By Anthony Bogart


riverI’m thinking about a river. A river that runs through every person in the world. It’s the river of the heart and the heart’s desire. It’s the pure essential truth of what each one of us is and can achieve.

Americans think of themselves as fighters, always ready to fight for what we love and against that which we deplore. We have become the expression of the violence. The true nature of our hearts has become hidden behind a mask of menace and hostility. Our whole way of life in America has become an expression of the mask we wear.

In the end, though, our cruelty and capacity for rage is not what characterizes the nature of the American heart. It is forgiveness that returns us to the river of our own hearts. Without forgiveness we will annihilate ourselves in endless retributions. Without forgiveness there will be no hope, without hope no art or music. Without that dream there would be no love. For every act of love is in some way a promise to forgive. We live on because we can love and we love because we can forgive.

On a global scale, we can and must forgive the violent attacks of September 11th 2001. We must forgive ourselves for losing faith in democracy, diplomacy and the free market. We don’t need to steal resources from other countries. We don’t need to manipulate the electoral process at home to be safe and free. We don’t need to build a wall at our borders to isolate ourselves.

We do need to reconnect to the river of the heart’s desire, to connect our hearts to the heart of nature and the incredible diversity of the human community. The pure essential truth of who we are and what we can achieve is a global community at peace with ourselves and each other. There is enough land, resources, money and for human beings to live with liberty and justice for all including the Islamic nations, China, Korea, Iran, Russia and all of South America.

America can recall her menacing troops from the 130 countries where they are now stationed around the world. America can reduce its military spending which is now greater than the combined military expenditure of all other nations and redistribute that wealth in the service of universal health care, sustainable agriculture and energy and education. The dialogue between cultures can be conducted through non-violent communication not by the crude and wasteful means of the obsolete and ineffectual technology of war.

Take off the mask of menace and hatred and fear. Step into the river of the heart so that the truth of our essential loving nature will find expression in our capacity to recreate our country as a reflection of the highest vision of our true and essential selves.

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