I lead a regular Course in Miracles study group. Today we did something unusual — instead of studying and discussing the text, we watched the movie, I Am.
There could have been no better way to observe Martin Luther King Day. We hadn’t planned it that way; our group always meets on Mondays. This was one of those beautiful, meaningful synchronicities that happen all the time, even when we don’t notice them.
This day, celebrating a great leader in the movement toward equality, freedom, civil rights and civility, makes even starker our current ugly and divided political and cultural climate. The fact that the divisiveness and othering is being encouraged and amplified by a president who repeatedly demonstrates racism and sexism is beyond the pale.
The movie, I Am, covers the scientific evidence that we are all connected — literally, physically connected at the quantum level. It shows how our misled belief in separation and aloneness harms us on many levels. Along with the science it covers the ideas and words of many of our wisest historical leaders. Martin Luther King is featured.
King’s message of using love to transform hate and honoring the fact that we’re more alike than separate is so profound and so timely. Famously he said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Importantly, the movie also covers scientific evidence that basic human nature is not competition, us versus them and purely survival of the fittest, but is actually cooperation and caring for one another. Primates (including humans) have unique neural systems that include mirror neurons and Vagas nerves that make us hard-wired for compassion. Pull this together and it means that cooperation, compassion and empathy are survival strategies for our species.
As King said, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
And, “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” … “We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.”
We must focus on the love, not the hate, if we want to shift our destructive trajectory and heal the sickness in our cultural consciousness.
As a next step I strongly encourage you to watch I Am.
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