Oslo Lament

On the tragic events of July, 22, 2011.

It’s been a week of losses. The events in Oslo touched everyone at some level. Shock. Outrage. Horror. Most people were lost for words. Despite the strange sounding names in the tragic roll call it felt like we’d lost someone we knew, a family member. Everybody wept. Not just at the size of the attack, or that it struck at the heart of democracy, but that so many lovely young people were cut down in their prime. It’s like there’s a cleft, a chasm in the world right now.

Again the topic of evil has arisen in the media. This just adds to people's worries. Now evil is simply the absence of Love. It is like the dark. When you switch on the light the darkness is gone, evaporated instantly. The light doesn’t have to fight with it for space. It simply is. And when the light is there the darkness is no more. And so it is with evil. Do not let your hearts be troubled. The world has seen dark days before. Oslo is not the first occasion in history that we’ve plummeted to such depths. Some find it hard to comprehend the human mind is capable of such cruelty. Still, the human heart is capable of far greater things, and has countless times excelled in great acts of love and kindness.

Let us be on guard as to the danger of ideology though, which is not confined to the political arena. When an idea takes hold of the mind totally you believe it as an actual reality. Ideas are very seductive. That’s part of the problem. We believe in our own illusions. Everything we see around us is our ideas projected outward.

we are all in pain

The need for higher consciousness was never greater than it is right now. I know there are many groups and individuals working diligently towards that realisation throughout the world. If you’re one of them I thank you and I support you. You are making a difference.  We need more people like you. The future hangs precariously in the balance right now. At our core we are Beings of Light, except that we keep forgetting, so we create this, this nightmare from which we are trying to awake.

What struck me most about the tragedy was the dignified way in which the Norwegian people dealt with it. They displayed a calmness and a serenity this week that was quite touching. I didn’t hear any cry for revenge. Merely the calm voice of a nation that is rightly proud of its policy of tolerance and acceptance of others. These are signatures of the human race itself and they’re not for sale. It reminded me of the response of the Japanese people earlier this year to the earthquake-tsunami.

Dignity. Calm. Resolve.

Resolve to rebuilt our lives, be it our cities torn apart, or our hearts torn open. And resolve not to let circumstances change us. Violence will never prevail. It may start out with a great puff and have occasion to enjoy giddy bursts of success, but in the end since its very nature is to destroy, that inevitably includes itself. Love makes strong and whole that which violence seeks to destroy.

back to black

Which brings me to another sad loss we had this week, the passing of singer Amy Winehouse. A beautiful soul. Again what struck me about her father’s words was dignity. Dignity and an acceptance of what is, despite the enormous amount of personal suffering it brings. Some will point the finger at the lifestyle Amy lived but they do so out of fear. It’s because they can see in the other some shortcoming of their own. Others always reflect our own failings back to us. If we’re humble we see them, if not we judge the mirror. In the end compassion is greater than all this. When people think of addictions it’s the obvious ones, but we can be addicted to so many things. Destructive thoughts for instance. To not liking ourselves. To ideology. To wanting the world to be a certain way.

Instead let us love our addictions, for perhaps they make us a little more human. And let us celebrate the lives of those who are with us and those who appear to be no more. In the case of Amy it is the music, that unmistakable voice. In the young people of Oslo they too left their own individual gifts. We should all feel grateful.

Return from Oslo to home page.

There is a voice that doesn’t use words - listen!


Reality is merely an illusion - albeit a persistent one.

Albert Einstein