Should Criminals Be Shown Mercy?

22nd Feb 2011



Hello Lovely People

Should murderers and rapists be shown mercy?  Should people who commit lesser sins or crimes be shown mercy?  Or should people simply be punished for their crimes and be kept away from the victims?

We often read in the media about victims of crime or their families that refuse to even think about forgiving the criminals.  When a Scottish backpacker was murdered, a relative was quoted as saying that “she will never succumb to pressure to forgive the killer”.

On rare occasions we read about victims that forgive the criminals or sinners, and then there is another uproar about these people’s gullibility and soft-heartedness.  When a gunman killed five Amish girls and injured five others in Pennsylvania in 2006, the world was surprised when the Amish supported the family of the gunman.

Showing mercy is not limited to criminal activities against individuals.  How do the Jews forgive the holocaust in Germany?  How do the Poles forgive the Russians for the results of wars against them and for communism that was forced on Poland?  How do people from Iran show mercy towards the Americans and the British?

The traditional religious definition ranges from acting as if nothing has happened, to giving tacit approval to hurtful behaviour, to sympathizing with the criminal instead of the victim.  Showing mercy is often presented as an exercise of setting aside resentment or giving up grudges.  In all of these the underlying assumption is that the victims have a right to judge the perpetrators, and that showing mercy is a withholding or a watering down of the right to judge.

However, the first commandment in the Bible is often overlooked.  No, the first commandment is not the first of the famous Ten Commandments.  The first commandment in the Bible (Genesis 2:17) states that “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Of course anything that is written down can be interpreted in many different ways.  I choose to interpret this verse as saying”if you decide what is good or evil, you judge yourself and others, and that means that you become unaware of your true nature, which is Love.  This unawareness is equal to spiritual death”.

Where showing mercy or forgiveness is only about withholding judgement, it does not necessarily mean that the forgiveness is based on Love.  Forgiveness is about knowledge which brings us closer to Love.

South Africa had a unique situation for years where young white South African men were conscripted by the government to fight against the “enemy”, which were young black South African men.  The white men went to war, not being sure who their enemy was.  The black men organised a defence, not being sure who their enemy was.  Both sides united on the basis of skin colour, and fought against people who had a different skin colour.  They were all citizens of a country they loved, and they all fought for their country.  You cannot get a more superficial or a more personal war than that.

The outcome of the civil war in South Africa included a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).  The objective of this Commission was to provide a platform to victims of the civil war where they could be heard, and at the same time to provide a platform for perpetrators of violence to give testimony and provide amnesty from prosecution.

There has been much criticism of the work of the TRC in the sense that many people felt the reparations were slow and meagre.  However, there have also been tales of the personal journeys of some of the participants and the release that they experienced as a result of letting go of hatred and desires for revenge.

These outcomes reflect two aspects of mercy, namely understanding and taking responsibility.

Let us take a step back and explore the spiritual meaning of forgiveness.  Assume that life if eternal, that our souls are eternal, and that we incarnate into this life with a purpose.  This life purpose forms a central theme that runs throughout our live on earth, and the theme is repeated until we understand.  This may even mean that we need to return for another incarnation before we understand.

We can only have learning experiences as a result of our interaction with other people.  Does this interaction simply happen?  No.  We contract with these people before they incarnate that they will help us to learn what we need to learn.  These contracts include experiences that are as ugly as war and rape and murder, and they are not necessarily limited to a single lifetime.

Jesus is quoted in Mat. 5:38-39 as having said “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I tell you . . . whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”  Is this because we are supposed to be spineless nincompoops that must simply accept abuse?  No, of course not.  I am sure Jesus meant that we would have to go through the same experience again and again until we understand what it is that we have to learn about ourselves (like eventually standing up to bullies or having serial marriages before finding happiness).  Having revenge does not reflect any understanding – it simply reflects a lack of awareness of our spirit.

Forgiveness is not a sanctimonious withholding of judgement.  Forgiveness is about introspection and meditation and achieving that moment of understanding and gratitude that brings tears to our eyes, where the victim can reach out to the perpetrator or the perpetrator can reach out to the victim and say “thank you for being the perfect teacher for this life”.  That is what some of the victims at the TRC experienced and expressed.

Does this mean that people can harm others and get away with it simply because they are forgiven?  Of course not.  There is a difference between “an eye for an eye” and “do unto others what you want done until yourself”.  People that harm others are here to learn their own lessons, which include taking responsibility for their actions.  There is a lack of balance when the focus is on how to ensure that perpetrators get punished for their actions, because such a focus is often based on revenge and resentment.  A murderer or rapist should have the same opportunity for introspection and spiritual discovery than their victims.  They also came to this earth to play their part and to grow to a better understanding of their actions.

This is where mercy comes in.  Does mercy mean letting people off the hook when they have committed crimes?  Certainly not.  Mercy means helping the perpetrators to understand themselves and their actions.

For example, if a teenager with a rich parent commits a crime that is punishable by a fine, how about exchanging the fine with community service that relates to the crime?  The teenager would not learn anything if the parent pays the fine, but they would learn a lot about themselves by doing appropriate community service.

That is mercy.  That is also taking responsibility for all our actions, whether our actions result in us becoming a victim or a perpetrator.  True forgiveness brings us closer to Love.

Love and Light
Elsabe


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Intuition: Can A Psychic Medium Change Your Destiny?

16th Feb 2011



Hello Lovely People

Can a psychic medium change your life?  If you buy an item that was blessed by a spiritually gifted person, will you get your wishes fulfilled?

I want to tell you about an experience I had years ago.  I was going through a period of massive change.   I was not in a relationship at the time.  I was discovering my psychic abilities and had no idea what to do with these abilities.  It was not possible to discuss any of this with a friend or relative, because I knew they would be shocked and quite judgmental about me exploring the occult and other “sinful” things.

Of course this was quite a lonely time for me, but also intellectually quite stimulating.  I discovered a whole new range of books that explained various aspects of spirituality.  I was like a child in a toy store – I did not know what to believe and what to discard.  A whole new world had opened up to me, and it was wonderful.

During that phase I also ventured abroad for the first time – on a three-week holiday to the United States.  I discovered Barnes and Noble, the bookstore – and there was no censorship!  I could browse to my heart’s content and I could buy books on “forbidden” topics.  Getting those books back home and past customs was a worry for later.  One of the books I bought was written by Sylvia Browne, on life after death.  I had always known intuitively that there is more to eternal life than what the church told me, and I was curious to read about what happens after we die.  I bought this book.  Sadly, I have subsequently discovered that there are many doubts about this lady’s gift and her integrity, but that is not for me to judge.  Let’s put that aside for the moment.

While I was in the United States, I consulted a psychic because I was very curious about what they do and how they work, and I wanted to compare what I found there with what I had discovered back in Johannesburg.   Of course I was astonished at how much this woman knew about me.  At the time I was not aware that there are many so-called psychics who do cold readings.  A cold reading is where a person with minimal psychic abilities and excellent observational skills state the bleeding obvious to an unsuspecting customer in exchange for money.

This psychic identified my loneliness and told me that she had special powers which she could use to find me that special person.  The way she would do that was to “charge” special candles by the light of the full moon, which was two weeks away.   I then had to buy those candles from her and burn them when I got home.  I did not feel comfortable with this at all but did not know how to say no to her.  My angels ensured that I did not have enough money for these “miracle” candles on me – I cannot recall what she charged, but it was a large amount of money – probably in the region of $100 per candle, and according to her I needed two of these candles.  She was happy to get my fax number so that she could send me a reminder when I was back home again and had access to the money she wanted.

On my journey home, I read the Sylvia Browne book – just in case someone wanted to confiscate it at customs.    What I remember most about the book was a paragraph where Sylvia Browne recalled some TV interview she did.   During this interview she had spelt it out that if anyone wants you to pay money for any object to change your destiny, you should run away as far and as fast as you can.  She explained that what changes your destiny is not any object with magic powers, but your thoughts and prayers and meditation.

I read that paragraph over and over again – it was as if someone was speaking directly to me from that page, and I heard every word quite clearly.

When I arrived home, there were about five or six faxes waiting for me from the American psychic – reminding me that I owed her a pot of money for her special candles, and warning me of the perils that awaited me if I did not follow her instructions for paying into her bank account even more money than she originally charged for her candles.

Of course nobody confiscated my Sylvia Browne book – a lesson on how fears only materialize when you let them.  As soon as I had a spare moment, I flicked through the book again to find that warning paragraph because it also clearly listed the reasons why paying for “magic” objects would not change your destiny.   I could not find that paragraph or anything even remotely similar.

I read the entire book twice again from front to back, but that paragraph was not in the book.  I then asked someone else who showed interest in the topic to read the book and help me find that paragraph.  It was not there.

I have since had many similar experiences and learned a lot about living in two dimensions, and I am no longer surprised by such incidents.  I have studied the topic of synchronicity as opposed to co-incidence and I know the difference.  I now understand that what I experienced when I first read that book was a moment of synchronicity.

Of course I have also learnt that every object emanates its own energy and that I can feel and read that energy.   But the lesson that I remember most of all is that my destiny is determined by a combination of the life script that was written before I was born and my free will.

Oh – and if you have large amounts of money to spare, I knit beanies that will fulfill all your wishes and make your wildest dreams come true!   Send me your address, let me know what your favorite color is, and I will send you my bank account details.  But you have to hurry, because the end of the world is near!

Love and Light

Elsabe

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Where Did You Put My Stuff?

9th Feb 2011



Hello Lovely People

Do you know exactly where the important things in your life are?

If you don’t, who took them and hid them away?

Of course you can find someone to blame if they are missing.

Will you give the same person credit when you find them?

Or will you take the credit when things are going well and apportion blame when things are not going well?

What do you think is fair on others and wise for you to do?

Love and Light

Elsabe


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Let’s blow up some balloons

6th Feb 2011



Hello Lovely People

I love travelling.  I love the anticipation of deciding what to take with and what to leave behind.  I enjoy the heaving of my stomach when the plane ascends, and the vibration of the engines that keep me awake.  I have become a good judge of landings – I can tell whether Captain Kangaroo or Mister Teflon Pants is in charge.  I have even experienced two landings where Fred the computer was clearly in charge – or did some angels take over at the last minute?

And then there is the exploring.  For me the adrenaline flows when I have to figure out a way of getting transport to my destination, or what is happening around me.  I enjoy deciphering signs in strange languages and making quantum leaps until I get to some understanding and learn new things.

I have grown the habit of speaking Afrikaans to people in different countries.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that I discovered that the British people are not popular in many countries.  I have not delved enough into the history of Britain to establish why, but I use the situation to my advantage.  When I speak to a person in Afrikaans, chances are that they will not understand me, and they will say so in their own language.  From there we normally have the conversation in English, however broken it is.  This has resulted in some hilarious situations.

I once went to Hungary on holiday.  I did not confirm in advance what the speed limit was on the roads, but I knew the people in Hungary spoke some English (that is what the website said).  At the Budapest airport I approached a traffic warden and asked “Excuse me.  What is the speed limit on the roads here?”

“Huh?”

“I would like to know how fast I can drive here” I said with some gesturing.

“You speak Englis?”  Oh, dear.

“Yes.  When I take this car,” pointing to the little yellow rental car “and drive on those roads there,” pointing to the web of motorways in the distance, “do I drive 40 or 50 or 60 kilometres per hour?”

A moment of silent confusion, and then the light bulb went on.  “Ahhh. 30 minutes” he said while becoming two inches taller and giving me a big smile.

I decided to use my common sense and observe the other traffic.

The second reason for speaking Afrikaans in unfamiliar situations is that when you address people in a language that they do not understand, they invariably focus their full attention on you.  I believe that this results in the opening up of a communication channel that has very little to do with language.

I once got lost in Portugal.  I found a safe parking space and stopped a lady that looked like a housewife.  She gave my very good directions – all in Portuguese.  I did not understand a word of the language, but I intuitively understood the distances and landmarks that she described to me and found my destination.

Whether we take a physical or a spiritual journey, the experience is the same.  It is strange, it is different, we may get confused, but invariably there is someone along the way that will help us to find the way again.  At times we may ask for directions and the directions will result in us being left on our own, but we always have the resources to find our way.

We always set off with a plan, and invariably the plan is derailed, but we always have a great experience that we learn from.  At times the lessons are more painful and at other times they seem insignificant, but we always learn what we have to.

There is another side of a journey, both physical and spiritual, that we only discover after the event, and it often catches us unaware.

Every journey broadens our experience.  This is true for both the physical and spiritual journeys.  We have beautiful surprises and we discover boredom.  We meet interesting people and we meet people that we would rather forget.  We return after our journeys and have lots to tell.

We also return from the journeys as different people.  Imagine blowing up a balloon and then letting out the air again.  The flat balloon does not shrink to its original size.  It is slightly bigger.  When you blow the balloon up again and let out the air, the flat balloon is even bigger.  And one day you blow up the balloon as big as you can and it bursts and you discover that the balloon was an illusion.

Every journey broadens our boundaries and gives us a new and different view on life and the world that we live in.  Anyone who has travelled to different destinations will understand this.  People that have not travelled do not understand and they remain in their own worlds, but looking at another person’s world like a child with its nose pressed against the window of the candy store.

Physical journeys cause a separation from those people that do not want to take the risk.  Spiritual journeys also cause a separation from people that prefer “safe grounds”.  This result of separation is not described in the fine print.  It comes with the package, and the nature and level of separation from their previous worlds differ with each person.

The good news is that once you have experienced a broader world, you would not want to go back to being the original balloon.  Some people will only venture once and that is enough for them, but it already changes their world.  Other people will venture again and again until the balloon bursts and they will understand that their worlds have changed for ever.  Either way, once you have tasted a different view of the physical and spiritual world, there is no going back, and when you have had the experience, you would not want to go back anyway.

I wish you a safe and exciting journey.

Love and Light

Elsabe


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How To Explore Your Awareness

2nd Feb 2011



Hello Lovely People

When people become aware of their spiritual awakening, they become aware of “going out of their mind”, in other words setting the brain aside and opening up to the awareness that there are different dimensions that exist around us, and that we only chose to live in this one for the moment.

How do you deal with this spiritual awakening?  The first action is to choose whether you want to reject it or consciously explore it.  If you want to reject it, that is your choice, and it is neither right nor wrong.  Whichever way you choose is perfect for you.

If, on the other hand, you want to consciously explore your new awareness, you will be surprised to discover the many opportunities that are opening up to you.  At the same time you will experience what I can only describe as a deep sense of knowing about what resonates with you and what you should stay away from.

There are as many different directions and flavours of spirituality as there are people on this earth.  You will find that you are intuitively drawn to some of these directions and practices, while you will probably find others to be hilarious and quite entertaining.    Remember, what you laugh at may be a very serious matter for someone else.  The best advice I can give you is to trust your heart and listen to your intuition, and you will find this path quite rewarding.

However, this is only the advice of one person.  If anyone insists on telling you which path is the best for you, I would question the intentions of that person, because how you explore your spirituality is a very personal decision.

Where do you find more information on exploring your spirituality?  That depends on your own inclination.  One option is to go to the nearest large bookstore and explore the mind, body and spirit section.  Some books will call out to you, while others will not attract you at all.

If you do not like reading, find shops that focus in what is popularly known as “new age” shops and browse.  Look at the items and advertisements in the shops and explore, explore, explore.  Search the internet for information on topics that you find interesting, and find groups that you can associate with and have conversations with.

If all of that increases your confusion, then here is something simple that you can do.  Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and ask for experiences that will bring enlightenment and clarity to you.  Then simply open your heart and spirit for these experiences, and “go out of your mind”, in other words set aside any judgement while you explore and expand your wonderful awareness.

If you are looking for scientific proof and explanations of the experiences that you are having, you will find them (or rather these explanations will find you once you have voiced your intention).  If you only want to increase your intuitive awareness, you will have this.

Enjoy every step of this new path, wherever it takes you.  Believe me, it is mind-blowing!

Love and Light

Elsabe


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