Vigil for Libya, Prayer for Bahrain

How close so many of us feel to you who live in the ancient desert lands….

I hope you in Libya feel our concern, our sleepnessness, our vigils this night when you sent bright fireworks into the night skies of Benghazi–perhaps you were sending us signals of solidarity as you felt us working on all levels to get the world to support you, as finally the UN Security Council voted to send you aid. How sad too that it has to come to military aid; how sad that the demented tyrant is so lost in his egocentric madness that he cannot ‘let his people go’… and he is of course allowed to continue in his mentally ill state by his egocentric sons and close supporters. Long ago, years in fact, they should have corralled him for the sake of all Libyans, set him aside in a palace by the sea to live out his delusions in a way that would not harm others. The warlike edge in me was so glad to hear that military force is coming your way to hopefully protect, support and liberate you and your ancient civilization and land; it lead me to wish for death to your enemies. But suddenly that still small voice within reminded me about the Higher Side of It All, that violence breeds violence (as indeed has happened in Libya), that wishing for the death of another was simply wrong. So, I seek that Higher Force to bring a Great Miracle to you in Libya, perhaps through the divine intervention of some wonderful combination of Allah and Isis, New and Ancient Deities: a peaceful end to the revolution. If only. Perhaps the old despot will have a change of heart, come to himself in some new way, or his sons and daughter will come to their better senses and take charge of a peaceful stepdown and passing over. Perhaps the supporters will turn around and see the writing on the wall and make it so. One hopes. If not, it will all work out on some other lesser, lower level, will prove messy (as expected) and bloody. It was almost a miracle that the world came together in the UN, even counting the abstentions from Russia, China and Germany, to help bring you freedom, so why not hope for further such miraculous turnarounds? I hope for the Higher but will have to live with the lower, no doubt.

And you brave protesters in Bahrain. Your determination is heartbreaking, your struggle even more complexed than Libya’s, as monarchial despotism and religious chasms make the battle for freedom harder and deeper. And the American interests in your country make it more difficult for them to take a strong stand against the despotic forces, although they are advising clemency, non-violence, etc. But your battle to end one of the few remaining autocratic monarchies who use their power to enrich themselves whilst impoverishing the people and the land is heroic and worthy of the world’s support.

It seems a lot for the ‘world’ to deal with at once–it is  all happening so quickly, more quickly than the ‘world’ is used to digesting easily. Can ‘we’ rise to the occasion as a united species, or even, at least, as a partial species? On top of the Arabian Spring we have the complex  crisis in Japan: not only the human disaster and the nuclear fear factor as well as its emerging effect on world trade and markets.

A lot of the digestive process is being aided or driven by the speedy use of different media forms. These are world events being watched around the world by a majority of us. This is driving the urge for freedom and democracy, for more transparency and people power as versus vested interests and autocratic despots. There are indeed more of us than them even though they own a vast proportion of the wealth on the planet compared to us. The force of our combined will is pushing the envelope to open, for change…and this change is blossoming up in many places, some expected, some not, just as our March spring in southern England brings the daffodils out as the snowdrops and crocuses die away.

We need these changes, this blossoming of people power, this humbling and reform of the wealthy elites, to face even greater changes on the planet that we will face. The backward resistance to the reality of climate change reveals the deep fears of many whose refusal to face scientific fact (lead by vested interests’ propaganda through low level media) is their last stand against changing their personal vested interests, to protect their lifestyles, however limited or large they are, as everyone’s house is their castle.

And this is at the root of it all: fear. Being ruled by fear and then being released from it. In each and every one of the revolutions and uprisings to date one common call has been heard: this release from fear, and a concomitant willingness to die if necessary for freedom–and this energy of release of fear and willingness to live with the results, whatever they might be, is what is pulsing across the world as we watch the young and old, men and women, children, gather together in their streets, claiming them back even as they are shot at, kettled, killed, beaten, or forced to hide behind the doors in Tripoli, waiting for liberation.

In place of fear, courage is born and nurtured. We all are touched by it, even those who try to control and batter and destroy it.

So the night is over. March 17th, 2011, was a memorable day, a very special St Patrick’s Day, the day the UN made history bringing together the world to free the people and land of ancient Libya.

Indeed, the sun is rising across the fenlands of my Cambridgeshire home…as the 18th March dawns and we hope for the highest in the desert lands.

 

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