Evil Is Like Peeing in the Ocean

I came across this science video that explains about peeing in the ocean and it reminded me of evil.  No, I’m not saying that pee is evil – it is a natural part of human life, and all other animal life for that matter, that can often feel quite enjoyable and relieving. What I mean is – evil is like a tiny amount of pee and God (good) is like the huge vast ocean.

 

Maybe Gandhi said it a little more eloquently than I:

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean. If a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

As the video explains: Urine is more than 95% water anyway. The average human potty break contains 1 or 2 grams per liter of sodium and chloride ions and even less potassium – elements that are all naturally found in ocean water.  Urea is really the main waste product in pee – it is what is formed as our body rids itself of excess nitrogen – but the amount of urea in our urine is only around 2%.

The volume of water in just the Atlantic ocean is 350 Quintrillion liters. That is 350 followed by 18 zeros or 350,000,000,000,000,000,000 liters. There are roughly 7 billion people on the planet and if every single one of them peed into the Atlantic ocean all at the same time the amount of Urea in the ocean would still only be 60 parts per trillion. So – almost nothing.

So, why did this video remind me of evil?  Many years ago I watched the movie The Green Mile.  If you haven’t seen it, it is about an innocent sweet-hearted black man wrongly convicted of hideous and cruel crimes against little children and his eventual electrocution.  It was heart breaking.  My whole insides were aching with the pain and the horror of both the terrible fate of this innocent man and the horrific things that people do to children.  Even though it was a work of fiction the cruelty of humanity depicted is all too real and I was overcome with deep deep grief.  Ramakrishna_image_cropped

I went into my little room, sat on my little mat on the floor and looked at my small little altar.  I started crying and praying, praying and crying, rocking back and forth, holding my aching heart as I looked at one of the pictures on my altar, one of Ramakrishna.  I looked into the eyes of this holy man who lived long ago and kept asking why?  Why?  Why do humans do such things?  How can we be so evil and cruel?  How can we cause so much pain and unbelievable suffering to other human beings?

I started feeling the presence of Inner Beings, of Christ and Ramakrishna.  My prayers were being answered and I was being comforted.  As I began to calm down, I received the peaceful and eternal feeling that was entering into my heart.  In my mind’s eye I was shown a picture of the Earth as if seen from outer space.  The planet was alight, radiating a soft golden glow of warmth and love.  So beautiful.  The Light was God’s Goodness in our humanity radiating both from the inside out and the outside in.  On the planet I saw specks of darkness, little black spots where the Light wasn’t shining through.  The specks were the evils of humanity – the cruelty and maliciousness of all human atrocities – Hitler, Stalin, rape, murder, war.  No matter how dark and vicious, they were tiny specks on the Light of God.

I think about that moment very often.  I didn’t take it to mean that evil is “nothing” or that evil “doesn’t matter” or that we shouldn’t do everything in our power to make the world right.  My heart still breaks at the suffering of children and women and men due to the evils of poverty, violence, oppression and war.  But I am able to hang on to the Love and Goodness of God and see in us the Goodness of humanity – our original innocence, our fundamental core of Light.  So, the darkness no longer overwhelms me.  I not only have hope, but I know that God will always win, that Good and Love and Light will always be bigger than darkness.

I imagine that is how someone like Nelson Mandela could struggle against the evils of apartheid and live through 27 years of prison, torture and suffering and not succumb to hate, anger or vengeance.  I imagine it is from some connection to this Absolute Good that he could maintain his sense of forgiveness and continue to radiate such peace and love throughout his life.  I know it helps me to keep moving forward in my small endeavors to create more Peace on our planet and to unlock the ultimate goodness of humanity.

As Gandhi said – and here I paraphrase – we must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is like the ocean and evil is like pee and the ocean will always be beautiful.

Changing Our Selves AND Changing the World

be-the-change-you-wantWhen Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world” he did not mean to just be the change on your yoga mat. Can anyone accuse Gandhi of sitting idly by in meditation – transforming himself inwardly as the world around him was unjust, brutal and violent? No. Gandhi did not simply meditate for peace and justice – he used the inner peace he found in meditation to take action and create real and meaningful change in the world.  The inner transformation through spiritual practice awakens in us a hunger for more love, compassion and justice in the world.

To me, what Gandhi meant is for us to have a unity of inner life and outer life – to have our quest for peace and justice in the world be reflected by peace and equanimity inside. Otherwise, we could be working for peace on the outside while raging with hatred against the world on the inside – and no matter what the anger or hatred is about, it is still putting out the vibrations of anger and hatred into the world, it is still polluting the collective mind. And, the nature of anger is that it cannot be contained or aimed just at one thing – it seeps out in how we treat those around us, those we love and anyone we come in contact with. So, if we are working for peace and we continue to rage inside, we are being counterproductive and working against ourselves and against peace.

Yet, I have often encountered people who say “Be the change you wish to see in the world” as a way to ONLY focus on change inside and not do anything in the outer world for change, to simply meditate every morning or say a prayer for peace before bed each night, but not think about the social impacts their choices or actions have on our world and the people around them. And yes, prayers and meditation for God’s Peace on earth are very good, but I don’t think Gandhi meant for us to ONLY change inside, to go to church on Sundays or take a yoga class on Thursdays and not take it any further than that. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “Union” – and how could you truly practice Union and realize the Oneness you share with all of life and then stand by and do nothing? When you truly realize the Union of life, the Union of God, you cannot sit by and watch the suffering of others and just say, oh well, I’m meditating.  I think our prayers for peace are meant to be ceaseless and to encompass all our actions in life.

The Dalai Lama has also said “Change only takes place through action, not through meditation and prayer alone.” And in a recent public talk when asked “What is the most important meditation technique at this time?” his answer was “Action,” – to meditate in order to take it into action.

There needs to be a balance of inner and outer focus. If we only focus on social activism and political action we get burnt out and bitter. There are plenty of politicians or social activists who start out with a mission for good and end up with toxic thoughts and angry actions. If we only focus on inner prayer or meditation we get self-absorbed and isolated in our own little world.  There are plenty of well-meaning people who set out to change the world by changing their own hearts but drift off into la-la land and lose touch with reality.

I think that the great spiritual leaders of peace and social change in our world have modeled this balance for us to apply in our own small ways. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and those who have changed entire nations through Love and Truth Force – they use their inner focus on the Divine or the spirit as a way to keep them inspired and in a state of love in their actions for change in the world.

Amma-5201There is also the truth that we cannot change the world simply by changing the outside circumstances – that to create lasting change we must create a change in consciousness. As the beautiful Ammachi put it “Simply transferring the world’s nuclear weapons to a museum will not in itself bring about world peace. The nuclear weapons of the mind must first be eliminated.”

So, to create this change in consciousness we must first do it in ourselves – we must first be the change we wish to see. And then through action, inspiration, education, osmosis, transmission and electromagnetics we can begin to change the consciousness of others – and thus, change the world.