Thursday, September 9, 2010

the burning of paper & ink

Across not only this country, but around the globe, people are joining together in protest, criticism, and outrage at the planned burning of multiple copies of the Qur'an this Saturday, on the nine year anniversary of 9/11. It's one man and his small congregation that have stirred up all this controversy. It's one man and his supposed Christian duty to "warn" Muslim extremists that enough is enough.

And people are reacting in spades.

I cannot speak about the Qur'an in any real capacity because I do not know it's teachings. Nor can I speak about the Bible. I don't know enough about any religion to have intelligent or socially relevant opinions. What I can speak on is the commonality that underlies all religious teachings and all people regardless of their beliefs: the fact that each of us are human, operating as an egoic mind, while Who We Really Are goes beyond all mental phenomena; the fact that each of us either believe our thoughts (and suffer) or question them and see Reality.

Terry Jones, the pastor at Dove World Outreach Center, says he hasn't even read the Qur'an. He therefore has no way of knowing what jewels of wisdom he might find if his mind were open - and that's unfortunate. But the truth is: he just can't right now. No one can see what they are blind to. No one can think anything other than what they do until they've taken the time to question their thoughts, and often people aren't willing to do that or know how. And because of this, these congregants down in Gainesville are planning to build a bonfire to burn the holy words that scores of people treasure and worship.

I think it's unnecessary that this man and his group of followers have come to be known around the world. Why have they been granted all of this power? Why are these people being given this amount of media coverage?

While it is a hateful act, while it is's only paper and ink. Whatever great Truths any holy book may contain, the words are only printed symbols. Their heart and power lie in the living of the truths, not in the reading of them. They are not the Spirit from which they're born. Whatever Divinity may be spoken of in the Qur'an, it could never be tarnished by any group's act of hate and disrespect. Allah is infinitely greater.

Dear World, why turn away from your God, your Connection, your Source in order to push against Terry Jones or anyone? Why waste a moment of your precious lives focusing on this group and their extremist behavior? Why watch the television? Why rally with scorn? What real significance do they have if they're not given attention?  Is this man (one no different from the madman housed in an asylum - or you and me, for that matter, since we ALL believe what we think...until we don't) truly worth the sacrificing of your own inner peace? I'm not saying that he's right. I'm not saying that he shouldn't be stopped. What I am saying is that the moment we think that we can or should make someone else see something other than they do, in that moment, we are quite insane. Just as insane as those we'd fight against. Just as confused and hurt. Just as disconnected from our own Well-Being.

Allow this man - allow all of us - our ignorance. Karma and consequence will tend to each of us in far more effective ways than we could ever inflict on one another. Let's let that be enough. Let's not spend another moment trying to force the blind to see. Let them burn what books they choose and curse the things they believe are deserving - not because they are right, not because their message deserves to be heard - but because its kinder to oneself to see others through the eyes of Source. Because this small group of people should not be allowed to steal a single moment of a person's joy. Choosing to see Pastor Jones - or any perceived enemy - as an innocent soul trapped by his thoughts is simply a matter of self-love.

After all, what the Qur'an and all holy books try to make sense of transcends the understanding of the mind. That Love that the holy books represent is eternal. It is untouchable by, and beyond, any act of hate or bigotry - which includes Terry Jones and his little bonfire.


  1. Wow! This is so powerful. And so beautifully stated. I could read it again and again. Very nice Jeff.

  2. so well said! you have such a gift for written expression, my friend. love this.

  3. Love it, Jeff! Your writing is beautiful.

  4. Thanks, Sandi!
    Thank you for reading!