For an illness to be healed, it must be seen and known, recognized for what it is. An addict stands no chance of healing their addiction as long as they don't think they have a problem. A cancer patient has no chance of receiving treatment until the cancer has been diagnosed. Someone who has a problem with anger and resentment cannot become healed in their heart until they see that their anger has nothing to do with anyone or anything on the outside, but is a defense against vulnerability to what hurts on the inside.

The process of purification brings what has been hidden into the light, so it can be revealed and healed, so we can become more purely who we are. Individuals go through it - sometimes as a deliberate spiritual path, sometimes it just "happens" - although never without some intentionality, even if unconscious, and never without the participation of God.

Nations go through purification too; our own nation is currently experiencing a critical moment in its national purification, as energies of arrogance, superiority, selfishness, and deception are emerging in their naked form, taking center stage in the control of our political and economic systems. It is frightening and discouraging to all of us - and cannot be avoided if we are to mature as a culture, shed our naive belief in our own national perfection and invulnerability and join the community of nations as a true partner. These dark energies did not suddenly arrive from the outside - they have been with us all along. They were expressed in how the emerging nation treated its native population; in the enslavement and subjugation of African-Americans; in economic injustice, practiced at home and around the world; in how we justified using nuclear weapons to kill thousands of innocent bystanders in 1945. But until this moment we could still imagine that these were aberrations, were not really part of who we were. We want so much to believe in our own goodness - it's part of being human, and especially part of being American. But, like all humans living in a state of separation from God, we are mixtures of light and dark - and when the dark is denied, when we stubbornly insist that all we do as a nation is good because it's us that are doing it - then the darkness gains in power, growing in the shadows, feeding on our dishonesty with ourselves.

But now the masks are coming off... and what is about to happen in America is about to happen around the globe. Every rock will be lifted to reveal what is crawling underneath it; a brilliant light will pour into every closed-off basement - God's light, a light that brings healing, peace, and love. Dark energies that have been gathering for eons, on the planet and in the individual karma of each person on it, are going to be revealed, brought to the surface to be seen and healed. And, although this will happen very fast compared to the time that it took for the darkness to gather, it will not be instantaneous - and during its process we will all need to hold on tight.

The coming time of world-wide purification will be one of great danger, and of infinite hope and promise. Great danger because the hidden dark impulses of every human being will be getting flushed to the surface at the same time - the energies formerly sublimated into drug abuse, workaholism, absorption with distractions of a million kinds, will now be surfacing in their raw form - and in the first period of emergence, many of these impulses will be expressed violently. But the saving grace - what will save us during the transition, and be the key in transforming the world into light - is that purification also brings about individual responsibility for one's own actions and energies, and sensitivity to their impact on others. As purification proceeds, we will no longer be able to hide from our own distress and take it out on others in the form of exploitation, domination, or violence - because we will see that it is ours, not the fault of someone or something out there, but entirely our own pain and our own responsibility. And with this understanding will come complete freedom; we won't have to bend the world to our will, or feel pain when we can't, because we will see that our pain isn't the world's fault, and that nothing that we could do to change the world would make us feel any better anyway - because the only antidote to our pain is to come back to our true selves and to God. We can finally rest - and with rest will come peace, global, universal peace. And - we can finally forgive ourselves, as we see that all we have done or suffered in the past was part of the experience of separation, and that God invites every soul - without exception - back into His arms. And, if there is need to make amends to those we have hurt, we will do it gladly and gratefully.

Meanwhile, we need to follow Jesus' teaching to be "wise as serpents and innocent as doves" - because both our wisdom and our innocence will protect us from harm. Be aware that purification doesn't happen all at once, and that there will be a period of disruption and violence as dark energies are released in people who had repressed them before. We may, in fact, be sometimes shocked at what comes out of ourselves. We need to bear it all in trust, be quick to forgive, and be careful.

Something to remember, as we pass through this period, is that every human being is a pure soul seeking to return to the light, and that all hurtful behaviors - even the unconscious, unintended hurts that come from a lack of sensitivity to others - result from separation from God and the feeling of connectedness that comes from God.