We can't Create Peace without Love
Jonathan Dickau ©'98 - all rights reserved
I have been made aware that there is some controversy surrounding the recent Great Experiment (on April 23, 1998) which was orchestrated by James Twyman, Gregg Braden, Doreen Virtue, and a handful of others. They invited a large number of people, world-wide, to undertake a process of meditating simultaneously. Details were shared over the Internet, and through the networking of friends, but with little commercial support. Small groups of people got together that day, all over the world, coordinating with some larger groups of people led by the celebrity participants. Two of my close friends, and I, were among those who participated by gathering at the appointed time. We were asked to affirm ourselves as "Emissaries of Light," and to "extend this Light to all beings, in compassion and love," and then to further affirm that "the world is healed." After this, we sang or chanted "to carry the vibration," and then spent five minutes in silence, "allowing your spirit to receive the light and love which you yourself extended." Finally, we ended with a prayer for Peace.
Some have expressed sincere concern that this experiment may have done more harm than good, and there are reasons to believe that there is some truth to this, but there is also a need to temper our judgment about it. One assertion is that "beaming" love at others may produce the result of making some people defensive or retaliatory, rather than promoting a peaceful or loving response, especially if they find our love unwelcome. In this view, the attempt to wish peace upon an unwilling world, by projecting love, is much like trying to force your affection upon an unwilling partner. What this seems to ignore is that everything humans do is out of some impulse of love, and that we can't exist in the world without our thoughts and feelings touching others, in some way.
Perhaps beaming love at people can have unwelcome side effects, but love is still necessary for peace to become a reality. I know from personal experience that intense feelings of love can create the opposite of the desired response, especially when the desire is as strong as the love. Numerous times over the past several years, I have found myself in the close company of women who were in love with someone else, and I noticed that when I projected my love, they would grow uncomfortable. If I remained neutral or transparent, however, we could be in close contact with no discomfort. It may have been my ardent desire, that scared away my companions, or perhaps my fear of not getting what I wanted, or needed. I suspect that I could have been far more matter of fact about my expressions of affection if I didn't care for them deeply, but I don't think love is at fault.
It is my belief that all actions of sentient beings are motivated by love, although sometimes this is far from obvious. We all love something, and we will all act to get more of it, if we can. If all our opportunities for desirable satisfaction are blocked, however, the love impulse can lead humans to do some very unloving things. Thus, a whole range of atrocities have been perpetrated by humans in the name of love. This does not make love the culprit, however. You see, those who know they are acting out of love, especially those who have chosen this path consciously, are far less likely to do anything atrocious than those compelled to act out of strong feelings they don't understand. The fact that most people are ignorant of the fact that all their actions are motivated by love may be the biggest reason that so many are unhappy. At the very least, being unconscious of love, as a strong motivating factor in ones life, can make it tough to adequately satisfy desires arising from love.
For those who are chronically unloved, or who are simply frustrated past the point of disgust, any expression of love might be looked upon with suspicion, or even anger. Does this make it wrong to care about these people, or reach out to them? While one might assert that it is better not to interfere with the lives of others, deliberately ignoring those who need our help is even worse, in my opinion. Whatever we do, in this world, will have some effect, and we can't always foresee all of the consequences. We must each determine, for ourselves and in each moment, what sort of impulses we will honor, and what kind of energies we will propagate. If love is what moves us, then feeling love, or even radiating love, may actually be nothing but an acknowledgment of what's happening anyway, or perhaps a natural phenomenon awaiting the relaxation of our restrictions to express.
It's important to remember that you are always radiating something, regardless of the state you are in. Even a rock will radiate away energy, at all times. The heat of the day, the breakdown of radioactive elements inside it, and other kinds of energy it transmits, are being projected from that rock always. Plants have evolved ways of trapping energy, to use it for life and growth, so they radiate less than they absorb, but plants constantly radiate too. All animals, especially the warm-blooded kind, tend to radiate more energy than they absorb, so long as they are alive. The bodies of human beings are highly sophisticated energy transformers, which can absorb, store, transmute, and radiate an astounding variety of energy forms. It is therefore possible for us to consciously regulate the type of energy we are propagating, and the intensity to some extent, but we are always radiating on some wavelength. Furthermore, what we radiate is an expression of the love we are feeling, for whatever we do care about, at that instant. In this sense, we always beam love, without even trying.
Though this is true, however, there is an element of ethics involved in any effort to influence others, even if it involves only regulating the character of your own propagated vibrations. For a group of people to create a thought form with the intent to influence or control others could be seen as a malevolent act, regardless of their purpose, since it might usurp or bias the freedom of choice for those others. It may also be true that the action of strong love energies, and a powerful peace movement, will serve to antagonize some militant souls who would otherwise keep their peace, or precipitate other changes which have a decidedly negative effect. This does not mean that concerned souls have the right to do nothing, just because an experiment might backfire, and produce some unforeseen side effects. Progress can only be made by trying new things, and an activity like the Great Experiment would not have been possible to mobilize a few short years ago.
It is obvious to me that the secret to making something like the Great Experiment work helpfully is all in the details of how it is approached, and not in the basic procedure, or the concept itself. I think Gregg Braden has the right idea, suggesting that Peace already exists, and that the most powerful thing we can do is envision peace overflowing from peaceful areas of the world, and permeating the trouble spots. This seems like a highly effective approach, setting up a peaceful atmosphere without forcing anything on anyone. We need not invade anyone's psychic space, in order to establish a groundwork for peace, but the beaming of light and love may have a place in the process, anyway, so long as it is projected with gentleness. Perhaps more coordination is required for large groups of people to radiate love harmoniously. Without adequate feedback, no individual can know if he, or she, is in harmony with the rest of the participants, and this can affect the outcome of a Great Experiment greatly.
A choir needs to hear the accompanist, and the other singers. An orchestra needs a conductor, in order to keep time with each other. Even with the small group of people I meditated with, it took us a while to get in tune with each other, once we started to chant, but once we began to harmonize, the chanting meditation was beautiful to hear, as well as to experience. I can see, however, that it wasn't possible for us to tune in to everyone else out there, and others had nobody to tune in to. Does that mean that all of those beautiful tones formed a cacophony? I hope we did better than that, but I wonder. I'd like to see a more coordinated event, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable with something that was too regimented. A balance needs to be struck, between order and freedom among the participants, and I feel that the organizers of the April 23rd event were attentive to this.
The recommended format for the Great Experiment was neither too strict to have fun with, nor so vague that it left participants with nothing specific to do. All in all, I think it was quite a balanced procedure. There was a time for projecting good vibes, a time to sustain them, and a time to receive them back. There were affirmations of peace within ourselves, and of peace in the world. The prayers seemed to be directed at seeing the world as a part of ourselves, and healing as something which manifests simultaneously in the outer world of conditions and circumstances, and in the inner world of our own thoughts and feelings. The exact phrasings (e.g. - I am one with all, and all is healed) could be altered, but all of the prayers were worded in a kindly and thoughtful way. I believe that there is great potential in the idea behind the Great Experiment, and other events where Peace is fostered through the participation of many people, over a scattered area or world-wide, by simultaneous observance. The idea is to create more opportunities for peace by giving people a reason to uplift and celebrate it often.
The Great Experiment could probably be improved upon quite a bit. As with anything, familiarity and practice would improve the performance of the group, especially if many of the same people participated. With each successive repetition, the process would become smoother, and the potential for positive change would be amplified. Some elements of the procedure could also be refined, to make it still more gentle in its effect, or to coordinate our efforts more effectively, while retaining the same basic format and intent. Perhaps the starkness, or intensity, of the light projected is what can create problems. The gentlest approach of all might be to envision what some have reported seeing on the Highest Plane, a light that is soft and diffuse, almost imperceptible unless you are perfectly calm yourself. Specifying that the light projected in future meditations is very soft, with fuzzy edges, may be enough to make its effect on others far more gentle.
Part of the problem results from the bizarre nature of physical dimensionality itself. In a sense, the space of our common reality is inside out, so the best way to radiate love is nurturing love within ourselves, letting love flower in our own hearts first, and then radiating the happiness of this love to the world. To foster peace, become quietly aware of the possibility for peace, and just let that agree with you. Feel OK about Peace, feel Love within your heart, and let the world awaken at its own pace. Love is needed, for peace to exist, and Light may be needed for the awareness of love to awaken, but we must tread softly, and peacefully, upon the thoughts and feelings of others. Those we are sending our feelings out to today may be the same people we need to depend upon in the future.
©'98 Jonathan J. Dickau - all rights reserved
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This page posted May 27, 1998
Last updated August 20, 2005