From Fighting Against To Living For



For many people, life is a battle, and the meaning of life is fighting against something. What they think they are fighting against varies, but living for the fight, whatever it is, stands as an impenetrable barrier to peace.

One cannot simply take away something to fight against without a transition into something to truly live for, or it will cause a disintegration of the personality. Sometimes you see this in people who have retired. Work for them was fighting the good fight. It may not have been pleasant but it was a reason to get up in the morning. It got their adrenaline moving. When that is removed, some people start to disintegrate.

Terrorists obviously live to fight, but there are also many people in the United States right now who are high on the adrenaline rush of having something really big to fight. It has roused them out of their apathy. This is the true reason for war. Many people have not yet learned to how to live for joy, to embrace life. They live, they think, only by reacting against something. So opening to the seemingly radical possibility of living for something rather than mobilizing against something is just about the most important contribution a person can make if he is interested in there being peace.


Another way of saying all this is moving from the motivation of fear to the motivation of love. Most children are brought up to be motivated by fear. It is the basis of much so-called discipline and schooling. Almost everyone on the spiritual path is confronted with the challenge of releasing this early imprinting. Adolescents would not need to go through the heavily rebellious period that is common with them if they were not raised by this technique. The rebellion is trying to get rid of the fear they feel by fighting authority. You do not fight something unless you fear it, so it is two sides of one coin, and fighting keeps you stuck in fear. Resist not evil.

When you spend a lifetime fighting against rather than living for, your body wears out a lot faster. Your body unwinds as you even entertain the idea of living for joy; it's a lot less work.

One can live for joy and still maintain boundaries with those who are in "fighting-against" mode and who have chosen to use you as their "cause." One would do what is required, but no more. Right action in this regard would help neutralize the aggressive energies rather than inflame them. One cannot discern what right action would be as long as one is blinded by the need to fight against something.

It does little good to preach love and light to those who are consumed with the need to fight against something. Telling them to forgive and let go sounds to them like you are telling them to die, because they do not yet perceive the possibility of living for something. Fighting against them is exactly what they want. They get a further adrenaline rush by fighting against you more, and if you do not give them that, you can take control of the situation. There is some skill involved here that can be learned with practice.


Obviously, the methods of the terrorists were karmic and destructive, but this does not mean that they do not have any valid grievances. To make an analogy, just because a child is a bully does not mean that he has no real injuries himself. He would not act out if he were not injured, although in this case, the bullies wish to blame the United States, and they are not being honest with themselves about the source of their pain.

The United States, of course, has not always engaged in right action, nor has Israel, nor have any of the nations involved. There has been plenty of wrong action, meaning action that is destructive and unjust, all around. However, the core of the pain for these people is their poverty and their lack of freedom. The latter is partly built in to their culture. A repressive culture will always seek scapegoats. The Puritans burned witches. Their own culture imprisons them. If they are attacked, giving them the impetus to fight back, they will dig in their heels further and increase the repressive nature of their culture. If they are offered love and generosity of spirit, they can begin to let down their defenses, and gradually, their culture could open up.

The most hardcore terrorists are the most repressed, even relative to the pretty repressive culture in which they live. Much of the problem here is their treatment of women. The repression of women is generally the repression of emotion, and it inevitably leads to great pain for everyone. Both the men and the women in that culture are afraid to feel.

Of course, this repression of feeling is very common throughout the world; it is not a problem only in the Middle East. However, in the Middle East, the situation is aggravated by the heavily karmic situation. Every place on earth has had its share of conflict and its resultant pain and suffering, but nowhere has it been going so long and with such intensity as in the Middle East. So the emotional pain there is greatest and therefore the repression is greatest because to feel the pain that would arise if the repression let up seems like it would be totally overwhelming.

The United States seems threatening because its culture is less repressive, although it is certainly repressive in its own ways. They believe that if they were to loosen their grip on themselves to the extent that those in the United States have, they would totally come apart. This is why the extremists are fervent in their belief that the United States is decadent. It has little to do, in fact, with sexual mores and such. It is really the fear of being overwhelmed by the pain that would arise if the repression were lifted even a relatively small amount.

Also, this is not really about Israel. Israel is also a convenient scapegoat; without Israel, they would simply be at each other's throats more.

The history of the Middle East is one of continual pain. If the world community could handle the situation there with wisdom and compassion, it would do much to heal the whole world of its bloody history. You could say that the Middle East represents the wounded inner child of the planet.


Most people have terrorist-like thoughts on occasion, whether or not they act upon them. These thoughts stem from feeling powerless. There is no one more powerless than a small child, and feelings of utter powerlessness are held in the wounded inner child, who wants to have a tantrum and lash out, do anything to make the pain go away.

Like those who murder in a blind rage, those who commit terrorist acts are emotionally very stunted. They are stuck at the level of a three or four year old. They feel powerless and so they take extraordinary actions to try to feel powerful. No matter what victories they have, they still feel powerless beneath them. The only lasting solution is to heal and grow beyond that point of development. Prisons are full of apparently big tough guys who are emotionally stuck at a very early age. A mature person who knows his true power has no need to lash out in this way. He finds more effective ways to improve his situation. He's able to think and consider.

Childish anger sits on top of great pain. The anger's purpose is to protect the pain like a scab, to keep it from coming to the surface and being activated. In picking a fight, bullies want you to fight with them to keep their anger active. However, there is no healing unless the pain is acknowledged.

If you were a child therapist and you were working with a bully inclined to tantrums, you would probably at first give the child a chance to get the anger out of his system without reacting to it; you would just hear it, receive it, and acknowledge it. Then perhaps there would be enough trust to let you see a little bit of the pain.


The United States has long had a certain arrogance, largely based on its geographical safety. It has not been very vulnerable. A positive thing that could come of this is that it could help the United States realize that everybody is vulnerable and that all people need to work together to solve the problems of the planet.

In the short term, improved security is probably the best defense. In the long term, healing the emotional wounds in this part of the world is the most effective means for neutralizing this and other terrorist organizations.

It is a little too early to read long-term probabilities, but we really don't expect this to turn into World War III. We think that there are enough people on earth now who do not have the stomach for this to keep it from going that far. We doubt, however, that the resolution of this will be entirely peaceful, either.

For the terrorists, the events of Tuesday morning might be compared to an orgasm. While it was still going on, there might have been the desire to prolong it, including blowing other things up, but once it was over, there was a certain exhaustion. Remember that their own people died in this. Before the fact, it may have seemed like a noble sacrifice to the cause, but after the fact, those who survived have to deal with the reality of it. So there might not be so much will to go out and do it again right away.


The terrorists are to be pitied. They acted as they did as a result of a very oppressive and rigid belief system. They were promised Paradise and got hell, which is very confusing. It may be quite some time before these souls are ready to take responsibility for their actions. As long as one can convince oneself that someone else is at fault, the karmic wheel continues to spin. So if, in their next lifetime, they become the victim of the sorts of actions they perpetrated in this lifetime, and if they are still not willing to take responsibility, they're likely to get themselves into further trouble in the subsequent lifetime by again seeking revenge.

Once the soul has evolved enough to take some responsibility for its choices, the fast track to spiritual growth can begin. This is not, incidentally, tied to any particular soul age. Some souls take this kind of responsibility quite early. They may backtrack later, but at least they have done it once. Other souls do not catch on until rather late. However, as you might expect, most of those who are involved in terrorist organizations are late infant to early young souls, with those in charge usually the young souls. Those who blindly carry out the plan are typically baby souls. The late infant souls come along for the ride but generally are not very trustworthy, in the sense of the other terrorists being able to count on their actions.

Many souls at one time or another participate in these kinds of actions, whether or not they are a part of official acts of war. They are all really pretty much the same thing, when you get right down to it.

When you create mass karma, which is always the case in a situation like this, you immediately feel an enormous weight upon you. The debt you have generated pulls at you; it is very uncomfortable. If it were not, the soul would not feel any urgency about repaying the debt. If a person is not ready to deal with a single karma, it can sometimes be set aside while the soul gains the necessary knowledge and experience to be able to handle it. A mass karma like this, however, would be nearly impossible to set aside; it becomes all consuming.

Therefore, in crossing over, the people who created so much destruction are not going to be in the mood to lounge around in Paradise. Since astral matter is malleable, they could conceivably create an environment around them that would fit their picture of Paradise, but with this enormous weight pulling on them, it would be hard for them to enjoy it. They have their guides, just like everyone else, and they will be offered guidance and healing so that they can have the wherewithal to deal with what they have set up for themselves with some kind of effectiveness. They will probably choose to reincarnate soon. There's no way they can repay this karmic debt very quickly. Probably, the first goal of their next lifetime will be to help them see the personal costs of this kind of fanatical thinking.

Those who create horrific karmas out of their rage are very damaged souls. At the time they do these things, they are not capable of reason or understanding. Their hearts are generally shut tight. They are possessed by their negativity. Certainly, they are responsible for their actions, as is everyone, but know that their pain is enormous, even before adding the unfathomable burden of the karma they have created. They do evil because they are in hell, not the other way around. You do not "go to" hell for being evil, at least not at first. You do acts of great cruelty because you are already in hell, a hell of your creation, but if you had had the understanding to create something different, you probably would have. Sometimes, a vicious circle is formed and such evil leads to even more evil because they do not see the way out. It becomes a little bit like a dog chasing its tail. They see their reflection around them and continue to lash out against it. However, as much suffering as they create in the lives of others, the greatest suffering is in themselves.

Although it is necessary to contain such people to prevent them from continuing to act out, bearing this in mind will help calm the inflamed desire to make them suffer for what they have done. You could probably not make them suffer much more than they are already suffering. Theirs is not a physical suffering; it is a psychic suffering, and that is worse. Physical suffering is over at some point, when the body expires or the torture ends, but psychic suffering goes on until understanding and forgiveness are achieved.


Those who do acts of great cruelty are a reflection of the part of almost every human being that feels impotent rage and wishes to lash out. It is time now for humanity to realize that the solution to all problems are ultimately within, that if one wishes there to be peace and happiness on earth, this heritage of misery must be faced. Humanity needs to develop some understanding of the causes of things and not be continually mesmerized by effects.

If you've come to understand that death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person, it will help you make the transition to living in joy rather than fear. There are "occupational hazards" to living on the physical plane. Your body can be hurt and it can be killed, but you can always get another body, a brand new one. We are not discounting that it is painful to lose a loved one, but that heals also.

The antidote to fear, which is really counterproductive, is to learn to trust your intuition in your everyday life. If you have a strong feeling that you should not get on a plane, then don't get on it, even if later it seems that nothing bad happened and you were just being foolish. If you allow yourself to be held hostage by chronic fear, it will tend to attract that which you fear. For one thing, it will tend to obliterate your intuition. Fear freezes you and makes your feeling apparatus less effective. So be sensible and don't talk yourself out of your intuitions, and you and your loved ones will be all right.

If you understand death from the soul's point of view, it does not eliminate grief, but you will heal from it in the healthiest way possible. For those who pass over without the weight of karma or excessive regrets for things real or imagined, it is a coming home. The majority who pass over for whatever reason feel elation, in time if not immediately. Most quickly understand that there is little they can do to change what has happened, and acceptance usually comes quickly. There is a sense of being freed from heavy limitations, as if you'd been carrying a backpack full of rocks and it was taken off your shoulders and you could suddenly fly. You may be grateful for what you learned, for how you became stronger by carrying the backpack, but it is awfully nice to get it off your shoulders and take a rest.

You are living in a time of great opportunity for planetary improvement. It is, you could say, the best show in town. You have a front row seat to what could be an extraordinary transformation. If you are preoccupied with fear and its resultant anger, you will miss the show. It takes some courage to live in joy. Such courage is well worth cultivating.


About Shepherd Hoodwin

Shepherd has been channeling since 1986. He also does intuitive readings, mediumship, past-life regression, healing, counseling, and channeling coaching, where he teaches others to channel. He has conducted workshops on the Michael teachings throughout the United States. His other books include Enlightenment for Nitwits, Loving from Your Soul: Creating Powerful Relationships, Meditations for Self-Discovery, Opening to Healing, Growing Through Joy, Being in the World, and more to come.

Visit his website at


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