Oprah: Just to be more connected, because I think that all of my weight issues and health issues are about being—about allowing myself to feel separated and not remaining in present moment connected to the lantern that you're talking about.
Oprah: That's really what it all boils down to.
Oprah: And you feel your pain and your disconnection and your, really, suffering in proportion to how far you are away from that light.
The Rev. Bacon: Mine is about making sure or praying or working on or practicing that the core truth of my existence is that I'm beloved. So much trouble in the world is caused by people not loving themselves in the depth of their being. And Jimi Hendrix said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then we'll have peace." And we need to have the power of love inside—
Oprah: Jimi Hendrix. I'm going to write that down.
The Rev. Bacon: He's a great minister, by the way.
Michael: He passed on a few years ago.
Oprah: Yes, I know. The power of love overcomes the love of power.
The Rev. Bacon: Then we'll have peace. Which is true. In ourselves, in our communities, in our relationships.
Michael: This peace and self-love I think is very important, and it's not the end game. It's the beginning game.
The Rev. Bacon: It is.
Michael: And so when we're able to wrap our arms around ourself and really love what God has made, even all of our foibles, then the path becomes smoother. But if we're walking with a sense of sin, the original sin or something to this effect, that we have some kind of fatal flaw that we're incorrect, that we're an accident, then our whole life is looked through that particular lens, and we just run up against all the obstacles that we're creating mentally.
The Rev. Bacon: It's got to be the original blessing.
Michael: It's the original blessing. Self-love and appreciation is really our foundation to leap into spiritual practice.
Oprah: And the way you love yourself, the way you really love yourself is to recognize your connection to the divine.
Elizabeth: But that's why at the beginning when I was talking about the lantern and about psychology, sometimes it's very hard to love yourself.
The Rev. Bacon: It is.
Elizabeth: If you grew up in a family or a culture where you were called unlovable.
The Rev. Bacon: That's true.
Elizabeth: On whatever level it was.
Oprah: That's right.
Elizabeth: And there's healing that has to happen.
Oprah: Because you have to be taught that you're unlovable.
Elizabeth: But you then have to learn that you're lovable. And sometimes that takes some work. Some healing work. Some psychotherapeutic work. That's why I think this new art and science of psychology, I didn't is really only a hundred-year art and science. It started in the last century—is a holy work. Unraveling the layers of conditioning from your childhood that told you there was something basically wrong with you.
Elizabeth: That can take some people several years or more to get to. And I think it's holy work and I think, as you say, it's the first work.
Elizabeth: It's not the end. The end isn't to become a narcissistic self-lover.
Elizabeth: But it's to have a ground of love that you then can step into the higher realms and into a life of service. But if you don't start by healing your core original misconception that you are an unlovable person, you can layer on all the scripture you want.
The Rev. Bacon: True.
Elizabeth: But you don't really ever get it.
The Rev. Bacon: True.
Oprah: Got that.
The Rev. Bacon: That is so true.
Oprah: Well said. Thank you, Tracy.
Tracy: Thank you so much.
Oprah: Thank you so much. Wendy is a single mother Skyping in from her home office in Melbourne, Australia. G'day, Wendy.
Oprah: What's your question?
Wendy: My question—sorry?
Oprah: Yeah, your question. Go ahead.
Wendy: My question is what do you think is the biggest evil that impacts our society today?
The Rev. Bacon: The biggest evil is dehumanization. It's the root of war. It's the root of retaliation. It's the root of the spiraling cycle of violence that we see. It's the root of bigotry. It's the root of exclusion of—of making people outcasts. And I think that that's—that's what we have to work on. And the way we work on dehumanization is this love stuff. To make sure that the foundation of our soul is being beloved. And my experience is that real love, authentic love, is not about just loving ourselves alone. You don't have to worry about that. Love, when it comes into your life or you become aware that love is the core of your life, then that expands to other people and you cannot stop yourself from loving everyone else. So you become an oasis of peace, an oasis of love and an oasis of honoring the dignity of every human being.
Oprah: Don't you really mean, though, ego? Isn't the biggest evil the ego because it's the root of all evil. Isn't it the root of all evil?
The Rev. Bacon: Oh, yes.
Michael: Absolutely. And the ego is an accumulation of unexamined perceptions that run our life.
Michael: And what I would add to what Ed is saying is ignorance. When we're talking about dehumanization, we're talking about ignorance that's running our life. People not knowing that they are the light. Not being able to see the light or feel the light or express the light. And through the veil of ignorance, people do destructive things. Now underneath that destruction, sometimes I'll say that behind every human aberration there is a spiritual aspiration. There is something trying to come through.
The Rev. Bacon: That's good.
Michael: But it is coming through the veil of ignorance and the ego. But the energy itself—
Oprah: Behind every aberration?
Michael: Behind every human aberration, there lies a spiritual aspiration.
The Rev. Bacon: So true. That is so true.
Michael: There's only one power. It's the power of God. And it's trying to break through.
Oprah: So what was the human aspiration—the spiritual aspiration of slavery?
Michael: The spiritual aspiration of slavery was abundance. Prosperity. Control. I mean, on a positive side.
Michael: You see? People were trying to control their life. They were trying to have more. And they did it through a destructive way. They dehumanized a whole group of people. Us.
Michael: You see. But underneath that, they were trying to control their life. They were trying to have more than enough.