The Blessing of the Christchurch Earthquakes

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As I write this, a city of around half a million people is traumatised, but, in my view, this is no ordinary trauma and in fact may be some sort of blessing.

On September 4th, 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch city in my home country, New Zealand. Remarkably, while there was widespread damage, not a single life was lost. Compare this to the Haiti earthquake last year, where a 7.0 magnitude event killed tens of thousands.

After some 8000 aftershocks, on February 22nd, 2011, just 3 days ago, a 6.3 quake has struck Christchurch, this time killing well over 100 people, with perhaps another 200 as yet unaccounted for. If in September we had widespread damage, now we have absolute devastation. How is this a blessing and how could anyone who has lost a loved one contemplate this? For my own part, after deep introspection I wonder how it could be anything else.

For those of you familiar with the work of my teacher, Dr John Whitman Ray, and Body Electronics, the healing modality he founded, you will be familiar with the concept that everything that exists on the outer is a manifestation of that which exists on the inner – it is not a concept, but in fact a universal law. Everything in creation exists as an outer manifestation of some blueprint of thought, feeling and spoken word and is propelled into creation and maintained by will and desire or by resistance to the creation. This applies within our bodies and our environment, indeed, within the earth itself.

When we consider our environment, there are of course the thoughts, feelings and spoken words of a great many people to consider, that which we call the collective consciousness. We may also think of a collective unconsciousness, being the sum of all the resistances to that which is. When shifts in consciousness occur, so do shifts in our body and in our environment. These shifts can be dramatic.

There is also such a thing as karma, wherein a lesson that must be learnt for one’s blessing and progression must necessarily be periodically put again before one, that it might eventually be mastered. The lesson need not be conceptually complex; often it is no more than learning not to continue to resist a certain experience of life. How often have we resisted our experiences? How willing are we to lovingly endure a given experience regardless of its nature? If we are in the habit of loving only those things that we judge to be worthy of love then we are systematically accruing karma, for our perfection depends on our being able to love all things without condition. At least, that is what Christ taught. Karma is thus no punishment, but a blessing in the form of an opportunity to love what we have failed to love before.

People often think of outcomes as being blessings, but so are opportunities. In fact, if we look only at outcomes we again fall into the trap of judgement, as we distinguish between those outcomes we consider to be “good” and those we consider to be “bad”. In so doing, we neglect the inner creative force behind the outcome and create further karma, as we have clearly learnt nothing yet and thus require another opportunity, if we are to progress.

If we apply this simplistic view to a planet, a nation, or a city, not just individuals, then in every experience we may confidently ask what is to be learnt from it. What is the inner that lies behind the outer? We may also trust that we will not have the answer to our questions while resisting the outer experience.

Cataclysmic events are not random acts of nature, but again, an outer manifestation of some inner force – we may not always know what this inner force is, but we can know that some such force exists and that, being part of our environment, it is therefore of creative importance to us. In other words, an event in our vicinity is a signpost, and when that signpost is presented repeatedly we are best to consider whether we should be taking note of it. To be blunt – we will karmically re-experience those things we do not love until such time as we love them or until it becomes beyond our current ability to love them. Regarding our personal and collective karma, we, as a horse, may be led to water, but if we will not drink we cannot be forced. Where is the blessing if we do not do the right thing by our own free will and choice?

Do not think that karma is a punishment – this is a human concept based on our identification with the retributional Law of Justification, the idea that it is fair and just to enact retribution for a perceived wrong. In reality, it is our lack of unconditional love that allows us to feel justified in trying to balance or repay one evil with another. I want to bring this out now because if I say that the Christchurch earthquake is somewhat a karmic event I understand that many people will assume I am implying that the people of Christchurch have done something “wrong” to “deserve” this fate and therefore will take offence. To the contrary, I simply observe a spiritual law of blessing in action, which Dr Ray called Perfect Divine Order. So to reiterate, cataclysmic events such as earthquakes, floods, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, etc are not random events of nature.

Let us then approach the Christchurch earthquakes from a perspective of purpose and opportunity. What are the facts? Christchurch experienced a 7.1 earthquake in September with no loss of life and a 6.3 in February that has killed at least 100 and possibly destroyed the central business district. Now, people will speculate about building design, earthquake depth, epicentres, cumulative damage from many aftershocks, time of day, and many other physical factors to “explain” this discrepancy. Indeed, most reasons discussed in the media are totally plausible and make complete sense to someone who expects a physical cause, but this does not make them correct. I daresay, the majority would view my position as preposterous, but this does not make me wrong.

Putting all physical causes to one side and assuming the events are not random, then we must consider what the purpose of these two quakes could be. One thing that strikes me is that had February’s earthquake struck first then the loss of life may likely have been a great deal higher, with people in a state of hysteria, rather than shock or resignation to loss. From this point of view, the September quake looks more like a “practice run” or a drill to prepare for what was to come. Consider, for example, how quickly New Zealand authorities have recognised the need to accept overseas aid, demolish dangerously damaged buildings, or bring in the army to assist. There was no “wait and see” or “panic mode” approach – just a rapid, effective, and measured response.

We might also ask if the second quake was “necessary” had the first one been satisfactorily responded to on a spiritual, emotional and physical level. This is not to imply some failure of the people, but if we look at the microcosm of the karma of one individual, we will see that first karma is of a gentle nature – a simple opportunity to put something right without fanfare or drama – but becomes progressively more intense and hard to ignore as the individual refuses to deal with it. This escalation of intensity continues until either the individual’s ego capitulates to dealing constructively with their situation, or else adamantly refuses to deal with it to the point where escalation of karma moves beyond the capacity of the individual to ever lovingly and willing endure it. At this point a karmic return can be of no service to them and thus must be held in abeyance. There is no capacity to progress at this time and so karmic activity is suspended. As for an individual, so for a collective group, a city, a nation, race or species.

Note the isolated “miraculous” rescues and escapes, which is an indication that we are not individually bound to collective karma, to the extent we are willing and able to “step up” in the moment of need. Thus there are those who resist their karma and are accordingly bound to it and those who on some level are willing to endure it. Cataclysmic events reflect the earth’s response to collective resistance in the locale and rather than being “disasters” should be recognised as those events which would be for the collective highest and best good of that area and its people.

Speaking from a position of principle, when we look upon the apparent “hardships” of an individual we must learn not to resist them, as this is effectively resistance to the experiences they require for their progress. In this light, our sympathy for a person’s “adversity” is in fact a denial of the perfection in the experiences they require in order to progress. Similarly, our sympathy or resistance to an act of collective karma, such as a cataclysmic event, is a denial of the perfection that must be present. Remember, cataclysms are not random events. All that to which one is attached may be put asunder if that is what it takes for individuals or a group of individuals to have the opportunity to release those attachments. How this all applies to New Zealand or to Christchurch may yet to be revealed but rest assured that all is perfect and meted out accordingly.

Any loss of life would be tragic if it served no purpose, but from our delightfully human perspective we are seldom in a position to discern all the facts or understand higher purposes. Let us nonetheless never assume there is no purpose and learn to trust that all is indeed Perfect Divine Order.

Let us consider another principle of healing – when an individual has been traumatised by an event there are two ways of dealing with it: avoid the trauma or specific memory of it by counselling it away or denying it in some way, which would be the “norm”, or to embrace the trauma and learn to regain full specific memory of it and lovingly and willing endure it, which is the approach we use in Body Electronics. The former approach leads to the suppression and perpetuation of the effects of the trauma; the latter approach leads to freedom from it and true healing. One example of the application of this latter approach is, “to overcome a fear, do that which is fearful in a lesser measure”. So if one fears great heights the approach is to embrace lesser heights, but explicitly only to the extent that one is capable of lovingly and willingly doing so. One therefore builds one’s aptitude for increasing heights as lesser heights are mastered.

Consider the application of this principle to great earthquakes and observe each aftershock as a “lesser earthquake” as being both an opportunity to lovingly and willingly embrace the experience and thus gradually overcome the trauma of the big one, as well as a karmic return for those who are not willing to do so.

Behold this blessed land – who else receives a “gentle cataclysm”, such as we may describe the September quake, now that we properly understand the power that may be unleashed? For those who have “graduated” we should all be grateful. They are those who have either lovingly and willingly endured the first earthquake and/or its aftershocks and this latest earthquake and are therefore able to move into more meaningful levels of activity for the blessing of others.

The Divine Plan is not for death and destruction, but for healing and progress towards perfection, regardless of outer appearances.

Finally, some will ask, “Why Christchurch?” Imagine such a thing happening in high-rise Auckland or hilly, fault-ridden Wellington and how much more severe the devastation would be. For the spiritual benefit of all New Zealanders, may I suggest that we have experienced something that is as close to an “ideal” disaster as could be. It is huge, but yet not beyond our ability to cope with constructively, on the whole. It could be that Christchurch is a “sacrificial lamb” for the benefit of our whole country, or perhaps there is indeed some level of more localised karma to be considered – I would suggest a mixture of the two.

Again, I know that a suggestion of the earthquakes being of some benefit to others may seem awfully callous to those who do not accept that there is some greater purpose behind these events. I do not mean to sound callous – every life is precious. Once again, I do not believe cataclysms to be random events.

No matter how you interpret events, may I at least suggest that in your desire for compassion and aid, at least do not resist the experiences of another person, for you deny the perfection of their experiences as their opportunity to progress through embracing them. Who are we to say the experience of another is right or wrong? It is what it is, but be certain of this, we each have our own unique experiences, resistances, unfinished business, lessons and karma to attend to. We are who we are as a result of our experiences, our response to them, and our choices to be, do and have. Honour each person’s right to be who they are.

In Love, Light, and Perfection,
“I AM”
Graham Bennett



As a footnote to this article, I have since been asked, "What can we do?" Certainly direct financial help to the people of Christchurch and the various aid agencies is in order, as there are many people with urgent and fundamental survival needs. I am impressed also by New Zealanders finding a host of inventive ways to assist, from local Christchurch and wider New Zealand businesses and individuals donating free goods and services, accommodation, food, etc. I am also again impressed by the professionalism and self-sacrifice of those who live in Christchurch and have suffered losses, yet dedicate themselves to helping others - thank you to everyone who has found any way to help on any level. Make no mistake, genuinely selfless service does not go unnoticed.

In spite of an intimidating death toll for a small country like New Zealand and a duty to remember and honour the dead, we must also deal with the practical reality of the living. Life is an opportunity for many things, but I think perhaps the most important thing is to put order into our own lives, that we may be the most effective individual we can be in whatever way we choose to express it. So I wish to draw a few readings on this site to your attention:

  1. how we may best honour the living
  2. how to use constructive action to put order into your life and resolve your karma
  3. the karmic nature of global disasters and the recent global economic crisis in particular
  4. how to order my publication, The List - The Art of Constructive Manifestation, which details in plain and simple terms how to practically deal with all of these issues in your life, starting with the simplest and easiest thing within your reach

I hope this does not sound like a sales pitch; I firmly believe that our conduct and our ability to direct it is of fundamental importance to everyone. With reference to the Christchurch earthquakes, we may then each ask ourselves how effective we were in our own space and how prepared we are for life and its experiences. I firmly believe that as we resolve the multitudinous unfinished business around us everything becomes more clear and simple, even the seemingly insurmountable. I have no magic secret to sell, only clear and open instruction, as you will see throughout this site.

Blessings in your endeavours.

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