Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Struggling

Is life an endless cycle of hate? Wars, battles, attacks and daggers in the back? Apparently so, but the cycle can be broken and the stream reversed. What? There must be a catch. There is! The effort that a person makes will not be readily apparent for a long time, much like when one first lifts a heavy piece of furniture the pain is excruciating until raised from a squat the muscles have finished contracting. Then a sense of lightness overcomes the lifter. How can one feel lighter? As Gene Edwards says in A Tale of Three Kings, "One, never learn anything about the fashionable, easily-mastered art of spear-throwing. Two, stay out of the company of all spear throwers. And three, keep your mouth tightly closed". Any other catches? Yeah, one more, a person will go through almost more pain by doing the above three things than if he fought back. What about assertiveness? Be a doormat? Remember the goal! To rise beyond conflict. Ghandi lay like a doormat, but was never used as one. Are people powerless, then? No! A person has incredible power, but it must be harnessed. What? The same hate can be brought out of anyone. In classical speak, anyone can be Raskolnikov; in modern speak everyone must win against their own temptation of the dark-side or the ring. Pass the test and peace will come. Aung San Suu Kyi passes all the tests with flying colours. Look at the size of her enemy and the power they have over her, yet she will win one day since she wins one day at a time. This sounds like passive crap? The battle is in a person, that is why questions like this are asked angrily. Why be defensive, if it's crap? Well then what about Israel? Israel owes its heritage to a pacifist, David. David overcame his own soul first, became king legitimately and then ruled and established the kingdom. Yes, he made mistakes, but he wasn't mad like Saul. And yes he could have deposed of Saul since Saul had served his purpose. What about fame and power? None is more famous (especially over time) than Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Theressa, Aung San Suu Kyi and many others. Power then? Whose kingdoms have influenced the most outside their lives, i.e. lasting power? Keep up the struggle and acknowledge first temptation, its source and then overcome it for power is not taking but overcoming.

2 comments:

Hans Anderssen said...

Good stuff. If I am reading you right, the battle within is whether to attack/defend or forgive. As Jesus-followers, how can we forget that he forgave while suffering from brutal aggression. And of course, no-one got it. How could victory come through this? How is an enemy defeated through forgiveness?
+what if our default response was forgivenss, and aggression was the minor exception - instead of the inverse.
+Most of us have to fight the inner tendency to "eye for an eye". Reminds me of a quote from well known pacifist Stanley Hauerwas; ""I'm a pacifist because I'm a violent son of a bitch."
Read the rest of this good article here:http:
//www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1295/is_4_67/ai_99818481

D. said...

Yeah, the battle within is that, by nature, a person would like to retaliate with everything in him. Forgiveness will help one overcome this nature, but of course, examining this issue and searching one's soul beforehand will not only make forgiveness easier, but also provide a person with good reasons to do so. Without forgiveness revenge will consume a person for some period of time and fear of the same or similar incident happening again (terrorism) can paralyze (no carry-on luggage).

I think the victory for pacifism comes when the cycle of hate is not perpetuated. Also when fear is broken (by examining what your retaliation will do beforehand). How far can a person go in retaliation, do terrorists get any human rights? Will a person’s own morals be contradicted by his response? In other words, people can have extremely strong emotional responses that can lead to irrational behaviour. If a person never examines why people have these responses, what might cause them and whether they are inside of them they will rarely control their reactions. In terms of violence it is important to be rational to some extent because people’s lives are in danger by another’s reaction. So noting how a person deals with being ripped-off may be an indication of a response that will be amplified given the magnitude of the offence. Rationality and an understanding of forgiveness, justice and fear are needed to counterbalance very strong urges and emotions. While you wrote your comment I was just posting an entry that actually includes the Hauerwas quote, cool eh. Check it out.

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