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Natural And Not So Natural Disasters: An Alternative Perspective

By Dr. Sheri Rosenthal

In the year 2005, Mother Nature has certainly let herself be known; first with a tsunami and then hurricane Katrina in the United States. Whenever these disasters from Mother Nature occur, it's interesting to watch the reaction of the world and the ensuing drama. Any time there's devastation in the world it's a challenge to observe the human suffering that takes place. We can feel the pain and loss of those people and our compassion is huge.

The papers fill with articles about whether God exists and if this is some kind of sign, or punishment. We start questioning whether we could have prevented these events and start placing blame, trying to figure out who's responsible so we can make them pay. We use these events to get ourselves upset and reiterate how "messed up our world is. Surely the tsunami was a devastating occurrence, over 400,000 people perished and the number of deaths and amount of destruction from hurricane Katrina is still unknown. From our human point of view the death and destruction is unthinkable.

When events like these occur I think it's important for us to put them into perspective. For myself, I see these disasters in a totally different way and, perhaps, you could take a moment to see them through my eyes. As humans we are very self-centered, believing the world revolves around our species alone. Have you ever wondered why the papers do not list how many animals, bugs, worms, birds and other creatures perished? Are they not important to our ecosystem and function of our planet? Are they not equal in importance to humans?

Recently, a new housing project went up near my home in Florida. They tore down all the local pine growth and scrubby underbrush common in my area. Then they tore up the earth, so they could remove all the roots and other "junk." Then they put up roads, homes, fresh lawns, and landscaping. As we all know this is pretty typical human building procedure. But, if I take the point of view of all the squirrels, worms, palmetto bugs, birds, and other crawly creatures, wouldn't I have to scream TSUNAMI! For these creatures, the housing development was a devastating disaster. I would bet over 400,000 sentient beings were destroyed. But no one is writing about them in the paper, and not many are interested in feeling compassion for their pain. And for sure their pain is not any different than ours, nor is it less important.

We live in an impersonal universe. Spirit is constantly recycling life as we know it. Birth and death is a constant for us in this manifestation. But the birth and death of any living being isn't any better or worse than another - from the point of view of Spirit, that is. We're all part of the one life and, as such, we are equal. But, although we say we know this from the point of view of our rational mind, we don't live our lives as if this were truth. I am not saying we shouldn't have housing developments. I'm simply bringing this into our awareness so we can shift our perspective.

Rather than becoming upset when these events occur, wouldn't it be a better use of our personal power and energy if we put out the feeling of compassion and love instead of more upset and pain? For example, if we become emotional about these disasters we are putting out fear-based emotions that add to the already energetically saturated fear-based dream of the planet. Fear help's nothing whereas putting out the energy of love and compassion can make a huge difference. Taking action to improve conditions is a healthier alternative to sitting home watching the media hype. We can chose to send money, supplies, give blood, or even fly out and assist. We have the ability to interpret what we perceive from the point of view of Spirit, instead of the limited point of view of the egocentric and unaware mind.

Perhaps you haven't thought about perceiving things from the point of view of Spirit - with equanimity - but it's certainly worth exploring. After all, we're Spirit if we chose to see it that way.

About The Author
Dr. Sheri Rosenthal is a master Toltec teacher and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom. Having trained with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, she currently takes students on spiritual journeys, works with personal apprentices and enjoys being extremely happy. You can reach her at or at

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