I’ve had this blog running around in my head all week. As I’ve been thinking about this upcoming holiday we celebrate in America, Independence Day, and our break from the tyranny of England at the time, I think of the fact that Puritans founded our country in the name of religious freedom. Then we went on to burn women at the stake, healers, spiritual women, calling them witches. We left England to break from rulers, and then went on to take over Native American’s land, massacre them and put them on reservations. We founded a country in the name of freedom, to give it only to white males, import African slaves, abuse Chinese workers who built our railroads, and put Japanese people in internment camps because of their country’s involvement in the war at the time. We enlist men and women to fight a present war, a war that started based on lies, and allows them to put their lives on the line, to end up dead or severely injured, yet kick them out of the service if their sexual orientation is different. We still have many people held in our prisons and military posts just because their skin is another color and they speak in a different language. We almost didn’t elect our present President because lies spread that he was Muslim. We’ve never elected a person of the Buddhist faith, Jewish faith or any other faith other than Christian. So what freedom is this we are celebrating?It is the same with religion. Many spiritual teachers and leaders, have come forth with great courage, insight, inspiration, attempting to show another way of living, another way of seeing, embodying the essence of God, whatever name was used, demonstrating that we are powerful beings. Demonstrating that we have this connection with each other, with an energy bigger than just this body we inhabit, in a world far beyond what our eye can see. Showing that we are co-creators, creating our lives, our world, with our thoughts and focus. They talked of love, unity, compassion, cooperation and yet their words and deeds were hijacked, turned into religions with seeds of truth remaining, surrounded by lies that have been used to separate us, turn us against each other, as we fight to prove that only our religion is the truth, while the real truth has been buried so that we stay little and able to be controlled. Where is the peace in that? Where is the love in that? Where is the God (good) in that? Where is the independence and freedom in that? My heart and vision have guided me since childhood, as I’ve seen other dimensions, seen the beauty in contrast to the often challenging existence I was living in. I have carried this immaculate concept of a world based in beauty, peace, joy, wholeness, and oneness. I believe that the men who founded our country had such a concept, such a dream, and yet it was somehow buried or lost, through fear and the up to now human belief in scarcity and powerlessness. Just as all religions were born of a transcendent experience that lifted a person out of darkness and limitation into the heights of our true essence. I believe that we are headed toward a world that I’ve dreamed of all my life, for many, many lifetimes, a world of interdependence. And at Dances of Universal Peace last night, this was the theme. The conception of the dances is a demonstration of this interdependence. These dances were created by a man named Samuel L. Lewis, a Jewish Rabbi; a student of Ruth St. Denis, the mother of modern dance; and a student of Hazrat Inayat Khan, a spiritual teacher who brought Sufism to America, created them. Sam had a vision of creating dances, using simple folk dance steps and words from all the world’s religions, and in taking them around the world it would help bring about world peace.
Katelon T. Jeffereys