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Richard Burton: Holding The Vision


I was reading an article in The Washington Post* which quoted Shakespeare's King Lear and heard Richard's voice reading those lines.

Ann: Richard?

Richard: Yes, love. Neat trick, that, I thought. King Lear, as you know, was one of my favorites, and I believe you are beginning to see his relevance for your times.

Ann: Yes, blaming everyone but himself for thinking only of himself for all of his life.

Richard: In part. But, more centrally, Lear is a story wherein the jealous are empowered to reveal the madness that lies within each of us just waiting for an excuse to escape and wreak havoc upon anything in its path. The joy, the power under that unbridled violence takes on the mad frenzy of Me, Me, Me!!! It is Lucifer dancing himself to death - as we are seeing now.

Ann: You’re sure about the death part?

Richard: Yes, love, the frenzied energy that powers that awful conflagration will burn itself out because, as its burns, it uses the essence of its followers for fuel. Eventually the sheer horror and cruelty that it creates in its wake will weigh upon those who remain in sufficient tonnage to bring them to their senses – or their knees whichever comes first

In the meantime, however, the destruction can be immense. For this reason vigilance is the name of the game. We have our finger in the dike but the waters still gather behind us.

Ann: I’m losing you Richard lost in horrific fears for the future.

Richard: Ah love, that was not my intention. It is not fear that need engulf us now but wisdom based upon what we have learned from trauma. This is the route that many have and are taking in the midst of the revelation of the depths to which human depravity can sink.

Its historical antecedents are now brought to the forefront as cautionary tales such that we are awakened to look for and, yes, rediscover the alternate path which is the path of Spirit, the path of your great president Abraham Lincoln whose words and actions guide every day and, indeed every minute, the words and thoughts of your current president elect - and for this we can all be deeply grateful.

To that end, it is not a time for fear or vengeance but for listening, for bringing disparate interests to the table. Yes, some will take their AK 7s off to the woods to lick their wounds and to plot vengeance, but others will find enough common ground to chart a new way forward, and these few will be enough to turn the tide.

Do not allow yourselves to retreat in fear. Now is the time for vision, for anything else powers the very forces that you have held back at such cost. If we are not to be engulfed in hatred, let us commit to that vision, the real and true connection with Spirit within your own hearts.

It will not be easy, but it will be. It is up to you to bring that vision about sooner rather than later.


November 10, 2020


*Peter Marks, Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear’ during a plague. What great work will emerge from this pandemic? Washington Post, November 10, 2020

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