Monday, July 24, 2006

War, Extremism, Courtesy, Friendship, Karma, and Earth

You must admit that being invaded by a greedy ruler , thirsty for oil, if not for blood, puts the pressure on the suffering people. This sickening war in Iraq makes me ashamed to be an American. Let us just say, for now, that I am an earther. For I am a citizen of the galaxy. I'm only part human. It is pleasant to contemplate being about only thirty percent human, and seventy percent Mind, although that is a little optimistic!:)

Part of a conquest of any nation is to demoralize it. Calling the resistance "subversives" "insurgency," or "patriots" can change everything in public perception. One thing is certain: The most proud and patriotic of Americans would certainly rush to fight against any invading force, with all their might, until they dropped dead, literally. It is easy for us to forget that the Iraqi patriots are also "defending the Homeland." In fact, in this war, they have been dismissed as nothing more than abstract statistics. Americans have not given them even minimal recognition as human beings with lives, and the "right to life."

These screwball extremists will resist stemcell research lest an embryo headed for the garbage is "abused," because it is "potential human life," but they do not value at all genuine human lives. Besides, if these rich conservatives are truly against abortion as a "dangerous evil," why are they not rushing, as they should be, to care for the underprivileged newborns of the world? A girl should be forced to bear a child, even of rape, they say, but only as long as she takes care of it. On the one hand, they damn abortion, and, on the other, damn welfare programs. You just cannot have it both ways.

Words are notoriously subjective, and I would not argue to defend one side or the other. I must certainly agree that, given a choice, I too would prefer respectful courtesy, rather than disrespectful courtesy-- easily an opportunity for hypocrisy or even cynical behavior (lying, abusing through gossip, and other insincereties). Respect does have a more solid and deeper ring to it than mere courtesy, which can often be very shallow. I suppose that I will,nonetheless, always be a respecter of courtesy and politeness, as a "lubricant" to human interactions, which are often fraught with

frictions of various kinds. But then again, I have discovered that, when a person has decided to set her face against you, courtesy actually has little practical power to change her mind.

I find this sad, and believe that, in the best of all worlds, people should eagerly respond to courtesy, as I believe that they should also respond to the treasure of friendship. Imho, friendship is a treasure-chest filled with large and beautiful emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and gold coins. It is severely undervalued in our society. For friendship is a gift that is both mutual and potentially eternal.

Since the mystic's guide is ideally compassion, the realization of the karmic causes of pain serve only to prevent her insanity; but they never create complacency or apathy to suffering. Indeed, the whole message of the Buddha concerned itself with suffering. It would be hopeless idealism, as well as rejection of unpleasant truth, to claim that human beings, as a species, had already "grown up" and "grown past their violent phase." That, as noted, might begin to appear on this poor little planet within the next couple of thousand years, but we are sadly far from it right now.

America might be the best and most noble experiment in history; yet even its record is very far from perfect, and, currently, is being sullied every day by greed. So, the mystic does her honest best to practice kindness and compassion, but she realizes always that the "world" is too big a project for any one person. So, she abandons some idealism for realism. You really cannot clean up a world until you start in your own back yard.

This earth will not be soon a planet of joy, Love, and peace. We learn some of these by being exposed to their opposites. "Strife" is as good a generic name for these collective tragedies as any other. Imho, this world will not be spiritually, emotionally, or mentally prepared to be a more evolved world until, by definition, its sentient inhabitants are more evolved.

Jesus said, "If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword," at least, in some life. And Lao Tzu writes, "A violent man shall die a violent death," at least, in some life. We still have thousands of years to "burn off" our old karma; and ignorant people are still running the karma-mills at fullest capacity even today. As Krishna states, only gnosis can and will free people from this terrible weight.

Early Christian gnostics shared the "good news" (evaggelion) that was the best news in the world. They knew of karma, of course, and their message was, "All your sins are forgiven" by a God of limitless grace.

We cannot solve even a simple biochallenge suchas the flu by pretending that it does not exist. This is even more true, imho, regarding deep psychosocial issues. But, once the flu is over, you do not continue to obsess about it and treat your illness forever. there comes an actual time for a solution and a cessation of ministrations. Again, Jesus said, "The sick are the ones who need a doctor," and it is the job of a conscientious teacher to be precisely such a doc. That is why, believe it or not, for they have lost most of the sense of the word much of the time, teachers are called "ministers." This does not mean "those who are adulated," but "those who serve." But, in the quest for the supreme ego, many have lost entirely the meaning of symbolic footwashing.

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