Today is Martin Luther King Day. Martin Luther King was a man who loved God and his fellow man. He refused to define a human by a sense of limitation, seeing instead the Divine Potential of all peoples and all races. He stood for love, believing that it is not possible to combat hate with hate, just as you cannot rid a dark room with more darkness. In light of all the exists in our world today, the following question still remains:
If you cannot defeat darkness with darkness, have we now evolved to a place where we can love those we hate?
I once did a 40 day practice of loving kindness meditation. I picked a group to focus on for 40 days and spent 30 minutes showering them with love. I picked Al Qaeda. Before you get angry that I would dare to love them, allow me to explain. I would not and could not ever condone or support their beliefs of violence and terrorism. I am horrified at how they go about accomplishing their objectives. Terrorism is against God, not in support of God.
But if you cannot defeat darkness with darkness, what about the power of love?
So for 40 days I imagined these beings who have become twisted versions of their own potential as humans needing love. I wished that their sorrow at whatever misfortunes had come to them to corrupt their loving hearts would be washed away. I visualized love sweeping through their camps like a wind and startling them. I laughed lovingly as I saw some become visibly irritated by the presence of love, so habituated they were to darkness. Irritation, after all, is a higher vibration than hate. Irritation doesn’t lead someone to terrorism. Love elevates.
I cannot know the effect of that 40 day meditation. Perhaps it caused a man to change his mind and defect. Probably it didn’t. But I know that the Dalai Lama, when asked who his greatest teacher was, said (and I’m paraphrasing here) Mao, because our enemies show us the darkness inside so we can clear it.
This is not an argument for or against war. Nor is it a call for a change in official policy of the government. But consider the official policy of your heart. Will you hate inside? Or will you love your enemies as yourself, as Jesus suggested. Living with the heart requires radical thinking in these radical times.
This is the radical thought: that love is the greatest agent for change in the world.
Jesus had it. The Dalai Lama has it. Martin Luther King had it.
What about you?
Click here to listen to Ashana’s “Loving Kindness“.