The Butterfly Effect
Gently get into a quiet, meditative Soul Space of healing power.
A butterfly gracefully rises into the air from the petal of a red hibiscus,
and the breath from its fluttering, iridescent wings
is felt around the world.
We are leaving the year 2001 behind, but not its legacy, for we are forever changed. Our psyche and bodies are reeling from the accumulated trauma of the subtle and not-so-subtle butterflies of September 11, 2001, Chernobyl, human-induced climate change, ozone layer depletion and male sperm-count reduction, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and others. The matrix of humanity still reverberates with the anguish of lost lives, lost jobs, lost health, lost dreams and the fear of diminished security. But however painful or alarming these seemingly diverse events in history were and are, they do have one powerful thing in common: they exemplify the fragility of our planet and the interconnectedness of humanity.
We all know that we are poised at the brink of something large, something almost indefinable. Scholars call it a ‘clash -vs- dialog’ crisis, and spiritual people say it is a call to love – a choice between responding with compassion or revenge. Whatever we call it, we are all now aware of the butterfly effect - that we are responsible and responsive to others in ways we had never understood before. Now we understand that we can no longer ignore the fact that we affect each other in powerful ways, and we can no longer ignore our responsibility to the planet and to each other. Many, many people have been touched in extraordinary ways – an awakening to self, to the preciousness of life, and to a need for understanding and being understood. These lessons of our interconnectedness and the sacredness of life, direct us to the realization that we must each now act in the cause of and on behalf of all humanity, and not just for one person, one group or one country.
We know now that the larger issue is that all of life, every facet of life, requires from us a response – and that response has potentially far-reaching implications. We must choose carefully, and seek to ensure that our individual and collective response to life and all its vagaries, creates resonant harmony and not dissonance. We must leave behind energy-draining feelings of fear and powerlessness and shift our focus to more life-affirming, energy-enhancing responses like love, for whatever we focus on fills our lives. If we are able to focus on our higher attributes, then crippling, fear-driven feelings and emotions will not be able to “rent space in our heads”. And if we can do this, then perhaps out of this latest world conflict will be born the inspiration to peace-making that will serve as a template for all human conflicts world wide. For surely we know that the power of a smile, the power of a parent’s love and the power of a random act of kindness, although seemingly insignificantly small, create wonderful effects for both the giver and receiver, and can change an attitude and even a life…
So it is important that everyone act from their Center of Self, that authentic place that respects all life and the unity of all things, that place that longs for the peaceful celebration of life with all of life. …And we must let loose the powerful wings’ breath from our butterflies of compassion, unconditional love and peace-making, knowing that the ensuing zephyr will gently penetrate the furthest corners of our Earth, creating in space and time, powerful transformations for the good of our planet and all her inhabitants.
Tonight, we focus the light of our love on ourselves and each and every human being, that we may be able to better understand our interconnections and achieve personal and global peace in the midst of these turbulent times.
As we join our hearts together, know that powerful beacons of Light and Love will shine forth into the world, will join those from others of like intent, and be directed to those in greatest need on our beloved planet.
As we each prepare for the moment, let the mood be one of unconditional love…
…and May the Force be with us! J
Please light your candles (optional) and commence with the following peace poem:
We hold the vision that each and every human being on earth
May have the courage to touch that inner space of wisdom and truth we all carry,
And use its strength to come to a still, quiet place of understanding, trust and peace,
even in the midst of these uncertain, turbulent times.
May we experience clarity in our interactions with each other
That we may harness the power of acceptance, understanding and tolerance
To transform ourselves and the planet into oases of peace.
May we always remember
The tremendous power of validating each and every member of the human family,
The power of a kind word or smile, and the power of unconditional love.
May we always remember
That the smallest act of caring performed
with a lightness of heart and a lightness of being
Will ripple outwards to positively affect our immediate and global communities.
May we always remember
That flutter of a tiny butterfly’s wings
being felt by everyone all around the world.
After this introductory vision/meditation/prayer, please express your own vision of peace. (As always, please feel free to modify the peace poem, or to use your own.)
Please close your peace session with the extinguishing of the candle.
· The inspiration for this Peace Circle comes from our recent collective experience and the real Butterfly Effect from science (Chaos Theory). The Butterfly Effect was discovered in the early 1960s by M.I.T. Professor Emeritus Edward N. Lorenz, a meteorologist. Additional food for thought comes from:
Ten years of the Chernobyl Era, Yuri M.Shcherbak, Scientific American, April, 1996
The articles Global Warming and Ozone Depletion, Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/index.html
The question of declining sperm density revisited: An analysis of 101 studies published 1934-1996, Swan SH, Elkin EP, Fenster L., Environmental Health Perspectives. 108(10), October 2000.
According to this retrospective study, average sperm counts in industrialized countries are declining at a rate of about 1 percent each year.
Radiation Effects Research Foundation – a Cooperative Japan-US Research Foundation. http://www.rerf.or.jp
December 24 & 31, 2001
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