Are We Being Unfair to School Shooters and Other Mass Killers?

mass shooters and scapegoatsIn ancient Jewish culture, they had this tradition of symbolically burdening a goat with the sins of the people and then releasing it into the wilderness.

From Leviticus 16: “Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites, whatever their sins, putting them on the head of the goat; and it shall be sent off to the wilderness through a designated man. Thus the goat shall carry on it all their iniquities to an inaccessible region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness.”

Of course, today most of us read things like the book of Leviticus and find them hopelessly antiquated. The thing is, as a culture, we do this exact same thing. We have failed to realize that Jesus has showed us a different path.

Certain people play the role of scapegoat in our culture. These are folks like Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza, Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger, and the latest — Seattle Pacific shooter Aaron Ybarra.

We can argue about the causes of such shootings and seek to eliminate them. Gun availability, violent media, mental illness and social rejection seem to almost play a role. But these “causes” are like blaming money as the cause of poverty. It’s related, but the root of the problem lies in our group consciousness and behavior.

I believe people like these young men bear our sins and are then punished for them — even after death. Most likely sensitive folks, they have internalized the dark side of our culture and are now expressing it. Once they express it, we get to point our fingers at our scapegoats and talk about how depraved they are and how much better our society is off without them. Our sins, at least in our own eyes, are absolved.

You may think that the creation of such scapegoats has nothing to do with you. The thing is, though, is that all of us play a part, some more than others. Here are a few things to take a look at. Until each one of us addresses these issues in our behavior and our hearts, we will continue to foster a consciousness that creates these bearers of cultural sin.

If you’ve ever looked down on another person.
If you think that violence is a solution.
If you support our violent media with your dollars and attendance at the latest mind-destroying flick.
If you’ve turned the other way when someone is being mistreated.
If you let your kids play violent video games.
If you think that your thoughts, actions and beliefs have no bearing on the whole.

There are many other causes of this scapegoat-creation, some of which I am not yet aware of. And I still struggle with some of this. But I’ll tell you what — I want to uproot each and every one of them from my consciousness and throw them on the fire. I want NO part of this sick ritual of creating such ugliness and then blaming the one who fully embodies what WE have created.

Just because we do LESS of what the scapegoats do doesn’t get us off the hook while they run into the wilderness of prison or suicide. For example, if I spend time denigrating another person, I am engaging in the same behavior — I just haven’t taken it as far. Why should I get a pass to engage in hateful talk about an “enemy” who is also a son or daughter of the Most High while being able to point the finger at a school shooter? When I allow him to be my scapegoat, I am spared examining the hatred within my own heart. And that is like allowing myself to continue to eat Oreos and Cheetos because, hey, at least I’m not 400 pounds. I’m still going to be unhealthy.

Jesus showed us that the scapegoat system was unnecessary. That God could forgive even people who tortured and killed an innocent — “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

We can forgive these scapegoats. We can forgive them and love them and in doing so, acknowledge our own darkness and walk forward on the path of accepting the enormous love that God has to offer. If we persist in allowing the scapegoats to carry our burden, we’ll continue to allow our hatred and other dark slimy things to fester inside, stalling our spiritual growth.

And if we all made this decision to look inward? Well, I doubt we’d have a problem with mass shootings.

WARNING: Disturbing Content Ahead

Art by Caia Matheson.

Art by Caia Matheson.

This post carries the title it does because some of these thoughts have sent me into anxiety attacks in the past. It can be very frightening to question your reality.

As usual, most of my thoughts here come from my dreams.

Last night, I met a powerful religious leader. He had set up a communal society that looked like freedom from the outside. Inside, however, it was very repressive and dark. He had a forceful personality that was able to pretty much control the minds of whomever he came into contact with. People believed that their roof was supposed to leak because he said it should, for example. It made me think of how we say, “God meant for that (bad thing) to happen,” because a preacher has told us that’s the way the world works.

A woman was crucified on the side of a cliff by this man. Her bloody wings of flesh spread out in gruesome magnificence as she hung there. Religion does indeed crucify women, does it not? The people who participated in this crucifixion did not know they were doing wrong. They were following the religious leader.

They say that Jesus died for our sins. I think I have an inkling of what this means. Jesus was crucified by religion and other world power (government). He allowed it, I believe, so that we might see that religion and other world power is DEATH. To participate in those powers is to sin — ie. participate in something that brings death rather than love.

Not that love can’t be an outcome of someone who is participating in religion. It’s obvious that religion, to a point, can steer people to love, and that there are many loving people who practice religion. But at the point where religion becomes a hollow structure of mind control, well, that’s where the evil starts. And when you are the one leading people into mind-chains, well, woe unto you, right?

It’s okay to question things, even things you’ve been told about God since you were a child. I think God WANTS us to question. In fact, when we ask questions, He ANSWERS them! :-D

I also dreamed of worlds within worlds. When I woke up, I Googled, “world within worlds,” and found this article about theosophy. A lot of what I read rang true. I had already been imagining something very similar. This was like confirmation that my hunch could actually be true.

The thing is, matter vibrates at different frequencies. So you can have matter vibrating at a high frequency that you can’t see around you and matter that is vibrating at a low frequency that you can’t see around you as well. The article describes our visible world as an “octave on an endless scale.” So it’s possible that there are entities going about their daily lives in the same physical space we are in — we just can’t perceive them.

Unless you are born with superpowers, that is.

My sons have superpowers, as do many other people who have been labeled intuitive, psychic or schizophrenic. If this theory is true, they were born with senses that can perceive matter vibrating at frequencies that elude most other people.

It’s kinda scary to think of all this, and really cool at the same time.

I’m also starting to realize just how involved God is in my everyday life. I’m perceiving him in my reality more and more, and I simply love it. I asked him a question about some things Jesus said about the Kingdom of God the other night, and that very night he gave me a dream and woke me up at 4:44 right in the thick of it so I would remember His answer!

This is the type of thing that makes life truly joyful. It is the treasure in the field that makes you not care about owning anything else but that treasure.

Mind. Blown.

purple glass heart

Dreams have been a big deal in our house lately. A couple of days ago, my son woke up from a dream in which he had lived for a hundred years, gotten married, had a child and seen the world destroyed. In my son’s dream, he was living in an entirely different world. He was able to tell me what was in the history books of that world and spoke words in that world’s language, which was ancient-sounding and beautiful. It took him two hours to tell me things, and there was always more. It was literally like talking to a really old person who would tell you all the details about the good old days and World War 2, for example.

I just woke up from the most amazing dream myself. Often, when I go to sleep at night, I am asking God to show me the truth. I don’t think ALL of the truth is to be found in church or even the Bible — at least not how it is often interpreted. And sometimes the truth is distorted or twisted. I want the real thing. Last night, I believe I got some answers.

This dream began with me going to visit my son at the treatment center he’s been at three times in the past year. My son would have a pass from the hospital and be out on the street rescuing people from the most horrendous situations. He would ask a helper to escort him back to the hospital when he got tired. There was so much darkness in the world where he was helping that even the maggots from the dead were black. I began to help as well. We had to avoid the maggots and the dead people, because they would contaminate you if you spent much time in contact with them. It was very dangerous to help, because very evil individuals would try to attack you if they so much as saw you helping to rescue other people from their world of child rape, lethal drugs and murder. Perhaps spending too much time with people who are spiritually dead will rub off on you and you will begin to lose your sight. Perhaps my son is helping people (or has demonstrated that potential) and he gets worn out, and yes, attacked.

I spent time out on the street giving balm (coconut butter) to people. You’d rub it in and your skin would look clean and new and be protected. Some people would leave dirt in the balm when they scooped it out, but that was okay. If you have something that can help people, you should give it away freely, no matter what.

The people/spirits who were rescuers had super-powers. We literally flew through the air to rescue some people. We were so joyful, and the reason we flew was to show people who we were. Oprah was one of them, and when I woke up, I realized that she raises people up in life by showing them love and support.

All the destruction and killing meant that pets had been neglected by selfish and blind people or were trapped in hotel rooms. In most cases, they had been living without water and had to be put down. I cried and cried as I rescued these sweet bony animals that had either been woefully neglected or had failed to find a source of water (even though sometimes it was right in front of them in the form of a bathtub having been left full of water, for example.) I felt so heartbroken when I had to give them to the loving people to be euthanized. When I found an animal that had found a source of life, they were in good enough shape for them to be eligible for the shelter to find them a new home. Some people have the source of living water right in front of them, but don’t see it. Others are not provided with it — they are neglected as others carry on their hedonistic, selfish lives. It breaks God’s heart, I think, when he finds people in this state. God rescues them from their hell one way or another, but it makes him so sad.

I got to meet the emperor of this world. The emperor was very concerned about his worldly standing. His son was among the many people that were injured in the general destruction and badness, and the dignitary informing of this gave him a hint that he knew his son was a gay IV drug user. (He had been found with pink peppermint in his veins, lol!) The dignitary gave him plenty of opportunities to admit the injured man was indeed his son, but the emperor continued to deny him, preferring to let his son die rather than to risk losing people’s respect for his standing as emperor. He denied THE SON. This also makes me think of preachers who get on the anti-gay bandwagon because it increases their standing with their base of support. The emperor did not choose love or truth. He chose fear.

After this encounter, I was walking down a staircase admiring a beautiful glass sculpture that had belonged to the emperor. He no longer wanted it. It was very expensive, but I was able to use all my money to buy a small piece that the seller broke off. He took care to break me off the very best piece. It came off in the shape of a light purple heart. When I turned it over in my hand, it made a beautiful musical sound. It was the sound of diamonds being thrown and musically hitting the ground. When I held it in front of me, I got so much power that all I had to do was stretch out my hand and doors were open and walls came down. I didn’t even have to move under my own power. A golden light lit the way as I went far away from the emperor and his men. This was a good thing, because the emperor had realized what he had given up, and was chasing after me for it. Love will break down all barriers.

As we were surveying the absolute destruction, the promenade we were on collapsed, and we began to fall the long distance to our death. A bunch of ugly art was falling alongside me. I was afraid at first — I was falling so fast, and I was thinking about what it might feel like when I hit bottom. Then I took a deep breath and said, “I love you, Lord.” Then the Lord’s peace came over me and I woke up.

I helped a lot of people and animals before I left that place.

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is our helper. That He is the Spirit of Truth. I’ve asked God to help me to understand things better, and this dream is what I got. I’m not going to worry about whether or not other people agree with me or not. I’m not going to read other people’s interpretations of scripture and worry about fitting them into my worldview. I am going to trust in God.

Do Not Oppose Evil: A Counter-intuitive Idea That Works

tomato oppose evilA few days ago, I made the mistake of reading an article about the corporate cartels that run the country and which are destroying the world. I felt a huge anger well up inside me. I snapped at the people close to me and when I went grocery shopping I felt like running over the people in my way with my cart.

I thought, “Surely this is a righteous anger. After all, innocent people are losing freedom and being killed because of these practices.” The fruit, though, was not righteous. My husband had to listen to me rant when he wanted to relax after work. I didn’t smile or have any nice conversations at the grocery store because I’m sure I had a visible black cloud over my head.

I decided that the anger wasn’t good. After all, I had deliberately set it aside a few years ago in favor of better mental health.

Yet I’m not a fan of inaction. I don’t want evil to win.

Fortunately, I came across the Tao Te Ching yesterday. I started reading it, and found this:

Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.

I thought about it and thought about it. I read some more of Loa-Tzu’s writing. I started getting really excited, because I realized that God had revealed The Way of Jesus to the Chinese before Jesus made His earthly appearance. I remembered that Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek. To give someone who takes your coat your cloak as well. To go the extra mile after being compelled to go the first one.

He is teaching us to not oppose evil.

It took me a minute to wrap my head around this. After all, in our culture, Christians tend to be first in line to oppose perceived evil, often standing up for the death penalty, protesting abortion and lobbying for marriage laws to stay unchanged.

But.

What would Evil do if we gave the person on death row a big hug? What if we held a woman as she cried after having an abortion? What if we applauded love and simply lived our lives according to The Way so that if someone was doing something wrong, Evil would skulk out of his life, ashamed of itself?

I know that Lao-Tzu’s statement was God-inspired, at least as much as I, a mere human, can know anything at all about this sort of thing.

About a year ago, I had a dream. In the dream, God said, “You are going to be martyred.”

A door opened, and I found myself in a prison cell with two malevolent witches. They had every intention of killing me. I wasn’t too happy about the situation, but I felt resigned, since God had already told me what was going to happen.

I looked at the witch across from me. A feeling of great compassion came over me, and I reached out my hand and gently caressed her face. The anger completely left her, and she was transformed. I woke up before the other witch could kill me.

I think this dream was God’s way of showing me that softness transforms hardness, that love conquers evil — at least some of the time. Sometimes, evil is pretty resistant to love, I think. But you become what you focus on, which is why people who subscribe to running magazines, buy running shorts and run every day often become marathon runners. This tells me that focusing on evil is not the right thing to do.

So I will not rage against the machine. Instead of protesting Monsanto, I’ll take joy in growing my own tomatoes. If I have an opportunity to give some to my neighbor, I will.