Three thousand people were killed when the World Trade Center was attacked; to read aloud a list of their names would take two hours. Six million people were killed when the Nazis attacked European Jewry, reducing it, too, to rubble; to read aloud a list of those names would take six months.
An Interview With Spiritual Teacher Eckhart Tolle
If the shift in consciousness doesn’t happen very soon, then there’s not much chance that the planet will continue to survive. Or perhaps the planet might make it, but humans won’t. The planet may regenerate itself after a few hundred years, but humans will have disappeared. Imagine another hundred years of this consciousness, unchanged. Everything will just get magnified: more science, more technology, more weapons, more consumer goods, more of everything — a dreadful prospect.
The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form.
And every year thereafter on the anniversary of Michael’s death, Hal places a call to me to talk about Michael. A commemoration, this. In Judaism, the anniversary of a loved one’s death — called yahrzeit — is carefully noted with rituals: visits to the cemetery, a consciousness through prayer, and, most notably, a candle lit which burns for the twenty-four-hour day, its light and shadow a reminder of loss and life’s continuity.
It is March 4, a Sunday, and the Northeastern United States is buttoning up for a gigantic snowstorm. Despite these dire weather predictions, in which I have little faith, I have journeyed to Pittsburgh with my wife and two young sons to visit Philip DeLucia, my oldest friend in the world, who is very ill.
They pulled off the highway and followed the signs for the Thirteen Stars Motel. Besides proclaiming itself to be “American Owned,” the motel promised that its restaurant served “American Food” and that each room was held to “American Standards.” Alastair was thrilled. He’d never met a racist before, and now he was going to. Already he felt a mixture of fascination and compassion, as if he and his father were about to visit the zoo.