LOVE AND UNITY AT A TIME OF TRANSITION: ARIZONA'S NEW IMMIGRATION LAW
Love recognizes existing issues that need resolution but holds these in the context of the oneness of all. It does not seek to rob people of their individual identities but seeks to hold these identities within a greater whole that resonates with the deeper truth of who one is.
On April 23rd Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the most restrictive immigration policy in the nation. This new law makes it a crime to be in the country without documentation and requires all who might be suspected of being here illegally to carry papers with them proving otherwise. The law has been heralded by some as much needed legislation addressing the longstanding issue of Mexican laborers who cross over the Arizona-Mexico border and remain, undocumented, working within the U.S. At the same time it is opposed by civil rights advocates who feel that the new law will lead to stereotyping and racial profiling. Prior to this, police officials were only allowed to investigate someone’s immigration status if they were involved in a crime. Now, immigration status may be investigated on its own terms.
This current debate in Arizona relates to the estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants who live within Arizona’s borders and their effect on the State’s economic and social structure as a whole. Though this issue is being addressed from a practical standpoint, it is important to remember that all practical issues are subject to context – the ideological, moral, and spiritual perspective which determines how ‘facts’ will be interpreted and how decisions will be made about them.
The recent Arizona legislation exemplifies the collision of the old with the new – the current legislation manifesting the long-standing separation between the practical and the spiritual. The solution of the future, by contrast, would hold that the practical must emerge from the spiritual - from the larger perspective of love and unity.
From a spiritual vantage point, any practical solution to any existing problem manifests its ideological or spiritual roots. In this case, the ‘we’ and ‘them’ way of thinking which seeks to exclude certain others because they represent a threat to one’s livelihood or preferred way of life is the way of separation. Not just the way of separation in Arizona, but the way of separation anywhere. The spiritual vibration of love/unity is inclusive, not exclusive. It seeks, by virtue of the strength of love that is at its core, to find practical solutions to existing problems that do not exclude and that benefit all. Herein lies the distinctive hallmark of the future, namely, that it excludes no one from benefiting from what belongs to all.
Love recognizes existing issues that need resolution but holds these in the context of the oneness of all. It does not seek to rob people of their individual identities but seeks to hold these identities within a greater whole that resonates with the deeper truth of who one is. As love grows, Mexicans and U.S. citizens are not competitors within a limited economy of resources, but part of the larger family of souls seeking to find solutions to existing problems of livelihood and security.
We are clearly not yet able to hold this perspective as a nation or a world. We are not ready to look at ‘Mexican’ and ‘American’ as labels within a larger framework which we are part of and responsible to. And so in this state of transition, we see forces at work that seek to unify groups into larger wholes, and forces that move in the opposite direction of separating out ‘we’ and ‘them’. The Arizona decision represents such a force of separation, not defined by its view of Mexicans, but defined by its view of oneness and love.
Within any practical decision we must look at the resolutions that might be possible if it were viewed through the eyes of love. Conventional thinking would call this idealism, and it is. However ideas that substitute for ideals pervade the existing structure of thought which gives rise to every practical decision-making process in every situation. Such an idea as ‘I am my brother’s keeper’ is a spiritual and ideological context for making decisions. Similarly, the reverse: ‘I am not my brother’s keeper’ or ‘let them take care of their own’ holds a different ideological and spiritual context.
Love proscribes inclusion if it is not personal love but universal. By its nature, universal love seeks to nurture all, to support all, and does not make distinctions based on self-interest and the interest of the ‘other’. It assumes that the ‘other’ is part of the larger self and that all needs must be met and can be met.
Here is another place in which context influences policy. The idea that ‘all needs can be met’ is not an economic idea but a spiritual idea. It is founded on the premise that if all seek to manifest God’s love as a primary way of viewing what it means to be human, then ‘all needs will be met’ and the competitive jockeying that has been so much a part of the economic and social history of nations will no longer be needed.
We stand at the cusp of a new way of thinking, out of which new structures, policies, practices, and decisions shall come forth. It has not arrived yet, and the battle between light and darkness, between energies of fear and separation versus energies of love and unity can be seen in many places throughout the world. Nevertheless, within our own hearts, we may hold and uphold a standard that has not yet materialized, and by empowering our thought and the spiritual premise that underlies it, we may do our part to bring the new further into manifestation. The strength of One lies within us as we seek to represent this One to all of life.