Reflections on Orlando: A Call To Consciousness



By Lissa Rankin |

This morning, I posted this on Facebook and then Mind Body Green picked it up when it started to go viral. I wanted to share it with you here, because the more of us who remember that we are all in this together, the more we will meet terror with love and find one another in the space between stories.

From the bathroom at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where a terrorist opened fire, 30-year-old Eddie Justice texted his mother. “Mommy I love you. In the club they shooting. Trapp in the bathroom. Call police. Im gonna die.”

His mother texted back, “Calling them now. U still there? Answer your phone. Call me. Call me.”

Eddie replied, “Call them mommy. Now. Im still in the bathroom. Hes coming. Im going to die.”

Eddie was among the 50 people who didn’t make it.

This touches my heart. Notice that Eddie’s texts began with “Mommy I love you.” In the end, in those final moments when we know we’re about to exit this plane, all we care about is love. When those 50 people were facing the end, I guarantee you they weren’t thinking about how much they hated the terrorist. They were thinking about all the people they’d never see again in this human realm and how much they’ll miss being here with their beloveds.Live Like You Were Dying

Live Like You Were Dying

Can’t we remember the love now, before we’re in those last moments? Can’t we just stop hurting each other, stop positioning for what we think is “right,” stop defending our hearts and closing off our capacity for compassion? Can’t we just open our hearts, not just to those we lost in Orlando, but to all of those who have lost their way as a result of this misguided culture? As Charles Eisenstein says in this beautiful video, we cannot simply point fingers at the perpetrators and go on a rampage, trying to contain the “bad guys.” Perhaps the “bad guys” are victims too. What had to happen to these humans to make them do the kinds of things that humans do to one another? If the spiritual traditions of all religions are true, and we are all connected in Oneness, then we are all responsible for tragedies like this. Yet we have a choice.

Related Article: Orlando Shootings: LGBT Community Mourn Loss of Those Killed [Video]

I know it sounds naive, like magical thinking, but I believe in real life magic, and I can see a future where we care for the billions of people on this planet, each one as unique cells in one human body. It all starts with compassion, with opening our hearts to the suffering of others. Hatred, revenge, and judgment don’t help. They only feed the story of separation. We must begin this revolution of love with loving ourselves and one another the way God loves us—unconditionally and with total acceptance. We cannot separate ourselves from the perpetrators and make them “other.” We are all in this together.

A Tale of Compassion From a Real Life Wizard

As I write this, I am on my way to the airport after spending a week with a real live wizard in New Hampshire. This man, who I started studying for my future book Sacred Medicine, has become a beloved friend, and I trust the impeccability of both his spiritual power and his spiritual ethic. He told me a true magic story about him and his guru Nityananda, a powerful teacher from the Siddha Yoga path made famous by Yogananda Paramahansa, author Autobiography of a Yogi.

Nityananda would take my then young friend—I’ll call him Dumbledore, because that would be a pretty accurate analogy—out into the forest on full moons. Nityananda would wander around with young Dumbledore, seeking out the right spot for Dumbledore to meditate. One night, he points to the spot, and Dumbledore sits down to sink in. Right as he closes his eyes, his body becomes ice cold. It had been 80 degrees on a summer night in Colorado when he first closed his eyes. The icy blast so startled him that he opened his eyes to see—plain as day—a 7-foot tall snake/lizard/dragon-like creature with the reptilian eyes blazing with demonic ferocity. Dumbledore was terrified. The creature, who he sensed was evil incarnate, lunged towards him, and he was certain he was going to die. But just at that moment, a beam of white light about 6 inches across shot out from behind Dumbledore and hit the creature in the heart. The creature fell back as if he had been shot, and then he slunk back into the earth. When Dumbledore turned out and asked Nityananda if he had just done that, Nityananda humbly nodded “Yes, but you will have to learn to do this yourself.” This experience humbled Dumbledore. Until this night, he had not believed in pure evil or dark energy. But this being chilled him to the core.

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The next night, Nityananda brought Dumbledore back to the same spot. Dumbledore was filled with dread. The minute he closed his eyes, the same thing happened. Ice cold blast. Eyes wide open. Fierce creature lunging at him. Nityananda saving the day. Night after the night the same thing happened.

Then on the fifth night, an epiphany dropped in just as Dumbledore closed his eyes. The ice chilled him. The fierce creature lunged, but instead of fearing the creature and leaning away in terror, Dumbledore opened his arms, heart still beating fast, as if to welcome the creature with a hug. Although he wasn’t even thirty yet, he was prepared to die if he must. As his arms spread, he felt his heart open in a way that shocked him. He genuinely felt love, compassion, and gratitude for the fierce creature.

The creature didn’t kill him, but it also didn’t lean into his unconditionally loving embrace. Dumbledore intuited that a being of this much evil simply couldn’t receive this much love. But it also couldn’t attack him. It was as if his heart created an armor the being simply couldn’t penetrate. Just as it had when Nityananda shot it with the beam of light, the creature shrunk back into the ground and disappeared.

Nityananda said, “Now you know how to handle evil. If you ever encounter something this ferocious, whether on this plane or when you’re traveling in the astral realms, love it. Nothing will protect you more than the purity of your heart.”

Love in Fierce Times

Dumbledore’s story made me think of Immaculée Ilibagiza, the Rwanda genocide survivor whose whole family was murdered in Rwanda and who has forgiven their murderers. When she was leading a band of Tutsi refugees across the Rwanda border to freedom, an army of Hutus stopped their getaway vehicle. Immaculée got out of the vehicle, walked right up to the oppressors, and loved them with all of her heart. She stood there, loving those Hutus, as the whole crowd of refugees crossed the border safely while the Hutus seemed paralyzed.

This is our invitation. Now is the time for mass awakening.

We have failed to solve the problems on this planet with the masculine principles of force, control, and technology. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on cancer . . . we have failed. The medical system, the legal system, the education system, the economic system—they are corrupt and getting worse every day. Climate change and other environmental horrors threaten our species and the very planet we call home. Now is a time to reclaim the principles of the Divine Feminine—compassion, intuition, touch, human connection, emotional literacy. We have collectively allowed our culture to grow out of balance in the masculine principle, and we are being called to transform ourselves, our culture, and our planet. Men and women alike need to embody and balance these principles.

The grief we feel when our comfortable delusion of culture is shattered cuts to the quick. When we hear about something atrocious, like the genocide in Syria or the shooting in Orlando, we feel as paralyzed as those Hutus. What are we to do?

We must do as Dumbledore did. We must open our hearts, not just to those we view as the victims, but to those we judge as the villains.

Love is the only way to stand up against the beasts we face today. We are being asked to do hard things. Only love will save us now. Now is the time of the hundredth monkey effect. Now is the time to shift the tide of consciousness. It all starts with you. As Margaret Mead said, “”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”


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  1. There is no more room for hate! Our world is gonna combust into smithereens if this hate doesnt stop! Look within your own soul not a gay mans or a transgenders life. Look at self and forgive for hating folk who do not subscribe to your way of living, eating, color you where or who you vote for, its noones business but YOURS! You are YOUR business so make love to your life, undo the hate we were taught and take a long stroll through your past and see where you went sideways, away from a Good(Godly) way of loving..God, yourself and your neighbor..

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