08 July, 2016

Tragic but Not Surprised

With all the carnage and turmoil going on these past few days, I going to step up and out here and make a statement that may or may not be popular, but Truth is Truth and the more I avoid stating it, the less sleep I’ll get.

And I need sleep. I’ll need more sleep come September.

Don’t have me post any flag color over my profile picture anytime soon after any tragic attack or a blue ribbon, a pink ribbon, or any other color ribbon. Here’s why:
1) I did not once see a profile pic modifying app utilized to reflect the flag of either Iraq nor Turkey. Yet both countries suffered a higher casualty rate than the 2015 Belgium attack. I saw French flag and Belgium flag profile pics after their respected tragedies. Where was the Yemen flag? The Malaysian flag? The Turkish flag? The Iraqi flag? This double-standard about which terrorist related tragedy gets remembered and which terrorist related tragedy gets ignored is not only sickening, but it is perhaps a major factor of why so much anger and tension is up in the air now.
 2) I’m the only Lim grandson who is NOT a law enforcement officer. (Yet, I work in courts; still law related) Any attack against police officers is not acceptable. On the flip side, lack of accountability and not rooting out the so-called “bad apples” in law enforcement is also not acceptable. As tragic as the Dallas incident is, I was not surprised that it happened. In fact my only shock was that it didn’t happen sooner. (More on karma later)
3) Please refer to my blogpost about the uselessness of sending “thoughts and prayers” during any tragic aftermath. Even as a trained prayer chaplain and a practitioner in training, I find the gesture to be nothing more than an empty and useless cliché. “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers goes out to ____________.” What exactly does that mean?

I’ve said this on a post to the New Thought leaders: the root of the problem isn’t so much a racial and white supremacy thing. Our real problem is the fact that we collectively created a world that no longer recognize the humanity within a Universe that created Divine souls. Do you see the disparity? In fact, that source of comfort, that source of healing, that source of keeping such tragic events from becoming a much worse-case scenario is the Divinity within not some of us, but all of us. So if the Divinity within can keep these situations from getting worse, provides healing and comfort, why can’t the Divinity within prevent such events from happening in the first place?

One of the many orders of The Universe: Free Will. We’re given dominion over our personal universe. Some people call it Weltanschauung, or world view. That world view affects the choices and decisions we make. We’re solely responsible in deciding what it is. Then we react accordingly with the power to change that world outlook at any given time, yet we choose not to change. A direct corollary to free will is personal responsibility.

We are solely responsible for everything in our lives. The problem is the vast majority refuses to take and accept responsibility for their lives.
Christians want to lay blame to Satan, Buddhists, Muslims, and atheists. (Should I add “members of the LGBT community too?”)
Republicans want to blame Democrats; Democrats want to blame Republican.
98% of the general population wants to blame the top 2% wealthiest.
Racists wants to blame anyone and everyone who’s not WASP.
Rich folks want to blame poor folks; poor folks want to blame rich folks.

 See where humanity gets lost?

Even when olive branches are being extended, people will still chose to dehumanize those who disagrees with them. A Congressional member should never blame and threaten the life of the President of the United States on social media after a tragedy. Other people are flashing their academic credential as some sort of trump (no pun intended) card that they are entitled to be heard and the rest should shut up and listen to them. Accusations fly across each other in social media about being anti-this and pro-that all because of the profile pic that’s posted.

On Karma:

We always think of reaping and sowing to be that of each person and it is. However oftentimes an institution reaps and sows the karmic debt of an individual within that institution. That includes the institution of law enforcement. We may see specific names of police officers who are placed on trial for killing someone and then a short time later another officer falls in the line of duty. Consider this:

In 2009 after Oscar Grant was killed by Johanne Mehserles on New Years Day, an officer with BART Police, three Oakland police officers were killed in the line of duty later in March that year. Though Grant was killed in Oakland, the Oakland Police Department was not involved in the Oscar Grant shooting, yet three officers were killed a short time later.

More recently in 2014 after Eric Garner died of a choke hold by Officer Pantaleo of the New York City Police, Officers Ramos and Liu were killed in the line of duty. In both cases, officers NOT involved in the civilian killings were killed in the line of duty a short time afterwards. Karma may or may not have affected the officers who were directly involved, but it caught up with the institution. That’s why it’s imperative that the institution of law enforcement must “clean house” of all the “bad apples.” When it doesn’t happen such tragic events occur.

Most recent this week, what did Dallas Police and Dallas Rapid Transit Police have to do with Louisiana or Minnesota where Sterling and Castile were killed such that 5 of their officers were killed in the line of duty? Even closer to home, what did Oakland PD have to do with it to with it such that their station was vandalized and set on fire? More so, what did Oakland do to have their traffic and transit disrupted? Reaping and sowing on an institutional level. Hence why the importance of transparent accountability.

This isn’t just limited to the institution of law enforcement. Does anyone remember Larry Gene Ashbrook? Seven people were killed at his hand when he shot up a Christian rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church back in 1999. During that period, various church scandals, both financial, and sexual had surfaced significantly, specifically when many molestation victims came forward against the Catholic Church. Again what did a Baptist church in Texas have to do with the Catholic Church? Institutional karma.

Therefore, I wasn’t surprised at the Dallas shootings. I was more surprised that it didn’t happen sooner elsewhere during past protests.

If it’s reaping and sowing, what about September 11?

People forgot about the United Nations World Conference on Racism that took place from August 31-September 8, 2001. Actually people didn't even know such a conference took place in the first place. That same conference where the United States, Canada, and Israel walked out on because calling Israel out for their atrocities against the Palestinians was considered unacceptable. 

What happened less than a week later?

Not only was I not surprised at an event like September 11, I AM surprised that more incidents hasn’t followed. We can beef up security measures all we want, but how long can one hold a beach ball beneath the surface of water? It’s only a matter of time before the ball pops up to the surface. Besides, beefing up security is about as effective and shallow as sending out prayers after a tragedy occurs. It inconvenience the general public who too felt the impact of the tragic event, and like I stated earlier, that same general public becomes very hungry for a scapegoat. They begin to blame the “others.” Look at this current presidential election this year.

Scapegoating, finger pointing, racism, classism, and bullying is dehumanizing. This discontent that a lot of people are expressing is the result of Divinity repressed by the lack of acknowledgement of  one's humanity. What does that mean? It means we’re Divine beings whose channels of expression is blocked and limited because we created a world that fails to recognize humanity. The blockage and limitation is the source of our discontent. If we fail to acknowledge one’s humanity, how would we recognize their Divinity? (Short answer: YOU DON’T)

Once again, it’s all about choice. The choice I make about what I think and how I’ll react to what’s been going on. It’s the choice of the powers that be on making a commitment to finding solutions and how to go about it. (That choice is also ours as well as theirs) It’s choosing on how we’ll accept and process the emotions that are felt in the face of all that occurred this week, but it all narrows to choice.

The thing is, we know that is true, but then we DON’T know. At least not enough to remember at key moments. It’s like having Divine amnesia. We forget who we are then get caught up in all these twists and turns that tells us we're not even human, let alone Divine. People oppress others because they forgot. People are oppressed because they too forgot.

Divine amnesia also creates a scarcity consciousness.  The Universe provides and gives, yet we scramble and even kill for what we considered as limited.  We dehumanize and demonize those that we take those resources from in order to justify the taking of those resources.  Yet if we remember our Divine identity, it doesn't have to be this way.

Or more accurately, WE oppress others because WE forgot. WE get oppressed because WE forgot. 

Remembering is a choice, remember that.

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