Currently there is a pause and a question is being asked, worldwide. What is the correct response to the use of chemical weapons on innocent people? I find myself surprised that the alternatives being considered are a violent attack or nothing at all. I am surprised that on the same day that our president Barack Obama can reflect on the importance of one of our most influential advocates of social change, Martin Luther King Jr., he would be unable to consider the message and the reasoning of this great man.
We seem to have discovered the steps closer which bring us to a higher form of human consciousness, but also slide back again into outdated versions of how to attain justice. It was Gandhi who said, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind.” And maybe it is because we have been living with this archaic version of justice that we still cannot see that any re-action that includes violence is a perpetuation of that which we are trying to stop. Either side will claim the righteous position, the role of the superior perspective, the authority, to be the savior of the people…but both sides have acted in the same manner, carried out the same deeds. Come on…we know the stories of the Hatfields and McCoys, we know that once revenge and retaliation become the methods of “righting” a wrong wehave unleashed a pattern of reactions that never results in the balance of justice. Instead it fosters the resentments and hatreds that divide peoples from each other, objects to be destroyed as competitors for this life. More importantly it denies that we are of one human spirit and contain within us the responsibility for the acts of another.
Justice is what we are after and it is time to step back and see that violence will never bring justice. It is a threat to ideas of liberty, creating a life where children are free from fear. Violence is never an act of compassion or love and it is in these principles that there is hope. Nonviolence is the weapon of the strong because love is the greatest force that exists toward the conscious evolution of humankind. If we choose to kill those who might have been involved in perpetuating this heinous act toward other humans, we have stepped down into the very position that motivated this crime. We are doing what they did, a different version of deciding who and how other people should die.
So if there is no violent solution, what is it that the world community should do? The spotlight is on this act and the jury is still out. This is the time for the voices of those who know the principles of nonviolence and conflict resolution to step up and step in. Mahatma Gandhi has said, “There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.” When will we develop a nonviolent army of soldiers who are willing to risk their lives, in the way that any soldier who goes to battle to defeat an enemy would? When will we empower these men and women to be as strategic and regimented as any special force who are armed for attack, but with a mission that is not to overpower the enemy by bombing and shooting, but rather to confront the enemy with the shameful acts that they have perpetrated? Can we hold a mirror to those who are acting in ways that are counter to that of building a world that recognizes that we are one human spirit and that to deny this is to not understand the compassion that exists for all to share in? Can we offer them the opportunity to take a higher road which sees alternative solutions to the conflicts they are they are willing to die for? Can we try to understand their unmet needs? I see this army as an army of older people, not dressed in camouflage and suited with body armor, but who are exposed and openly offer no defense. It is time for wisdom to prevail, for the opportunity to see what humanity is capable of, by developing past the perpetuation of fear, the knee jerk instinct to demonstrate power. These are the lessons of those who we hold to be our teachers and religious leaders, the wise who come before us. It was Jesus who said, “Offer no resistance to one who is evil. Love your enemy, do good to those who persecute you.”
It is time to support a conscious evolution where agape love offers an unconquerable benevolence. We have the media now to expose those who have lost track of the connection to the universal human spirit, who have forgotten that those they kill or hurt are, in fact, only other variations on themselves. We know now that we are all contributors to the conditions that perpetuate the frustrations and confusions that separate us from our oneness. Taking a strong stand for nonviolence demonstrates the strength of mass compassion. Love is greater than fear….if we apply it in the worst of times, in the face of that which is abhorrent to all of us, the worst things humans can do to one another.
“Compassion is the signature of Higher Consciousness. Non-violence is the tool to evolve into Higher Consciousness.” Amit Ray
It is time to see the division of people into good and bad or right and wrong is simplistic and immature. It represents a short cut that leads to quick conclusions and the inability to see how we all contain the same mixes of various influences. These re-actions emerge from underdeveloped egos whose needs are to demonstrate power or quell the feelings of fear and anger. Research in Social Psychology has demonstrated that large percentages of people will act in opposition to their own conscience given the right conditions (The Lucifer Principle by Philip Zimbardo). We can never say that we know what we would do until we have been in the situation that determines it. This runs counter to the American ideal of individual and autonomous responsibility, and must be part of a new understanding that, many other cultures know…that actions are never isolated and that the family, community, collective group always bears some responsibility for the actions of its members. We must apply this to the human family and see that destructive acts destroy…and that the only response is to amplify the amount of love and compassion that we bring.
So in the pause, while we are deciding whether or not to bomb Syria as punishment for their horrible deeds, maybe we can see from a higher plane. The same plane from which Mandela and Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus and Buddha and countless and nameless leaders of their peoples have taught us. We are all part of the problem and we are all part of the solution…if we live from love.
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