So, one bit of big news this week came beaming into the public discourse, like Sophia calling out to us, trying to get our attention above the din of the marketplace: the State of Texas apparently executed an innocent man by the name of Cameron Todd Willingham in 2004, according to a detailed investigative journalism article by David Grann in the New Yorker magazine.
And Grann's article appears just a few weeks after two conservative, Catholic U.S. Supreme Court justices suggested in a dissent for another death-penalty case (Troy Davis) that it's not unconstitutional to execute an innocent man. And it gets weirder.
It's easy, perhaps, with so many people in 'overwhelm' these days, to want to look away from issues such as these (or those raised in the recent documentary, Food Inc. - more on that soon). And yet Life and Wisdom deserve our attention, and these things call for it for what they can show us, and teach us, about our selves and about our culture, about what calls out for Wisdom and healing-change, and what calls forward the higher angels of our nature.
The case of Cameron Todd Willingham makes clear the tragic cost of arrogance, a need to be 'right' at all costs, and rigid, outdated beliefs and biases. There were so many opportunities for avoiding a lethal mistake (and this isn't the only case of its kind), yet each of those opportunities was eclipsed by rigid adherence to entrenched beliefs and biases, hubris, and habit.
Any time things such as these arise, in large ways like the Willingham case and small ways in the course of daily life, we have an opportunity to choose how we perceive and respond -- or replay old-programmed reactions.
Responses such as anger, frustration, sadness, or disappointment are valuable compass-points for us, and yet how we choose to proceed with them after noticing our response, and acknowledging our emotion, is where our power really rests.
We can use the energy signified by our emotional responses to animate, empower, and energize conscious awareness and action, rather than to spin into and perpetuate what we'd just as soon see changed.
Caroline Casey, the visionary-activist astrologer, talks about the importance of being precise in our language, because with our words we animate and invoke what manifests in our 'reality'. Casey emphasizes the practice of 'critique and blessing' - when we criticize (or rant), we follow on with the blessing ... what we'd prefer to see happening, sans blame and shame.
Practices like the 'Self I-Dentity' ho'oponopono shared by Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len guide us to yet another conscious response, and emphasize that all of the 'reaction' we see happening around us (and our own) is simply a replay of old, stored memory patterns that continue as if on 'auto-pilot' until we become conscious and take responsibility for not perpetuating them.
So may the bureaucrats, judges, and elected legislators who contributed to the execution of an innocent man be blessed with a renewed connection with the Wisdom of their hearts and souls and guided towards wiser, more heartful action that benefits all.
And so on. What are your transformative blessings?