Caught on a street surveillance camera shortly after their attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices, two of the terrorists proclaimed, “The Prophet Muhammad has been avenged!” They were inferring that staff at Charlie Hebdo had violated the Prophet in some way and had now been “punished” in accordance with Islamic Law. Apparently, their “offense” was the unlawful depiction (a satirical cartoon) of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover of their magazine.
Interestingly, a little research will tell you that nowhere in the original historic Islamic Law is there a single edict or decree that prohibits pictorial imagery of the Prophet. More recent “fatwas” issued by the Taliban (published online in 2001) may have given rise to this mythical new law, when they decreed that all non-Islamic statues and shrines in Afghanistan be destroyed. You might suppose that a cartoon drawing of the Prophet might just fall under the description of “non-Islamic artwork,” however, as it would be impossible to destroy all copies of the artwork, do the artists themselves need to be destroyed? Apparently so, in the minds of the extremists involved. Accord to them, the Prophet Muhammad would condone their actions and reward them in the afterlife.
To those of us with less fanatical Islamic sensibilities, we are left deeply saddened, perplexed, and angry over the spurious logic concocted to support their murderous acts.
You can’t impose the laws of your Faith upon those outside of it.
Whatever the origins of this dubious “law,” a law is still a belief. Similar to your “personal truths”* mentioned in Part 2 of this Post, societal laws (drawn up by a govern-mental belief system, such as a religion or an administration) are seriously solemnized beliefs with pretensions of being absolute in nature.
Laws are essentially a society’s “personal truths.” This inherently means that we only take seriously the laws that pertain to the societies to which we belong. Satirist or otherwise, another’s laws are always going to be the food of humor. Which is at it should be.
Personal truths, laws, decrees, fatwas, are all ways in which we express our most important beliefs. Attempting to impose or force our beliefs—whether founded on religious or political doctrine—onto others, is an exercise in crass futility. Have we not spent many centuries and many lives reminding ourselves of how pointless this exercise is? How much longer will it take us to realize that fighting, warfare, and other violent means of persuasion will never alter the fact that one ideology does not, and cannot, represent the One Truth** of Consciousness/All-That-Is/Your God?
An ideology, such as a religious Faith, can only ever present its beliefs about the One Truth.
Terrorism is merely the latest or “modern” violent means of persuasion. Perhaps the terrorists that committed the atrocities in Paris imagined that their actions would persuade others not to make fun of the Prophet. Sales of the next edition of Charlie Hebdo (with another cartoon depiction of the Prophet on its front page) serve to highlight this delusional thinking. If the terrorists felt that the Prophet Muhammad was deliberately ridiculed, their actions although still inexcusable, were born of a naïve understanding of the nature of beliefs and their own Faith’s beliefs in particular. Compounding this ignorance was a lack of compassion and forgiveness for those who may have committed the psychological violation of ridicule.
A message for anyone who holds to a particular Faith is that if you view someone outside of your Faith to have acted in contravention of its beliefs, then have enough faith in your Faith that they act through naivety.
Terrorism is actually a good sign that we are at last realizing that using fear to impose our beliefs doesn’t work!
Naïve individuals with psychopathic tendencies committed the Paris atrocities. But what got them from naivety to a mental illness that urges them to commit violence?
Psychopathic mental illness arises from a complex set of environmental and psychological circumstances. To keep this short, using violence to express yourself when offended implies that you have cut yourself off from Divine Love***—the vitality that powers all expressions of Consciousness. It’s always there, but you have mentally cut yourself off from its empowering altruistic nature. Psychologically, you are in a state of division.
Terrorism is activism using violence. It tells of the terrorist’s divided psychological state:
Often our “activism” is done from a divided state… where we actually see good and bad, and right and wrong. When we’re in a state of inner division, even if we’re doing something good, at the same time we’re pumping our inner division into the unmanifest. The universe registers division. So when it comes to our activism, the first thing we must become sensitive to is, “Am I divided here? Do I see an enemy?” For if I do, then I’m not seeing the truth of things, and I myself am part of the problem I’m trying to solve. Gandhi is an example of the power of a unified state of consciousness. He was never “against.” His consciousness was not in a divided state. He was always “for.” So he acted, spoke, and transmitted into the collective an undivided state of consciousness. That’s what has all the power. That’s really significant… am I divided? ~ Adyashanti.
The dictionary meaning of “terror” is, “intense or overwhelming fear.”
Terrorists, I would suggest, are overwhelmed with fear—fear for the future of themselves and of humanity. They are the individuals in our Global society that have reached crisis point, revealing and acting out the deepest fears within each of us generated by the uncertainty of our Shifting times.
The need for attention, feeling powerless, feeling unloved (divided from Divine Love), overwhelmed with fear and desperation, are all symptoms of the would-be terrorist. Terrorism is not so much a modern means of persuasion, more the final guise of the age-old practice of using fear to attain what you want. Let’s not dwell too long on the number of times and ways religious and political institutions have used fear as a means to subjugate the ordinary people.
Terrorism is the current chronic pain within the body of our society that highlights, once again, that the use of fear and violence to impose beliefs upon others in order to subjugate and rule must end if humanity is to progress along its evolutionary path. This is the deeper message underpinning the phenomenon of terrorism. Fear is a state of being that cannot advance our way of thinking, our beliefs, or our evolution in Consciousness. It is imperative to our future that we heed this message.
Fear gives way to Divine Love as we negotiate the next step on our evolutionary path.
Fear always indicates an absence of understanding. ~ Elias (through Mary Ennis).
Extremism, terrorism, radicalism, and fundamentalism are all signs of a growing psychological awareness associated with our collective shift in consciousness. They are scenes within the final act of a centuries old play that investigates the ego’s primal fear—that we are separate from Consciousness/All-That-Is/God. (We don’t understand that this is an impossibility!) You can regard the recent actions taken by individuals carrying one or more of the above tribal banners as being part of a cathartic release of the collective state of Fear we have spent centuries propagating. Once we release this generalized anxiety we can return to our natural state of grace nurtured by Divine Love. Believe it!
As my Mum use to say, “It’s just a phase he’s going through.” Overcoming our fear of being separate from Consciousness is just a phase in our collective evolution.
We need to understand that beliefs are but arbitrary constructs that we must constantly review and monitor as to their standing and development. Most importantly, we must check to see if we can still see them! That is, have they become invisible to us by donning the cloak of “truth.” This understanding is imperative for human consciousness to evolve, as beliefs are the filters through which we construct and perceive our reality.
Moreover, we should become more conscious of the beliefs we choose for our values, nurturing those that do not exclude but remain open and cooperative.
We should be grateful and appreciative of the sacrifices made by the victims and the perpetrators of the atrocities in Paris. Both parties, from the bigger picture of what we need to understand and realize within our Selves during the Shift, have given their lives in order that we can learn the lesson of beliefs and their evaluation. This quote from the Christian New Testament adds poignancy to this counter-intuitive practice of appreciating both victim and perpetrator:
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous… (Matthew 5:44)
Love your enemies because it is they that challenge you to look into your beliefs, especially those that make up the values you live by. Pray for those that persecute, or commit acts of violence, because they do not understand (are in fear) that beliefs are not truths and have separated themselves from Divine Love. For “rain,” you can read Divine Love. Divine Love is always there, the primary core value within you, and available to you even if you have divided yourself mentally from it.
A post by Daniella Norris (a former diplomat and member of the International Grief Council) says this,
… But as humanity rediscovers its core values, and stands behind them, let’s not forget these people, those who committed these atrocities and those who are committing many others every day across the globe. Let’s not forget they are part of us, and they might need our love to see the light – energetically speaking.
The collective message to Humanity behind the Paris terrorist attacks
The freedom to express our beliefs is sacrosanct, because without such freedom we are unable to discern between belief systems and choose those that we prefer for the construction of our values.
In evolutionary terms, as a life form we currently enjoy a sense of self-awareness in combination with the “gift” (from Consciousness) of self-expression. Our self-expression has up until now been confined (and disturbingly perverted) by an ego that imagines it is the totality of the Self. We have spent centuries allowing the ego to experiment with its narcissistic version of self-expression. This experiment has proven, over and over again, that the ego’s limited grasp on Self and self-expression is insufficient in the consistent creation of experiences that will expand and grow the capabilities of our species. During the ego’s reign over our collective consciousness, the majority of us have either been too afraid to express our creative abilities, or have allowed fear to steer our creativity down a route of violation.
Our next gift from Consciousness, or step on the evolutionary path, came with conscious self-awareness. We, along with a handful of other species enjoy this psychological expansion. This allows us to self-reflect on what we have created for ourselves. Unfortunately, our egos have not been terribly adept at unwrapping this gift and realizing its potential.
Our collective shift in consciousness involves the full realization of conscious self-awareness. In my book, Know Your Self, I refer to our “Shift” as the time when we come to understand a broader picture of the Self—including its many non-physical, spiritual “bodies” such as your “Essence” and your “inner self,” that constantly offer support to your ego-self (when its not ignoring them)! These other parts to your Self have always been there, waiting patiently for their inclusion in the act of conscious Self-expression. Now is their time.
Conscious Self-awareness will lead to a readjustment and broadening of our ability to Self-reflect. With an understanding of the nature of beliefs we will be able to reflect on our beliefs, values, and personal truths. Are our most important beliefs “true” for us in this moment? If doubt exists, then we will know to adjust the vibrational frequency of the energies we assign to them.
Conscious Self-awareness incorporates the realization that we express our Selves through what we believe in.
*Personal truths: The beliefs you imagine to be true. “Societal and Personal truths are a product of amplified energy potentials accrued by beliefs and belief systems. They pertain to the physical dimension and the creations therein… they are neither consistent nor constant within our physical dimension.” (It’s About You! Know Your Self. p.189.)
**One Truth of Consciousness: The only absolute Truth is Consciousness/All-That-Is/Your God and Its expressions. All other “truths” (personal and societal) are relative to this One Truth.
***Divine Love: “A primary measure of all existence. It is a ‘Natural Principle’ pertaining to an innate quality of Consciousness that promotes the maximum development of every expression of Itself.”(Ibid., p.84.)