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An Open Letter of Conscience and Choice

from the October 2004 Star Beacon

by Robert Rabbin, John Friend, Stephen Mitchell, Rabbi Michael Lerner, 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.

     Nov. 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 Nov. 2.


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

     Robert Rabbin, writer, speaker, creator of

     Stephen Mitchell, writer

     Rabbi Michael Lerner, author, editor of Tikkun Magazine

     John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga

     Sharon Steffensen, yoga teacher, editor of YOGAChicago

     Dan Millman, author, teacher

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

     Tom Hayden, author, activist, former California legislator

     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

     Katchie Gaard, Anusara yoga teacher, dancer, and activist

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

     Amy Kahn, yoga teacher

     David Lurey, yoga teacher

     Robert Skutch, author

     Lee Skutch, psychologist

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

     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

     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

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, an online spiritual activism resource: and

Copyright © 2004/Robert Rabbin
All rights reserved

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