Ben describes very well what I also believe about the world and the interconnectedness of us all. It is a belief not about God or some higher power that controls or has influence over what happens in this world; it is a belief about the inner power — the energy — that bonds us all and unites every living thing in the world.
I was raised and am baptized Episcopalian and went to Jesuit High School — about as Catholic as it gets. Like Ben, I grew up going to church and to Sunday School. And at certain points in my life, I have believed in the traditional God — He (or a version of the deity) to whom so many pray in some way. I even catch myself doing this in my head when I fly on an airplane — perhaps caused by some residual fear instilled in me by September 11. Maybe we’re all a bit more aware or at least feel a bit less safe following that horrible day.
But I digress.
I believe that what connects every person is energy. As Ben has written, the most powerful energy is love. When people pray, I believe it’s their way of focusing on that energy and maybe even having some kind of physical effect on some other person in the universe. There are always stories of people healed through prayer. My own family has experienced this more than once.
Yesterday I went to Sacramento to hang out with James. I crashed at his house and drove back to the Bay this morning. Before leaving Sacramento, I had been hoping to visit the cemetery where Nana and Alan’s ashes are interred. I ended up not having the time, but I was very much thinking about Nana. And then I had an experience that, I believe, is proof of this universal energy.
I believe that when someone dies, their energy lives on. Some people call this a soul or maybe even an afterlife or a ghost. I think this is energy. When a loved one dies, the energy of that person remains in the universe and in all the people that person knew and loved. Nana’s energy is very much alive in this world. I carry much of her influence with me. We all rub off a bit of energy on one another.
Nana dedicated her life to helping other people. She was very interested in and involved in politics. She even founded a publishing company 30 years ago dedicated to helping spread knowledge about politics; the company was founded and exists to connect people with elected officials. Nana believed in empowering people to effect change.
While thinking about Nana, my cell phone rang and displayed a number that I did not recognize. I used to have my cell phone number on my Web site, but I took it down because I would get lots of calls from people I don’t know. Only yesterday I put my cell phone number back online since I’m trying to find a new job. I figured it was someone who had seen my number online. It was.
The call was from a man in San Rafael who had done a search for legislative district information and had come across the Cougar Books Web site. And, I assume, Capitol Enquiry’s Web site. From there, he found me and thought I was Capitol Enquiry, which does have legislative district information.
The caller and I spoke for at least 20 minutes while I was driving west. He told me about the fact that Bush is already making plans to steal the next election in 2004 with the aid of touch-screen ballot machines that do not print a voter record and are susceptible to hacking. The companies that make these machines will not let election officials examine or audit the machines. Why? The people who make and sell the machines are among the largest contributors to Bush. Additionally, there are already plans for the next presidential election to remove the names (from eligible voter rosters) of anyone in the country who might share a name with a convicted felon. This happened in Florida in 2000 and it may happen again unless we stop it.
HR 2239 would require a paper audit of all electronic votes. It needs to pass. This is a hugely important issue, but it’s getting no coverage in the media. It should be on the front page of every newspaper. Google News turns up a mere 3 results on HR 2239 as of this writing.
So I learned all this while driving and while thinking about Nana. During most of her lifetime, sadly, I wasn’t that interested in politics or government. Since she’s been gone, I’ve been much more aware and interested in what’s going on in the world around me. I believe that her energy remains and somehow contributed to this unusual phone call that brought my attention to this issue.
I wish your grandmother the best, Ben, and will send some healing energy her way.