"The lips of wisdom are
closed, except to the ears of understanding." --Hermes
The shock of reality has shaken us at our depth as a
nation, and as a planet. Forever we will remember where
we were and what we were doing when we heard the news on
that fateful day in September. Thousands of lives were
taken in the destruction, not only of Americans, but
many other citizens of the world. Wives became
husbandless. Husbands became wifeless. Partners became
partner less. Children became fatherless or motherless,
and perhaps both.
Our primary symbol of capitalism was transformed into
rubble before our eyes as a nation. Our primary symbol
of power and military might was effaced. Our nation lost
its sons and daughters in the military as well.
We have no choice in the cold hard facts of history.
However, we do have a choice in how we assign meaning to
our history. I would not suggest that we should minimize
the dark side of the events over the last few months.
Neither would I suggest that we fail to look for the
light hidden by the shadow of this event, and the
ensuing events. Einstein was relating an analogy he had
observed in physics when he said that we "cannot solve a problem at the level of the problem."
Let us rise above this problem in love and wisdom.
Saint Augustine, the early church father wrote, "The
will of God is equilibrium." Leibniz, the
mathematician and philosopher wrote, "God
does nothing out of order. Therefore, that which passes
for extraordinary (out of order) is
so only with regard to a particular order established
among the created things, for as regards the universal
order, everything conforms to it." Lao
Tsu, the ancient Chinese sage who is credited with
founding Taoism spoke, "Is not the way of
heaven like the stretching of a bow? The high it presses
down, the low if lifts up; the excessive it takes
What were these wise ones of different eras saying?
Is it possible that they speak to us even today, or are
they just platitudes to be dismissed? I invite you to
join me in pondering some parts of the apparently
imponderable. By doing so, it frees us to begin to see
things differently, to think differently, and feel
things in a new way.
How many families were brought together after that
event? How many estranged son’s and daughter’s
called their parent’s? How many individuals throughout
America became unified on that day? How many people of
the world poured out their sympathy and best wishes. How
many nations stood behind us? How many Americans have
contributed to charities as a result of that day? How
many people thought better of lashing out with crimes of
passion after that event? How many murders were averted?
How much domestic violence was avoided as a result of
How many acts of heroic courage did the fire
fighters, police, paramedics, EMTs, and other emergency
people live out? How much increased love making occurred
because of people being stranded at home, and as a
result, how many new births are to come as a result of
the outwardly expressed repressions of inner turmoil,
anger and tension? How many hugs have been given as a
result of that day?
Has there ever been a day that caused the world to
offer so many prayers on a global level like this one?
Have we not witnessed a global outpouring of hugs and
kindness? Is there not an increased global appreciation
of America? Have not religious services gone up globally
since the event?
Do we not have a greater appreciation for our
military men and women, for FEMA, for the firefighters
and police, the FBI and CIA? Has there not been a
greater appreciation of civic service organizations such
as the Red Cross and Salvation Army? There has been an
increased dedication to world causes.
There has been a greater appreciation and business
for emergency medical services, and for medical
equipment services. There has been a greater
appreciation and business for the demolition and cleanup
crews. There have been a greater appreciation and
business for hospitals.
How many people suddenly find themselves with the
feeling of a cause greater than themselves to work for
which fills an empty space within their lives?
This event has been a wake up call for America to
address its long-standing vulnerabilities. We now have
the opportunity to increase our security procedures to
prevent even more challenging events. It has given us a
reason to pause and reflect upon what has true value in
our lives. There has been an increase of purchasing and
flying our symbol of freedom, our standard the American
Wall street has been in a mania of elation, with
elevated P/E ratios and over valued stocks for years.
Could it be that this crisis was a timely event to
hasten a correction so that the stock market can grow
again? There has been increased interest in alternative
energy sources such as fuel cells, which will no doubt
be a part or our future as they become more economically
Carl Jung wrote, "Ultimate truth
(and I would add ultimate beauty), if there be any
such thing, requires the concert of many voices."
I invite you to understand that ultimate truth and
beauty of this event has only been approached by our
previous ponderings of many voices, but what if we could
find ourselves discovering more and more as we live our
Heracleitus, a student of Plato who understood the
formal unity of opposites within the world of experience
wrote, "We must know that war is common to
all, and strife is justice, and that all things come
into being by strife."Plato, who wrote the
words of his teacher Socrates, quotes him as saying, "Teach
not what ought to be, but what is. Enter this world not
as a teacher of a way out, but as witness to a divine
dimension within it, opening the way to love and
gratitude. Assume the outward forms of your listeners
but let your message be addressed to the wisdom within
each to awaken and call it to life."
There has been an increased interest in discovering
the difference between our Islamic brothers and sisters,
and the extreme violent fundamentalists of their faith.
And lest we were to focus only on the "speck in our
neighbor’s eye"… it gave us pause to examine
ourselves for our extreme and violent
fundamentalists, be they "Christian", or
"Jewish", or whatever religion we have, just
fill in the blank. Will Durant, the devoted student of
comparative religions and philosophies wrote, "The
greatest religions are the most tolerant ones."
Because of this event, many of us are suddenly
discovering it is time we finally realize that when we
were immature children, young of age and experience, it
served us well to imbibe the fundamental pabulum of
"black and white", "this or that",
"an eye for an eye", etc., for it gave us a
basis to build upon in our understanding. We can only
understand a new concept in relation to something for
which we already have some degree of understanding. It
is now time we make use of this fundamental base which
gives us a foundation to grow upon towards
understanding, free of religious intolerance and dogma.
Not to grow upon this foundation leaves us stuck in a
primitive level of consciousness, much like a slab of
concrete with no house upon it.
Freud asserted that man’s primary thrust is the
attainment of pleasure. Adler asserted that our primary
thrust is toward a "will to power." Maslow
asserted that our primary thrust is toward seeking
self-actualization. Adler’s student, Victor Frankl
asserted that our primary thrust is toward meaning. I
would not take anything away from the thoughts of these
giant’s of the mind.
Is it not possible that they all are true, especially
in light of what we now know about different places, and
different evolutions in the mind? What I would like to
introduce is the idea that there is another way that
integrates individual pleasure and pain, with our social
will to power, and gives us personal fulfillment and
meaning as we discover this primary discovery within our
self, and within our world. That discovery is beauty,
defined as balance… harmony… symmetry… proportion…
In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates describes his
instruction in beauty and love. Socrates, who is
regarded as the philosopher of philosophers in the west,
was the teacher of Plato, who was the teacher of
Aristotle and Heracleitus. Now, something that is little
known is that Socrates had a teacher and her name was
Diotima. In the book Socrates, describes what she
instructed him and quotes her for several pages well
worth reading, but I will only mention the following.
Diotima tells Socrates, "and who has
learned to see beauty in due order and succession, when
he comes toward the end will suddenly perceive a nature
of wondrous beauty…beauty absolute, separate, simple,
and everlasting, which without diminution and without
increase, or any change, is imparted to the ever-growing
and perishing beauties of all other things. He who from
these, ascending under the influence of true love,
begins to perceive that beauty is not far from the
end"…The order of ascent, according to Diotima,
begins "with the beauty of earth and mounts upwards
for the sake of other beauty," going from one fair
form to "all fair forms, and from fair forms to
fair practices, and even from fair practices to fair
notions, until from fair notions" we come to
"the notion of absolute beauty and at last know
what the essence of beauty is. This my dear Socrates, is
the life above all others which man should live, in the
contemplation of beauty absolute."…
"Remember how in that communion only, beholding
beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to
bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he
has hold not of an image but a reality), and bringing
forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of
God and be immortal, if mortal man may. Would that be an
Now, as beautiful as that description of beauty is…what
if instead of a being a destination, it was only a
direction? What if instead of it being the end, it was
only the beginning? The beginning of you asking yourself
the question, "How much beauty can I
find? How much beauty can I discover?" Now, I
invite you to realize that the more you discover beauty,
the more you uncover unconditional love and gratitude
deep inside within your heart, at the very essence of
you. And as you discover the beauty more and more, and
your heart warms more and more, the resentment bands
melt away to reveal ever more unconditional love and
gratitude, deep down inside your open heart of hearts.
Victor Frankl who lived through the German
concentration camp Auschwitz, wrote in his book Man’s
Search for Meaning, "Everything can be taken
from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms- to
choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose ones own way." Let us choose to
move toward significance, meaning, beauty, love and
As the late president John F. Kennedy wisely reminded
us, "crisis" in Chinese is composed of the
picture characters "danger" and
"opportunity." Let us interrupt our reaction
to see only the worst in this matter, and look instead
for the blessings that are shining through the dust and
ashes of this tragedy.
The will of God is equilibrium and who are we to
judge the wisdom of the Creator and Ruler of the
Universe? If we were to set ourselves up as judges of
the Deity, would that not be the greatest conceit
possible? Let us not view ourselves as
"victims" either, for is that not the worst
"curse" our enemies could hope to cast upon
us? Seeing ourselves as victims keeps our consciousness
trapped in our own self- pity, and misery invites more
"company" to distract and paralyze us from
I am reminded of the story of the Sufi sage who was
lying on the ground in Mecca with his feet facing a
certain holy stone. He was the subject of much attention
and controversy. People would yell at him not to
dishonor God by pointing his feet at the stone. Some
even moved him around to point in the other direction,
but he simply placed his feet toward the stone again.
Finally someone asked him why he persisted in his way.
He replied that if anyone could show him where God is
not, and then he would gladly turn his feet from the
stone. I invite you to consider that if God is truly
omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, then how can God
not be in any event?
As you look deeper, soon you find yourself
discovering more and more, that God and nature, good and
evil, spirit and matter are not at enmity. We judge them
as separate with "relativity" based on how we
perceive pleasure and pain from them. Let us look deeper
beyond pleasure and pain, and see farther toward a new
direction of significance and meaning leading to beauty,
unconditional love and gratitude.
History has shown that the persecuted upon have often
become the persecutors of tomorrow. We have only to look
around us in the world today to see that what I say is
true. Let us not become the perpetrators.
Abba Eben wrote, "History teaches us that
man and nations behave wisely, only after they have
exhausted all other alternatives." Let us
behave wisely now.
Someone wise whose name I do not recall wrote that,
"History repeats itself because each
generation refuses to read the minutes of the last
meeting." Let us read the minutes of the
Still another wise one who will remain nameless wrote,
"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of
peace." Let us solve the problems of peace.
Robert Frost wrote, "Education is the
ability to listen to almost anything without losing your
temper or your self confidence." Let us be
John Demartini wrote. "Wisdom comes from
the balance and reconciliation of all opposites. Wisdom
is instantaneous recognition that crisis is
blessing." Let us be wise.
Let us pray for not only President Bush and Prime
Minister Blair, but for all world leaders. It has been
said that the errors of a great leader are a hundred
times more dangerous than the errors of the masses that
they govern. Power used wisely is transformational and
evolutionary. Power used unwisely leads to stagnation
and is devolutionary. Let us seek wisdom and let us use
our power wisely. No one mind however brilliant and
industrious, is enough to direct a nation and lead the
world. No many minds however joined, are united enough
to direct a nation and lead a world. Our founding
fathers knew that, it is why we have our form of
government with its checks and balances between the one
and the many. They also knew to call on the Wisdom of
Divine Providence to guide both the one and the many.
Let us pray for this wisdom for all our leaders, their
emissaries and their soldier’s and sailor’s, and
peoples of the world as we go forth and do what we do.
Science and religion must be merged to evolve
humanity. We must throw off the shackles of
fundamentalism that keep us captive in all religions.
But that is only one side of the equation. And we must
look critically at another "fundamentalism."
We must take much of what is called "new age"
and extract the "age old" from the
"fantasias." A great help in this would be for
us to study the classics, the books about which Mark
Twain wrote, "The books that everyone wants
to have read and no one wants to read." We
must extract from both polar extremes to synthesize a
more rational way based on "age old" wisdom
that is eternal and timeless. How can we do this, you
might ask? I believe Einstein was giving us a hint when
he said, "The greatest religion is
understanding the universe."
Another hidden blessing is that the more down and out
we have felt as a nation, and as a world, the more up
and in we will go. Realize that even in our most awful
moments we are beautiful. Eternity is flowing with and
through every individual of our nation and our world.
Learning from our enemies is the best way toward loving
them. Let us learn from them until we can be grateful to
them, bridging communication and building understanding
toward a brighter future for generations to come.
Let us move swiftly and boldly in both peace and war.
As individuals, as a nation and as a world, we have put
a box on love. Let us take down the walls on that box,
so that we have no boundary, for our love to guide us
through the next paradigm of individual, national and
world change… the human heart. These are my
Prayers, my Wishes for Manifesting.
© 2001 D. Richard Bellamy. All Rights Reserved
Dr. Richard Bellamy is an author, consultant, life
coach, and speaker based in Houston. He is the author of
"12 Secrets for Manifesting your Vision,
Inspiration and Purpose" www.drbellamy.net
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