Do No Harm

The phrase “first do no harm” has been associated with the Hippocratic Oath, principles that physicians and the medical profession in general have been called to adhere to. The exact wording varies, depending on sources, but it probably first appeared in the 1700s. Over the centuries, it has remained part of the collective memory bank. Yet is this powerful moral directive lived out fully and consciously, not only in medicine but in everyday life? Immediately I think of the countless TV ads for drugs to treat various physical conditions, all of which include a long list of dangerous possible side effects. Doctors believe the benefits outweigh potential risks, but do the drug companies prioritize possible harm over their profit margin? I have had allergic reactions and side effects from drugs ever since childhood. There has to be a better approach, one that is harm-less. Homeopathy, herbal remedies, or acupuncture, for example. More conscious guidelines for drug manufacture. Or better yet, stopping much illness and disease at the source: environmental pollutants that compromise our health.

There are many ways to apply that simple phrase: First do no harm. Today, our physical health and well-being are of growing concern on this planet as pesticide use and industrial waste poison our land, water, and food sources. The numbers of songbirds, bees, and butterflies are declining. Toxic chemicals are creeping into clothing, cleaning products, and toys our children play with. Cancer cases continue to rise. Organic and regenerative farming address some of these issues, as do activists who call out those who sell products dangerous to health or who allow the water supply to be polluted through intentional neglect. Residents of Jackson, Mississippi, are currently working together to find ways to provide people with clean water because the state and city infrastructure has failed to do so. Same occurred in Flint, Michigan. Communities of color are at particularly high risk for the poisoning of their water, air, and soil.

What about air quality and climate change? So many industries (including coal, oil, and gas production) habitually pollute the air we breathe and cause possibly irreversible damage to the global environment. Individuals often feel helpless to stop the extent of this harm. Yet each step counts: clean affordable energy sources like solar and wind power, stopping use of equipment like leaf and snow blowers which fill the air with fumes and make the air unbreathable. Not to mention noise pollution. Convenience comes at a cost (health and habitat destruction), one that people are learning they may not be willing to pay. Corporations and governments have monetary and political clout, but people together have collective power for change once they realize what’s at stake and that there is no “other,” only “we.”

Many groups and individuals are working on so many levels to create a harm-free planet. The difficulties can seem insurmountable at times, especially when addressing things like gun violence or war. Where to begin? Perhaps it’s about compassion and interpersonal peace in our lives as much as laws and treaties. When human hearts open, everything will change. If each person, organization, and country lives with the code “first do no harm” in every area (thought, word, and deed), the world will shift to a more peaceful livability. There is a better way, and we know it in our hearts. One without ill health, environmental destruction, violence, hatred, or self-serving monetary goals. One in which loving-kindness is our first impulse. It begins with you and me. Kind actions, kind words, kind thoughts. Within kindness and heart-centered awareness, harm falls to the wayside, obsolete. This is a future we can live in if we so choose. First do no harm.

Lasting Loving-Kindness

Love takes many forms: family, friends, life partners, animal companions, Nature, Spirit, humankind…the possibilities are endless. Sometimes our lives are so busy that we don’t even realize all the love that comes our way on a daily basis—or the love that we send out. In actuality, our planet is a virtual web of loving connections. Human consciousness and human experience are held together by that web of light within us and all around us. In times of crisis or challenge, that light shines brighter, and we become super-aware of how love and kindness support us in small and large ways.

Gestures of kindness sometimes go by so quickly that you may not fully take note of them: a stranger in the street smiles and says good morning, a neighbor brings you homemade soup when you are not feeling well, an old friend sends flowers for your birthday. A loved one expresses unconditional love by accepting you just as you are. These are the acts of love that help us live our lives with a positive outlook, even in times of pandemic, conflict, and loss. Every generation has faced such challenges, and yet humanity has survived. The human spirit raises its bowed head, looks into the eyes of another, and feels uplifted, able to continue living.

By consciously acknowledging these acts and then living from a similar place, we revitalize the dynamic of human interaction, not just in one place but everywhere. The energy of loving-kindness can circle the globe in a nanosecond. You may think a smile is a small gesture, but it has the power of the heart behind it. This is why we have survived as a species for thousands of years. It is the spirit of love and compassion that has carried us forward in spite of discord or disease. No matter what we have faced personally or collectively, we are still here. And in spite of everything, we are evolving.

Today, in the midst of daily news flashes about gun violence, injustice, or environmental crises, we need these positive moments of connection that touch (and open) our hearts. The evolution of humanity and the planet depend on such openings, which strengthen our commitment to possibility, to the power of the human spirit. We are a resilient species. Here we are, standing strong in the face of all that seems to lead us in the direction of defeat and pessimism. Something as intangible as a kind word and a gentle touch may be the key threads that weave the fabric of a positive future.

So don’t give up hope in troubled times. Your neighbor is right next to you. We are all in this together, we residents of Earth, sons and daughter of Gaia. Take a moment for kindness in your life, for the love that connects you to others, to life itself. It will sustain you through challenges and fill your soul with light and your life with joy. There is nothing as strong or lasting as the love that expresses itself through kindness, acceptance, and compassion.

Life Review: A Preview

When you reach the end of your life, you won’t look back and wish you had made more money, owned a condo in Aspen, or won a Pulitzer prize. None of that will matter. What you will see is all the people you interacted with in your lifetime and how you affected them. In a split second of life review, you will experience yourself as others experienced you and how they felt in being with you. You will know firsthand the love, caring, hurt, or thoughtlessness you energetically transmitted through your words, thoughts, and actions. Your lifetime effect on everyone and everything (including animals, plants, etc.) will be God’s gift to you at the moment of your transition out of the Earth dimension. Instant karma.

How do I know this? Well, of course, nothing is completely “knowable,” but I feel the truth of it in my soul. Those who have had near-death experiences describe life review, as do great wisdom-keepers in many traditions. As the years go by, I am also starting to experience moments of this kind of intense feedback about the effect I have in my life. I often feel inside me the reaction of another to my words or actions. My energetic presence bounces back to me in every moment. I can either deflect and ignore it, or I can receive it as a divine GPS system which guides me to greater kindness and compassion.

This is what life is all about. We have a vast number of experiences, individually and interpersonally, which help us to evolve into deeper alignment with who we are at the soul level: pure loving awareness. We—meaning our souls and God—designed our lives for this purpose. The evolution of humanity and a planet, foretold for millennia. And the end-of-life-review is part of that evolution. A life review that is now edging backward into our lives before the moment of death to show us that the wisdom and perspective that come at death can also inform our lives now, if we are open to it and fully allow it.

It’s like climbing to the top of a mountain or flying in a plane at 35,000 feet. The Earth is spread out below you and you see that you are only a tiny part of something so huge it is beyond imagination. Infinity presents itself to your consciousness. Indeed, your consciousness is infinite. When you open the door to that expansive awareness, you begin to see with the eyes of the soul, as God sees. At the center of everything, including you, is pure love. When you can see that clearly and live as that, you have fulfilled your human purpose. Every one of us here on the planet now is on that journey of remembering and fully embodying who we are. Our hearts are guiding us.

As each day passes, I feel a greater sense of the impeccable timing of our Earth journey and our human evolution. We are awakening more and more, and as we awaken, “life review” becomes not solely a final look at a life before dying but also a moment-to-moment feedback loop that shows each of us how closely we are aligned with the love within us. The things that don’t matter fall away, and we live life knowing that what you feel, I feel, and vice versa. At the deepest level, there is no separation. There is only oneness. And as far as you can see, a rainbow of light.

Breathing Peace, Breathing Hope

Photograph © 2020 Peggy Kornegger
“A lot of people have felt they couldn’t breathe.”—Van Jones

Last November, when a new President and Vice President were elected in the U.S., many of us cried tears of relief. We felt we could breathe again, even if just for a moment. Not that the huge problems that face this country had been solved, but lighter, more compassionate voices were speaking at the national level. Possibility was appearing once again, where impossibility had ruled. Hope was arising within us, and the distant dream of a peaceful resolution of divisions seemed somehow closer. Now, in the wake of last week’s violent break-in at the Capitol building in Washington, it is even more important to hold onto that dream and to move forward in peace.

On a planet of polarities like Earth is, we are daily confronted with opposites, seemingly in conflict with each other. Yet, perhaps they are here for us to embrace them, to come into balance with what appears to be broken wholeness. Maybe the human experience is all about healing separation, within ourselves and in the world. Is it possible that each opposite is in fact an opportunity to open our hearts to oneness? What if fear and mistrust exist so we can learn to love unconditionally? What if pain is present to engender compassion and kindness? And despair to spark hope? This is a stretch, I know, but consider the possibility that every experience we have is bringing us closer to aligning with our soul’s vision of life, which is that it is all perfectly orchestrated for our greater evolution into loving awareness.

This view helps me to put into perspective the up-and-down swing of global events (and my life) in recent years. I know in my heart that a Great Shift is occurring, one that affects everyone and everything at the deepest possible level. Yet how to live that awareness day to day in the face of injustice and hatred? Is peace possible on this planet? I believe it is, and I believe we are getting there, moment by moment, breath by breath. We learn how to live by seeing how we do not want to live. We learn the sweetness of peace by experiencing the bitterness of turmoil and struggle. We choose cooperation and unity when our human spirit is exhausted by antagonism and discord. The time for universal harmony on this planet is now. A harmony that holds difference with tenderness and respect, and joyfully sings every note on the diversity scale of humanity.

Who knows how post-election changes will play out? We are still passing through continually shifting scenarios of political dissension almost daily, as we hang onto the possibility of reconciliation. Such a coming together and rebalancing needs to occur beyond the infrastructure that defines a nation or state. It is among people that the change must occur, individually and collectively. A change of heart that brings a breath of fresh air to all those who have suffered from hatred, fear, or violence in their lives. It is the heart and the breath that give us life. So if life is to continue on this planet in any way that is sustainable, then together we must open our hearts to compassion, peace, and hope for humankind–and live that dream into the world with every breath we take.

Caretakers of Consciousness

Photograph © 2020 Peggy Kornegger
We have a responsibility, those of us born on Earth at this key transitional moment in the planet’s history. A powerful and sacred responsibility. And that is to hold the dream of a harmonious world and a loving human species in our hearts at all times and to act accordingly: with love, with kindness. To keep our minds clear of fearful thought forms and influences, which are becoming more and more prevalent and strident now. Conspiracy theories of all kinds are beginning to dominate social media, and hatred of “other” is growing. Divisiveness is encroaching on compassion in the human experience. When we separate off into smaller and smaller groups, suspicious of one another, we are falling further and further away from our purpose in being here.

We human souls who incarnated with a vision of a peaceful and loving planet are repeatedly called to turn away from the distraction of negative perceptions and divisive viewpoints and hold the course of positivity. Separated, we are easily controlled and kept trapped in boxes that don’t allow us to fully flower into our unique expressions. When we come together to celebrate our diversity, harmony naturally unfolds, and the human species begins to come back into balance. This is the destiny we planned for ourselves before we were born. Our souls remember this clearly; it’s only our personalities that get caught up in polarities and judgments.

It’s time to shake off the negativity and take full responsibility for aligning with our soul’s positive vision. How we each see the world affects those around us; our energy vibrates outward and creates either love or fear. When we open our hearts with love and live our lives that way, the collective unconscious is shifted and uplifted. We truly are the caretakers of consciousness. What we hold within our awareness moment to moment is the sun that we shine into our lives. If we allow that sun to be overtaken by clouds, then that is felt by everyone we have any contact with. To be a caretaker is to live with compassion and kindness. When you care for your own consciousness, you are feeding it love and peace, hope and joy; your consciousness in turn feeds others.

Yesterday morning, as I walked along a nature trail, I stopped next to a small lake and watched the sun rising behind a tall pine tree, which was perfectly reflected in the water. As I stood there in the stillness, I noticed a concentric circle of ripples near the shore, possibly coming from the movement of an insect or small fish. Widening my gaze, I saw there were dozens of these concentric ripple circles in the lake, forming a web of motion across the water in the morning sunlight. I knew I was being shown a visual representation of our human/divine grid here on Earth as we radiate light, love, and peace to the greater collective, fed by the luminosity of the Central Sun. I had tears in my eyes as I slowly walked on.

This is our role, our sacred trust in this lifetime, we caretakers of consciousness. To hold the light, to be the light, and to amplify the light of love wherever we are and whomever we’re with. It is the energy from which our entire universe is born, from which we are born. As we fully awaken to that awareness and share it with others, the entire planet also begins to awaken and shine golden light outward in concentric circles across the cosmos. This is the hidden meaning in all the chaos we see around us now; it is the birth pains of a radiant new consciousness based in harmony and love. As that Great Shift occurs and the old paradigm falls away, caretaking becomes the primary collective focus. We honor and protect our planet and all life in every dimension because we can now see clearly how we are all connected, always, through a light grid of limitless love and compassion.