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An Open Letter of Conscience and Choice

by Robert Rabbin, et al. Monday, Aug. 23, 2004 at 7:33 PM
rob@robrabbin.com

Spiritual leaders and yoga/meditation teachers endorse Kerry/Edwards and urge voter registration and electoral participation.

An Open Letter of Conscience and Choice

To All Spiritual, Metaphysical, Yoga, and Meditation Communities

by Robert Rabbin, Stephen Mitchell, Rabbi Michael Lerner, John Friend, Dan Millman, Riane Eisler, Tom Hayden, et al.

There are times in life when we must act. And when those moments come, we must act with our truest heart, our clearest mind, and our noblest intentions.

November 2 is such a time. On that day, we will take in hand one of the tools for social transformation. We will exercise our right to vote and our responsibility to voice our values and conscience. We will choose a new president and vice president. We, the signers of this letter, after full consideration, careful study, and deep reflection, endorse and recommend John Kerry and John Edwards for these offices. We urge all of you to vote for them. This is a matter of great importance and urgency.

The Kerry/Edwards ticket is not perfect, and we have many serious disagreements with them, especially in the area of militarism and defense spending. But Howard Dean rightfully cautions us to not let perfection become the enemy of the good. In this election, we have two clear choices. By any standard or measure—policy, ideology, humanity, truthfulness—Kerry is better by far than George W. Bush, and Edwards is better by far than Dick Cheney. We believe their cabinet selections and their many other appointments, including to the Supreme Court, will be better by far than those of George W. Bush. We urge you to register and vote for John Kerry and John Edwards.

There are many reasons to not vote: cynicism, apathy, distrust of candidates, or the conviction that spirit transcends politics and we dare not risk our spiritual brightness by descending into the murky depths of political darkness and intrigue. But these are not legitimate reasons. It is an inappropriate spiritual response to our times to be socially aloof and politically uninvolved. The Dalai Lama encourages us, "Sometimes we look down on politics, criticizing it as dirty. However, if you look at it properly, politics in itself is not wrong. With good motivation—sincerity and honesty—politics becomes an instrument in the service of society."

The self-evident fact of inter-dependence will not allow us to stand on the sidelines of life, to ignore what is happening in our own backyards. We live in society, and society lives in us. This awareness requires responsibility. This awareness requires participation. This awareness requires expression.



We all know from our studies, practice, and experience that the inner and the outer are more than mirror images of each other: they are each other. There is no separation, no difference, no distance between them. This is why the philosopher J. Krishnamurti said, “The crisis is not out there in the world; it is in our own consciousness.” A flower is not separate from its fragrance.

We have been refining our inner consciousness. We have been purifying our inner consciousness. We have been liberating our inner consciousness from the stranglehold of limiting and hurtful beliefs and images and concepts. For years, we have taken this “hero’s journey” to inner truth, freedom, and wisdom in order to become whole and free. But we have not taken this journey for ourselves alone; we have also taken this journey for others and for our world.

It is not just for ourselves that we love wisdom and practice compassion, not just for ourselves that we pursue truth instead of falsehood, not just for ourselves that we ask those fearsome questions that lead to knowledge of the soul. No, it is not just for ourselves that we do this. We do it equally for others. Our very quest for wholeness of being is at its core a service to others. The Kabbalah reminds us, "First we receive the light, then we impart the light. Thus we repair the world." And now it is time to begin healing this world, our world, in the same way we have sought to heal ourselves from the diseases of hatred, violence, and greed; in the same way we have sought to heal our own hearts of anger born of fear, and fear born of separation.

Voting for John Kerry and John Edwards is a positive step towards this social healing. To be sure, it is just one step in a long journey, but one we should all take on November 2.

Signed (as private citizens, not as representatives of any organization):

Robert Rabbin, writer, speaker, creator of TruthForPresident.org

Stephen Mitchell, writer

Rabbi Michael Lerner, author, editor of Tikkun Magazin

John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga

Dan Millman, author, teacher

Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice & The Blade and The Power of Partnership

Tom Hayden, author, activist, former California legislator

Sharon Steffensen, yoga teacher, editor of YOGAChicago

Saniel Bonder, author, founder of Waking Down in Mutuality work

Judith Whitson, publisher, writer, lecturer, teacher

William W. Whitson, writer, speaker, retired Army officer

Jonathan Granoff, Esq. (Ahamed Muhaiyaddeen), author, screenwriter, speaker, activist

Larry Robinson, Vice-mayor, Sebastopol, CA

Tami Coyne, author, spiritual teacher

Pamela Miles, founder of Institute for the Advancement of Complementary Therapies

Gilles Marin, author, founder of Chi Nei Tsang Institute

Raphael Cushnir, author, spiritual teacher

Stephen Dinan, author of Radical Spirit, progressive activist

Sandra Sedgbeer, publisher of PlanetLightworker & Children of the New Earth

Connie Shaw, publisher of Sentient Publications

Laurie Schryver, psychic, teacher, progressive activist

Robert Skutch, author

Lee Skutch, psychologist

Kanu Kogod, Ph.D, anthropologist, author, founder of Bridges in Organizations

David Lurey, yoga teacher

Debbie Milam, author, Reiki master, president of Unlimited Inspiration

Rev. Laura R. Davis, co-founder of Wisdom & Wellness Expo, Reiki master

Rev. C.J. Davis, spiritual teacher, Reiki master,

Elizabeth Ann Bloom, president of Here There & Beyond, Inc.

Mary Alice O'Connor, interfaith minister

Amy Kahn, yoga teacher

Gina Rabbin, psychic, life and business coach

Chetan Parkyn, author, spiritual teacher

Carolina Eastwood, author, spiritual counselor

Sister Mary Jude Jun, OSU is an Ursuline Sister

© 2004/Robert Rabbin/All rights reserved

Robert Rabbin, the creator of this "Letter," is a writer, speaker, and spiritual activist. He is the author of numerous books and articles, and the creator of TruthForPresident.org, an online spiritual activism resource. Visit: http://www.robrabbin.com.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 60 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
The real deal Sheepdog Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004 at 6:15 AM
How did Ghandi... MadMaxim Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004 at 8:46 AM
apologists bert russell Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004 at 10:23 AM
Rationalization MadMaxim Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004 at 12:09 PM
social darwinism bert russell Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004 at 5:29 PM
Then genocide is acceptable... MadMaxim Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004 at 5:46 PM
but... bert russell Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004 at 5:59 PM
In Nazi Germany.. MadMaxim Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004 at 6:57 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004 at 8:21 AM
"opens with Real Player." Snoopdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 3:12 AM
whatever Sheepdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 5:16 AM
Your flippant attitude towards security is frightening. snoopdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 6:27 AM
'The Feds probably know everything about you.' Sheepdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 6:59 AM
"To assume they don't is stupid." snoopdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 9:29 AM
uh snoopie... Sheepdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 10:55 AM
"aint really black" snoopdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 11:51 AM
I thought so... Sheepdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 12:00 PM
so... Sheepdog Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 at 3:48 PM
Sheepdog Leapfrog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 6:38 AM
the insturmentality of change? Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 7:55 AM
If I understand you correctly... leapfrog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 8:13 AM
That sounds a lot like Amish life. leapfrog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 8:20 AM
well, damn... Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 8:23 AM
That sounds a lot like Amish life Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 8:40 AM
It all sounds so pretty... leapfrog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 10:37 AM
wow Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 10:50 AM
You Bastard Spelling Police Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 10:53 AM
Not the abyss. leapfrog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 11:23 AM
philosopher doggie Don Key Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 1:39 PM
most make mistakes about the true nature of humanity Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 3:01 PM
like anyone without power Don Key Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 4:07 PM
look... Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at 5:33 PM
embrace the chaos more rational Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 12:23 AM
Great advice, sheepdog. Phil O. Sepher Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 2:21 AM
More great advice. Navin R. Johnson Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 2:28 AM
Axiomatic rhetoric for the blind and challenged. Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 4:59 AM
Sheepdogisms Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 5:45 AM
"set him off" restated Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 6:15 AM
"But my mistakes won't kill" restated Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 6:22 AM
"doesn't stop the constant sea of propaganda" restated Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 6:36 AM
aw shucks Sheepdog. Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 6:58 AM
no wait. Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 7:04 AM
Okay. R.E. Pete Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 7:19 AM
solutions Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 7:27 AM
"already have offered some" R.E. Stated Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 8:12 AM
"already have offered some" R.E. Stated Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 8:15 AM
"Let's begin with a real democracy." R.E. Stated Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 8:21 AM
Micromanagement Inc. Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 10:59 AM
Dear Sheepdog: floatser Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 11:21 AM
Sweet Floatster... Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 11:32 AM
good idea sheepdog more rational Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 12:40 PM
I'm with ya sheep! Jack Boot Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 1:19 PM
"Contribute 50% to a fund" Uncle Sam Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 1:25 PM
Who? Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 2:41 PM
wait a minute near maniacal, driving, scumbag capitalist Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 2:41 PM
this isn't a very friendly thread... Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 2:52 PM
uh oh---serious shit now Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 3:46 PM
you said: cheeng Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 4:14 PM
'-or something thereabouts-' Sheepdog Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004 at 5:22 PM
"You win." cheeng Sunday, Aug. 29, 2004 at 6:16 AM

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