No doubt the men and women who lost their lives should be remembered and honored. The brave men and women who put themselves in harms way to help in the rescue efforts serve as powerful reminders of the courage and compassion that is the human Spirit. We will gather together with our friends, families, co-workers and faith communities to reflect and remember where we were on that fateful morning. All of this is as it should be - and as you gather together in this reflective time, I ask of you to do more than just reflect, morn and pay tribute from an American point of view....
I ask that you become Global Citizens this weekend. Ambassadors of Peace, Reconciliation and Oneness. I ask that you join me in becoming a point of consciousness that remembers and reflects upon the greater wholeness of the human family.
You can begin this sacred duty by recalling the greater vibration of September 11th. You see, this day has a much longer history than the last 10 years. And this longer history is anchored in a global call to Peace, Unity and Nonviolence.
Let's begin in 1893, on hundred and 18 years ago... Chicago, IL, USA. The World's Fair was taking place in Chicago - a global exposition on culture, modern technology, commerce and religion. It was a first of many... the Farris Wheel was introduced, along with the hamburger, picture postcards, florescent lights, Quaker Oats, Cream of Wheat, moving walkways and so much more. The fair ran from May through October 1893. It was also the first gathering of World Religion Leaders in the first ever Parliament of World Religions. The closing day of the Parliament was September 11, 1893 and the final speaker was Swami Vivekananda. He was the first Yogi from the far East to visit American and teach...
Swami Vivekananda’s message
on September 11, 1893:
on September 11, 1893:
"Sisters and Brothers of America. [At this moment came a three minute standing ovation from the audience of 7,000] It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us.....
"Sectarianism, bigotry, and it's horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful Earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now.
"But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal."
And so from the East we received a message of Peace and Global Oneness on September 11, 1893 - here on American soil.
Then, on September 11, 1906, 3,000 people, mostly Indians, packed the old Empire Theater in Johannesburg, South Africa. They came to protest a draft of the Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance that would require that every Indian over the age of 8 be fingerprinted and carry a registration card. Moreover, the law stipulated that the police could enter the home of any Indian at their discretion and fine, imprison or even deport those found without proper identification.
"It is not at all impossible that we might have to endure every hardship that we can imagine without resorting to violence, Gandhi warned. The crowd sat in solemn silence. While "everyone must only search his own heart" about taking the vow, Gandhi announced that there was only one course open to him: "I can boldly declare, and with certainty that so long as there is even a handful of men true to their pledge, there can be one end to the struggle, and that is victory."
Awestruck by the eloquence and power of Gandhi's words, all present in the theater that fateful afternoon stood together with their hands raised and took an oath of nonviolent resistance. With this, the Nonviolence Movement began...on September 11, 1906. Some fifty years later this is the movement that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would use to empower the Civil Rights movement in America.
So long before September 11, 2001 - the day had reason to be remembered and honored...as a day of Peace, Nonviolence and as a call for Global Unity and Reconciliation. Now as we turn our attention to the 10h Anniversary, let us use this opportunity to reawaken this call to Global Unity.
Let our prayers be not just for our troops, women, children and lives lost - but for all lives affected by this tragic manifestation of "us and them" consciousness. Let us be the bridge to greater understanding of our fellow beings that we share this sacred planet with. Let us be the ones to tear down the towers of Us and Them - and rebuild on a foundation of Oneness. Let us use this sacred time to reawaken the call to create a world that works for everyone. A world that has no need to defend or attack, because in "the other" we only see ourselves. Let us remember that we are One People, Living on One Planet. Lord hear our prayer. Amen.