It goes without saying that what took place in Newtown is unimaginable, as is––in many ways––the pain and grief felt by those directly impacted by this monstrous act. And, of course, it’s natural and necessary that the individuals whose lives have been devastated should seek consolation and comfort from friends and family, from the community around them. My heart goes out to everyone, along with my wishes that such things, such suffering never have to be endured.
But wishes alone change nothing… and if comforting one another had the power to transform human nature, so that the need to comfort one another — born of heinous acts against one another — could forever be averted, I’d be the first person in line to embrace all those who have been hurt by acts of hatred. So if there is any message here, if there’s any true good to come out of this dark and terrible moment, it must be that we find a way to use events like this not just to change laws but to change our individual nature, so that we – individually — begin to die to this latent and violent darkness that lives in all human consciousness.
The world we live in is a reflection of our interior reality — regardless how we resist that notion. As difficult as it is for those who wish to be true aspirants of the higher life, we must see that any rage or violence we feel — that seems so justified — is the exact same dark state that drove this sleeping man in Connecticut to perpetrate the violence that he did on others.
The task in such moments – when we are tempted to let hatred be our guide — is to realize that no matter where it surfaces, no matter how much suffering it produces as a result, violence is violence wherever it appears. It is blind, dark, and dedicated to expressing itself, using whatever hapless human being it may appear temporarily within.
The true task of anyone who would share in the life of the Divine is to be aware of this flaming hatred, and to not be its instrument: Rather than lending it your life — as it demands its expression — to die to it in yourself by consciously suffering its presence without participating in its direction. The light of this awareness — the goodness and the love that is its source — then does what only it can do: transforms both the darkness that has been brought into it, as well as the individual who agrees to this transfiguration. For it means not only that some degree of that unconscious, raging force is made conscious of itself, but the individual within whom this has taken place is also integrated, liberated — in the truest sense of the word — from all that would denigrate and otherwise corrupt the soul.