Friday, 19 September 2014

The Road to Freedom

The Road To Freedom

I am a Jew and being Jewish in these recent times isn’t easy if you are socially and politically aware as I try to be. I have spent many years exploring what it means to be Jewish as a race, as a religion and as a persecuted and nomadic people. It is complex, I can tell you and as a woman who has discarded the religious part of judaism for a more worldly form of spiritual practice having no desire to move to Israel I have never felt more distant from the Jewish aspect of myself. On the other hand it’s not anything I would ever deny, I believe that understanding and owning your heritage is the starting point for your healing journey and that, I feel, is my road to freedom personally and globally.
With the situation in the Middle East growing ever more intense my need to understand what really is going on has reached a point where I found myself joining the Frome Friends of Palestine. This amazing group of people, living in this dynamic and positive Somerset town, really know how to create awareness. In six months I have learned more than I learned in the last 40 years. I have attended some fantastic talks in Frome by Palestinians visiting this country, from people who have been to Palestine and worked as an EAPPI, standing as a witness on the checkpoints in Gaza. This month the group is hosting a talk by lIan PappĂ© an Israeli historian,  who dared to speak out about the injustices in Palestine. Hounded from his job in Haifa, he now heads the European Centre for Palestinian Studies at Exeter University in the UK. 
It’s a whirlwind that I have stepped into and it is a constant pull on the heart strings. The deeper my involvement the more painful the journey, but there is no turning back and emotional pain for me has always been a sign that I am on the right path as it is always balanced with emotional bliss; tears of joy and sadness are never far away from each other.
Last month I went on the march for Gaza in London. It was my first march since the anti-war march in 2003. It was a good thing to do, although I didn’t feel hugely excited by the gathering. I sensed I was keeping an aloofness for my own protection both physically and psychologically. However, I was soon found out and whilst the march had reached a standstill, a hand belonging to one of the bystanders on the pavement reached out and literally picked me out of the throng. As I looked round to see who owned the hand that had taken a hold of my arm, I saw an old man who, in a kind and gentle way, was pulling me towards him.
“I presume, you are Jewish” the man said, half as a question but actually as a statement.
“Yes” I replied, 
“Thank you, thank you “ he said. I told him it was something I knew I had to do and that we all needed to do, Jewish or not. He was an Egyptian, living in England for some 30 years but his generosity of spirit and depth of gratitude drew me to tears. We talked for a short while and hugged and I went on my way knowing that this was the main purpose for my coming on this march.
There is no easy solution to ending the violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, for what is at the heart of it is a deep seated hatred for one’s own brother and that cannot be changed or healed over night. For me, the first step as a Jew, is to begin by clearly making the distinction between being a Jew and being an Israeli and to say ‘not in my name.’
However, this is a global problem. The traumas the Jews suffered during the Second World War left them damaged and scarred (whether you came through the holocaust, or were one of their descendants or you simply carry a sense of guilt for surviving, few remain unscathed) and the Camp David agreement set up by the West for the peoples of the Middle East positioned the new Israeli Jews in amongst the Arab nations, like a caged, injured dog surrounded by a pack of angry wolves. Over the years Israel has been nurtured by America and has now grown physically strong but its people still bear all the emotional scars of its past and they are now, in their position of strength, playing out all the traumas they experienced on their, now weaker, neighbours, their Palestinian brothers. 
The extent to which they are playing out a repeat of their, and the world’s, experience of the war is uncanny and very unnerving. When the wall started going up at the beginning of the century I admit I was shocked but not enough, I confess, to do any more. Now I have been made aware of the how extensively the wall snakes through Palestinian land cutting villages off from each other, making the impact on travel, work and communications arduous and damaging on such a small race of people, I find it hard to stay silent. As the Israelis continue to land grab from the Palestinians, they ‘protect’ them by putting their second class homes behind cages whilst they build their high quality houses all around them. Echoes of the wartime Ghettos in Poland resound in my ears as I watched a utube video of an Israeli woman repeatedly whispering abuse through the wire at a Palestinian woman who was merely trying to get her son back behind the cage so he wouldn’t get hurt. 
Hamas have grown as a retaliation to all this and their continued bombing has fueled the fire and left empathy for the Palestinians in the firing line too.
The stories are many and unless you go there yourself, or talk to someone who has, you do not see the both sides of the story. I know the late Joan Rivers said she knew what was going on as she went to Israel, but did she visit the West Bank or Gaza? I kind of imagine she wouldn’t have or she would have realized the huge extent of human rights abuse that is going on under the Israelis’ noses. I’m sure most of the Israelis are not aware of these abuses either, they just live in their world, scared and in pain, justifying their actions from this wounded place. However, there are those that are and it is this anger on both sides that we have to work with. We have to understand, from an objective position, that there must be no blame on either side for this to move forward into a positive healing situation. There is history of violence on both sides and at some point the table needs to cleared so reconciliation can begin. We made it happen in South Africa so it is possible here if we decide that it is.
I believe life offers us situations and that we have the chance to make choices to raise the situation out of the pain and suffering or we can continue to live in a place of stuck energy, perpetuating the cycle of abuse. I believe that Jerusalem is felt, by all the three main religions concerned here, to be the spiritual heart of the Earth. I believe that the heart reflects the whole and if the heart of the world is in pain and conflict then that is going to be played out throughout the whole planet. These religions, Christian, Judaism and Islam, I also believe, have all descended from Abraham (Isaac and Ishmael were his two sons) therefore they are all brothers. We are seeing the playing out of the story of Cain and Abel here in Israel and so all around the world. This story is symbolic of the conflict we carry within ourselves and I believe it is up to us, one by one, to choose to heal our own pain and help others see this healing so they can make that choice too. When we learn to love ourselves truly then we can learn to love our brother.
I would like to see all three religions coexisting in peace in Jerusalem as man has been able to do in the past. If we can’t make this reflect from the heart of the Earth out then we will have to start from the outside in. 
This is a global journey, it is huge and it might seem like an impossible mountain to climb but we all have a part to play and once it really starts the growth is exponential and rapid. The sooner we take our own step onto the Road to Freedom the sooner we’ll all get there.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

To Live In Interesting Times

To Live In Interesting Times

We all know the saying and I don’t believe mankind has ever lived in more interesting times as now. As the opportunity to raise ourselves out of a world of fear, corruption and pain becomes ever closer the investigation into our shadow selves as well as our magnificence reaches its pinnacle. The more intense the battle seems the closer we are to the moment of truth. All our apocalyptic films show this and just looking around us the truth of this is in inescapable. It is said that the darkest point of the night is just before the sun begins to rise.
As we herald the wonderful people in our world who are standing up and becoming giants, fighting amazing fights and winning great battles against corruption and oppression it is not surprising that at the same time the dark aspects of humanity is also raising its ugly head. Our closets need to be cleared completely. How we deal with these issues is in our hands. Again and again we are asked to choose between love and compassion or anger and judgement.
Whilst trying to find a passage in “The Prophet’ by Kahn Gibran (for something completely different which incidentally wasn’t there!?) I came across this:
“Then one of the judges of the city came forth and said, Speak to us of Crime and Punishment
And he answered saying..........
......Oftentimes I have heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who, though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not from the stumbling stone.”

When I had dried my tears I remembered the scientist’s view of the world as a hologram that says that each part cannot be divided from the whole; it carries its entirety within it. As we are all mirrors of the initial singularity, like the human egg cell that divides billions of times to create the wonderful variety of each of different cells of the human body, so are we all connected and carry the vibration of everyone within each other. 
When a father jumped out of a hotel window with his two children some years back I was disturbed to hear how many people I considered to be liberal and open-hearted reacted. The idea of bringing back hanging was not far from people’s lips. I asked my friends to hold back on judgement until we had heard more of the story. 
Deepak Chopra’s words are always in my mind in moments like these as he says that everyone is always doing their best with what they have to work with at any given moment. Over the following weeks, as the news revealed how there was already a history of suicide in the man’s family and that his marriage and business was failing all at once, compassion for the man began to emerge. 
I believe we are all from the light and that no one steps into the shadow versions of themselves unless circumstances cause them to close down their hearts and turn away from the light. When celebrities, who have offered many wonderful things to society for many years and are then discovered to have dark histories, is it so surprising? When the world we have created offers such power, free of boundaries, to those in high places and because that which has pushed a man to become great is often the same trigger or trauma that causes the shadow within them to become strong, is it for us to judge? Remembering also that when we look at ourselves, knowing that we have not explored the greatest good or the greatest shadow of ourselves but know we have not been perfect, how can we honestly throw stones from our glass houses when others are drawn to the very edges of their personas.
I do believe no one acts out pain on others without having pain afflicted on themselves. As they are only mirroring aspects that we hold within us (as Kahn Gibran so eloquently states) it is down to us to look into our hearts and know that people who have suffered trauma and cause trauma are victims as much as perpetrators. We can choose to continue throwing them into jail where their own sense of judgement is ratified and they remain in their pain and so will continue to inflict pain on others, or we can find compassion for ourselves, forgive ourselves and so find the will to be compassionate and forgiving towards others. 
Punishment is never an answer, it simply continues the cycle. We must start reviewing our penal system and look to ways of creating a new system that uses healing, forgiveness and compassion to start breaking this cycle. Such a thing has already worked in places such as South Africa with amazing results. We have the tools to heal the darkest of souls, they just need to be offered the chance to turn around so they can see the light more easily. Whether we realise it or not, it’s what we all crave and it is time to acknowledge that each of us holds the power, to choose to be the change, in our hands, or rather in our hearts.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Unity Now!

Towards the end of last year I had a growing sense that at last the change that I had been hoping for since I was 15 years old and particularly since the new Millennium arrived, was possible. 
Having finished the third book by Neale Donald Walsh "Conversations with God' in October of last year and hearing Russell Brand interviewed by Paxman I knew that bigger energies were at play here.
I began asking around to see what was already in place but had trouble connecting with anything substantial. So, I had an idea of putting out something myself to see what I could bring in. I thought about creating a facebook page that would start trying to link up all the people I knew thought like me, to create a body of people all working for change for the better.
With the Universal energy working alongside me it wasn’t long before I was sent a link to a website that had just been put up that is already starting to do all that I was hoping to do, called UnityNow
I immediately contacted them and now I am excited to join forces with them. 
Below is a piece I put together after my first meeting with the founders of this wonderful project. I hope you’ll read it and visit and connect with their website.
Please then pass it on so we can build a larger community that will by its nature begin to bring change to our world.
I would love to hear any response you have to this and am more than happy to discuss this further.
Thank you
All love Vicki x 

I Have a Dream

I have a dream 
   I am aware that when we dream everything that we dream is us
   Everything is our thoughts reflected back at ourselves in the form of the story of the dream 
   I am now aware that our living reality is exactly the same 
   As our scientists now tell us, we are all connected by this cosmic interconnected golden web of atoms and electrons. 
   We have all come from the same spark of life 14 billion years ago and so every atom is ourselves looking back at us and our life story, that we are constantly dreaming, or rather creating, reflects this.
So when I say ‘I have a dream’ I am saying that I am choosing to create a new reality for myself 
   and therefore everyone 
and I have chosen that in this new reality I, and therefore we, deserve better.

Because I believe that many others are also choosing this reality, I know that it is possible because we have brought in this amazing internet world, this amazing world, wide web, to facilitate this. 
   the Internet is simply a physical manifestation of how we now understand the universe works
   Its creation has come about at this time because we are now ready to make the choice to be connected in the physical world in a way that reflects how we already are in the higher dimensions.

I have a dream and in this dream we as a human race choose to connect in a way that serves us all, in a way that brings us altogether as one in a state of love and harmony. 
   As always, we humans, when we create something new, have a choice whether we use it in a way that serves us or in a way that doesn’t.

To achieve this state of unity, enough of us have to choose to love ourselves and forgive ourselves for our past stories completely 
   as by loving and forgiving ourselves we are loving and forgiving everyone 
and move forward into a place of peace, into a place where everyone has enough. This is already a reality we simply have to choose it to make is our reality now. 

As Tony Benn said “If we have enough money to kill people then we have enough money to help people.”
Please join me in choosing this new reality as we start to join up all the dots and connect to this group.
UnityNow is a non-profit, politically, socially and culturally non-partisan organisation, championing the joint interest of all humans and all life on this planet. and on facebook