Thursday, April 03, 2008
Thank God for fanciful thoughts
I suppose the most troubling aspect of life is that fight, kill, struggle, are as common and ordinary in life forms as violent transformational change is the commonness of the inorganic universe. And here we are, self-aware being with minds that can imagine a nonviolent world, yet forever floundering until foundered when attempting to create this imagined world. Yet we try, as "good wars" can attest, and using the commonness of the universe is always the luring tool, violence against the "evil" seems the expeditious means, whether Nazis or a disease of the body. More often than not "killing" the cancer is the only choice, other than submission to the cancer. The last of the strategies for an imagined nonviolent world is the practice of nonviolence. Turning the other cheek has always been a tough concept to imagine practicing in anything other than personal affairs. Possibly in a somewhat civilized world a Gandhi turns the other cheek to the "civilized" British and makes it work, but as history knows it is certain death in those times and places of uncivilized brutishness when humans are but human in appearance -- how many Jews turned the other cheek to a Nazi at Auschwitz? If there ever was an image of peaceful sheep going to slaughter, it is those newsreels of box cars arriving at the death camps, and out come the peaceful sheep: old men, young men, old women, young women, and all the children, and all the babies. Now if only those Nazis were human, and could see, and recognize the holiness of all those precious sheep. So what a conundrum we live in, the exterior world where violence is but a paper-thin distance away, the skin our shield from the abrasions that every child knows so well -- the hard world skins our knee -- yet within the skin, and even deeper within, in that mysterious interior of the brain, the mind, fanciful thoughts of peace and nonviolence are as common as our next breath.