from the horse's mouth

Human beings are social creatures; we are designed to need each other. Everyone needs a sense of family, a feeling of belonging to something. Coming together in loyal groups strengthens love, encourages growth, and diminishes fear within our safe circle. But it can also create fear and distrust of “others” outside our own circle. Then distrust and fear create judging, separation, rejection, and even wars against everything that is “other.” Emotions carry us away, and our reasoning becomes distorted and unclear.

Actions ruled by negative emotions create conflicts and ultimately seek destruction of the thing that is feared. When fear is ruling both sides, nobody can ever win, and the conflict goes on and on. This is the situation in our world today: we are still fighting the same battles created by the fear of the “other” that began thousands of years ago.

Most actions, positive or negative, are generated by emotions.
(from Webster New Collegiate Dictionary: “Emotion: a psychic and physical reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling and physiologically involving changes that prepare the body for immediate vigorous action.”)

Emotions are generated by thoughts. When we entertain negative separational, judgmental thoughts, the results are bound to be negative, separating emotions and actions. What we are seeing in today’s religious wars is the same as every other war throughout history. All wars are fueled by judgmental, separational beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. We have somehow learned to hate and fear what is “other” even if (and perhaps especially if) we don’t really know what it is.

But we are loyal to our own. Loyalty may take many forms, from families, to tribes, to teams, to nations, to religions. We love, protect, nurture, and give power and preference to “our own” and value it above all “other.” All the world, in all its separate religions, countries, and races, does this.

But the truth is, we live on a very small planet. There really is no separation possible. No real separation can exist, except in our thoughts, which create our beliefs, our emotions, and our actions. If you can believe that there is more than one Family of Man, then you must also believe there is more than one God. Many people do.

The absurd basis of all religious wars past and present is always the same. When we strip it down to its bare essentials, the logic of it goes like this:

“Our God is the real God, and yours is not. Our God is is better than your God, our religion is better, higher, truer, etc. than your religion. We are good and you are bad. Your way is different from our way, and so it is right and necessary that we should kill you, so that your God will die, and no longer threaten the safety and supremacy of our God. We must do this because our God, The Real God, wants us to do this for Him.”

How absurd is that! Yet truly, that is the basic reasoning behind it all, through the ages. How could we not see it? When will we wake up and realize that there is only one God in many forms, who intentionally created one human family in many forms, colors, shapes and sizes and minds?

In the end we must finally realize a truth so obvious and clear that it has been known and told by many of the worlds great faiths for thousands of years, and yet ignored:

Even though there may be other worlds we do not know, there is only one earth where we all live - one small, spinning jewel of blue and green in all of the endless starry cosmos of God. There is one God who is behind all of it, is in all of it, and is expressing through all of it.

There is no “other.” All of it is our own. We are all the sons and daughters of God. There is no Them-versus-Us; there is only all of us, and that’s all there is. We are the family we want and need; we are the safe circle. What we have feared and fought and tried to destroy, turns out to be ourselves.

We can stop, when we decide to. We can live differently, as soon as we decide to. There is no other. All that is, is our own. There is only us, one family of humankind, struggling to understand each other. There is no other. All of us are God’s own.

this Month's New Thought Essay, Poetry, and Blog. Darkhorse Press New Poets