“A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME STILL SMELLS AS SWEET”

 

. . . AND WAR BY ANY OTHER NAME STILL STINKS OF FEAR AND DEATH

Name any conflict in human history: Roman and Viking wars of conquest; Christian Crusades; the American Civil War; Salem witch hunts; World Wars  I and II; the Vietnam War;  KKK assaults; ISIS attacks.  And on and on. Yes, they DO all belong in the same category!  Each and every one was a conflict between the righteous on all sides, in the name of an ideal which each hoped to perpetuate.  Yet in every case the ideal, the supposed purpose of each conflict, was in actuality a mask to hide the fears of all participants.  Each fighting group organized themselves around a fear they held in common: fear of LOSING a particular lifestyle to which each had aspired or become attached.  Historically, our solution to assuaging this fear has been to gain power and control over the “Evil Other,” so the “Evil Other” could not assert dominance over “US.”  Every individual on Earth has roles in both camps!  We seem to be stuck in the mindset that gaining power and control will make our lives and lifestyles secure and eliminate our fears.  Yet any thoughtful examination of our conflicts throughout history shows this mindset is illusory, delusional. Power and control are fleeting, temporary. Whether they last for a week, a year, a century, they come to an end one way or another.  Damage to the conflicted parties on all sides is permanent.

Whether war is waged between spouses or families, ethnic or religious groups, or among nations, we continuously choose to fight and assert our “rightness.”  I repeat: our ideal-our rightness and righteousness- are merely masks for the fears we have of losing the control we perceive is necessary  to maintain our desired lifestyle.  Yet the control we fear losing is an illusion as well. {See my Blog entitled: And Some Endeavors Matter Less.}  Which means throughout human history we have warred with each other to protect an illusion,  in an attempt to achieve an illusory and temporary goal!

The warring spiral perpetuates itself in a downward cycle, sort of like the water swirling  in a toilet bowl as we flush it.  The water goes down and down, through the pipes, delivering the waste to a sewer.  In the same manner, our persistent and delusional mindset is flushing us toward a wasteland from which we may be unable to return.  As a human community we must create a new perspective to deal with our fears.

Having fear is normal, innate.  Expediently reacting  to our fear can be lifesaving.  Traditionally we think of our fear response as having two alternatives: fight or flight. “Fight” is perceived as a show of strength, while “flight” demonstrates weakness.  However, unless one is within seconds of being run down by an uncontrolled vehicle, murdered by a gun-wielding drug addict, or on some beast’s menu for lunch, we have time for a THIRD response.  We can stand firm and face our fear. We can look at it for what it is, evaluate its possible effects on our lives, and consider how to best address it.

We must embrace the holiness of our humanity- our innate goodness, empathy and humanitarianism- while challenging our  intelligence and insight to create a new, more realistic perspective.  Then by standing firm and facing our fears, we can claim our most potent power as human beings, thus incorporating all the best of our capabilities.  We will see the futility and weakness inherent in warring as a solution to our issues, and become capable of  creating solutions which reflect our best selves, our souls.

NEVER FORGET:   D-DAY JUNE 6, 1944

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