Fierce Light illuminates stories of spiritual activism – from well known activists such as American Civil Rights Leader, Congressman John Lewis and Buddhist peace activist and monk Thich Nhat Hanh, to lesser known causes like the movement to save South Central Farm, led in part by one of my personal sheroes, Julia Butterfly Hill.
The strand that weaves these stories together is that the protestors are committed to non-violence and are compelled to action by what Gandhi called “soul force.” While watching Fierce Light, I was reminded of the quote by Mother Teresa: “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
When I was in college in the early 90s I went to Philadelphia for an Earth Day summit, which concluded in a march to sign an Environmental Bill of Rights. I’m not sure what ever came from that weekend in terms of legislation, but I learned that it is not my nature to be the one shouting chants at a protest. I was happily assigned to the peace brigade along the perimeter of the march. I’m not sure if it is because my dissident spirit also bristles to the barely harnessed energy of a group mentality or because it makes me feel like I am in a subordinate position, like a child who pumps a fist and yells at an unyielding parent – or maybe a bit of both. But either way, while I believe that protests are absolutely necessary, and am so grateful for our right to be able to demonstrate, I do not usually feel comfortable in this environment.
However, watching Fierce Light gave me hope, and reminded me that when coming from Spirit, that place of stillness and love inside each one of us, protests can become a demonstration of what Martin Luther King called “love in action.” If we can react to injustice– whether gathered in a large scale demonstration – or to personal confrontation in everyday life – from a place of love, peace, and compassion as demonstrated by the activists in this movie, imagine what our world would look like!
Not yet available on DVD, Fierce Light is accessible to all U.S households or mobile devices with a high-speed Internet connection. Go to: http://myfilmblog.com/req.phpreq=static.php&page=static090427-085443