Mass murder has once again demanded our attention as it does more and more often in the modern era. The murder and wounding of hundreds of innocent people in Las Vegas has news reporters and commentators, politicians, religious leaders, sociologists, psychologists, and many others providing thousands of hours of analysis and opinion about how this slaughter could have happened.
We act stunned and befuddled about this latest carnage., even though we know that murder is being conducted every second of every day all over the earth, often at a level of human deaths far surpassing Las Vegas.
So far, among the many changes in our society that are being suggested to reduce the odds of another Las Vegas kind of massacre from recurring:
- bring more control to gun and ammunition sales.
- erect protective barriers of various sorts around venues where large numbers of people gather.
- double and triple security measures at hotels.
- increase our investment in police and other security personnel in cities across the country.
- recognize the scope of mental health problems in our society and build a much larger and more effective mental health system.
We won’t actually do much of this list. We won’t do much to prevent murders.
That’s because we believe we cannot afford the cost of the solutions above. We believe that our political system cannot create significant public policy around these ideas. We believe that we cannot solve the fundamental problems of human violence. Many of our fellows believe that human nature is dark and sinful—evil. We believe that the human species is not evolving.
Most of these beliefs are wrong. These bad explanations lack knowledge of the underlying problem and lack knowledge about human potential.
The underlying problem causing murder is our species’ inability to love.
We so far have been unable as a species to overcome our fears, anger, victim-hood, and violent tribalism. Generally, we know that loving others as ourselves is the best explanation, but we haven’t been able to hold that explanation when challenges arise.
The solution to murder requires our species to evolve to a higher level of consciousness, a solution not even being discussed. We can discuss this solution, however, and we will—with your help.
The message is clear, but we can’t quite hear it
Every time murder occurs, all humans get a clear message: you are failing to love. But only a few hear the message. Most people, hearing of yet another murder, misinterpret the message and hear: be careful; you could be next. We become frightened, discouraged, or cynical about our species when murder, especially mass murders, are executed. We roil about, quickly revisiting the usual solutions—more police, more security, buying ever- fiercer guns and ammunition to protect ourselves.
Even when horrific levels of violence produce numerous murders in one of our cities, we can only resort to the usual response strategies: control the murderers. Gang murders in Chicago are an instructive case: even though thousands have been shot in violent neighborhoods in recent years, often resulting in death, we seem incapable of stopping the murders.
That failure is partly due to our standard solutions that cannot succeed. We have failed to love a large number of children in Chicago and other urban battlegrounds, but we cannot hear the message through the din of “Oh, my god, what’s wrong with those people?”
In every civil war in history, groups of people were not able to love a large number of their countrymen. Hating instead, they murdered.
An entire society was unable to love the Jews, so they murdered them in staggering numbers. We were unable to love Africans, so we enslaved them and sometimes murdered them as ordinary people looked on, morally numb. We can’t hear the message of love to this day as we counter murder in places like Iraq with even more murder.
Jesus taught the people of his time and place that we must love others as ourselves, but most of them couldn’t hear the message, so they murdered him.
What we can do as conscious beings
As conscious beings, as men and women who are shrinking the self—the ego—and more and more bring our loving awareness to everything we do, we can recognize that we have an opening for a leap in human evolution.
All evil, as the great philosopher and scientist Karl Popper said, is due to lack of knowledge Murders by individuals, tribes, or entire societies are due to a lack of knowledge about love. Humans have always murdered from the base of limited knowledge about love, but now an urgency is before us to learn quickly about how to love others, this earth and its precious life forms, including our own individual life. A sword is dangling over our heads, creating the urgency we need for change.
Busy murdering, we have not created enough knowledge to move beyond our fear and hatred. Now we have an incredible amount of feedback about our individual and collective behavior. The main catalyst for evolutionary change is our cyber capability to inform almost every person on earth about every act of violence, every day, every minute. We can never say again that we don’t know what is happening.
Even as we bring the realities of our murderous natures to each other through a constant flood of knowledge about what is happening, we defend ourselves from the knowledge by allowing ourselves to become numb, by turning off the news, or by retreating into a cynical and frightened crouch, convinced that other humans are beyond hope.
But we humans are not at all hopeless. We are evolving. We are learning. More and more of us are conscious beings, wanting to save the world. Something new wants to emerge, and we will be the catalysts for transformation.
As conscious beings, we can self-select for a more powerful leadership role, recognizing that only more knowledge can save the world. Some ideas to think about as we get clearer about our role in the next steps of human evolution:
1. Pay even more attention to the love you take into each day. Your demonstrated knowledge about love is your greatest asset and gift. Have faith that your very life is the living example we need. You don’t need to proselytize any particular path—just get out there and enjoy loving others, loving this beautiful planet, and loving your own life. Others will see in you how to be on a loving path
2. Gain more knowledge about love. We all continue to screw up, still petty or worse at times, still ungrateful at times, still feeling sorry for ourselves at times, still swinging back and forth between consciousness and unconsciousness. But learning at this stage isn’t so humiliating as it has sometimes been: we can anticipate the next stage of learning and move into it humble and alert. We can learn fast now, and our love will grow in subtle ways.
3. Talk to people who can hear about what you’re doing. Share your knowledge about how to live in awe and joy. Tell people what is happening to you right now: it’s an exciting story.
Bless you as you pioneer on the frontiers of human emergence. I hope to meet you out there.