in its throes, compromise has become a thing of the past. We have no place for any action not aligned with our polarized desires.
No wonder people are so ready to fight, and use every interaction with those of diametrically-opposed views to do so.
Social media is their battleground, where Twitter and Facebook provide forums where they each can tee off against the other.
Superimpose upon this the erosion of the common foundations of our society, like morality, the family and belief in God, and there’s little to reign in their animosity or temper their outbursts.
So the conflicts grow and grow, each setting in motion a new wave of attacks and counter-attacks that escalate their wars toward an uncertain future.
Machiavelli would be proud. For at its core is the implementation of his advice to the prince, “The end justifies the means.”
This growing divide certainly challenges us to find peace in our time, much less to create an atmosphere where it can grow in society.
So what’s an awakening soul to do? How does it serve our journey back to Oneness?
My History of Conflict
Most of you know I was a lawyer by profession. It is within this crucible, this arena of legalized conflict, that I developed many of my ideas about fighting.
Of course, it didn’t start or end there. For I spent decades in the martial arts, first in karate and later in tai chi, ba gua and other systems. While those were great practices for body/mind/spirit unification, at their core it was about combat — avoiding attacks and striking targets.
Between the two of them I began to see the effect of energy in conflict. Energies to be cultivated and mobilized. Energies to be opposed or redirected. And energies to advance a cause, desire or interest.
In law those energies were primarily mental and emotional, as well as those wrapped up in the financial implications involved. In martial arts, those energies were physical, manifesting as momentum, blocking and striking.
All were invisible to the naked eye, yet to anyone involved in either venue they were very real, and very much impacted outcomes.
But my experience with conflict didn’t stop there. It was embedded in me, and reared its head in so many ways. When my self-determination was impinged by others telling me what to do, I reflexively fought back, sometimes with more vigor than required. The commitment to free will was strong in me, and remains so to this day.
Yet always my actions — whether in law, karate or my personal affairs — were always with an eye toward peace. My way, my style of fighting, was not one of aggression, but of overwhelming defense applied to negate attack and dissuade opponents from continuing.
All conflict requires an opponent, even the conflicts within us. Someone to attack, or be attacked by, us. It pits us against others or other parts of ourselves. And the objective is always the same — to win. Sometimes winning meant simply doing enough to stop the attacks; at others it meant disabling or pummeling them into submission if they wouldn’t.
And this is where the focus of attention must be to prevail — avoiding being harmed while stopping the attack, even if it means doing harm in the process. Someone wins, though the cost may be high. Another loses, or at least doesn’t win.
Yet in life, that necessity for victory runs counter to having a peaceful life, much less one where combatants can put their differences behind them and move forward together in harmony toward a future that serves them both.
This was easy in martial arts. Combatants routinely shook hands and walked away friends.
But in law and life, it wasn’t always that way. Animosity was nearly always generated that made it hard to get along as conflict left its scars along the way.
Yet this is exactly what’s happening in our political affairs. Both sides (I use this term generously, because within political conflict there are rarely just two sides, but rather many competing interests that come together in common cause, only to separate and turn on each other once their joint opponent is overcome) — anyway, both sides want victory so badly that they undertake a scorched earth strategy to get it.
Rather than simply neutralize and co-exist, they try to obliterate the other and all they stand for. And with such an intention, it makes it very hard for those who are not interested in such an absolute outcome to weave through the energies and thwart attacks without succumbing to the mindset of battle and the desire to win.
This is how I see politics today — two (or more) sides hell-bent on directing their energies toward obliterating their opponents, to rendering them impotent if not non-existent altogether.
Neither one is focused on how they might do so in a way that will allow both sides to move forward together. Each only sees what they want to see and believes what they want to believe, all to enhance their battle-readiness and ability to prevail.
It is within this environment that we awakening souls find ourselves, dragged into the fray by the combatants as well as our own needs to express parts of ourselves we’d rather not see but feel we must just to survive.
Yet, somehow we’ve got to move through these conflicts to create the peace needed to bring forth the best we have inside, while conducting ourselves in ways that enhance our journeys to Oneness.
It is a tall order, one I don’t pretend to have mastered. But I can illuminate some of the issues involved to perhaps offer incentive, and maybe even a way to get through it to where we want to go.
What are we doing?
Let’s step back and look at our conflicts another way.
We are in a very real sense creating a Gordian knot, a problem so large and complex that it cannot be solved by ordinary means, much less by any one individual.
Everyone involved must help, yet most seem more interested in perpetuating and escalating conflict than resolving it..
Putting more energy into advancing one side or another doesn’t seem to be the way. All that does is set the stage for greater (and possibly more violent) confrontations to come.
Do we really think that the breakdown of society, or even civil war, is the answer? For that appears where we’re headed — toward war in one form or another. That has been the history of human consciousness over the years, to fight over what we want and believe, with the victor imposing its will upon the vanquished.
Both sides of the political divide are locked into their way of seeing things. Neither seems capable of seeing things from the other’s view, much less exploring some third alternative that neither wants to consider.
These days they can’t even listen to views unaligned with their own, much less talk to each other any more. And as I learned in law, when communication breaks down, conflicts escalate until they reach a point of no return.
It is within this environment that awakening souls find themselves. Of course, most of us still have our polarities and root for one side or another.
Yet on the spiritual path one eye is always turned toward the journey home, urged onward and inward by an inner voice whispering that there’s more to what’s going on than they know, and urging them to find it.
So let’s examine some of the fundamental spiritual principles to see how those might guide our efforts.
Law of Free Will
First is the law of free will. Free will is after all the first distortion that set in motion our universe and the system of creating and gathering experiences within it.
It is the guiding principle behind all interaction of separate entities — each wants and tries to go its own way.
It is this commitment to free will that always had me questioning authority, to stand when they told me to sit, and to think for myself rather than accept the group mind-think they forced down our throats.
Even when I didn’t know what I wanted, I resisted others’ efforts to impose their wills upon me. Just like now I do my best to resist efforts of all sides in the political wars to drag me into their games.
It’s not that I don’t agree with some of what they say. Like you, I gravitate toward one side. But I fight the tendency to immerse myself in it, because I know that I am just as drawn to elements espoused by the other, and I know that picking one means I probably have to deny those other aspects of myself.
And in my view, that path will not lead me to the wholeness that I seek, the wholeness that we are.
But we each have free will. It’s our birthright, imbued at the time of separation from our Creator. We each have to decide how we’ll use it — to fight to win, or to find a way to move forward toward unity consciousness despite the differences that we now use to keep us apart.
For every soul has the right to make its own choices, and that includes how they relate to others in this world, as well as the systems and institutions under which their affairs are conducted.
But having that right is not absolute. It comes with responsibility to exercise that free will in a way that doesn’t impose upon or restrict the free will of others.
I call this the principle of spiritual justice, to exercise free will in a way that empowers and expands your soul, as well as the souls of others.
As you can see, the great political divide completely ignores this principle. Free will is given lip service, especially in the realm of free speech. For we’re only free to say what others are willing to hear. Anything else risks retribution and reprisal.
For the entire objective of politics is to impose one’s will to advance desires or avoid fears. The battles playing out now are efforts to convince us to go along with what they want — and if we refuse, to deny us the right to even have a say in where we’re going or how we’ll get there.
By definition, in political conflict free will is denied. Worse, there is no justice for the soul that fails to win the war for power to make those decisions.
The second principle we’ll consider that impacts our awakening is the idea of Oneness, that at our core is a unity of consciousness and being from which we all came and to which we all return. And through the experiences of our lives, we slowly clear the distortions that keep us apart.
Think about this for a moment. We are all One. And we live in a polarized universe pitting self against not-self, yet somehow charged with the spiritual task of working toward our unification.
If finding wholeness is the goal, denying one extreme of our collective being to advance another sure seems like a strange way of getting there.
Yet this is indeed where we are, trying to find or create unity by imposing the will of one aspect of ourselves to the denial of all others.
Such a paradox!
We are born into a universe to exist and gather experiences separate from All That Is, with free will to decide how we’ll live our lives and get along with the other aspects of creation — or not.
We’re each unique. Our differing vibrational signatures make us so, expressed through the myriad physical, mental and emotional variations we see throughout humanity.
Many of our interests overlap. But many of them don’t, putting us in conflict. How we deal with this conflict reflects who we are and why we’re here.
Some focus only upon the lives and society in which they live, and the issues and interests that influence them.
Others, maybe even you, look to find a way through this conflict while they journey toward Oneness.
Yet regardless of our orientation, we’re all on this journey home together. For at our core, we’re all one.
So in essence, when we fight with others, we fight with ourselves. The energies in them are in us, and when we direct those energies outward in conflict, they impact us just as much as those they’re directed against. The repercussions reverberate through us all.
While we think we’re fighting for righteousness and justice and all the other good things we like to think our side supports, what we’re really doing is fighting for separation. The rift we create within the body politic, however, remains within us as well. For we make war not upon others, but upon aspects of ourselves that we don’t even recognize as part of us.
And that should make awakening souls sad, that the wholeness they seek is denied by the way they see themselves and conduct their affairs.
I therefore constantly try to check myself and see things from other perspectives. Because I know those are not just others’ views — they’re mine as well at a level I don’t always see, and there’s only one thing worse than succumbing to our outer conflicts, and that’s falling into the abyss of the great divide they create within us.
Perhaps, then, you might examine your own beliefs and perspectives about the political wars and the actions they lead you to take. Do they take you closer to Oneness? Or serve to separate you from the wholeness your journey inspires you to seek?
Love is the second distortion of creation. It is the power that enables us to gather experience. It’s presence or lack determines the quality of our time here, as well as the path of our journey home.
It is the choice of love through the exercise of free will that allows us to advance.
So perhaps we should take a moment to remember Jesus, the master teacher who came to help us make this choice by turning to love.
After all, the purpose of this 3rd density world we’re in is to learn about love. But in our political affairs love seems to be the last thing on our minds.
Or is it really? For aren’t the conflicts of our polarizations just as much about our desire to be loved by having things go the way we want, as they are about the outer issues over which we fight?
Our opponents don’t want what we want so they must not love us. Nor us them. So what do we do to people that don’t love us and openly oppose what we think will make us feel loved? We fight. That’s certainly a strange way to find love. But then again, people are strange.
Love, though, is often interpreted in the eye of the beholder. We find it hard to love that which doesn’t comport to what we think we want or believe.
Politics, in this sense, is the act of trying to find love for self by denying love to not-self. It is the ultimate expression of service to self.
You might say that conflict is a one-sided way of applying love, not only for ourselves but for our identities and desires and all the things we want to fill our lives with.
Jesus taught us to love our enemies. Not just to tolerate or co-exist with them, but to love them — and to love ourselves while doing so.
Forgiveness is the key to doing this. He said to turn the other cheek when they assault us or do things against our interests. Not once. Not twice. But as many times as they do it.
Unlike the eye-for-an-eye teachings of the Old Testament to smite those who smite us, Jesus knew that only love was the way to get where we really want to go — back to the Creator that is our source.
Love allows us to forgive. And forgiveness stops the wheel of karma so we can break the cycle of conflict and move on.
Yet who thinks of love when they’re fighting the good fight over what they want or believe? Who forgives political opponents their trespasses? Who is willing to turn the other cheek, effectively saying, “Thank you, sir. May I have another?”
Even if we have love for nothing other than ourselves, political conflict should give us pause. For while it may allow us to express love for ourselves, our beliefs, and others who share them, it denies love to those who don’t.
Just think about it. Is loving part of ourselves, while denying love to our other, separated aspects, really a path to wholeness?
Maybe political conflict is, at a spiritual level, not about what is happening in this world at all, but rather a choice whether to return to source, or stay here and enjoy the fruits of our separation a while longer.
Which way will you choose?
The Law of One
This brings me to my next point for today — the Law of One.
Some of you may have heard me speak of the Law of One before. It was shared by Ra through a series of channelings in the 1980s to explain the nature of reality, the purpose of life and our return to source.
As our spirit and consciousness expand through the experiences of life, we begin to hear the inner voice that tries to guide us through the maze. It empowers us to see the relationship between self and not-self in new ways. And more importantly, to see ourselves and what makes us the way we are, to give us choice over how we will conduct our affairs as we awaken to the oneness at our core.
According to the Law of One, here in 3rd density reality we exist in a continuum of consciousness. At one end our focus is upon service to self. At the other the objective is service to others (or not-self).
As we evolve, we make choices and perceptions that enable to move one way or the other — toward serving others, or serving self.
Ultimately our goal is to move sufficiently toward one end or the other until we are freed from the bonds of 3rd density and ascend to new levels of consciousness as we make our way home.
Love is the tool by which we make and implement this choice.
As an aside, it should be noted that Ra says the vast majority of us will make the journey by evolving toward service to others. I therefore assume that you are in this category, though you may see yourself differently and choose the way of service to self and manipulation or control of others.
Even though you may be moving toward service of others, however, this doesn’t mean denying love to yourself. For it’s hard to serve others if you don’t feel loved, or have anything left to give.
In the view I share with Jesus (and which on its face appears to depart from the polarized extremes of the Law of One), we’re left to find our balance between the two, to love others both AS and WHILE we love ourselves. Not just in the same way, but also at the same time.
For since we are all one, to love one aspect of ourselves while denying another fails the test. Somehow we’ve got to find a way to love both, even as we evolve toward our chosen extreme.
Expanding consciousness allows us to see where we are along that continuum. There’s no right or wrong place or way to go about it. We’re all different, on different paths home that we each must find and travel.
Each of us is subject to different distortions that keep us separate from the Oneness at our core. These distortions create the differences that contribute to the unique expressions of our Creator that we are.
Yet ultimately each of us must make our own choices about our relationship to the others (or not-selves) that inhabit this world with us. Those choices determine the nature of our experiences while we’re here.
The Law of One, then, has us recognizing our journey to Oneness, and the seeking to know ourselves as Creator.
Yet within the political realm, we only see separation and conflict, as if the other side is trying to go somewhere else. Or at least choosing another way to get there.
Conflict, at its core, is an act of service to self. For if we are oriented toward serving others, we won’t fight. Instead, we’ll find a way to apply love to serve them, and hopefully us as well.
While we may think we’re serving others by our political views, in reality we’re looking to serve ourselves and the tribal interests with which we identify. Political parties are an extension of that identity. When advocating one side or another, we’re simply extending our identity to groups that make us feel loved and secure. Lending them our support gives them love, and denies it to their opponents.
So those who understand the Law of One and the nature of our evolutionary journeys home, political conflict becomes an act of love of self, manifesting a willingness to engage in manipulation and control to bend others to our will.
Certainly this is okay for those who choose the path of service to self as their way to evolve. But that is a difficult path fraught with darkness not chosen by many of us.
Those who gravitate toward the light and whose consciousness draws them there through service to others should know that such conflict simply presents another obstacle to overcome, another test of how to love and be loved that benefits all.
And from that perspective, the path of upliftment challenges us to loosen the hold of the beliefs and practices that keep us in conflict. In short, awareness of the Law of One and efforts to apply it should probably lead us to rethink our political wars, and seek other ways of moving forward together than the imposition of our own desires upon all without consider others’ as well.
So where does that leave us, aware of our spiritual journey yet still stuck in this world having to deal with all the petty conflicts that arise while we’re here, much less the big ones that determine to course of our common future?
Somehow we’ve got to assess where we are and where we’re going. And most importantly, how we’ll get there.
That leads us to my final point. It is the primary tool of the awakening soul — knowing yourself. For only in knowing yourself can you begin to understand the inner conditions that distort the light and reinforce your illusions of separation from the world around you.
Only then can you love and be loved without allowing your differences to get in the way.
This is not to suggest that such distortions are either good or bad. They are simply expressions that allow us to create ourselves as we are — and empower us to address them to become what we want or need to be.
By knowing ourselves, we can begin to see the beliefs and perspectives upon which we’ve constructed our lives and the positions we take in the political wars. We can also see how the affairs of that outer world tweak those beliefs, and set in motion responses to the words and actions of those that see things another way.
When we do, we can defuse the mental and emotional triggers, and maybe even release the desires upon which they’re built.
Ultimately however, we will be forced to look at our beliefs and desires and whether they are serving to take us where we’re really trying to go. And to exercise our consciousness to choose how we’ll interact with this world in which we live.
This expanding consciousness offers a choice of where to turn our attention and the intentions we set along the way
If it is solely upon ourselves and our lives in this world, our choice is to love and serve ourselves. Then we can easily justify fighting the good fight to advance our political causes.
If, however, our focus is upon the Oneness where we hope to go, perhaps exploring our own inner distortions will lead us to conclude that our true conflict is not with others, but within ourselves and how we see our place within this reality.
Knowing yourself will allow you to do this. It will also give you a glimpse into others, and why they are the way they are.
You probably can’t do anything to change things. But you will be able to chart a course that better serves you both, and most importantly, the Creator to which you return.
Most of all, knowing yourself will give you a choice, the chance to exercise your free will to set the intentions that guide your existence.
The choice may be to serve yourself. It may be to serve others. Or it might even be a choice that serves you both.
No one can make it for you.
That choice is yours and yours alone. But remember. Whatever you choose — to fight or not — the world you change will be your own.
God bless you indeed.