They say the young people swarmed toward Ground Zero in Manhattan when the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed hit the streets. The young people danced in the streets beneath the Twin Towers, tears in their eyes, releasing years of pent-up grief and confusion and anger and sorrow and a thousand other emotions which jettisoned their elementary or middle school hearts when friends and relatives and strangers turned to ash before their innocent eyes back on September 11, 2001.
The fearful part of our collective consciousness rejoices, sings, prays that we’re now safe, cocooned, surrounded, forever content to buy our Dunkin’ donuts and sip coffee and take elevators up past the nightmare of our secret thumping scared hearts.
On Facebook the inclusive part of our collective consciousness refuses to embrace and celebrate the death of even one so-called enemy. It snubs its nose at senseless killing–even the killing of a killer–and quotes Martin Luther King, Jr. in its I-have-a-dream-sonata:
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The young people dancing in the streets and the conservatives waving flags of joy and the fearful heart releasing pent-up sorrow hears those words as a declaration of war and we’re off, off, off toward another showdown, another brawl in the virtual street of our hearts, another we-versus-them mentality, no matter if Martin meant the best and so did we.
It always returns to the wide inclusion versus the narrowing focus. We humans make it against, against, against, instead of realizing that there is something which includes even the inclusion and the focus, something which hovers above the Twin Towers of our heart, something which embraces both bombs and olive branches.
What is that, we wonder, even though we know, even though we know with every breath we breathe. It is that which perceives the ripped airplane wing and Al Qaeda and the innocent secretary making coffee before her world ends and the tears of six million mothers and the persecution of innocent Muslims and young people dancing in the street and people frowning at young people dancing in the street celebrating the death of a killer and some man whispering, “Osama didn’t really die this week–he’s been dead for five years,” and another woman feeling her heart pump in indignation at his apparent stupidity and cherry trees blossoming in Washington DC and soldiers dreaming they’ll be home soon.
What holds it together is the allowing that it happened or didn’t happen in the present moment of our precious sacred consciousness. That what we perceive is a gift even when it comes with ash and bloodshed. Even when we despise the packaging of our present-moment experience, even when we scream and cry and pound our fists on the pavement of its unfolding, present moment awareness is the gift of God or Allah or Buddha or the petals of the cherry tree or Nothing or Everything.
Let the people rejoice the killing of Osama. Let the people scorn the people who rejoice the killing of Osama. Let us perceive ourselves, in our wide-open hearts, our closed hearts, our killing hearts, our healing hearts, our integrating hearts and let us never cease returning to this present opening, this sacred opening, this cusp of preciousness which we call Life, without closing down in dismay and horror and the too-muchness of this suchness. And when we close down and open again, we’ll see once more that even the closing-down is a gift of rest, of waiting, of allowing, of sleeping, until our eyes open once again and soften to perceive it all in its totally incomprehensible newborn flame and petal.