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No enemies, no violence.

Could this be where peace begins?
Could this be where peace begins?
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Baltimore has a reputation for violence. Violence is usually aggressive activity between two entities that view each other as enemies (or sometimes the explosion of a person at war with themselves). As all human conditions are fundamentally spiritual in their cause, the core response to that condition must be spiritual as well. So begins this exploration for a spiritual solution to Baltimore’s violence.

Since thought creates energy, let’s take a look at whose thinking is creating the dominant energy field in Baltimore. The Inner Harbor skyline and quaint hamlets like Fells Point notwithstanding, the city of Baltimore remains largely a blue-collar town. This is not to say that Baltimore’s blue-collar workers are responsible for its violent reputation -- this article refers to and targets Baltimore’s blue-collar world because of this population’s domination of the city’s energy field.

These are the people on the buses and trains, driving the buses and the trains, driving their cars and trucks on 83 and 695, and bustling through the aisles at Aldi and Safeway every evening. The energy they create and carry is the energy that largely shapes the Baltimore experience. It is not inaccurate to say, to a certain degree, that they are Baltimore.

Most efforts to stem the flow of inner-city violence are aimed directly at the violent and tend to target the symptoms, not the source. If healing and sustaining health in the human body is best done by promoting healthy cells so they can overcome the diseased cells, perhaps promoting peace among the greatest energy field in the city will help promote peace among the smaller, imbalanced energy fields. While it’s naïve to think there’ll be some mass labor-union movement to embrace meditation and chanting, true spiritual revolution has to begin somewhere.

Since thought creates energy, let’s look at the thoughts shaping the enormous energy field created by Baltimore’s blue-collar community (besides money, which is a symptom of violence, not a cause). In a white-collar environment, the employees tend to talk mostly about the work being done; in a blue-collar environment, the employees tend to talk mostly about the people doing the work. This statement is a judgment-free generalization rooted in the fact that blue-collar functions are mostly fixed and predictable and don’t require too much discussion or analysis. Odds are most people who listen to blue-collar workers talk about their jobs would agree with this generalization – even if the workers themselves disagree with it.

To paraphrase comedian Chris Rock, everyone has somebody that they work with who they believe is “out to get them.” To paraphrase comedian D.L. Hughley, everyone has someone at work who is “this close” to getting their…uh…“aspirations for a better working relationship” kicked (that’s some serious paraphrasing, eh?). This emphasis on negative interaction is a form of “mental and emotional violence.” This violence can be healed by refocusing on two fundamental spiritual premises: (1) every human being is of God, and (2) God is goodness. Anyone who genuinely holds both of these premises to be true cannot believe that he or she truly has an enemy in another human being.

In “The Science of Mind,” Ernest Holmes writes: “…evil is neither person, place nor thing of itself, but is an experience which we are allowed to have…until through negative experiences we learn to use the Law [of God] affirmatively.” This means that any person who challenges our ability to stay in higher consciousness is in our existence precisely to strengthen that consciousness.

Instead of engaging in “mental violence” with another person, Baltimoreans, focus on envisioning that person as part of the grand unity of all life and another expression of God. Knowing that God is good and good cannot act against itself, declare that you have no enemies. This consciousness will keep you from feeding into the negativity being created by others and, like any poisonous plant deprived of nourishment, the negativity itself will likely wither and die.

One wonders what Baltimore’s energy would be like if the majority of its citizens spent the majority of their waking hours in a mental posture of peace. Perhaps the oneness of all things would spread this peace, and those Baltimoreans who are susceptible to violence would learn by example that there is another way to respond to the world. Perhaps the spiritual lessons that Baltimoreans are supposed to be learning through this violence would be learned and the violence itself would be diminished -- or even wither and die from lack of nourishment.

At minimum, there would be more personal peace. There would be fewer middle-finger salutes on 83 and 695 and fewer complaints about life at the registers at Safeway. At minimum, there would be more peaceful mothers and fathers going home more peacefully to create more peaceful homes where their children can learn to be more peaceful. At minimum, the foundation of a more peaceful tomorrow for Baltimore would be laid, even if its gradual transformation is not visible today.

Whether your collar is white, blue or fuchsia, move through your day knowing that there are no enemies -- there are only people, movements and institutions that exist as instructions to us on what NOT to do, on who NOT to be. Let the Baltimore peace movement begin today…right in your own mind.

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