Living Deliberately

by Vincent Hennigan

The Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995 came as a shock to America. It shocked me as well. As I watched the events unfold I looked not upon satellite-transmitted images from some faraway troubled metropolis. Instead I saw images of devastation and human suffering at a place where I lived for many years. I worked as a reporter for four years in a building just a block down the street from the bomb site. Although I didn't know any of the victims personally, I knew the city and the people who had to deal with the aftermath. I felt like my hometown had been robbed of its innocence.

Terrorist bombings are "common" in Northern Ireland, Beirut, Israel or Columbia but not in Middle America. Not in the Heart of the Bible Belt. Everyone at first wanted to leap to the conclusion that this was the act of some Middle Eastern group. Surprise, the culprit appears to be an "average American" - a young man who had proudly served his country in the military, yet disagreed with his government. So he decided to exercise his right to free speech aided with 4,800 pounds of explosives.

It seems apparent now that some of us choose to live a life lived in fear. This could be a fear of big government, of neighborhood gangs, or of the people living next door. Rather than being a part of the community, some of us are opting to live removed from the rest of the world. Some believe it's better to arm oneself against the impending hordes, rather than help heal the community.

I guess this is a wake up call for healers everywhere. I assume one of the reasons we, as spiritual beings, return to this physical world is to follow a life path that honors this earth. For those of us who haven't done it lately, it's time to reread The Principles and The Rule of the Order. Nonmembers may not have heard of these amazing documents (ed. note: see links below) but I'm sure if you read them you would find that they are based on universal beliefs. The following is the beginning of The Principles:

All is one and that One is God. From this all else is derived. God is All. God is in all. God is all that is and is not. God is infinite. God is eternal. God is the consciousness within which al that is, was, will be and could be has its existence. There is no not-God.

One of the things that received minor attention during the coverage of this event was something that reinforces my belief that we all are very much connected to the God-source. One of the children killed in the blast asked her mother, just the day before the event, whether she would miss her if she died. This young child, who was very close to the Source, knew that she might be leaving the earth soon.

Isn't it interesting that the children would know in advance? They apparently didn't look upon the upcoming event as something to be fearful of. This reminds me of something I came to realize in a recent class on Death and Dying taught by Jessica Macbeth. I came upon the thought that we should not fear death. Death is a natural part of life and is inevitable. However, what we should "fear" is not living deliberately.

Imagine that you went to the Social Security office in Oklahoma City to get a replacement SSI card on that morning. Let's say you wanted to get to that office early to avoid the crowds. This would be just another errand in an otherwise busy day, or it could be your rendezvous with fate. In that instant that you crossed from the physical to the spiritual plane, would you regret that you left something undone? Would you wish that you would have said something to a loved one that morning? Would you want to be sure all of your worldly business was put right?

Of course the bombing was a desperate act by a seemingly cold and passionless man, but similar sorts of "lessons" occur on this planet every day. I, as a healer, hope to learn from this event that every moment here is important. This is my chance to experience this world right here and right now. I choose to be present in every moment. This is my opportunity to share what I know and what I can do with others. This is my moment to heal, to teach, and to lead.

Thank you for this moment!

Copyright © by Vincent Hennigan, 1995.
All rights reserved.
It first appeared in Crann Beathadh, June, 1995.
You can write to Vince at

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