Sylvia Clute

What if law and justice fostered transformation?
       How can we get there?


Is it Possible to be Free in the Age of Terrormism?

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 5:25 PM

News reports about the disintegration of Iraq are heightening our fear of terrorism. There are people who desire to harm the U.S. and its citizens. In the name of national security, our own government keeps tightening security, imposing more controls and secretly investigating what previously was private.


As our fear grows, our freedoms are melting away and we seem unable to put a stop to it. Is it possible to live in an age of terrorism and be free?


That depends on whether or not we are able to realize the power we have to create the world we experience. At the moment, we are deeply immersed in the dualistic lens of “us versus them” and “good versus evil.” Enemies appear everywhere, attacking this way and that, forcing us to constantly plan our counterattacks, further diminishing our freedom. We are living into the world we are creating.


In this dualistic worldview, we believe enemies and attacks are inevitable. Why is this happening to me? is a question frequently asked when living in this fearful state of mind. Seeing ourselves as slaves to our environment and powerless over what happens, we are always in reactive mode.


When this is how we see the world, there are no solutions to the problem of terrorism or our loss of our freedom. This permits our own government to use our fear against us.


Remember the color codes for the level of national security risk used during the last Bush administration, codes that were sometimes used to manipulate us instead of protect us? Who would have thought when the attacks on 9-11 occurred that it would be seized as the opportunity to build the largest spy agency in history, an agency that now spies on U.S. citizens under a Democratic president who promised us change?


Consumed with fear, we still place our faith in the politicians who condemn our enemies and affirm our nation’s innocence, even though such assertions are full of inconsistencies. We live by duality’s double standard of morality so we can harm “the other” and claim it is moral, while not applying the same standard to harm done by those whom we call terrorists.


“Our killing is moral, theirs is not,” we declare, “because they make us do it.” But our attacks are met with counterattacks by those who feel they are innocent and it is we who are to be condemned. In this regard, they are the mirror reflection of us.


This enslaved state persists because neither side sees that these circumstances are the result of their own free will, or that they are alike in their fear and hatred. Wedded to the illusion of separation, we become our own slave masters, not seeing that freedom is always accessible because it is a choice.


We can remain mired in duality, or we can instead choose the reality of Oneness. Oneness is already ours, for it is inherent within us; our task is simply to claim it as our own.


Through the lens of Oneness, it is clear that to harm another is to harm oneself. This does not mean the tit-for-tat harm that duality sanctions, but rather is reflected, for example, in the deteriorating effect the emotion of hate has on the mind and body of the person experiencing the hate, or in the slave master’s loss of freedom to maintain the enslaved.


It is reflected in the diminished investment in our children as we increase our investment in weapons of mass destruction. It is also found in the loss of freedom that those who live in fear of others impose on themselves.


Oneness is a system with no losers; it is understood that no one wins until everyone does. If we want to be free, it is in our interest that others be free. If we want to be safe, our goal must be to make others safe. What makes them safe, be it nuclear disarmament, safe drinking water, or low crime rates, makes us safe. We achieve enlightened mutuality in seeing our interests aligned with the interests of others.


We can begin to strengthen our own freedom by adopting one standard of morality for us and everyone else, namely, harm to anyone, by anyone, is immoral. As this moral standard reduces the level of harm in our culture, everyone is safer and more secure.


As this single standard of morality impacts our foreign policy, there will be fewer people who want to harm the U.S. As our example is followed and it spreads to other nations, the world will become a safer place for everyone.


Even a small doubt about the sanity of duality is a step toward Oneness and the freedom it brings. As the momentum builds, someday we will be able to declare, “We are free at last,” and it will be true.


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