Monthly Archives: November 2015

Do We Need A New Story?


Do we need a new story for the world at this time? The world seems to be at a tipping point with terrorism and the fight against it gaining headlines.  If we react with more and more war, with greater violence, with more defensiveness, how does that define us as a people? Were we meant to live in fear, with suspicion of one another, or is there another way?  It looks more and more that our world is facing a choice point.


The painting and passage below from Messages to the Heart, Reflections on Unity, Oneness depict a sacred city, Tzvat in Israel, the birthplace of the mystic study of Kabbalah. This region of the world, The Middle East and the land of Israel represents a paradox. On one hand, the teachings of peace compassion, miracles, the connection to the divine spring from this land.  Judaism, Christianity, Islam all have origins here. At the same time it is a land and region reeling in turmoil and conflict, too often marked by violence. So this duality, this paradox shows that both love and hatred can exist in the same land.

But here is our choice. Do we want to continue to allow the divisions, the separations, the fears to rule us, to cause us to react to each other with judgment, suspicion, hatred? Or do we want to pursue a way of peace, of unity, seeing that we are one. I believe that most of us want the same things, happiness, peace, dignity, reverence for life. The passage and art call on us to walk through a doorway.  It calls for us to see another way to live and be with each other. It is through knowing that our old ways are not working, that we can choose again. Even if it means stepping out into the unknown, even if it means letting go.  The darkness can either move us to more darkness, or it can allow us to see the light that shines more brightly in contrast. Let us choose the light.

Phil Okrend, 11/18/15

The Old City by Elise Okrend,


Imagine a new story:
Instead of consumerism-humanism
Instead of greed- giving
Instead of competition- cooperation
Instead of conflict-coexistence
Instead of fear- love
Instead of sleeping-awakening
Instead of control-surrender
Instead of holding tightly- letting go
Instead of feeling alone-feeling that we are one.
The truth is that this story has begun! Let it live into our consciousness.

You can order the book, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth through our web site  or on

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