There is a growing recognition that humanity is walking toward a future we really don’t want to create for ourselves, or our children and grandchildren. We are walking toward a future we know in our hearts is not a sustainable world. Every place we look, we see the cracks in the “civilized” world we’ve been creating over the last few hundred years. And that includes the cracks created by our American “never-ending-war’ that has lasted almost seven decades. Some would say even longer. Fear 0f what might happen can drag us into a war mentality.
We are trapped in a never-ending war that is based on beliefs that are not real or accurate. Until we challenge these false beliefs, our nation is only going to continue creating more violence, more conflict, and more terrorists.
False Beliefs That Create “Might Happen” Fears That Are Used To Drag Us Into War
- The narcissistic belief embedded in our nation’s consciousness that we are the righteous warriors against evil. Only we have the moral imperative to save the world from itself.
- The belief that “terrorists” are absolute evil or less than human.
- The belief that we have had nothing to do with the creation of “those terrorists”.
- The belief that “those terrorists” have no motives that explain their behavior other than the enjoyment they get from spreading terror.
- The belief that if we develop compassion for them, then we are somehow condoning terrorism.
- The belief there is nothing we can do to stop the spread of terror other than continue wiping out “terrorists” with our bombs and our military.
- The unconscious belief that the events that “might happen” can only be dealt with by an irrational, knee-jerk emotional fear that morally justifies our bombing and killing other humans in the name of peace and freedom.
The Real Truths (Our Fears Of “Might Happen” Events) Blind Us From Seeing
- The truth that we are only creating more terrorists with our bombing.
- The truth that the more we bomb, the more instability we are creating in the Middle East.
- The truth that we are rapidly becoming the evil empire in the process of “protecting the world” from the spread of evil.
- The truth that we have convinced ourselves evil is created and spread by “others”, not us; the belief that our hands are morally clean.
- The truth that we do have other options; other choices available to us.
- The truth that violence always begets more violence; not peace. A wisdom our spiritual teachers and mystics have been trying to teach us for centuries.
- The truth that it’s our inability to evolve our human consciousness from its nationalistic, patriotic, self-focused “us-ness” to a more inclusive global “we-ness” that is creating a world filled with evil “others”.
- The truth that the categories of “other” we are creating is a social cancer impeding our ability to create healthy, peaceful relationships with those around us.
- The truth that violence is the arch enemy of our ability to create a peaceful human culture. We have created a world of “other” to the detriment of our deeper need to create a peaceful world.
- The truth that the Western world has created poverty, hunger, and suffering through our unwillingness to more equitably share the wealth of our global economic system with the emerging nations.
- The truth that we know in our hearts we need to make some changes to become a more peaceful nation. We know in our hearts we need to do something! The question that we lament over, the question that boggles all our minds, is how do we make any changes in a world that seems gridlocked and fighting over……just about everything.
- The truth that we need to become more “self”-honest. More self-aware of the shadows that dwell in the darkness of our national unconscious. Gridlock isn’t the problem. There is a much deeper reality that we find hard to accept. And that is the uncomfortable realization that the things we need to do (e.g. a more equitable sharing of the wealth we’ve accumulated through our global economic system), are the very things that we find it difficult to do voluntarily. And we are unwilling to vote into office the politicians that would begin to change the laws that would incorporate those needed changes. We tell ourselves, maybe next year, but not right now. Right now, we tell ourselves we’re happy to continue debating the changes that we know in our hearts need to happen.
- The truth that humanity is not dumb. And that includes you and me. We know that the changes that are needed are going to impact us in ways we really don’t want to experience. We really don’t even want to talk about them, or think about them. We want someone else to fix the problems because we don’t want to embrace that much change…..right now.
The Changes We Need To Make
If we are the great nation of human freedoms and compassion that we claim to be, the path we need to walk is clear. Let’s take a look at some of the changes that need to be embraced by our nation, and all humanity. The changes that cannot be created by a war mentality.
First: We need to voluntarily embrace the concept that all natural resources of our planet exist for the “mutual benefit” of all living species.
Not just the human species. Not just our Western economic system. Mutual benefit will require a recognition that every species, and every person on the planet wants the same things we want. The concept of mutuality. Every person on the planet wants peace, well-being, food, shelter, freedom, clean air, clean water, a life for their children that is better than the life they are living, and the knowledge that the future will offer them access to the resources they will need to survive and climb out of poverty.
Second: We need to voluntarily awaken our collective human consciousness from our illusion of separateness; from our narcissistic self-focus on “me” or “i”, to a more wholistic focus on the collective “we” or “us”.
The illusion of individual and nationalistic separateness, embraced by our collective human ego, is forever creating dangerous categories of “other”. And “other” always creates judgment; the primary source of violence and conflict we are experiencing in the world today. The illusion of separateness blinds us to the global poverty that’s driving our nation, and our world, toward every increasing levels of violence, war, and terrorism. When we ignore the poverty and hunger of “others” around the world, we are creating the primary conditions that lead to conflict and violence. We are creating populations of people who have nothing to lose. Populations of people who envy and hate us.
History is clear. Hunger and poverty are the arch-enemies of stability and peace.
Third: The Western nations need to embrace a concept of mutuality that demonstrates to the emerging nations a deeper compassion and empathy for those suffering from hunger and poverty.
The lack of empathy, which results when we embrace a sense of “other” through our illusion of separateness, simply adds to the growing resentment, anger, and hopelessness of the poor. An anger created by our greed and our apparent indifference to their suffering.
The category of “other” gives us permission to shut down our empathy and compassion. And then we wonder why they are so angry. Why people in the middle east and other emerging nations are resorting to violence.
Wouldn’t you and I be angry too if our children were starving? Wouldn’t we do whatever necessary to offer our children a hopeful future?
Wouldn’t we too be angry if those we loved died because of a bomb dropped by a nation that appears indifferent about who they kill?
Wouldn’t we too become angry terrorists with nothing to lose?
When we are indifferent and ignore the suffering of those living in poverty; when we ignore the hopelessness that comes from the struggle to survive in the face of degrading, grinding levels of poverty and hunger…..we ignore the sobering reality that we are describing a population of people who have absolutely nothing to lose. We forget that hopelessness and poverty are breeding grounds for violence.
Until the emerging nations experience a Western world that is genuinely compassionate and openly committed to sharing the benefits and resources of human civilization for the well-being of every person on the planet; the hunger, the suffering, the never-ending poverty, and the overwhelming lack of hope people in the emerging nations experience will continue to fuel the hopeless rage, growing animosity, seething resentment, and envy they are currently and increasingly expressing toward the Western world.
Fourth: We need to understand that those people we call “evil” terrorists, are simply people without hope.
People with no way to create the future they want for themselves or their children. People who express their anger and frustration through inflexible, ideological extremism. We need to look at the ways we are contributing to that sense of hopelessness. The ways we horde the vast majority of the world’s resources for our own benefit. The ways we are creating a world of have’s and those who have nothing.
Of course, when we label them as “terrorists” it gives us permission to see them as evil. As less than human. Once we believe those labels and the assumptions that go with them, it gives us the moral permission to carpet bomb them into oblivion. It gives us moral permission to lump their entire culture, their religion, and those who look like them, or dress like them, into our judgmental labels called “evil” terrorists.
Fifth: We need to understand those using violence against the Western world are individual ideological extremists…..not an evil “religion”, or evil “culture”, or evil “people.”
Poverty and hunger empower the terrorists and their wars for political power. We need to acknowledge the reality that every time an innocent person is killed in our “never-ending war”, and its never-ending bombing campaigns to destroy those evil “terrorists”, that innocent person has family members and neighbors that loved them. Every innocent person killed in our war against “terrorists” only creates more people emotionally supportive of the ideological “terrorists”.
In other words, we need to acknowledge the reality that every bomb we drop in our “never-ending war” against terrorism is simply creating more “terrorists” to bomb. At some point, we need to break this never-ending cycle of violence. We need to embrace the truth that every spiritual teacher in human history has attempted to teach us……..the reality that violence only begets more violence. Violence does not create peace.
Sixth: We need to recognize the silent growing danger embedded in our denial of wealth inequality, and our inability to acknowledge the growing sense of hopelessness of those living with hunger and poverty in our own country; the dangerous reality that the hopeless have nothing to lose.
I believe we are in the process of creating another culture of home-grown “evil” terrorists struggling with poverty and hunger; people that have nothing to lose…right here in our own nation. Hunger, grinding poverty, and desperation are the breeding grounds of violence and conflict.
Conclusion: The Path Of Never-Ending War Only Offers Us Two Basic Choices
Ironically, if we want a stable, safer world for our children and future generations, then we have a difficult choice to make.
Choice A) We either have to carpet bomb the evil, less than human “terrorists” into oblivion. In other words, we would need to annihilate a population that comprises roughly 80 to 90% of all humans on the planet. Because until they are all destroyed, the hungry, the poor, and the desperate will just keep getting more and more angry, more hopeless, and more desperate. Because they will increasingly have nothing to lose, they will continue to resort to violence. Desperate people who live in countries with shattered landscapes, failed states, and oppressive governments are easily turned into “terrorists”.
The only alternative is choice B.
Choice B) We need to create a more rational and compassionate worldview that fully embraces the concept of a collective human “we”, not just a nationalistic “us”.
- A worldview that does not allow greed or the hoarding of wealth created by our Western global economic system, or the many other benefits of our modern human civilization.
- A worldview that embraces the concept of mutual benefit; the evolutionary wisdom that every person on the planet has a right to want, and have access, to a viable, hopeful future for themselves and their children.
- A worldview that protects future generations by limiting the extraction of our planet’s natural resources and voluntarily shares those resources we are currently extracting so they can be used for the good of all humanity…..including the protection of all other life forms that share our planet with us. Those resources would include full access to a modern education, employment that allows people to escape the poverty that keeps them trapped in despair, access to hospitals and 21st Century health care when they or their children are ill, and a sense of pride that comes from a deep respect for all of our planet’s human cultures and traditions.
- The recognition that our global economic system is broken and needs to be changed. We need a planetary economic system that is based on mutual benefit, not uncontrolled greed. A planetary economic system that fully embraces and supports the worldviews listed above.
We will not experience the peace our human souls hunger and long for…..until every person on the planet experiences mutual benefit from their participation in our 21st Century human civilization. Only compassion, cooperation, and mutuality have the power to create a peaceful, sustainable world for future generations. War does not.
Yes, there will always be those who will forget these simple wisdoms. Those who will ignore the deep wisdom of Gaia. Wisdom that She has gleaned from 5 billion years of experience creating a living, ever-evolving world; a world based on cooperation and mutual benefit.
Yes, there will always be those who will attempt to use irrational fear of “what might” happen in order to herd us like sheep into another profitable war against those “evil terrorists”. Profitable for them of course.
A world that embraces mutual benefit for all will not eliminate greed overnight. It will take time. It will happen when we refuse to embrace the fears of “might happen events” designed to support the greed of the few. It will happen when we have evolved our human consciousness and created a collective worldview that has learned to fully embrace the concept of mutual benefit. A world designed to create a safe and peaceful world for all people and all future generations.
Our evolved collective human consciousness will understand that those lofty goals will never be achieved through fear and the invitation of another war against evil “others.”
Our species is intelligent. We know we cannot safely ignore the wisdom of mutuality and mutual benefit. It will take time to create the world I’m talking about. But it will happen if we want future generations to survive.