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Alan Cohen

Another important message to hear at this difficult time ... this one is from Alan Cohen ...

Dear friend,

In the Native American tradition, one member of the tribe assumes the role of "Faithkeeper." This person's role is to remain at peace, centered in spiritual vision, no matter what events befall the tribe. Even if everyone else in the tribe slips into pain, fear, or dissention, the Faithkeeper is the one person the tribe can rely on as a lifeline to the Presence. This is our role now. In the face of the strange and shocking events that have recently occurred, it would be almost humanly impossible not to be moved and challenged. Who could look upon such inhumanity and not be shaken? Yet there is a place within all of us that is always connected to our higher being. That is the place to go to now. Your greatest contribution is your clarity, sense of purpose, and vision. If you go into fear or terror, the terrorists have won. They have succeeded in terrorizing you. Is that the role you would play? Would you not rather overcome hatred with love? Doubt with trust? Sorrow with comfort?

"Fear knocked at the door.

Faith answered.

No one was there."

The question is not, "Have you moved off your center?" The question is, "How quickly can you regain it?" For many years we have been studying the principles of spiritual truth. Now is the time to put them into practice. When things are going well, it is easy to find God. When things seem chaotic, it is harder. The strength we build by claiming divine order when it is utterly unapparent is paramount. Spiritual mastery is gained in times just such as these.

As you may know, I find many practical spiritual lessons through stories in motion pictures. One comes to mind now that is quite applicable: In Starman, an extraterrestrial visits earth to experience the joys and sorrows of life as a human. He develops a relationship with a woman who loves him. Eventually he must return to his home planet, but before he does, she asks him what he has learned about the people of earth. "When things are at their worst," he comments, "you are at your best." September 11 showed us a disaster unlike any that most of us have seen in our lifetime. But September 12 and the days that follow have shown us an outpouring of love and compassion unlike any we have seen in our lifetime. No single event has connected so many people throughout the entire planet with a sense of caring and support. People from all over the world are reaching out to share resources, blood, skill, money, and heart. There is a miracle in here somewhere.

Let us not use this event as a way to stay disconnected from higher power. Hold firm to your sense of wholeness and that of everyone you consider. When you are upset you are ineffective to see a right course of action. When you are hooked up, you are very powerful. Mahatma Gandhi noted, "The pure love of one person can offset the hatred of thousands." The pure love of one person can offset the anxiety of thousands. Let us each be that one person.

There are two elements to this event: What happened, and what we do with it. What was done has been done. What will be is still in our hands. We can make of it what we choose. We can use it as a justification to lash out or we can build a new consciousness that has no home for terror. Let us begin by quitting terrifying ourselves with scary thoughts. Love disarms.

We bless and send love and intentions for well-being to those most affected. Words soothe little, but respect for your power edifies you. When one of my parents passed away, a friend left a simple message on my answering machine that helped me immensely: "I feel your strength." We stand in deep honor of the leaders and people of New York, who are demonstrating immense courage and cooperation. New Yorkers are compellingly resilient, and they will prevail. Thank you for an awesome model of dignity and grace under fire.

Perhaps it is no accident that world attention is being focused on the World Trade Center. Perhaps the message is that it is time to trade our old world for one more connected to our center.

We will come out on the other side of this. We will pick up the pieces and move on. And we will be closer to home for it.


Alan Cohen