VIOLENCE in EGYPT, SYRIA, the WORLD
We are at a time when the choice is appearing with ever greater need to choose means and paths that are non-violent toward the aims that our deepest hearts and motives hold. The need to choose is becoming more imperative as the motivations toward upheaval and conflict become more manifest, and as it may seem that there is no other way.
We do not understand how members of one nation can commit atrocities toward other members of the same nation, nor what 'cause' can justify the killing of innocent men, women, and children whose aims are peaceful. We do not understand the seeds of hatred and fear that can arise in the human breast, engendering a protective response that may, in the name of defense, become offense.
We, who are not in the midst of domestic battle, look with pain and shock at the phenomenon of countrymen killing countrymen. We look with pain and shock at the feelings that would necessitate such an outcome. And yet we, too, must look within our own hearts to see where fear and a sense of lack of safety dwells, for where fear dwells - fear of the future, fear of helplessness, fear of deprivation, fear of authoritarian control - there the seeds of rage and violence find a fertile bed within which to plant themselves.
Fear is a powerful driver. And where it combines with actual experiences of helplessness to change things, either because adequate representation of one's own needs and viewpoint is not present, or because change appears not to be possible due to the overriding influence of another more powerful group - where these are factors, then one may seek to institute change not through peaceful means, not through electoral means, but through violent means. Such is the basis for the overthrow of governments that would remain firmly entrenched in their policies and practices, and such is the reason for the reciprocal display of power and might on the part of those who would remain in power.
There cannot be peace unless the basis for fear is able to be addressed in a different way. There cannot be peace unless it is accepted by all concerned that their point of view will be listened to and acknowledged. To the extent that fear is addressed by the assumption of arms, and to the extent that it seems that one cannot be heard and will likely never be heard by those who have other priorities in mind, violence may seem the only recourse to create change and remove this imbalance.
In the midst of such outcomes, in the midst of such upheavals, faith in the common humanity of human beings needs to be restored, and alignment with those internal and external forces that would inflame hatred and fear needs to be eliminated or mitigated. There are forces and motives within people and energies beyond people that would seek to perpetuate violent conflict and to not establish a reign of peace. These forces and motives must be recognized, and the choice to not give them credence, to not believe, along with them, that change can only be induced by violence and hatred, must be firmly held to.
When this is the case and to the extent that this is the case, the human heart in touch with its deepest truths will find a way to speak to others and to be with others with whom it may once have seemed impossible to speak or be. The human heart, in touch with its own depths, will find a way to acknowledge and embrace the oneness of all aims and goals of each deepest human heart, and to grant this commonality even to former 'enemies.'
We are not yet at such a time, but we are at a time when the choice is appearing with ever greater need to choose means and paths that are non-violent toward the aims that our deepest hearts and motives hold. The need to choose is becoming more imperative as the motivations toward upheaval and conflict become more manifest, and as it may seem that there is no other way. This choice is made first by each individual conscience, then by groups of people, then by nations, to not justify the use of violent means to achieve one's goals as if it were the only way - to not be seduced by the belief that rage and violent upheaval is the only means to an end.
In the presence of alignment with the heart's deepest truths, each heart will find the courage and commitment to seek and find the alternative routes that may be found toward cooperation, compromise, and peace. Each heart will find the way because there is a way, and because all hearts live in the depths of their inner life in the domain of an essential Unity that embraces all. This is the goal that must be sought, not as an idealistic aim that can never be realized, but as a realistic goal whose time has come.
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